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In 2204, humanity is expanding into the wider galaxy in leaps and bounds. A new technology of linked jump gates has rendered most forms of transporation--including starships--virtually obsolete. Every place on earth, every distant planet mankind has settled, is now merely a step away from any other. And all seems wonderful...until a crashed alien spaceship is found on a newly-located world 89 light years from Earth, harboring seventeen human victims. And of the high-powered team dispatched to investigate the mystery, one is an alien spy...

Bursting with tension and big ideas, this standalone series highlights the inventiveness of an author at the top of his game, as the interweaving story lines tell us not only how humanity arrived at this moment, but also the far-future consequences that spin off from it.

576 pages, Paperback

First published September 4, 2018

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About the author

Peter F. Hamilton

156 books8,782 followers
Peter F. Hamilton is a British science fiction author. He is best known for writing space opera. As of the publication of his tenth novel in 2004, his works had sold over two million copies worldwide, making him Britain's biggest-selling science fiction author.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,152 reviews
Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
769 reviews3,500 followers
March 27, 2022
Playing with gender identities (as a subplot) while a big, bad, crazy enemy is preparing to unleash devastation, and a corporate security investigation is taking place, opens the new trilogy of one of the greatest sci-fi writers of all time

Some topics:
to create a post scarcity society without any discrimination.
Companies with bigger and better special and secret services than many governments. Anyone who fears that the NSA/ FBI/CIA and the cute equivalents in other countries are hunting her/him nowadays will lose all hope and not ever try to run away.
The ruins of the modern, industrialized age, how disruptive technologies changed everything and made many established things and systems obsolete overnight.
An epic battle between capitalist conservative and socialistic utopian forces.
Future timelines

No similar quality space opera out there
I´ve read most of Hamiltons´work (twice) and how he evolved to über sophisticated, both great characterization, plot, and worldbuilding mastery is incomparable to any other big space opera sci-fi writer. Especially the details, the sheer size of his visions are something I haven´t seen anywhere else, especially with a positive, funny undertone without depressing dystopian tendencies like Alastair Reynolds loves to draw. And Iain M Banks simply didn´t ever reach that level of perfection.

Imagine living in these worlds seems to be the key
I guess the many new, fresh ideas come from his dogma of imagining future worlds primarily defined by the needs of its protagonists and motivations, a perfect combination of plot and character, resulting in so many ideas that leave one stuck in awe, just thinking that it could really come as he draws the picture.

Totally worth it
A tip: All of Hamiltons´ works start very slowly and accelerate to a bombastic, ingenious overkill of pure sci-fi ecstasy, a reason for some readers not wanting to enter these worlds because it takes so long and Hamilton has a serious King style drivel and overachieving much writing tendency, one could say pathological problem too. Be strong, read through the 2 thirds of the first book exposition, it´s so totally worth it as with his other series too.

This wise, just joking, advice is added to all reviews of Hamiltons´series.
One of the most fascinating aspects of Hamilton´s future vision is to see the technology and society developing in very detail over long periods, making a return to his universe something always stunning and inspiring. It also makes me wonder why he is the only author I know of who did this. One, who is new, lucky you, by the way, ought consider reading it in chronological, following order to get the overkill:

Salvation year 2200
Commonwealth year 2400
The Night´s Dawn trilogy year
The Chronicle of the Fallers year 3400
Void trilogy year 3600

It will ruin close to all future sci-fi reading compared to this.
You can of course do as you wish, it´s just how I arrange my rereading to get the most out of it and slowly move further and further away from the boring present.

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique:
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books3,912 followers
October 31, 2019
Under normal circumstances, I would normally rate a book like this lower because the setup leaves us hanging, but this is PETER F HAMILTON we're talking about. That means, if you're picking up the first book in one of his trilogies, no matter how long each individual book might be, you're invested for the long haul. You might be slightly miffed you need to wait that much longer before SOMETHING major gets resolved, but that's the nature of this beast.

That being said, Salvation has a ton of great multiple storylines going on here, full of technothriller action, early AIs, assassins and investigators, and a mysterious alien spaceship that seems to be quite benign, hopping into our system and piling us with some pretty cool medical toys turning us all into *better* immortal-ish younglings. There are still people around from our age and tons of understood references from our day, so that means this trilogy is much earlier than most of Hamilton's other books.

Oh, and


Another huge plotline takes us to one of our colonies designed to be a true utopia. Post-scarcity. Fun, interesting characters, and of course there's tons of conflict there because the rest of our species loves to distrust the hell out of them.

Is the novel a winner?

Only in the sense that it's fun to get a fully established storyline, character base, and feel for the galaxy-at-this-time. We're also rightly suspicious of everyone. The intrigue is high.

End analysis?
High-quality setup, interested in reading on, and I think Hamilton is mightily imaginative. The devil is truly in the details.
Profile Image for Plamen Nenchev.
199 reviews29 followers
September 28, 2018
Ever since Pandora’s Star, Peter F. Hamilton seems to be forever stuck in an ever-repetitive story about wormhole-based human expansion across the stars. Whether he names his built-in digital assistant ‘e-butler’, ‘secondary thought routines’ or ‘mInet’, every novel of his since 2004, whether set in the Commonwealth Universe or not, depicts wormhole travel, digitalisation of everyday life, human longevity and successful space colonisation and terraforming. To kick off the plot, every time a lurking alien threat appears, humanity is brought to the brink of disaster, but, alas, the threat is averted, THE END.

Salvation fits the description of this generic Peter F Hamilton book to the letter: A derelict alien spacecraft carrying abducted comatose humans is found on a newly-discovered planet, and leading experts from the various factions of humanity are brought in to assess the threat. The structure of the novel seems to have been lifted straight from Dan Simmons’ Hyperion, with a backbone taking place in the ‘present’ and backstories of the experts forming the ‘past’. There is also an additional, ‘future’ timeline, which reads like formulaic, predictable YA fiction.

The novel is a slow burn even by Peter F. Hamilton’s rather liberal standards. Things start to get mildly interesting once you are first one-quarter in. Some of the individual backstories are intriguing, others not so, but the ‘present’ timeline is sluggish, and the ‘future’ one is an atrocious slog that tested my nerves on a number of times.

