Book Reviews: By Series

Below you’ll find short reviews of the books I’ve read, sorted by series.

Commonwealth Saga

Pandora's Star
by Peter F. Hamilton

I couldn’t put Pandora’s Star down! It is a sci-fi book that reads more like a thriller. There were always new mysteries that just a few more pages promised the answers to.

Judas Unchained
by Peter F. Hamilton

The sequel to Pandora’s Star, Judas Unchained continues right where the last one left off, but with the action ramped up to 11. The various storylines and loose threads come together one by one until it’s the good guys racing against the bad guys for the fate of the universe.

Culture

Consider Phlebas
by Iain M. Banks

I’ve been meaning to read Banks’s Culture series for more than two decades, so I was excited to finally get started. Unfortunately, Consider Phlebas was not a great introduction.

Firefall

Blindsight
by Peter Watts

Blindsight is a hard sci-fi novel about first contact with aliens in the near future. A crew of four transhumans and a vampire are sent on a spaceship to investigate an anomaly in the solar system after a swarm of alien probes scan Earth.

Hyperion Cantos

Hyperion
by Dan Simmons

Hyperion, was not at all the book I expected. To give you an idea of how much I misjudged it, about a third of the way through I would have rated it two stars and almost put it down, about two-thirds of the way through I was solidly at three stars, and by the end I was up to four. It was not the all-time great I was promised, but it was very good.

The Fall of Hyperion
by Dan Simmons

The Fall of Hyperion is a sequel that outshines it’s predecessor. It is everything I was expecting from Hyperion and more! A true masterpiece.

Jean le Flambeur

The Quantum Thief
by Hannu Rajaniemi

The Quantum Thief is a sci-fi novel following the adventures of the gentleman thief Jean le Flambeur as he navigates a futuristic solar system to reclaim his lost memories and pull off an impossible heist.

The Fractal Prince
by Hannu Rajaniemi

The Fractal Prince is the second book in the Jean le Flambeur series. While the first book, The Quantum Thief, left me underwhelmed, the second book more than lived up to the hype.

The Causal Angel
by Hannu Rajaniemi

The Causal Angel is the last book in the Jean le Flambeur trilogy. We finally learn le Flambeur was hired to steal the Kaminari Jewel, a Zoku gem with the power to alter reality.

Remembrance of Earth's Past

The Three-Body Problem
by Liu Cixin

The Three-Body Problem was recommended as a exciting, hard-scifi book full of new ideas. I was eager to read it, having just gotten back into fiction. I bought it for my flight from Melbourne to San Francisco and I threw it in the airport trash as I got off the plane.

The Void Trilogy

The Dreaming Void
by Peter F. Hamilton

The Dreaming Void is set in the same universe as to Hamilton’s Commonwealth Saga, but saying that isn’t quite strong enough: it is really a sequel. You pretty much must read the Commonwealth Saga first because half of the characters return, and every major plot point from the earlier books is spoiled in this one.

The Temporal Void
by Peter F. Hamilton

The second book in Hamilton’s Void Trilogy, The Temporal Void, continues to advance the story, but like many middle books in a trilogy, it does so slowly. Much of this slowness is due to multiple, massive, 200-page chapters following Edeard in the Void.

The Evolutionary Void
by Peter F. Hamilton

The final book in Hamilton’s Void Trilogy, The Evolutionary Void, wraps up the series well, but a little too quickly. All the characters and storylines arrive where they’re needed and then the story is over.

War Horses

Chevalier
by Scott Warren

Chevalier is a modern reimagining of 1980’s mech sci-fi like Battletech, Gundam, and Macross. It’s a quick, action-packed read—not very deep but highly entertaining—that focuses on making mechs feel like realistic battlefield tech, not magic.

Ymir
by Scott Warren

Ymir is the second book in the War Horses series, keeping Chevalier’s action and quick pacing while adding more backstory, character development, and a more complex plot.

Serpent Valley
by Scott Warren

Serpent Valley, the third book in the War Horses series, is another quick, action-packed read—but without the flaws holding back its predecessors. Easily my favorite of the series so far!