20 November 2005

Review: Pandora's Star

Woo-hoo! My first fiction review for Amazon:

Hundreds of years in the future, fusion power and wormhole technology has enabled mankind to colonize hundreds of worlds in the galaxy. Rejuvenation therapy, cloning and memory copying allow anyone with enough money to live indefinitely. Life's pretty idyllic for citizens; there's plenty of space to live in, mankind has met no hostile aliens and the Commonwealth government is fairly benign. Naturally, this utopia is threatened by forces within and without.

The first hundred-odd pages set the stage and are a bit tedious. There's plenty of characters and each one gets a certain number of pages. Unfortunately, their stories are told with the same style so it's hard to be really interested in them. Once the Commonwealth decides to explore a stellar anomaly, the characters become better defined, the plot picks up pace and the story races to multiple cliffhangers.

Hamilton's great at writing action and creating detailed universes, but his writing can be boring elsewhere. For instance, it was a chore to read the horse-trading between senators for the presidency in the Commonwealth and his characters seem to only experience intimacy by having sex (and plenty of it). Minor niggles aside, this is a very enjoyable space adventure and I look forward to the sequel.