This does not mean that the novel is wholly without merit. Peter F. Hamilton still writes entertaining mind-boggling epics sprawling across hundreds of light years, dozens of uniquely crafted worlds and multiple fleshed out characters. However, it seems as if his writing grows more tired, more repetitive and less and less original with each consecutive book.

This is the umpteenth time where Peter F. Hamilton writes more or less the same story, recycling and rehashing themes, elements and even stock characters from the Commonwealth Saga. Yes, the alien threat may be different, the point of view may be skewed to the left or right, wormholes can open up or down, terraforming can be less or more successful, there can be an added horror, fantasy or speculative subplot, but the basic principles always stay the same: wormholes, longevity, terraforming, expansion, bla-bla. Whatever originality Hamilton ever had seems to have been lost with Fallen Dragon some 20 years ago. I think this is the end of the road for me with Hamilton, I just see no point in buying his books any more.
Profile Image for William.
675 reviews316 followers
October 22, 2019
5-Stars! Completely, utterly brilliant!

Wow! So nice to be immersed again in Peter's wonderful, flowing prose and extraordinary narrative precision. No one considers and plans every aspect of their books like Hamilton, and it shows.

Update: The second read of this book was even better than the first. Highly recommended.

This first book is an introduction to the characters and situations of the series, presented along two timelines with the first (The Assessment Team) about 150-200 years in the future, around the time of the alien Olyix ship arrival in 2144, and another (Juloss) about 580-600 years after the arrival.

These two timelines are extraordinarily well-written, as you would expect from Hamilton, and interleaved perfectly. The switch between the narrative timelines occurs only 6 times in the 550 page book, at natural points in the story. Perfect.

The main timeline, "The Assessment Team", is presented as a kind of Canterbury Tales, a series of novellas, one for each main character showing their present time with the team, and their recent pasts as pertinent to the mystery of the crashed, unknown alien ship.

Between each Tale we see the characters of Juloss in the more distant future. In all there are perhaps 50 characters in the story tapestry, but perhaps only 20 are of real importance. They are introduced gradually throughout the book (no overload!).

*** Upon second reading (2019 before Salvation Lost), in the chapter about young Callum and Yuri, I really quite hated Yuri for his part in what happened to Callum's wife. But in the later chapter about young Yuri, Yuri's Race Against Time, I quite liked and admired him.

Also, the multi-city, multi-planet crime scene tour for Alik's murder horror investigation is mind-blowing. ***

Salvation cover

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Interleaved with (1) "Assessment Team" meetings and actions, the "tales" are from the viewpoints of (2) Callum and Yuri (corporate moguls) when they were young men, (3) Alik (an FBI agent extraordinaire), (4) Kandara (a dark-ops super-mercenary), and (5) Feriton Kayne's corporate spy mission to the Olyix mothership. Each character is beautifully portrayed, with their own individual voices and histories.

Gradually, as each superb tale is told, the pieces of the central mystery become clear. Clues and events are woven brilliantly into a five-star tapestry. The book has the feel of five or six novellas, but perfectly tying into each other as we proceed.

My favourite aspect of Peter's writing is his foundation in the most advanced thoughts in current scientific thinking, and his incredible attention to world-building and plot development. Every page shows his care and love of his craft, like no other author I know. So many elements of the story are not only plausible, but probable (within the story), as well as truly fascinating. Wow.

For example: At one point, he mentions the thickness of rock needed to protect the Olyix from cosmic rays, in their journey of millions of years. So many scientists today ignore this deadly aspect when considering trips to Mars. (To wit: Cosmic radiation is so unstoppable and so deadly that most astronauts would get cancer within a 6 month one-way trip to Mars!)

For myself, I am extremely well-read in current science and technology. I say that "I am a modern renaissance man", as in … I know everything that I "don't know" …, and Peter is right there, too. I love his love of science, and his love of the mysteries of the universe and our place in it.

Peter's invention of portable quantum "entangled portals" of varying sizes, allowing instantaneous travel anywhere, is far advanced from the staid wormhole-and-trains systems of The Commonwealth series, and is far more plot-flexible and liberating for the action of the story.

Impression: The twisted interlinking quantum portals

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As the first in a series of books, Peter has produced not only a fascinating introduction to his new universe, but also shown us how a very complicated set of characters and events can be presented without confusion, and with genuine love of his creation.

The ending is not a cliffhanger, but a natural breakpoint in the stories. We've been guided wonderfully through Peter's vision, and left wholly satisfied yet eager to continue with this extraordinary new world.


Notes and quotes:

This worldbuilding (moonbuilding?) is unique and astonishing. Not sure it would be stable, but Very imaginative indeed, Peter 😊
Pollux, as a K0 orange giant star, wasn’t the obvious choice for a human world. But it did have a gas supergiant planet, Thestias, which in turn had forty-eight moons. Four of the larger ones, Althaea, Pleuron, Iphicles and Leda, were caught in a rosette orbit in the Lagrange Two point, forever drifting round each other in Thestias’s umbra. In most cases, being caged within a supergiant planet’s shade would be a gloomy existence, but not when Thestias orbited a mere one point six AUs out from an orange giant. The reduced sunlight striking Althaea’s surface was as intense as midday on Earth’s tropics. Conjunctions with its L2 co-moons provided a regular variable day–night cycle as it passed between their shadows.
dominating the apex of the bright azure sky, was the awesome globe of Thestias itself: a circle of darkness crowned by a blazing halo of golden light created by its perpetual eclipse of Pollux. The glowing edges illuminated fast-moving white and carmine clouds, their swirling kinesis producing the bizarre optical illusion that they were somehow spilling over the edge of a hole in space to flow down into its black heart. An optical illusion that made it seem as if Althaea was also falling towards the gas supergiant’s eternal nightside. Locals called it the Eye of God.

An Olyix says:
Sentient species are the children of this universe, the reason it exists.

Alexandre says:
"Trust is at the core of human nature, one of our greatest curses –and blessings."

