Salvation

Salvation

Humanity's complex relationship with technology spirals out of control in this first book of an all-new trilogy from "the owner of the most powerful imagination in science fiction" (Ken Follett).In 2204, humanity is expanding into the wider galaxy in leaps and bounds. A new technology of linked jump gates has rendered most forms of transporation--including starships--virtu...

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Title:Salvation
Author:Peter F. Hamilton
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Salvation Reviews

  • Mark

    This is my most anticipated release of 2018, and I was extremely fortunate to get an early advance copy. I won’t say much to avoid spoilers, but Salvation was very good – typical Hamilton. It has a similar feel to Pandora’s Star or Fallen Dragon, if anything, but it’s also a very different story. It’s also clearly the first part of a trilogy, which is good, but with the first book issues that come with the territory. Great world building, great characters, intriguing plot – Salvation ticks almos

    This is my most anticipated release of 2018, and I was extremely fortunate to get an early advance copy. I won’t say much to avoid spoilers, but Salvation was very good – typical Hamilton. It has a similar feel to Pandora’s Star or Fallen Dragon, if anything, but it’s also a very different story. It’s also clearly the first part of a trilogy, which is good, but with the first book issues that come with the territory. Great world building, great characters, intriguing plot – Salvation ticks almost all the boxes.

    Full review now below:

    Salvation is Peter F Hamilton’s latest novel, the first book in his Salvation Sequence, and a series set in a brand-new universe. After some considerable time (and eight novels) spent writing in his Commonwealth universe, with a slight detour for 2012’s Great North Road, Salvation is a chance to see Hamilton build a setting from scratch with a longer story in mind. As one of the best SF writers out there at doing this, I was eager to see just how it would compare to his previous stories, and what this fresh canvas would produce.

    With Connexion Corp’s quantum entangled portals, everywhere in human space is but a step away. When a crashed alien starship is discovered at the edge of explored space, with cargo it shouldn’t contain, Connexion’s deputy director of security, Feriton Kayne, hand-picks a team from across human society to travel and investigate. With security and defence of humanity a high concern, strict protocols are put in place to separate the discovery from the portal network, and it’s a long drive to the crash site.

    It is during this journey we learn more about the selected team members: Yuri Alster, Feriton Kayne’s boss and security chief for Connexion Corp; Callum Hepburn, former emergency detoxification team leader at Connexion and now living as part of the Utopial society; Alik Monday, FBI senior specialist detective; Kandara Martinez, dark ops and mercenary specialist. We also have some aides with the main group: Loi, executive assistant to Yuri and great-grandson of Connexion founder Ainlsey Zangari; Edlund, aide to Callum and a true Utopial – genetically modified to be both male and female through a thousand-day cycle; Jessika Mye, Callum’s assistant who has been part of both the Universal and Utopial societies. We follow this group through various flashback events, seeing each of these characters doing what they do best, and discovering some interesting information along the way. Some of these sections are quite long (one particularly so), others short and sweet, but each contribute to the overall story in their own way.

    Interspersed between these chapters is the story of Dellian and his classmates. Set many millennia in the future, humanity are running from an enemy, one that stops at nothing to track them down and wipe them out. Bred specifically as soldiers to take the fight to the enemy, we follow them from childhood to adulthood, watching as they learn and perfect their training…

    Hamilton starts Salvation off with a couple of revelations that set the scene for the novel. The first of these is the mission of the Neána, an alien civilisation that have sent an expedition after detecting electromagnetic signals from Earth. A species in hiding, they have sent their envoys with no knowledge of where they have come from, only what they must do when they get to Earth. The second bit of information is the discovery of the crashed starship and its human cargo that simply could not be that far from human space when it crashed. It’s with these in mind that we step into the meat of the story – or more accurately, a history of what has come before.

