Copyright 2002 by
I first read this in December 2003.
Earth's corporations have become parasites living from the colony worlds, the
corporate spaceships are the pirate fleet. They raid planets and demand the
wealth accumulated painfully by hard-working colonists.
Sergeant Lawrence Newton works for Zantiu–Braun 3rd Fleet, and regrets it. He joined
up for exploration not piracy. Howe3ver, he knows a secret about Thallspring, the next planet to be raided, and that secret may be
the jackpot that will be finally let him get out.
Denise Ebourn and her two sidekicks Ray and Josep have had years to prepare since the
last raid. They've been laying defenses against the awful strength of the pirates and
next time they'll make the pirates pay expensively.
But the pirate fleet, lead by the Simon Roderick clones, have immense firepower and
some experience of colony rebellions.
Less concise and more rambling than his "The Night's Dawn" trilogy, this is a
profoundly disappointing eight-hundred and eight pages, not that I read them
all, I skipped as many as I decently could.
The key to the many problems with this book in the phrase
"eight-hundred and eight pages". It should have been three hundred pages or so.
It could have been a good book if some editor or trusted friend had told
Hamilton to throw away half of the good ideas, half of the technological
gimmicks, half of the sub-plots and then strip down whatever was left to
something he could concentrate on.
For example, wouldn't it have been interesting to have given Ray and Josep
real characters? By the way, in another book I might have enjoyed reading about Lawrence Newton having a
difficult time with a girlfriend in Scotland, but was there any point to including it in this
book? Did we really gain anything? And wasn't this cloning stuff all a bit
Perhaps I'm just peeved because this Prime software seemed so cool and I wanted to know
about it. But no, there was that, but there was also a lot of other idiotic devices
introduced, exploited a couple of times and then discarded.
Anyway, I finished off reading this embarrassingly bad book as fast as I could
and went out to shake my body in a shot bar full of smoke and people and loud
music, which made everything OK again.
Loaded on the 1st June 2003.