- Gebundene Ausgabe: 640 Seiten
- Verlag: Del Rey (21. Oktober 2014)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0345547195
- ISBN-13: 978-0345547194
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 16,5 x 5,1 x 24,1 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 178.392 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
The Abyss Beyond Dreams: A Novel of the Commonwealth (Commonwealth: Chronicle of the Fallers, Band 1) (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 21. Oktober 2014
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“The work of an author at the top of his game.”—Science Fiction and Fantasy World
“Incredibly robust and exciting and rousing, sharing flavors of Jack Vance, John Wright, China Miéville, Orson Scott Card, and A. E. van Vogt . . . [Peter F.] Hamilton’s deployment of lots of grand super-science is utterly deft and convincing.”—Locus
“Solidy engrossing fare . . . The characters, always Hamilton’s strength, remain as distinctive as ever.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Everything one wants in sf—great characters, mind bending stuff, adventure, politics, romance, revolution . . . just superb.”—Fantasy Book Critic
“Hamilton does a particular kind of planetary politics and space opera very well, and this is a perfect example of it. . . . [The Abyss Beyond Dreams is] a satisfying and well-oiled story, with potential for more epic adventure to come.”—Booklist
“Hugely enjoyable . . . Hamilton is so good at handling big plots, at maintaining forward momentum even as he throws in an unexpected twist—and there’s at least one doozy of a didn’t-see-that-coming moment here.”—SFX
The Chronicle of the Fallers, volume one. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Gebundene Ausgabe.Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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However the book proved soon to be a little disappointing. It feels tired, as if PFH wasn't convinced himself of what he was writing. Characters are uninspiring and some of the greatest scenes were somewhat boring or lacking the clarity found in other books.
The biggest part of the story is set in the Void. If you don't like the Void (see Void Trilogy in the Commonwealth Saga) you'll end up hating it here.
It's a sci-fi book and it brings you to a world stuck in a late 19th Century technology. I want super tech. The previous Void books had a more balanced division between story lines inside and outside of the Void.
The story is for the most part rather boring and only the last quarter gets interesting. The ending is a surprising and it leaves many questions open which will hopefully be answered in the second and last episode of this new saga. Overall not the best book from Mr. Hamilton. Way worse than the previous two sagas and also less intriguing than some stand alone novels he wrote, like Great North Road or Fallen Dragon.
Wer Hamilton mag - der wird es - äh - akzeptieren. Wer Hamilton nicht mag, der sollte es nicht lesen, und wer Hamilton nicht kennt - der sollte mit einem anderen Buch einsteigen :-)
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While 'The Abyss Beyond Dreams' is technically the seventh novel in the Commonwealth saga (which began with 2002's 'Misspent Youth'), it still makes for a more-than-suitable entry point into the universe, as Hamilton does an excellent job getting the reader up to speed on all the future-tech and lingo, the history of the Commonwealth, and the nature of the mysterious Void, a black hole-like spatial anomaly about which not much at all is known, other than the fact that it's expanding, and that an ancient race known as the Raiel have been guarding it for a million years. Past expeditions into the Void by the Raiel have failed, as none have ever returned.
All the background exposition is seamlessly integrated into the story, which mostly takes place in the same time-frame as the recent Void Trilogy, though it begins a couple hundred years earlier, opening with 90 pages of pure horror. There's an eerie, ominous intensity here that's rarely equaled in modern SF (or modern horror for that matter). Science-team members aboard the giant starship Vermillion -- on a mission to found a new settlement away from the Commonwealth -- are prematurely brought out of suspension to find that the ship has somehow been sucked into the Void, even though their flight path took them nowhere within light-years of it. They don't know how this is possible, but they do know that no one's ever made it out. They soon discover that the Void is exponentially larger on the inside, like a Möbius strip, and that basic laws of physics like temporal flow are out of whack. They also suddenly have telepathic and telekinetic powers, able to read one another's thoughts and move objects with their minds. But as fascinating as all this is to the group of scientists, things take a horrific turn when [Early, vague SPOILER] they decide to investigate a strange anomaly/organism floating in space. Suddenly their lives are turned into living nightmares, and no one can trust their crew mates, as they may not be what they seem. They may be monstrous doppelgängers. [End SPOILER]
And that's just the opening pages of this inspired, epic novel, which then jumps ahead a couple centuries (to the time-period of the Void Trilogy), shifts from viewpoint to viewpoint, spread across thousands of light-years, and re-introduces the reader to some familiar faces, like the 1300 year-old Nigel Sheldon, possibly the single most powerful person in the Commonwealth, and the bizarre Raiel, the alien race which, with the help of Nigel, may just be ready to once again investigate the Void, due to the dreams/visions of the human prophet Inigo, and their mind-blowing implications. The world-building is exceptional, as can be expected from this author, but what really struck me was the characterization, which was surprisingly deft compared to other modern space opera writers. I cared about the fate of these characters, which isn't always the case for me, particularly in this sub-genre, due to the dissociation I sometimes feel when reading about such far-flung, alien worlds. Hamilton manages to retain the human element amidst all the techno-wizardry.