    Essentially, Salvation is the backstory of the characters on this trek to the alien shipwreck, and serves to give us a lot of information, but without moving the actual plot forward much. However, Hamilton manages to give us this backstory in a way that is interesting and relevant, slowly building the setting he has created and allowing his imagination to run wild with the implications of the technology here. While he has a slightly different take on FTL travel with his portals compared to previous novels, it’s the Utopial society he’s crafted that is of most interest with its focus on working together as a whole rather than the capitalism of the rest of humanity. It’s also a society that requires those who join to have their genome modified so all children born are omnia – both male and female – slowly switching between the two in a thousand-day cycle. With a different core philosophy and equality the standard in their society, it’s fascinating to read and see the more intricate workings as we discover more about it.

    We have also made contact with the Olyix, an alien species travelling across the universe on their voyage to meet their God at the end of time. They’ve contributed towards human medical advancement, trading knowledge for the antimatter they require to fuel their colossal arkship on its onward journey. But with their advancements come sceptics and conspiracy theorists, and some aspects ever so relevant to the stories we hear.

    This brings us to the far future narrative, and one that shows humanity on the run from an enemy that is constantly searching for them. Humanity is an omnia society that has now decided to take the fight to the enemy, but is doing so by genetically creating soldiers of distinct gender – Dellian, Yirella, and their cohort. Led and guided by their year group leader Alexandre, they face a variety of situations while growing up that is to prepare them for the inevitable fight. It’s entirely fascinating, yet just not quite enough focus here outside of the necessary, and it’s clearly a thread that is going to be playing a larger role in future novels.

    This all brings me to my general thoughts on Salvation: it’s a great novel but reads much like a set up for the rest of the trilogy. It’s a frustrating thing to say given how much I enjoyed the book (on both first and second reads), yet it’s true. The split narrative also means that the future sections are written not to give things away, and while it works overall, it raises plenty of questions as the story progresses. However, despite the heavy focus on back-story rather than plot progression, I was thoroughly entertained throughout, and relished getting to know this new setting and all its inhabitants.

    Salvation is, without a doubt, the type of novel you would expect from Peter F Hamilton. It’s got thoroughly in-depth world-building, a large cast of characters, plenty of advanced technology, and enigmatic aliens. Add all of these together and you get the kind of Space Opera that Hamilton is known for, in a shiny new universe that has plenty promise for a great continuation, and given the ending here the sequel can’t come soon enough. Recommended.

  • Kate

    Quite possibly my most anticipated novel of 2018 and it did not disappoint. Superb storytelling, just as we'd expect from this extraordinary writer, matched by the novel's vision and ambition. And, blimey, where it takes us! This is going to be a wonderful trilogy. Its beginning couldn't be any better in my eyes. Review to follow closer to publication on For Winter Nights.

  • William

    Wow! So nice to be immersed again in Peter's wonderful, flowing prose and extraordinary narrative precision. No one considers and plans every aspect of their books like Hamilton, and it shows.

    This first book is an introduction to the characters and situations of the series, presented along two timelines with the first (The Assessment Team) about 150-200 years in the future, around the time of the alien Olyix ship arrival in 2144, and another (Juloss) about

    Wow! So nice to be immersed again in Peter's wonderful, flowing prose and extraordinary narrative precision. No one considers and plans every aspect of their books like Hamilton, and it shows.

    This first book is an introduction to the characters and situations of the series, presented along two timelines with the first (The Assessment Team) about 150-200 years in the future, around the time of the alien Olyix ship arrival in 2144, and another (Juloss) about 580-600 years after the arrival.

    These two timelines are extraordinarily well-written, as you would expect from Hamilton, and interleaved perfectly. The switch between the narrative timelines occurs only 6 times in the 550 page book, at natural points in the story. Perfect.

    The main timeline, "The Assessment Team", is presented as a kind of

    , a series of novellas, one for each main character showing their present time with the team, and their recent pasts as pertinent to the mystery of the crashed, unknown alien ship.

