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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

       
The Naked God

Copyright 1999 by Peter F. Hamilton

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Very good (3/5)

I first read this in March 2000 and most recently on the 31st March 2002.

Numerous planets occupied by the dispossessed have transported themselves of this universe.

Quinn Dexter has reached Earth and is intent on bringing Armageddon to the planet. Government has the power to stop him, albeit at massive human cost, but lacks the will.

Basically, the Confederation is falling apart, and the possessed are likely to win.

However, the delightful Louise Kavanagh displays astounding determination while Joshua, 1600 light years from home, still manages to come up trumps. Joshua indeed continues to amuse: "I'm unarmed. Take me to your leader".

There's no point in me trying to describe the plot in any detail - suffice to say the plot developed in the first two volumes of "the Night's Dawn" trilogy continues to develop, gaining in scope and complexity. Don't even consider reading this unless you've read the previous books.

It's a big book and a big ending to the trilogy. This is, in fact, a particularly big book in the United Kingdom edition - in the US, it is published in two parts: "The Naked God: Flight" and "The Naked God: Faith".Much more easy to handle.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Pan, the publisher, for a beautifully-bound paperback - 1300 pages and it didn't even begin to fall apart which is in mark contrast to the US edition of "The Reality Dysfunction - Expansion" which was clearly created in a read-once binding.

The book has its fun moments- the entertaining reference to Margaret Thatcher for example - and it certainly has many exciting episodes, but it's simply too big. There are sub-plots introduced and tossed away after a hundred or so pages that would have made excellent novels. It's long-winded and a little lazy. It's hardly a book on which one can afford to dwell lovingly on each page, so my reading might have resembled more a stone skipping across water rather than an immersion. However, I kept getting the feeling that, for much of this trilogy, Peter was just slamming the words down on paper as fast as he could get them out of his head, that he had no detailed plan of where the plot was to take him and no time to give much consideration to what he was writing.

But for all it's verbosity and extravagance, it's still an exciting read, and the purchase of this book from trusty old Asia Books saw me safely through many long, hot days in Bangkok and Hua Hin.

Taken as a whole, the trilogy is an amazing piece of work, a masterpiece perhaps, but I just wish it had been, well, a little more concise.

Loaded on the 10th April 2002.
    
Cover of The Naked God
Cover by Jim Burns