Monomolecule filaments as weapons
‘Buzz gun,’ Alik said. The gun itself was nothing special, just an electromagnetic barrel to ensure the projectile accelerated smoothly. But the buzz rounds it fired were mildly unstable. They were made from incredibly tightly wound coils of monomolecule filament, which expanded outwards on impact, so the target got to experience what it was like to be sliced apart by ten thousand razor blades, all travelling in different directions.
An early example of a substance similar to monomolecular wire is "borazon-tungsten filament" from G. Randall Garrett's "Thin Edge." (Analog, Dec 1963)[3] The main character uses a strand from an asteroid towing-cable to cut jail bars and to booby-trap the door of his room.

Among the first references in fiction to a "monofilament" as such is in John Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar (1968), where hobby terrorists deploy this over-the-shelf General Technics product across roads to kill or injure the people passing there.


Alik discussing a murder
"There were two crews hit that apartment, and they ripped each other apart like sharks on acid."

The advent of portals makes roads obsolete...
New York City streets transformed into ribbon parks ...
As Alik stood in the biting cold, listening to Bietzk, his gaze tracked along [street] Van Wyck’s trees with their mantle of thin prickly ice, as if they’d grown thorns to protect themselves through the winter. A mirror of the citizens who walked among them, bristling with hostility and rooted in the structure of the past.

I've been here on the beach, at sunrise in Rio... Magical.
Early morning on Copacabana beach, before the gold-skinned body gods began strutting their glistening physiques for the tourists and lovelorn to envy, the horizontal rays of the sun were playing across the water to create a dazzling shimmer.

Jessika compares jungle capitalism to more advanced societies
In any decent civilization, healthcare is a right, not a privilege.

Kandara talks about fanatics/terrorists
Ideology is a sick soul-meme; it gnaws basic decency away until you can self-justify the most extreme acts as worthwhile to further the cause. Any cause.’

Tyle says
More organic equivalence. ‘Real Utopial von Nueman-ism,’

Tyle to Kandara, on self-replicating spaceships for Utopial existence
The industrial stations will have engulfed Bremble, at which point they won’t bother replicating themselves. They’ll just consume the remaining rock to build habitats. After another fifty years, there’ll be nothing left, and they’ll fly to new asteroids and begin again.’
‘That seems almost . . . dangerous.’

‘It never starts with jackboots and black uniforms,’ Kandara said. ‘Just good intentions. But that’s how it always ends.’

Grand Homage to other sci-fi masters
The Juloss battleships mentioned in this volume are named the (Paul J.) McAuley, the (Richard K.) Morgan, and the (Neal) Asher.

Peter F. Hamilton

Full size image here
Profile Image for Michael Finocchiaro.
Author 3 books5,482 followers
May 3, 2020
I am a bit conflicted on this review. It was interesting, even compelling sci-fi, but somewhat predictable and its originality is somewhat deceptive as many of the concepts and even the storytelling was directly inspired by Dan Simmons’ extraordinary Hyperion. As far as I have read, the portals idea (particularly with fluid flowing through them) leveraging quantum entanglement to travel enormous distances was one of the cooler ideas in Hyperion. And the multiple stories that each of the protagonists recounts on their journey to the alien ship was directly derived from that of Hyperion on the journey to the Shrike (itself inspired heavily by Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales) That being said, Hamilton does do a good job telling the stories along the way, but the language sounds colloquial (even for the 21st century) and the the Juloss training seemed to borrow from Ender’s Game. The other influence on this book seems to be The Dark Forest from Cixin Liu, particularly towards the end. I guess that I might gather the curiosity to read the sequel, Salvation Lost, but I was a bit underwhelmed because it seemed more like an interesting mashup of previous scifi ideas rather than an incredibly creative in its own right.
Profile Image for Mark.
243 reviews12 followers
September 5, 2018
This is my most anticipated release of 2018, and I was extremely fortunate to get an early advance copy. I won’t say much to avoid spoilers, but Salvation was very good – typical Hamilton. It has a similar feel to Pandora’s Star or Fallen Dragon, if anything, but it’s also a very different story. It’s also clearly the first part of a trilogy, which is good, but with the first book issues that come with the territory. Great world building, great characters, intriguing plot – Salvation ticks almost all the boxes.

Full review now below:

Salvation is Peter F Hamilton’s latest novel, the first book in his Salvation Sequence, and a series set in a brand-new universe. After some considerable time (and eight novels) spent writing in his Commonwealth universe, with a slight detour for 2012’s Great North Road, Salvation is a chance to see Hamilton build a setting from scratch with a longer story in mind. As one of the best SF writers out there at doing this, I was eager to see just how it would compare to his previous stories, and what this fresh canvas would produce.

With Connexion Corp’s quantum entangled portals, everywhere in human space is but a step away. When a crashed alien starship is discovered at the edge of explored space, with cargo it shouldn’t contain, Connexion’s deputy director of security, Feriton Kayne, hand-picks a team from across human society to travel and investigate. With security and defence of humanity a high concern, strict protocols are put in place to separate the discovery from the portal network, and it’s a long drive to the crash site.

It is during this journey we learn more about the selected team members: Yuri Alster, Feriton Kayne’s boss and security chief for Connexion Corp; Callum Hepburn, former emergency detoxification team leader at Connexion and now living as part of the Utopial society; Alik Monday, FBI senior specialist detective; Kandara Martinez, dark ops and mercenary specialist. We also have some aides with the main group: Loi, executive assistant to Yuri and great-grandson of Connexion founder Ainlsey Zangari; Edlund, aide to Callum and a true Utopial – genetically modified to be both male and female through a thousand-day cycle; Jessika Mye, Callum’s assistant who has been part of both the Universal and Utopial societies. We follow this group through various flashback events, seeing each of these characters doing what they do best, and discovering some interesting information along the way. Some of these sections are quite long (one particularly so), others short and sweet, but each contribute to the overall story in their own way.