    Between each

    we see the characters of

    in the more distant future. In all there are perhaps 50 characters in the story tapestry, but perhaps only 20 are of real importance. They are introduced gradually throughout the book (no overload!).

    Interleaved with (1) "Assessment Team" meetings and actions, the "tales" are from the viewpoints of (2) Callum and Yuri (corporate moguls) when they were young men, (3) Alik (an FBI agent extraordinaire), (4) Kandara (a dark-ops super-mercenary), and (5) Feriton Kayne's corporate spy mission to the Olyix mothership. Each character is beautifully portrayed, with their own individual voices and histories.

    Gradually, as each superb tale is told, the pieces of the central mystery become clear. Clues and events are woven brilliantly into a five-star tapestry. The book has the feel of five or six novellas, but perfectly tying into each other as we proceed.

    My favourite aspect of Peter's writing is his foundation in the most advanced thoughts in current scientific thinking, and his incredible attention to world-building and plot development. Every page shows his care and love of his craft, like no other author I know. So many elements of the story are not only plausible, but probable (within the story), as well as truly fascinating. Wow.

    For example: At one point, he mentions the thickness of rock needed to protect the Olyix from cosmic rays, in their journey of millions of years. So many scientists today ignore this deadly aspect when considering trips to Mars. (To wit: Cosmic radiation is so unstoppable and so deadly that most astronauts would get cancer within a 6 month one-way trip to Mars!)

    For myself, I am extremely well-read in current science and technology. I say that "I am a modern renaissance man", as in

    , and Peter is right there, too. I love his love of science, and his love of the mysteries of the universe and our place in it.

    Peter's invention of portable quantum "entangled portals" of varying sizes, allowing instantaneous travel anywhere, is far advanced from the staid wormhole-and-trains systems of The Commonwealth series, and is far more plot-flexible and liberating for the action of the story.

    As the first in a series of books, Peter has produced not only a fascinating introduction to his new universe, but also shown us how a very complicated set of characters and events can be presented without confusion, and with genuine love of his creation.

    The ending is not a cliffhanger, but a natural breakpoint in the stories. We've been guided wonderfully through Peter's vision, and left wholly satisfied yet eager to continue with this extraordinary new world.

    -

    Notes and quotes:

    An Olyix says:

    Alexandre says:

    Monomolecule filaments as weapons

    (homage: John Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar, 1968)

    Alik discussing a murder

    The advent of portals makes roads obsolete...

    New York City streets transformed into ribbon parks ...

    I've been here on the beach, at sunrise in Rio... Magical.

    Jessika compares jungle capitalism to more advanced societies

    Kandara talks about fanatics/terrorists

    Tyle says

    Tyle to Kandara, on self-replicating spaceships for Utopial existence

    Kandara

    The Juloss battleships mentioned in this volume are named the (Paul J.)

    , the (Richard K.)

    , and the (Neal)

    .

    .

  • Montzalee Wittmann

    Salvation: A Novel (Salvation Sequence Book 1 (audio version) by Peter F. Hamilton is what I won from LibraryThing! I have read several of Hamilton 's books and I always feel I have given my brain a good workout, really stretched out those neurons! the books are smart, exciting, well thought out, great characters, and unexpected plots.

    This is an eye opener of a future where space ships are not necessarily needed for transportation anymore from planet to planet due to special jump hates that are

    Salvation: A Novel (Salvation Sequence Book 1 (audio version) by Peter F. Hamilton is what I won from LibraryThing! I have read several of Hamilton 's books and I always feel I have given my brain a good workout, really stretched out those neurons! the books are smart, exciting, well thought out, great characters, and unexpected plots.

    This is an eye opener of a future where space ships are not necessarily needed for transportation anymore from planet to planet due to special jump hates that are at each planet. Then an unknown alien ship is found and a crew is sent to investigate but one of the crew is not like the others....Really awesome!

    The narration was good but doesn't try to imitate female voices maybe because his voice would never be even close! I think he would've made it worse if he tried to sound like a woman with his deep voice.

