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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Reality Dysfunction Part I: Emergence

The Reality Dysfunction Part I: Emergence by Peter F. Hamilton

3 of 6 people found the following review helpful:

June 1, 2001

The title of this review sums it up. I was not impressed at all by this book. It was a long, rambling 586 pages that ended almost completely arbitrarily. The big suspense-filled (please note the sarcasm) ending is about one paragraph that loosely suggests that whatever the evil thing is that has been unleashed, it's starting to spread. Honestly, Hamilton does not build up any sort of drama that makes me want to read the next one, especially if it's another almost 600 pages.

The worst thing about this book is the "hero" Joshua Calvert. Maybe Joshua Pervert would be a more apt name since he is "with" just about every female character he runs into. This guy has not a shred of moral fiber and after a while he just becomes a sad caricature.

I also loved how people just vanished from the storyline. There's a priest, Horst Elwes, and a little girl named Jay in the story pretty regularly for the first half of the book, but come the second half they just disappear. I, as the reader, have no idea if they lived or died because Hamilton doesn't bother to check in with them later on. The same for Ione Saldana the "Lord of Ruin". I expected that the computer Josh uncovers early in the book would have some kind of dire warning about the terrible evil unleashed, but apparently Hamilton didn't have time for that either.

Honestly, not to push the decency standards here, but if Hamilton cuts out 2/3 of the gratuitous, pointless sex scenes, he wouldn't need a SECOND book.

There were, surprisingly, a few good things about the book. I liked the "Edenists" and "Adamist" thing where Edenists use all sorts of genetic tampering to give them telepathy, etc. while the Adamists use little nanoimplants to do almost the same things. The Edenist ships, "voidhawks" and "blackhawks", and how the ship has a personality that relates to the ship's captain is pretty interesting. I'm sure that there will be more about those in the next ramble.

Apparently a lot of other people liked this book, I didn't. Maybe I'm being too prudish about the gratuitous sex scenes, but I thought that 99% had no point or purpose and added nothing to story and detracted from being able to like the main character or being able to see him as any kind of heroic-type figure. To any parents, don't let your kids read this book, it's too advanced for them.

I'll probably give the second one a try eventually, but I doubt it will impress me much more than the first.


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