Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Son of Heaven by David Wingrove
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A dystopian look at a possible future Earth about fifty years hence, this book is the first in a planned series of twenty. I absolutely devoured this huge book because once I started I just hated to put it aside, even for short periods. I got so wrapped up in Jake’s story and the lives of people struggling to survive twenty some odd years after the total collapse of the world economy and infrastructure. Told in a very easy to read, straight-forward, yet positively mesmerizing style I felt as if I were there, sharing the experience, celebrating the small triumphs, mourning the losses, but mostly, fearful of the uncertain future barreling down upon us.
In this alternate future Earth, the Chinese, under the leadership of one brilliant and capricious man, successfully set the Information Age back hundreds of years. Lawlessness abounds and small communities band together for mutual protection and trade. There are three distinct parts. The story opens in 2065, in rural Dorset, England. Twenty-two years after the collapse, tensions are, once again, mounting, as rumors fly across the land and an unnatural, huge, white structure can be barely discerned on the edge of the horizon. The second part delves backwards in time as details of the economic crisis and ultimate collapse are relayed. It is in this part we discover the role Jake played and relive those harrowing days with him. Then finally, in the third section, the invading force arrives with superior numbers and high-tech weapons, this relentless force seems to be unstoppable and determined to “process” every last living soul.
For anyone who loves science-fiction, dystopian literature, this is surely a must read. I found this book to be exceptionally well-written, totally engrossing and, for the most part, complete within itself. I most certainly do want to read the next book in the series, titled Daylight on Iron Mountain. Whether I will remain enchanted enough to follow through on the entire series remains to be seen as I, usually, prefer series to be no longer than three or four books. This series, may easily become the exception, however, if the writing remains as impressive and original as it was in this first book.
Reviewer for Night Owl Reviews
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