Interspersed between these chapters is the story of Dellian and his classmates. Set many millennia in the future, humanity are running from an enemy, one that stops at nothing to track them down and wipe them out. Bred specifically as soldiers to take the fight to the enemy, we follow them from childhood to adulthood, watching as they learn and perfect their training…

Hamilton starts Salvation off with a couple of revelations that set the scene for the novel. The first of these is the mission of the Neána, an alien civilisation that have sent an expedition after detecting electromagnetic signals from Earth. A species in hiding, they have sent their envoys with no knowledge of where they have come from, only what they must do when they get to Earth. The second bit of information is the discovery of the crashed starship and its human cargo that simply could not be that far from human space when it crashed. It’s with these in mind that we step into the meat of the story – or more accurately, a history of what has come before.

Essentially, Salvation is the backstory of the characters on this trek to the alien shipwreck, and serves to give us a lot of information, but without moving the actual plot forward much. However, Hamilton manages to give us this backstory in a way that is interesting and relevant, slowly building the setting he has created and allowing his imagination to run wild with the implications of the technology here. While he has a slightly different take on FTL travel with his portals compared to previous novels, it’s the Utopial society he’s crafted that is of most interest with its focus on working together as a whole rather than the capitalism of the rest of humanity. It’s also a society that requires those who join to have their genome modified so all children born are omnia – both male and female – slowly switching between the two in a thousand-day cycle. With a different core philosophy and equality the standard in their society, it’s fascinating to read and see the more intricate workings as we discover more about it.

We have also made contact with the Olyix, an alien species travelling across the universe on their voyage to meet their God at the end of time. They’ve contributed towards human medical advancement, trading knowledge for the antimatter they require to fuel their colossal arkship on its onward journey. But with their advancements come sceptics and conspiracy theorists, and some aspects ever so relevant to the stories we hear.

This brings us to the far future narrative, and one that shows humanity on the run from an enemy that is constantly searching for them. Humanity is an omnia society that has now decided to take the fight to the enemy, but is doing so by genetically creating soldiers of distinct gender – Dellian, Yirella, and their cohort. Led and guided by their year group leader Alexandre, they face a variety of situations while growing up that is to prepare them for the inevitable fight. It’s entirely fascinating, yet just not quite enough focus here outside of the necessary, and it’s clearly a thread that is going to be playing a larger role in future novels.

This all brings me to my general thoughts on Salvation: it’s a great novel but reads much like a set up for the rest of the trilogy. It’s a frustrating thing to say given how much I enjoyed the book (on both first and second reads), yet it’s true. The split narrative also means that the future sections are written not to give things away, and while it works overall, it raises plenty of questions as the story progresses. However, despite the heavy focus on back-story rather than plot progression, I was thoroughly entertained throughout, and relished getting to know this new setting and all its inhabitants.

Salvation is, without a doubt, the type of novel you would expect from Peter F Hamilton. It’s got thoroughly in-depth world-building, a large cast of characters, plenty of advanced technology, and enigmatic aliens. Add all of these together and you get the kind of Space Opera that Hamilton is known for, in a shiny new universe that has plenty promise for a great continuation, and given the ending here the sequel can’t come soon enough. Recommended.
Profile Image for Bentley ★ Bookbastion.net.
242 reviews551 followers
June 1, 2020
I made it 117 pages in and I'm sorry, but I've got to tap out. 100 pages is more than enough time for a novel to engage the reader and pull you in with at least the hook for the story. Things are definitely happening in the story, but nothing really plot related yet. It's been 100 pages of backstory for the characters, a futuristic sports game (like Quidditch) and some special ops tasks introducing aspects of the world, but nothing really compelling enough to grab my interest.

Not to mention that the writing isn't really wowing me either. There are approximately 100 characters introduced over the course of the first 100 pages. They've all got weird names that are impossible to remember, and impossible for me to remember which is which as the perspective shifts.

This book is over 500 pages long, and chapter 3 is also something like 130 pages long - the entire thing appears to be a flashback establishing some of the characters personalities and backstories. I like well crafted characters - but the plot's gotta be engaging too. I'm sorry, but I can't imagine devoting 400+ more pages to this (and the eventual sequels.) Tapping out now.
Profile Image for Claudia.
947 reviews524 followers
September 21, 2018
I never thought I would say PFH is boring. But exactly that’s what I said up around 20%. Given the fact that I eagerly awaited this one to appear, I couldn’t believe I would not like one of his works. Luckily, the story picks up from there and delivers. What a relief!

There are three narrative threads on three timelines:

- one set in present, year 2204, in which a team is assembled to check up the remains of an alien starship stranded on Nkya, an exoplanet in Beta Eridani system. On the way there, animosities came to life and past events are being reiterated by each of them, which brings us to the second thread:

- the stories of above said team members, starting in 2092 up to 2199. The setup reminded me of Hyperion with its pilgrims and their stories, although I liked these here way more. In fact, half way into the first story (Callum’s) I started to feel the old vibe I got when reading PFH, so this was the breaking point for me.

- the third one starts in year 583 AA (After Arrival) but I can’t tell yet which arrival are we talking about . It involves genetic modified humans which are raised from childhood to take part in the war against the enemy, they being the last hope of humanity’s survival.

The worldbuilding is amazing as always, however this time not so colorful. I would happily live in the Confederation or Commonwealth universe but not here. It’s darker than usual and without intimacy whatsoever. Except one thing: I would be thrilled to have a portalhome. My first encounter with one was in Void trilogy and I was amazed by the concept. Wasn’t such a surprise here, but my longing for one remained.

Regarding the characters: there are humans and omnias (genetically modified humans to be both female and male, having a thousand-day cycle between genders, the duration becoming longer with age) and two species of aliens, who are just outlined in this volume; I expect more to come in the sequels.

There are also lots of mysteries and twists and PFH masterfully ties some of them in the end; however, most remain to be revealed in future volumes, which at this point, can’t come soon enough.

Bottom line, a volume as gripping as always, if you get past the somehow dull beginning. Really missed his stories with the grandiose scope, cutting edge tech, interstellar journeys, crammed universe and last-minute twists.

