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The Naked God by Peter F. Hamilton
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The Naked God (original 1999; edition 2009)

by Peter F. Hamilton

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1,565144,676 (4.02)25
Member:AnnieMod
Title:The Naked God
Authors:Peter F. Hamilton
Info:New York : Orbit, 2009.
Collections:Your library, Books
Rating:****
Tags:novel, SF, read in 2013, read, series:finished, place:unknown

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The Naked God by Peter F. Hamilton (1999)

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Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Well that took just over three weeks to read. There is more of a sense of accomplishment from reading this last volume of the Night’s Dawn Trilogy than with the others. Due to each volume being a continuation of the previous ones finishing the last volume feels like having just read a 3000 pages book, rather than just a measly 1000 or so pages.

I have been a little too lenient with my rating of the books in this series I think. At more than 1000 pages per volume I clearly have to like the books quite a lot to go through all those pages. However, the books are clearly overwritten with quite a few superfluous characters and scenes. There are so many side characters I forget who half of them are. Still, to Hamilton’s credit his narrative style is always readable, often quite riveting and the less exciting scenes never actually grind to a halt. I never felt like I was wading through molasses of dense, yawn-inducing text.

The Naked God of course carries on immediately from where the [b:The Neutronium Alchemist Night's Dawn 2|479561|The Neutronium Alchemist (Night's Dawn, #2)|Peter F. Hamilton|https://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1347555003s/479561.jpg|6519560] left off. The possessed people are generally at war with the living except for the few nice or heroic possessed characters. Some planets and one city have been moved by the possessed to another dimension where they expect that they will be free to live their stolen lives. As with the previous volumes there are multiple plot strands to follow and it is to Hamilton’s credit that they are not hard to follow, though some subplots are more interesting than others.

In some way the Night’s Dawn Trilogy is comparable to “science fantasy” books like Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom (John Carter) series or C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy due to the inclusion of magical or supernatural elements like possession, ghosts and souls, not to mention the possessed characters wielding seemingly magical powers including conjuring things out of thin air. However, for this third volume Hamilton incorporates more actual science into the story than the previous ones with expositions about event horizons, naked singularities, anti-matter etc. The more “magical” elements are explained away with “handwavium” pseudo-science.

Hamilton puts a lot of effort into developing characters though some of them turn out to be quite irritating. The worst by far is the uber- possessed Quin Dexter who for some reason is blessed with the power of invisibility. This would be fine if he has more of a formidable “dark lord” type of personality rather than the foulmouthed yobbo thing he does. On the side of the angels Joshua Calvert and Louise Kavanagh are not quite believable.

One frequent criticism of this book that I have come across is the “Deus Ex Machina” ending. I personally don’t mind it too much as I feel Hamilton had been building up to it from the first book, he did not simply pull this ending out of his backside. It reminds me of the climax of a Doctor Who episode called “The Parting of the Ways”. If you have no idea what I am talking about all I can say is “I’m so so sorry!”

The main strength of this book and the series as a whole is surely the meticulous worldbuilding. I imagine the creative process involves a lot of graphing, flow charting, mind mapping and such. You get a sense of the size of the universe by the diverse settings which encompasses other continuums and the very strange creatures that live in them. Fans of inscrutable weird aliens should have nothing to complain about.

I always find Hamilton’s prose style reader-friendly without being either literary or hack-like. The odd metaphysical or philosophical passages are quite thought provoking while the few pervy sex scenes barely readable. I was quite pleased when I arrived at the end of the book and found the series to be an overwritten but fun read. Peter F. Hamilton has gone on to write better books and series. I have probably read enough from him for this year but I definitely intend to wade through more of his mega-tomes next year.

4.5 stars for the book and the series as a whole then, I am penalizing him half a star for excessive writing and he is getting off lightly here! ( )
  apatt | Dec 26, 2015 |
I loved this, but geez, thank God I'm finished. :)

I also fully intended to come back and really review this with a really real review. Really. But I finished it two weeks ago, and I think my relief at just being DONE has overwhelmed any real need to review it. It was a good read. It was a satisfying conclusion. I can definitely see why people would be pissed with the deus ex machina, but with the entire premise of the story, it really didn't annoy me that much -- especially since I was just so relieved to be done. The entire idea in the first place was far-fetched; in some ways, I think you needed to have a deux ex machina just to tie it up, because I can't imagine any plausible way to solve the entire issue otherwise.

