Fallen Dragon

Another solid sci-fi entry from Peter Hamilton. This man knows how to build unique worlds and while he has better, more expansive offerings, Fallen Dragon is a solid standalone.

Fallen Dragon shows a society deep into space-age capitalism. Earth is effectively run by corporations and you join the ranks by buying and earning shares, making you invested in their success. Long ago, we colonized the stars out of a sense of adventure. But those adventures cost a pretty penny. And the companies aren’t going to let profits go to waste by allowing colonies to self govern. So they send space age repo men. An occupying force that strips the colonies of valuable resources.

Lawrence Newton is a soldier for one of those companies. And he knows a secret: the planet Amethi is hiding something valuable, and he wants it. If he can acquire it, maybe he can be rich enough to escape the cycle of death the companies cause. But a small resistance group on the planet has other plans with the treasure. Something a little more cosmic in scale.

Hamilton does a fantastic job of creating intense, eerily realized technologies. And then subverting the shit out of them. He introduces super powerful machines and immediately finds ways to undermine and break them. The occupying force, seemingly invincible in Iron Man like ‘Suits,’ face a surprisingly adept militia force. One that can bypass their seemingly invincible tech. I love seeing this kind of writing in action.

This is mostly the appeal of the book. Watching tech fight tech. And an interesting clone character reason his way through it. Most of the characters are fine, not particularly sympathetic in a way you’d want. The small scale of the novel gives way to some grander ambitions which feels jarring. Not everything has to be world changing. It can just be world changing for a single character.

A breeze-through sci-fi, one you might forget. But enough for a solid adventure.

2.5 out of 4 stars.

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