Does anyone know when “Salvation Lost” is due?
Profile Image for Krystal.
1,362 reviews352 followers
September 29, 2019
This was actually so much fun!

I don't read a lot of sci-fi (my brain can't handle the science) but I was kinda keen for some alien mischief so this one found its way into my hands. WELL.

What I expected:
-Motley crew vaguely described and big enough to allow for characters to get eaten/shredded/sucked into space etc.
-Spaceships and malfunctioning space equipment
-Hostile aliens
-Strange planets
-General carnage and mayhem involving aliens picking off humans one by one

What I got:
-Motley crew introduced slowly and individually so I got to know each
-Spaceships and wormholes and portals and SO MUCH TECHNOLOGY my brain is still reeling
-Benign aliens with possible secret dark agenda
-Planets and comets and asteroids and moons and galaxies and ... humans living on all of it because that's how we roll
-General carnage and mayhem in the form of futuristic crime-solving

I mean this was a mixed bag that I entirely did not expect yet equally enjoyed immensely. There was chaos and crime and, yes, there was a lot of science that flew way over my head and descriptions that were so imaginative I couldn't quite get a grip on the visual, but this was a fantastic romp around the galaxy. It almost qualifies for the 'short stories' shelf, as each of the characters is given their own little story at a different time in their collective past. Interspersed with their current mission to investigate an alien spacecraft. PLUS there's the kids 500+ years in the future again who clearly know more than we do, but have their own future to think about.


Honestly I had so much fun with this, and am very much looking forward to the sequel which is a mercifully short wait away and hopefully contains even more carnage, mayhem and alien mischief.

Many thanks to Macmillan for providing me with a complimentary copy.
Profile Image for Chris Berko.
464 reviews108 followers
November 13, 2019
Wow, what a ride. I had as much fun reading this as I had with my two favorite books by Hamilton: Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained. Gone are the fantasy elements from The Void trilogy and the Chronicles of the Fallen duology, this is Hamilton back firmly in straight up science fiction. I love the expansive way he writes, too. He does not just tell you that a character and his crew are tight, he gives you a sixty page story about them performing a extremely dangerous, no-room-for-error job, and what they do as a crew after to relax. He doesn't just tell you that one of the characters is tenacious in their pursuit of criminals, he gives you a eighty page story about them chasing someone through multiple worlds and climates and not giving up. But these stories are not just tangents for tangents sake, they all end up having something to do with the overall plot and happenings. This is an all new set-up outside of his shared Commonwealth universe with all new aliens and technology and cool ass shit. Super religious stuff kind of scares me so I thought it was creepy that the one of the races of aliens was this weird evangelical pilgrim-like group of travelers and the more you got to know about them the more things just seemed sort of off. This is the first book in a trilogy so I did not expect all questions to be answered but enough did happen to where I did not feel cheated or feel like it was all just a build up for later volumes. One last thing before I go, if you're a sci-fi reader, or maybe just a avid reader in general, check out the names of all the ships mentioned in this book, kind of a cool, in-the-know, inside joke kind of thing. Easily five stars from me.
Profile Image for Nancy.
176 reviews80 followers
September 5, 2018
Salvation is the first book of a trilogy. For a first book, I had a hard time while reading it. It reminded me too much of another book as far as the way it was written and some of the concepts in the book. Once I got that other book in my head it was hard to not make comparisons. Most of the book revolved around five people that were chosen to investigate an alien ship that had been discovered. During the transport to the alien ship, each person tells a story from their past. The stories each tells were all action-packed thriller type stories. Which were a bit of a slog to read. Interspersed between their stories, is another storyline far into the future. I thought the more interesting parts of the books was what was going on far into the future. I was getting worried near the end when the last story was being told. I thought I was going to be left hanging as to what was going on at the alien ship. There was some resolution (albeit very quickly done) and thus the setup for the next book. I can’t say I was enamored with his book. The series as a whole has potential but I am not sure if I am interested enough to keep going or not. I received an advance copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Montzalee Wittmann.
4,502 reviews2,315 followers
November 11, 2018
Salvation: A Novel (Salvation Sequence Book 1 (audio version) by Peter F. Hamilton is what I won from LibraryThing! I have read several of Hamilton 's books and I always feel I have given my brain a good workout, really stretched out those neurons! the books are smart, exciting, well thought out, great characters, and unexpected plots.
This is an eye opener of a future where space ships are not necessarily needed for transportation anymore from planet to planet due to special jump hates that are at each planet. Then an unknown alien ship is found and a crew is sent to investigate but one of the crew is not like the others....Really awesome!
The narration was good but doesn't try to imitate female voices maybe because his voice would never be even close! I think he would've made it worse if he tried to sound like a woman with his deep voice.
Thanks for the win!
Profile Image for Helen.
421 reviews94 followers
October 31, 2018
Well, this took me a really long time to read!

It starts out with a very interesting story about a crashed alien spaceship. Unfortunately, this story barely gets any page time until right at the end because most of the book is bogged down in not very interesting background stories for all of the characters. It introduces us to a cast of potentially interesting people but then doesn't give enough time to get to know them to care really what their past stories are.

The back stories were very bog standard action thriller style, lots of heroic, smarter than everyone else manly men running around with guns fighting bad guys. It felt a lot like I imagine a Clive Cussler novel is like but with a sci-fi background to make it more souped up.

It also made me very sad to see the fight for gender equality hasn't moved on from where we are now in all those years. The best female character in the book, an intelligent and resourceful spy, was there only to get into trouble and be saved by her hero husband.

When the story about the crashed alien ship did get going I actually enjoyed it and then the ending set the next book up to be potentially quite exciting.

There's a lot that I liked and there are some very interesting ideas but it's overwhelmed by the 'black ops' superhero backstories. It's potential to be a good series is saved by the ending and I am interested in how the story continues, I'm just not sure if I'm interested enough to actively seek out the next book.

I received a free copy in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Scott Richmond.
6 reviews1 follower
October 24, 2018
I'm a massive fan of Peter Hamilton, however this book was a pretty poor read. Almost the entire book is a prequel to setup the next in the series and so introduces quite a few characters. The problem is, you just don't care about them! There is very little to like about any of the character's, which makes reading through their backstories a real slog.

