Reviews of Reality Dysfunction, the (1996)
Review by kanjisheik (2007-06-28)
Once you're past the first 60 or 70 pages, The Reality Dysfunction is an extremely good read. What we have waiting for us is epic SF, with interplanetary warfare, lots of disasters and treasure hunts. And more, much more.
Hamilton's Confederacy is an extraordinary panoply of contrasts, and there are many moments throughout the story where readers are invited simply to bask in the majesty of the universe, recapturing that sense of wonder we all look for in SF.
But this is just the first part of Peter F. Hamilton's epic series! So what are you waiting for? Go read the book, instead of checking out the review!
Review by clong (2004-12-01)
Many people are big fans of the Night's Dawn Trilogy . . . not me!
I read the first half-book of this series and didn't bother to go any further. The book has some pluses, including an interesting and in some ways original view of how mankind might evolve into the future.
My biggest complaint is that I can't find much to like in any of the myriad characters that are introduced and frequently disappear at the drop of a hat. In fact I might summarize my view of this book as "many characters are introduced, most are killed off quickly, and I wish the others had been too"
There's lots of unnecessary sex. Now, don't get me wrong, I have no objection to sexual content in a book when it furthers the story and/or helps us understand the characters better. In this case Hamilton seems to be following in the footsteps of such classic "nymphomaniacs in space" stories as Barbarella. I would say that the sexual exploits of the two main characters made them much less sympathetic. Calvert's seduction of the governor's virginal daughter (after which he immediately leaves the planet), despite the fact the the governor's wife had already taken him for a romp in the sack in an effort to satisfy his primal urges, left me feeling that this guy should die and ugly prolonged death. My only real hope for the series would be that Calvert is heading for a fundamental character transformation-but my hopes aren't high-I kind of think that Hamilton likes Calvert the way he is.
Review by wgreen (2004-03-23)
This is good fast read and is full of cool, albeit implausible, ideas and technologies. Hamilton certainly creates a self-consistant universe that holds together very well despite its complexity. In certain ways his characters are very stereotypical and lack depth, however, to his credit Hamilton doesn't paint a stark line between good guys and bad guys and their actions in the story. While this may turn some readers off, I found it refreshing because it certainly is closer to reality. A lot of thought is also given to the societies and political systems that are at play in the 26th century. For instance, how exactly would you settle a new planet and who would fund it and why? These are not trivial questions and Hamilton doesn't shy away from answering them in an non-boring manner.
If you like your science fiction to obey the laws of physics then you won't get very far before rolling your eyes. However if you suspend disbelief and just roll with the story you will really enjoy this book. I did.
Review by sgnair (2003-08-20)
Good mix of hard science fiction and good writing. The pacing may seem a little slow – but remember this is the first in a 3 book set, each of which is over 1000 pages long.
The story includes a lot of real violence and explicit sex; and does not present the good as white washed heroes; so it is not meant for the squeamish or faint hearted.
However, it is a great read, and myself and all the people I have recommended it to did devour the entire book in a few days, in spite of its size.
A hint; the book literally has a cast of hundreds – there is a list of the key characters and events at the back of the book that will help keep track of who is who. Essential if you put the book down for two days and come back to it later.
The story is left mid way, so unless you are prepared to read all 3000+ pages of the Nights Dawn Trilogy, don't start this book!