Friday, January 08, 2010

Nights Dawn Trilogy

Its important to start well when writing. So many great books I have read have started clunkily, and almost put me off, thanks to a slow start that failed to grip. The Reality Dysfunction, a space opera by Peter F Hamilton, is definitely one of these. It begins by a rather dull description of a creatures evolution. I leant this book to a friend, who never got started, and I perfectly understand why.

Perservere, and the story becomes worthwhile. The start of the story is extremely misleading, and its actually quite hard to see what will cause the crisis which will begin to consume the human race. Once it does happen, the descriptions are genuinely horrific, tense, and involving.

This continues into the second book, The Neutronium alchemist. Sadly, the Naked God, the final book in the trilogy, was a let down for me. It has two problems. First of all the narrative spends too much time following a set of characters I have little reason to sympathise with, and ends up being down right depressing, bringing down the rest of the story. The revelation of who controls earth felt like it came from nowhere, and didn't feel greatly plausible. The main problem is that the story is resolved by a massive deus ex machina.

The solution must be searched for, and the characters do strive for it, but there are basically two twin narratives- the battle against a hideous foe, and the search for the deus ex machina. Both are fine, but the latter ends up solving the former, which is hugely disappointing. It would have been a lot more satisfying if the former had resolved before the latter, as it makes a lot of characters actions fairly pointless. The neatness of the finish is a little sad as well.

The trilogy is kind of Hamilton at his worst and best, which is unsurprising, considering quite how huge the triolgy is. Its a hell of a ride, and maybe thats enough, but the ending just doesn't pay off properly.

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