I just don't know if I'm willing to pick up the next in the series at this point. :/
Profile Image for Cathy.
1,598 reviews238 followers
August 8, 2021
Update September 2019:
I just almost managed to accidentally delete the review for this DNF. Wow, phew... still here! However, I have absolutely no recollection of listening to this. I have another of his doorstoppers lined up as a buddy read for October. We see how that goes. And if I don‘t hate it, I will definitely have to give Salvation another try.

November 2018:
Putting this one on hold after listening to roughly 5 hours of the audiobook, which is about 140 pages.

I like Callum and Savi, but generally I do not care about the story. Not sure if my lack of interest is the book‘s fault or due to my usual autumnal reading slump. Last year was the same—the later in the year, the fewer pages I read. So, might be me! Or not, based on the comments of my reading buddies.... long, slow, plodding plot, not covering any new ground, etc.

The narrator in this one here does not do a good job with women‘s voices or expressing emotions. I find his accents confusing as well.

I might listen a little further, I might now. For now banned to the DNF shelf.
Profile Image for Carlex.
489 reviews90 followers
October 3, 2018
(just in case, apologies for my English)

Devoured! I am a fan (or a fanboy) of Peter F. Hamilton. However I "only" give Salvation three and half stars, considering that it is the first of a trilogy, and I prefer to read the rest of the novels, as soon as they are published (sigh here).

From a more critical point of view, I must clarify that if you have read some of his previous books, the author can not surprise us as much as in, for example, "The Commonwealth Saga", but in my opinion he has the talent of showing us a good space opera full of charming characters, intrigue and wonder.

One amusing anecdote in this novel (in which the author makes some more tributes): when the alien ambassadors have their embassy decorated with a giant space landscape, and when someone asks if it is their homeplanet they explain that it is a artwork by the great Jim Burns.
Profile Image for Kate.
1,626 reviews322 followers
May 7, 2018
Quite possibly my most anticipated novel of 2018 and it did not disappoint. Superb storytelling, just as we'd expect from this extraordinary writer, matched by the novel's vision and ambition. And, blimey, where it takes us! This is going to be a wonderful trilogy. Its beginning couldn't be any better in my eyes. Review to follow closer to publication on For Winter Nights.
Profile Image for kartik narayanan.
731 reviews202 followers
November 2, 2020
This book is bad. DNF.

I went into it with high expectations because, you know, its Peter F Hamilton. But, this book fails to meet even the basic standards of story writing.

The premise is interesting as is the prologue. But then the suckage starts. There is a long chapter on some random individuals (whom I am sure will be part of the story later on), but this killed the pacing. It was boring and full of cliches. And then at the end of the interminable chapter, I found out that the prior chapter was a flashback. And then there is a flashback within a flashback. WTF.

I tried to read some more beyond this point but I gave up.

Profile Image for Jason.
1,179 reviews256 followers
November 20, 2018
3.5 Stars

Salvation by Peter Hamilton had so much potential. A new series by a favorite author of mine. A fantastic future setting. Awesome writing and world building. Unfortunately the characters were flat and the pacing was inconsistent while never being fast paced.

This one was just okay. I am sure that I will still go on in the series when the sequel comes out.
Profile Image for Hank.
780 reviews74 followers
June 20, 2021
3.5 stars rounded down. How does that Barenaked Ladies song go? "It's all been done before..."
Salvation is either an homage to The Canterbury Tales, an homage to Hyperion or a more blatent theft. The real problem with re-using literary devices such as a collection of people on a journey somewhere is that you either need to do it differently, better or let the reader know what your are doing. Hyperion was brilliant, Salvation is not. It isn't bad, I enjoyed each individual back story with the flashes towards the future and I liked the conflict it set up but the similarities with Hyperion were so great that I was continually comparing to Salvation's detriment.

We have 5 "pilgrims" in Salvation not the 6 in Hyperion but with many of the same characters. A very physically capable woman, an FBI agent in place of the detective, a utopian aide in place of the poet, etc. Although the framing story is very, very different, the actors were too similar for me not to make judgments.

The mystery of the crashed spaceship, the what has happened to humanity thoughts and the space opera unfolding are all good. I will read the next one although this did not quite live up to what I was expecting.

Profile Image for Gerhard.
1,037 reviews514 followers
November 10, 2019
You know when you start a Peter Hamilton book, it is going to take a large chunk out of your life due to its sheer length and unputdownability. I honestly think there is no one else in the business for composing intricate setpieces that just suck you in. The particular trick with Salvation is one that James Gunn used so effectively in his Transcendental books: A bunch of disparate spacefarers recount their individual stories, which are effectively separate novellas that tie together in the end (well, one hopes so anyway).

However, there is also a very high probability that a Hamilton book is likely to end on an infuriating cliffhanger that will make you want to hurl your reading device across the room, and immediately deduct a star from its overall rating. And Salvation is no exception. In fact, one can safely say that the entire book is a laborious build-up to that final line. Yes, it is quite a mean writing feat, but certainly no joy for the poor reader.

Interestingly, Salvation is not part of the Commonwealth books, which means that Hamilton has an entirely new sandbox to play in. For me, this was the best part: the author’s speculation on the possible development of a post-scarcity, galaxy-spanning civilisation is exciting and cutting-edge.

Hamilton has always been brilliant at unpacking the impact of technology on society, down to the micro level of ordinary lived lives, and here is where Salvation truly shines. (In this regard, make sure you read the wonderfully-detailed timeline right after the end, which is one of the great extras he loves to tag onto his books).

Anyone who says that SF is not reactionary, concerned about geopolitics, or prepared to take a stance on such matters, definitely needs to read Hamilton. Oh, and given the amount of highly enthusiastic and acrobatic sex that the (inevitably) youthful characters have, you’d be surprise there is any polemic there at all. Suffice it to say, you get the full package with a Hamilton book.

