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on March 02, 2012 :
This is the sequel to A BREATH of HOPE.
Written some 20 years after the original, this continues the story of Hamilton, the tough mercenary, and his
crew of humans, part-cyborgs, rebreathers and Enjuns as they alone fight to save humanity from Walsh and
the Jada-Ko-Vari; a sentient, alien virus-race who are intent on destroying mankind.
Robert's style of writing is very descriptive, sometimes possibly a little too much at times. I like the occasional
Sci-Fi story and film and understand that ships can go into hyperdrive and wyrm holes to get to their far away
destination as comfortable and quickly as possible, but I have never felt the need to know anything much about
the mechanics of a starship or the inner workings of an off-world mining operation. After reading A TASTE OF
DESPAIR I felt like I could get a job at NASA. .... well almost !
The story takes up where the original left off. Hamilton and his pals have survived the journey back, well most
of them have made it, safely, only to find that Walsh and his drones have taken over the minds of many humans
in prominent positions and before the "good" guys can get out of quarantine they find that their records have
been altered and that they are now all regarded as terrorists.
The story then gets very descriptive and long as Hamilton and friends find their way out into space and begin to
plan their attack on Walsh. This involves a clever twist, a couple of bumpy rides through asteroids, an attack on
a mining station, a split amongst the "good" guys - those who want to fight and those who want to settle - and
the deaths of a couple of characters who I would like to have read more of.
As the second book in a trilogy this is definitely the filling in the sandwich; it has taste but no real substance.
It leaves the reader wanting more, more from the story, as in a conclusion, and more from itself. There is often
too much definition, at times I was mentally screaming "get on with it, I really don't care that much about the
size, cost, price, breakdown etc etc etc of the sub-doohickey engine" . However I put my prejudices aside and
ploughed through the descriptions and came out the other side elated at the result.
Now I can't wait for Robert to write the third part. Meanwhile I have ebooks of two of his other books to read
while I wait.
(reviewed long after purchase)