Jim McDonnell's Reviews > Anvil of Stars

Anvil of Stars by Greg Bear
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's review
Mar 23, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: science-fiction-etc, reading-again

Well, now I've finished this, I'm not sure I ever finished it first time round: certainly the last half of the book was unfamiliar.

Unfortunately unfamiliar or not it didn't work for me. 'Forge of God' was a great read, with a really exciting apocalyptic ending. Anvil of Stars is set some time after FoG, and the focus of the book has shifted from action and disaster to the politics and morals of the Law - retribution being meted out by chosen survivors from Earth against the civilisation who destroyed it. It was disappointing in the same way O-level geography was disappointing - I wanted vulcanism, glaciation and plate tectonics, all I got were the principal exports of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and the reasons why a prosperous city was situated on a navigable river.

Political SF isn't for me, I prefer convincing scientific extrapolation over explorations of future ethics and moral issues. Some of Bear's science in AoS is good - discussions of manipulations of matter via the 'hidden pathways' of space-time. This is clearly stuff from the same universe as 'Eon' or 'Eternity'.

Ultimately, not enough to be really gripping or interesting, too much slow ethical musing and philosophising to get more than 2 stars.

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