As for the plot: A team is sent to investigate an alien shipwreck on a planet at the very limits of human expansion. It is this team whose back stories form the bulk of the book. Meanwhile, back on Earth, humans are batting their eyelids at the Olyix, who have no qualms in dispensing their alien tech in exchange for what is essentially a shopping run on their way to visit their god at the end of the universe. (Anyone who has watched Star Trek just knows that this relationship is not going to have a happy ending, especially where nameless gods lurking at the edge of the universe are concerned).

There is another narrative strand, obviously set in a far-distant future (or maybe it is an alternate timeline?) where the members of the team are all worshipped as saints, and where teens are moulded as future fighters in the ongoing war against some implacable alien enemy à la Ender’s Game (Hamilton loves to pay passing nods to the SF literary canon). How this links to the Olyix and the alien shipwreck is, of course, the big McGuffin of the entire book.

This is a difficult one to judge, as it is going to be interesting to see how Hamilton uses what he has established here going forward. Will all the balls simply continue to be juggled expertly, or will Hamilton choose to subvert what he has set-up so far? The latter will take some inspired madness, but Hamilton has proven he is not unafraid to take what seems to be a familiar, trope-packed story in some truly unexpected directions. This has always made him one of the most consistently interesting grand space operas at work today.
Profile Image for Lindsay.
1,248 reviews219 followers
October 10, 2018
A complicated prologue to the rest of the series framed as a gradually unfolding mystery.

The central framing narrative is that of the Assessment Team, a hand-picked group of experts investigating a crashed spaceship which they discover carries human bodies in suspended animation, apparently abductees. As they explore we get each of the Assessment Team's stories and how they build towards their individual presences aboard the ship and the central mystery of what's going on on-board as well as with the wider human community and their interactions with the only intelligent alien species that humans have made contact with. Interspersed with the Assessment Team's story in the "present" and their individual back-stories in the "past" we get a version of humanity in a completely different time and place as a hunted race, the majority of which are fleeing from unidentified aliens while others are specifically bred to fight them.

While this is slightly briefer than most of this author's other works it doesn't tread a lot of new ground. There's a lot of recycled ideas from his other series, including a portal-based interstellar civilization that has humanity on about 50 or so worlds, a god at the end of time and sinister aliens who are masters of biotech and human civilization that's dominated by rampant capitalism while some parts of it experiment with other forms of social structure.

Unfortunately, it's also really dull for a lot of its prodigious length, creeping towards a reveal that seemed relatively obvious from early on. The three separate plot lines with the Assessment Team, the hunted humanity and the flashbacks work well to break this up, but towards the second half of the book new flashbacks were being met by a "can we not?" on my part,
Profile Image for Steve.
35 reviews2 followers
September 19, 2018
The prologue gives away the secret. Then characters appear fully formed in the first chapter, ready to start looking for the secret. Then begins a series of flashbacks while the characters inch along waiting for the narrative to catch up with them. Sometimes non-sequential storytelling is fun or innovative, but in this case it was just annoying.
Profile Image for Unai.
817 reviews49 followers
October 28, 2021
4 Estrellas como 4 soles. Primero porque me ha hecho darme cuenta que echaba de menos a Hamilton y segundo porque fusilando la estructura de Hyperion que tengo reciente, lo hace a su manera y como siempre resulta muy satisfactorio. La fusila en la forma de narrar, grupo de personajes en camino a un destino que cuentan sus historias individuales y entre ellos hay uno que es un espía. Forma mas que valida para dar inicio a una trama que te deja con la miel en los labios cerrando el libro con esa estupenda sensación de "vaya, se acaba de ir todo al puto carajo". Cosa que ya sabes de antemano por los "interludios" en un futuro no sabemos cuanto de lejano en que todo se ha ido a la mierda y se refieren a los protagonistas cuyas historias estamos leyendo como "santos".

Me ha vendido la moto bien vendida.
Profile Image for Liviu.
2,241 reviews627 followers
September 9, 2018
I loved the book which will be a top 10 of the year for me and I am really eager for the sequel. For more detail I highly recommend Mark's Goodreads review (link below) as it is spot-on:


A few shoutouts I would mention that add to the fun - the Morgan, Asher and McAuley starships, the painting by Jim Burns present in the embassy etc
Profile Image for MadProfessah.
364 reviews161 followers
February 19, 2019
Wow! Peter Hamilton, who should be considered the Master of Technological Space Opera, does it again. The author of multiple acclaimed works of hard military sci-fi (The Night’s Dawn trilogy, The Abyss Beyond Dreams, Great North Road and Pandora’s Star/Judas Unchained) has returned with a new trilogy that begins with “Salvation.”

All of Hamilton’s signature story elements appear here: futuristic/utopian
society, disruptive technology, culturally opaque aliens, incredibly wealthy/powerful tycoons, secret/hidden agents and apocalyptic threats. Recently Hamilton has been combining these elements with brand-new ingredients. For example, in Great North Road these space opera tropes are deployed in the context of a murder-mystery police procedural. In the Void Trilogy he cleverly embeds a classic epic fantasy tale within a space opera plot.

In “Salvation,” Hamilton has all his usual space opera components present in a story built around throwing a cadre of travelers together and telling the background stories of each member of the group. Additionally, Hamilton has a large (thousand-year?) time jump from the main story line to where a subset of the travelers in the first time line have become “The Five Saints” of humanity, which is preparing for an epic battle with evil unnamed aliens who are known to be attempting to exterminate civilizations they encounter. AND from a prologue we know there’s another alien species which has discovered and is watching humanity.

For most of the book I was pleasantly entertained by the book, enjoying Hamilton’s imagination and recognizing his plot structures and characterizations. I was thinking that this would be a very good but not extraordinary (a 4 star read). However, the last two chapters of the book provided revelations that set up the next two books in the trilogy and completely blew me away, catapulting the book clearly into five star territory.
Profile Image for aPriL does feral sometimes .
1,865 reviews421 followers
November 27, 2020
'Salvation' by Peter Hamilton is book one in a trilogy called the Salvation Sequence. It is a world-building introduction to an extremely high-tech Earth of the future. It synthesizes some major plot ideas from Ender's Game and Hyperion, but I thought the novel very inventive and interesting, and exciting!, on its own merits nonetheless.