Edit:
It is now June 10, 2014, two years and five days after I finished this series. I never did come back to review it -- I think, after getting through it, I was so exhausted by it that I didn't have anything to say.

However, I do look at this series as one of the best I've read, despite how sprawling the universe is and how out of control the characters are. I've returned to it briefly a couple of times intending to re-read it, but never gotten past a couple of chapters. Someday I will return -- which is saying something -- and I'll probably bring with me a reading guide of some sort. There was just too much variation in the characters for me to be able to follow along without taking copious notes and checking a wiki with chapter changes, especially as the series got on.

Well worth the read, though, and oh, to be able to read it for the first time again. :)
( )
  lyrrael | Oct 18, 2015 |
A flawed masterpiece.

The flaws are linguistic. Word for word, Hamilton is not the best writer ever born. He sometimes runs two sentences together with a comma, this can be annoying. Also, sometimes you know what he means, but technically he hasn't said it.

On the other hand, he a superb story teller, with amazing control over many different strands. The themes are broadly sociological, mainly religion, politics and government, and social stratification. What really struck me, and which have stayed with me in the ten years since I first read it, are the ideas. It's like Arthur C Clarke, Iain M Banks and the internet all taken to the nth degree. Superb!

It's a long novel subdivided into three parts rather than a trilogy in the normal sense. There's no point reading this if you haven't read the first two. It's well worth it. Here all secrets are revealed and the Kiint are on top form. ( )
  Lukerik | May 15, 2015 |
After reading the first two books in the Night’s Dawn Trilogy, what more could a reader ask for? The conclusion is stunning, magnificent, and intergalactic in scale. The stage is set, the possessed are out, and we have already been introduced to a broad and varied cast of characters, ships, planets, and asteroids. Now Quinn attempts to take control of earth and Louise finds herself embroiled in B7 Earth agency plans to stop him. General Hilch works to liberate Mortonridge from the possessed, a mission joining together Kulu, the Saldana’s black sheep Ione, the Confederation Navy, and the Edenists. After noting the Kiint interest in the Tyrathca’s Sleeping God, Consensus, Tranquility, and the Confederation Navy send Oenone and Lady MacBeth on a mission beyond the Orion Nebula in search of the mysterious piece of technology, one which they hope can help them to resolve the possession crisis. Joshua and Louise continue to grow, new technologies are introduced and explained, and, taking the trilogy to well over a million words, Hamilton provides a conclusion that is intricate, thought-out, and brilliant. ( )
  Ailinel | May 1, 2015 |
a fitting conclusion to an awesome trilogy. ( )
  hoodakaushal | Jun 25, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peter F. Hamiltonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tikulin, TomislavCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Jay Hilton was sound asleep when every electrophorescent strip in the paediatric ward sprang up to full intensity.
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In some areas The Naked God is published as two separate books, The Naked God, Part 1: Flight and The Naked God, Part 2: Faith. This is the complete book, please do not combine it with either part.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0330351451, Paperback)

The Confederation is starting to collapse politically and economically, allowing the 'possessed' to infiltrate more worlds. Quinn Dexter is loose on Earth, destroying the giant arcologies one at a time. As Louise Kavanagh tries to track him down, she manages to acquire some strange and powerful allies whose goal does not quite match her own. The campaign to liberate Mortonridge from the possessed degenerates into a horrendous land battle of the type not seen by humankind for six hundred years. Then some of the protagonists escape in a very unexpected direction ...Joshua Calvert and Syrinx now fly their starships on a mission to find the Sleeping God -- which an alien race believes holds the key to finally overthrowing the possessed. 'The long-awaited climax to one of the best sci-fi yarns of the decade ...Hamilton has reclaimed Britain's dominance of the sci-fi genre' The Times 'Eloquent and ingenious ...A host of believable characters' Daily Telegraph

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:45 -0400)

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After the multi-layered, dramatic events described in The Reality Dysfunction and The Neutronium Alchemist, comes this climax to Hamilton's awe-inspiring Night's Dawn Trilogy.

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