Review: Hamilton's Greg Mandel / Mindstar series

Discussion in 'Science Fiction' started by DennisC, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. DennisC

    DennisC Heritage, Not Hate

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    These 3 (or 2 depending on what you find to buy) novels are set in a near-future where global warming actually causes serious environmental changes so quickly that the Mediterranean Sea is being filled across the straights due to water levels rising, masses of people had to come in from coastal lands as those are now under water, and... the resulting political turmoil that came from that.

    The politics are essentially a socialist party, a conservative party, and then the giant corporations that have sprung up in the wake of the warming who command more power than the government. One of those is Event Horizon.

    Add to this mix some folks who have government implanted glands that allow them to perceive whether or not someone is lying or the ability to see into the future for a while and you've got all the makings of a decent story.

    So, there's the backdrop in a just a few sentences...

    Sadly, the issues the characters face are just lacking in gravitas. Maybe its just me and me not being a huge detective story fan. I am just not the best guy on the planet to review this sort of a book because I haven't read enough of them.

    I enjoyed the series buuut.... I won't be going out buying in hardback and hunting down signed copies. Again, the biggest problem I had is that the conflict in the stories is just sorely lacking in gravitas.

    I give this series a C- but honestly I think most of that is because I am not a detective novel fan.

    Did anyone else out there enjoy this series?
     
  2. Hobbit

    Hobbit Administrator Staff Member

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    Hi Dennis.

    Yes, I liked these when I read them in the late 80's-early 90's. They are Pete's first published novels and are the signs of a writer developing. They're not as broad ranging as his later space opera novels, with fewer characters and a more straightforward plot. They get better as they go along too.

    I liked them, but then I quite like detective novels. Suspect they have dated, but still worth a read in my opinion. And still better than Misspent Youth. *grin*


    Further thought: you'll find it difficult finding hardback copies. They were never released in hardback in the UK, and (I'm not sure) but I don't think they have been in the US - someone will tell me if I'm wrong!

    Mark
     
  3. suciul

    suciul Read interesting books

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    Actually I bought a quantum Murder as a hc release from the UK and Mindstar Rising as a (smallish size) hc from the US; Nano Flower though was one those tallish UK mmpb

    Those were the times when what passes as UF today was still the province of sf as it used to be since van Vogt and the rest...

    Loved Mindstar Rising and Quantum Murder a lot though Nanoflower was a little superfluous and the series did not need it
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2012
  4. Hobbit

    Hobbit Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the update, suciul. Can say I've never seen those before, and I thought I'd got just about all the HB's... but they are Tor, so US editions rather than UK?

    When Nano Flower was published, I think Pete had started writing on the Reality Dysfunction by the time it was published. It is not quite as consistent as the other Mandel books I remember, but was a move more towards the style he is now recognised for, if I remember right. (Even down to the greater number of pages, though nothing compared to the Space Opera blockbusters...)

    Mark
     
  5. DennisC

    DennisC Heritage, Not Hate

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    Ya'll know I'm a huge Hamilton fan.

    These books were not bad, but you can really see how he started to develop as a writer through these and even through Misspent Youth. I'm reading his catalog in order of publication. Its fascinating really to see how deep and questioning Pandora's Star is turning out to be. I have trouble putting it down and I'm reading it slowly and just savoring the world and the environment and the questions it raises about who the characters are and how they will react.

    He REALLY has come a long way from this series.

    I'm thouroughly enjoying his work.
     
  6. chitman13

    chitman13 Staff

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    Re: the hardback copies - Tor in the US did release all three as hardbacks in a smaller size, though not sure how easy they'll be to get hold of nowadays (it took me a while to find them in a decent condition for my collection!). The UK never saw a hardback release though, which is a shame...
     
  7. Sipwood

    Sipwood Registered User

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    I read these a few years ago, and enjoyed them. Not as good as the Commonwealth Saga, but for me just as good as the Nights Dawn Trilogy.
     
  8. DennisC

    DennisC Heritage, Not Hate

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    I'm reading Pandora's Star now (am only on the 2nd chapter), but oh, what well written piece it is.