There are two (and a flashback third) timelines, with flashbacks. There are five main characters in one timeline which centers around the planet Earth or off-Earth colonies from 2092- 2204. There are two main characters in the second timeline from about 583-593 on a planet called Juloss. Each character in the first timeline has an independent past history (shown in flashbacks) and an intertwining history with the other four. The second timeline is so far in the future that the five characters in the first timeline have become Saints to characters in the second Timeline. Every main character has friends and peers and enemies.

The book's action revolves around speculative technology beyond anything that exists today, if ever. Portals have been invented which permit people to step through one in London and exit almost instantaneously on a Mars terminal or to an asteroid being mined. Small ones can be carried in a backpack. Large ones can transport larger items. A portal can be placed under a waterfall where the water pours into a portal and exits out into a desert. Portals are all over Earth and are as common as bus stops. The author imagines a gangbanger murderer who is on the run from security personnel who jump locations not only all over Earth, but landing all over the solar system in minutes. Minutes, like in 15 minutes, fifteen rooms, on fifteen planetary bodies. Like that. The portals work by quantum spacial entanglement. Shutup. You simply have to go with it.

Portals have made spaceships unnecessary for most mining jobs and vacations requiring travel. Rich people have high-tech homes everywhere in the solar system, and colonies are being contemplated on discovered exoplanets. Of course, care must be taken to handle atmospheres, gravity and other possible dangers to human bodies, like the invention of really tough habitat spheres and other materials. Which brings up the topic of human bodies! Lifespans have been extenuated by telomere extension therapy. Powerful self-defense add-ins can be surgically implanted into the bodies of military and security operatives.

Space aliens have discovered humans and the planet Earth. One species called the Olyix are of particular interest. They are extremely religious. They tell the people of Earth they only are interested in trade to resupply their arkship, called the Slavation of Life, um, sorry, I meant the Salvation of Life, on the way to the end of the universe. They expect to meet God at the end of Time. The Olyix are willing to exchange their high-tech inventions for food, water and energy. Some of their technology can make human cell tissue, replacing body parts and extending lifespans as well. They mean humans no harm whatsoever.

Right? Right.

As one can imagine, gentle reader, the Salvation Sequence is an epic and complicated space opera where both characters and technology and plot mysteries add up to a story which requires a section of Cast of Characters and a Timeline, supplied in the back of the book. 'Salvation' is an introduction to Hamilton's imagined Sequence universe and ends on a significant cliffhanger. The novel is definitely not standalone, and definitely not a beach read to be read casually whenever. But it is very interesting with almost funny, but graphic, scenes of violence because of the technological marvels involved in various scenes of mayhem.

Conservative readers! Warning! Gender identity in this novel has become a matter of physical fluidity that is as easy as changing your shoes. Some people go through a DNA-manipulated sex change-up every few or seven years. It's a built-in periodic sex change human members of a philosophical society named Utopial undergo, which is called omnia, like these Earth animals do today:

Profile Image for Oleksandr Zholud.
1,051 reviews100 followers
January 23, 2019
This is a SF novel, which can loosely be defined as a new space opera. The book was published in 2018, so is eligible for Hugo Award.

This is typical Peter F. Hamilton: there is a way of faster-than-light transportation (quantum entanglement portals), which allowed to colonize worlds, sentient life is rare in our galaxy, but there are aliens hiding between us, bio-tech is a significant alternative to [‘mechanical tech’. This things are habitual to readers of [book:The Reality Dysfunction|1237484], Great North Road, or Pandora's Star.

The story start alludes to The War of the Worlds, but instead of Martians, mankind is spotted by secretive Neána, which send a four-person mission to Earth, bio-constructs, undistinguishable from humans even on DNA level. When the ship reached the Goal in 2162, Earth discovered macro-level quantum entanglement that allows creation of instantaneous travel between two portals (the portal itself have to reach its destination in ‘usual’ lower than lightspeed velocity). The discovery not only profoundly changed how the transport works (and value of real estate) but gave cheap energy (drop one portal; into the Sun and get superheated plasma on the other end), waste disposal (just drop it somewhere behind asteroids) and other changes.

Now it is 2204. In a newly visited world eighty-nine light-years from Earth. There is an alien spaceship, the second alien race openly met by humans. A group of highly placed individuals travel to the site. The rest of the book is a mix of two other genres. First, Hyperion –like story (which was in turn based on The Canterbury Tales) – each person tells their story, which happened during the previous century – a great way to info-dump. Second, Ender's Game type ‘training warriors’ story that occurs supposedly several centuries after, when the mankind ins hunted down by some alien menace.

A great start for the series.
Profile Image for PeterS.
40 reviews
December 29, 2018
Was für ein toller Einstieg in das neue Salvation-Universum von Peter F. Hamilton:

Der Roman spielt in drei Zeitebenen: Der Haupthandlungs-Gegenwart, der Vergangenheit der Hauptprotagonisten (jeweils individuell) und einer Zukunftshandlung: letztere lässt schon ahnen, dass im Salvation-Universum etwas ganz gewaltig schief gelaufen ist.

Ich fand den Einstieg etwas schwierig, obgleich Peter F. Hamilton in erwartet eleganter Weise die Welt der Salvation-Saga in meinem Kopf enstehen ließ: nach der ersten Rückblende eines Protagonisten wusste ich noch nicht so recht, wie dies einzuordnen war.
Im folgenden habe ich mich aber dann auf jede Rückblende gefreut: ich empfand jede als quasi eigenständigen Thriller, der neben einer starken Charakterisierung der Personen in mir das Salvation-Universum ein klein wenig weiter wachsen ließ: zusätzlich mit einer kleinen Ahnung, dass alles miteinander zusammenhängt.

Mehr will ich gar nicht spoilern: ich wurde fürs Durchhalten mehr als belohnt: ja, über 600 Seiten für den Einstieg in ein neues Handlungs-Universum zu spendieren kann sich Peter F. Hamilton einfach leisten und ich freue mich schon auf den nächsten Band.
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