    Thanks for the win!

  • Claudia

    I never thought I would say PFH is boring. But exactly that’s what I said up around 20%. Given the fact that I eagerly awaited this one to appear, I couldn’t believe I would not like one of his works. Luckily, the story picks up from there and delivers. What a relief!

    There are three narrative threads on three timelines:

    - one set in present, year 2204, in which a team is assembled to check up the remains of an alien starship stranded on Nkya, an exoplanet in Beta Eridani system. On the way there,

    I never thought I would say PFH is boring. But exactly that’s what I said up around 20%. Given the fact that I eagerly awaited this one to appear, I couldn’t believe I would not like one of his works. Luckily, the story picks up from there and delivers. What a relief!

    There are three narrative threads on three timelines:

    - one set in present, year 2204, in which a team is assembled to check up the remains of an alien starship stranded on Nkya, an exoplanet in Beta Eridani system. On the way there, animosities came to life and past events are being reiterated by each of them, which brings us to the second thread:

    - the stories of above said team members, starting in 2092 up to 2199. The setup reminded me of

    with its pilgrims and their stories, although I liked these here way more. In fact, half way into the first story (Callum’s) I started to feel the old vibe I got when reading PFH, so this was the breaking point for me.

    - the third one starts in year 583 AA (After Arrival) but I can’t tell yet which arrival are we talking about

    . It involves genetic modified humans which are raised from childhood to take part in the war against the enemy, they being the last hope of humanity’s survival.

    The worldbuilding is amazing as always, however this time not so colorful. I would happily live in the

    or

    universe but not here. It’s darker than usual and without intimacy whatsoever. Except one thing: I would be thrilled to have a portalhome. My first encounter with one was in

    trilogy and I was amazed by the concept. Wasn’t such a surprise here, but my longing for one remained.

    Regarding the characters: there are humans and omnias (genetically modified humans to be both female and male, having a thousand-day cycle between genders, the duration becoming longer with age) and two species of aliens, who are just outlined in this volume; I expect more to come in the sequels.

    There are also lots of mysteries and twists and PFH masterfully ties some of them in the end; however, most remain to be revealed in future volumes, which at this point, can’t come soon enough.

    Bottom line, a volume as gripping as always, if you get past the somehow dull beginning. Really missed his stories with the grandiose scope, cutting edge tech, interstellar journeys, crammed universe and last-minute twists.

    Does anyone know when

    is due?

  • Bradley

    Under normal circumstances, I would normally rate a book like this lower because the setup leaves us hanging, but this is PETER F HAMILTON we're talking about. That means, if you're picking up the first book in one of his trilogies, no matter how long each individual book might be, you're invested for the long haul. You might be slightly miffed you need to wait that much longer before SOMETHING major gets resolved, but that's the nature of this beast.

    That being said, Salvation has a ton of great

    Under normal circumstances, I would normally rate a book like this lower because the setup leaves us hanging, but this is PETER F HAMILTON we're talking about. That means, if you're picking up the first book in one of his trilogies, no matter how long each individual book might be, you're invested for the long haul. You might be slightly miffed you need to wait that much longer before SOMETHING major gets resolved, but that's the nature of this beast.

    That being said, Salvation has a ton of great multiple storylines going on here, full of technothriller action, early AIs, assassins and investigators, and a mysterious alien spaceship that seems to be quite benign, hopping into our system and piling us with some pretty cool medical toys turning us all into *better* immortal-ish younglings. There are still people around from our age and tons of understood references from our day, so that means this trilogy is much earlier than most of Hamilton's other books.

    Oh, and the aliens are encouraging us to join their religious crusade to the end of time. As in, come with us, we'll transform the hell out of you and we'll be on our merry way. But they're not dumb about it. They trade with us, live among us, and are generally good neighbors.

    Supposedly.

