Review – The Great North Road

OK. I’m impressed.

Now I admit to being biased. I love most of the books by +Peter F. Hamilton. To me they have the correct mix of space opera, grand universal design ( on a par perhaps with the late great Arthur C Clark ), and very real down to earth caricature development.

So it was with high expectations I opened the cover of ‘Great North Road’. A few pages in I was thinking this might have been a mistake. A cop story in a futuristic Newcastle upon Tyne,  England. Sure with some neat fantastical elements but basically a cop story.

But then the Hamilton magic kicked in. What happened! Where did the last thousand or so pages go. The universe spanning story unfolds, never pausing for a breath. Characteristically rich, and conflicted, characters play for fame, fortune, career and survival over an infinite array of timescales.

All beautifully intertwined. All totally believable.

Could the ending have been better? Initially I thought so. But on reflection how else could one have finished off such an amazing adventure through a classical character driven story but out into the great unknown.

I have seen smaller novels divvied up into a series and released at yearly intervals. I’m glad the publishers did not take this path. Make no mistake. This is a serious book. Once you start you will not want to finish but prepare for a few very late nights. To paraphrase Douglas Adams – this book is BIG!

An amazing adventure. Thoroughly enjoyable. Well worth the read. Treat yourself.