Though I've read Hamilton before, this was my first Commonwealth novel, and yet never did I feel overwhelmed or lost. 'The Abyss Beyond Dreams' does a great job of familiarizing the reader with this fully-realized, immersive world, and unlike some past efforts by this author, its 600-plus pages are tightly-paced and mostly free of bloat, maintaining a high tension level and a sense of wonder throughout, a sense of wonder matched only in my experience by such classic SF novels as 'Hyperion,' 'Dune,' and Neal Stephenson's 'Anathem.' I'm not ready to put it quite at the level of those just yet, as the story's only half-complete, but I do know I'll be revisiting it again and again in the future. Here's hoping the second half of this story delivers.
For now, though, I'm off to read the rest of the Commonwealth novels.
Abyss turned out to be such an occasion. "Turned out" because about a third of the way into the story I did not anticipate it would merit a full review. That leads me to the first suggestion to an undecided reader - Abyss really pays off as a story, but you need a little patience. The best way I can describe its non-linear plot structure is iterative - and you need to get through the first iteration of the Bienvenido-based story line. Once you do, the next "pass" will start filling in the extra details, letting you know the story is not what you thought it was. And I am not saying the first iteration is a chore, only that it is more about the characters and the setup, and not the action. Another suggestion: reading the Void Trilogy first will really benefit you in two major ways. First: you will understand the nature of the Void, the references to Querencia, Edeard, Skylords, and Inigo. Second: knowing how that trilogy ended will inform you of what can and cannot happen at the end of Abyss, which is essentially a prequel.
Now, with all that said, allow me to explain the main reasons for writing this review. What I greatly like about Hamilton is how well he places stories of non-sci-fi genre, often criminal fiction, into meticulously built sci-fi universes. Past examples include a police procedural murder mystery (Great North Road), or high-tech private eye novels (Greg Mandel stories). At the center of the Abyss is another type of criminal fiction. Giving away the exact sub-genre would be a spoiler (I think), but in my opinion that is the key twist that makes this book. I thought it was well-disguised, its use was clever and original, and also a bit cynical.
We live in highly political times, and reading through the reviews I see people making issue (positive or negative) of the perceived politics of the novel. Everyone reads through the prism of their views and experience, so I get it. That said, I think Abyss is apolitical - I knew nothing of Peter Hamilton's politics before this novel, and I don't think I know any more about them now. The novel makes use of the historical patterns and stereotypes we all recognize, the actors merely say things appropriate to their roles, to advance the plot. If you are interested in digging for a deeper message/commentary, it may be the old one - humans repeat the history they forget. And people who do remember it can take advantage. Hamilton may also be suggesting that Humanity cannot evolve with the technological progress as much we'd like to think it can. The Void's humans came from the high-tech post-scarcity society. When the Void stripped away the technology, those humans reverted to type, gave up the evolutionary gains and ended up becoming very much like their ancestors. But then maybe that is not a Hamilton's message, but merely my own takeaway. However, the mere possibility of a message, as well as a few other features of the novel made me think of something else.
I believe this may be the first novel Peter Hamilton has written since the passing of Iain Banks. Whether an intentional homage, or merely a figment of my imagination, but I thought I saw many Banksian elements in Abyss, elements not common in Hamilton's past. The story itself reminded me of Matter, Inversions, and Use of Weapons (its non-linear plot). Then there were a few graphically gory moments that I do not recall in Hamilton's prior work, but would fit nicely in a Culture novel. And the scale, the daring, and the cynicism of the main plot twist I referred to earlier also seem to be something out of Banks. Again, maybe it's just my imagination, but that comparison just kept arising for me as I was reading the Abyss, and I have never found myself making such comparison in the past. Perhaps I was too appreciative of their differences to notice the similarities.
Finally, you may already know that Abyss is part 1 of 2, with another story to come. Quite often such setups leave you hanging with a frustrating cliffhanger, with loose ends unresolved until the next installment. I think Abyss sets up really well in this regard - most of its major plot lines and character stories come full circle, some catching you by surprise if you missed or forgot a detail from previous iteration. There is a clear new plot avenue for part 2, paired with the main unresolved threat from part 1.
Summary - a well-written, well-plotted story with engaging characters, a genre-bending twist and a great hook for part 2. The only reason for the 4-star rating is that I think 5 stars should be reserved for classics that hold up over time. Time will tell on this one...
As for this work... I never believe that anything I read of Hamilton's will be able to live up to everything he has already done. How could it possibly?? ... And then it does.
This does. You will love it. I guarantee it.
Once again, we go into the Void, and we get a much deeper sense of it... Old favorites, like Paula Myo, are brought back, but not in a trite way that some followups do.
The story is interesting, and well told... And I absolutely love his vision of the futures technology. He crafts it into the story so well, without making the story about the technology.
If you haven't read any of the previous books, this first entry into the dualogy will stand on its own, but do yourself a favor, and pick up the previous books. If you have read and enjoyed the previous books... pick this one up!