Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Review: Great North Road

Great North Road Great North Road by Peter F. Hamilton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book because it wasn't quite what I was expecting. It has a number of interesting characters and world details that entice me to read it again sometime in the future.

I'm familiar enough with Peter F. Hamilton to expect his science fiction to be based in an interesting setting and filled with lots and lots of characters. In fact, it was with a certain amount of dread that I avoided this book for awhile because I wasn't ready to dive into an epic story. After consuming several chapters, I began to realize that this particular book is not quite as expansive as some of his other tales, and I was pleasantly surprised at being able to jump into the narrative quickly.

Also, although this is set in the future with many familiar aspects of science fiction (space travel, colonization, DNA manipulation, miniature computer technology), the heart of the story is a murder mystery. That small twist on the theme kept me really intrigued through the first two-thirds of the book. Once the killer was revealed, I experienced a small let-down, but still enjoyed the rest since by that point I was invested in many of the characters and their stories.

The biggest 'problem' I had with this book has to do with the fact that I didn't actually read it; I listened to it in audio format. The reader did a good job overall with the narration and even a decent job with the character voices, however, he had a strong accent (Scottish maybe?) that made it hard for me to understand him from time to time. I found myself confused by names a few times and getting locations mixed up in my head. However, since the book was so long, rather than rewind and listen to a portion again, I would just let the story continue on and figure things out after a few more paragraphs. This is part of the reason I want to 'read' it again -- hopefully the next time I'll pick up on some details that I may have missed, especially since I know now where the action is headed.

One final plus for this particular story: it was nice to have a heroine with my first name.

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