    Another huge plotline takes us to one of our colonies designed to be a true utopia. Post-scarcity. And they're also trying to go about protecting the hell out of humanity. Fun, interesting characters, and of course there's tons of conflict there because the rest of our species loves to distrust the hell out of them.

    Is the novel a winner?

    Only in the sense that it's fun to get a fully established storyline, character base, and feel for the galaxy-at-this-time. We're also rightly suspicious of everyone. The intrigue is high.

    End analysis?

    High-quality setup, interested in reading on, and I think Hamilton is mightily imaginative. The devil is truly in the details.

  • Carlex

    (just in case, apologies for my English)

    Devoured! I am a fan (or a fanboy) of Peter F. Hamilton. However I "only" give Salvation three and half stars, considering that it is the first of a trilogy, and I prefer to read the rest of the novels, as soon as they are published (sigh here).

    From a more critical point of view, I must clarify that if you have read some of his previous books, the author can not surprise us as much as in, for example, "The Commonwealth Saga", but in my opinion he has the

    (just in case, apologies for my English)

    Devoured! I am a fan (or a fanboy) of Peter F. Hamilton. However I "only" give Salvation three and half stars, considering that it is the first of a trilogy, and I prefer to read the rest of the novels, as soon as they are published (sigh here).

    From a more critical point of view, I must clarify that if you have read some of his previous books, the author can not surprise us as much as in, for example, "The Commonwealth Saga", but in my opinion he has the talent of showing us a good space opera full of charming characters, intrigue and wonder.

    One amusing anecdote in this novel (in which the author makes some more tributes): when the alien ambassadors have their embassy decorated with a giant space landscape, and when someone asks if it is their homeplanet they explain that it is a artwork by the great Jim Burns.

  • Nancy

    Salvation is the first book of a trilogy. For a first book, I had a hard time while reading it. It reminded me too much of another book as far as the way it was written and some of the concepts in the book. Once I got that other book in my head it was hard to not make comparisons. Most of the book revolved around five people that were chosen to investigate an alien ship that had been discovered. During the transport to the alien ship, each person tells a story from their past. The stories each t

    Salvation is the first book of a trilogy. For a first book, I had a hard time while reading it. It reminded me too much of another book as far as the way it was written and some of the concepts in the book. Once I got that other book in my head it was hard to not make comparisons. Most of the book revolved around five people that were chosen to investigate an alien ship that had been discovered. During the transport to the alien ship, each person tells a story from their past. The stories each tells were all action-packed thriller type stories. Which were a bit of a slog to read. Interspersed between their stories, is another storyline far into the future. I thought the more interesting parts of the books was what was going on far into the future. I was getting worried near the end when the last story was being told. I thought I was going to be left hanging as to what was going on at the alien ship. There was some resolution (albeit very quickly done) and thus the setup for the next book. I can’t say I was enamored with his book. The series as a whole has potential but I am not sure if I am interested enough to keep going or not. I received an advance copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Cathy (cathepsut)

    Putting this one on hold after listening to roughly 5 hours of the audiobook, which is about 140 pages.

    I like Callum and Savi, but generally I do not care about the story. Not sure if my lack of interest is the book‘s fault or due to my usual atumnal reading slump. Last year was the same—the later in the year, the fewer pages I read. So, might be me! Or not, based on the comments of my reading buddies.... long, slow, plodding plot, not covering any new ground, etc.

    Listening:

    The narrator in this

    Putting this one on hold after listening to roughly 5 hours of the audiobook, which is about 140 pages.

    I like Callum and Savi, but generally I do not care about the story. Not sure if my lack of interest is the book‘s fault or due to my usual atumnal reading slump. Last year was the same—the later in the year, the fewer pages I read. So, might be me! Or not, based on the comments of my reading buddies.... long, slow, plodding plot, not covering any new ground, etc.

    Listening:

    The narrator in this one here does not do a good job with women‘s voices or expressing emotions. I find his accents confusing as well.

    I might listen a little further, I might now. For now banned to the DNF shelf.

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