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Mindstar Rising (Greg Mandel) Hardcover – August, 1996

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Critically acclaimed in his native England for four novels, all SF, Hamilton makes his stateside debut with the novel that launched his writing career and that begins his Greg Mandel trilogy. Set in a 21st-century England recovering from massive global warming, the story reads like a collaboration between William Gibson and Ian Fleming. Freelance operative Mandel is a veteran of the Mindstar Battalion, whose men received telepathic powers via implanted glands. Now he is the ally of the teenage heiress of a high-tech industrial empire, Julia Evans, in a desperate battle against Kendric di Girolamo, a ruthless and obsessed financier, and Leopold Armstrong, former leftist dictator of England, who is trying to regain power. Plenty of action, exotic hardware (particularly computers), urban grunge, double handfuls of eccentric, decadent or criminal characters and enough willing women to raise the eyebrows of the politically correct hallmark this fast-moving tale. SF fans may particularly enjoy, as a change of pace, experiencing a vision of the future that coheres but that takes its clues from British, rather than American, society and history.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Published in England in 1993, this first book in the Greg Mandel trilogy introduces us to an England suffering from the environmental and political effects of global warming, an energy crisis, and a credit crash. Mandel, an assassin, is hired to protect a teenage corporate heiress. As Mandel goes through his paces, Hamilton fully describes the devastated countryside and political machinations in a country struggling to cope in a bleak future. Recommended for sf collections.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Series: Greg Mandel
  • Hardcover: 383 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st Tor ed edition (August 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312859554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312859558
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,841,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Steve Miller on February 9, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Near-future SF seems to be almost as hard to do well as fantasy. Too often, authors of both kinds of material rely on tired cliches or an assumption that a reader will fill in the blanks rather than taking the time to create and then ground their story in a fully realized world.
Thankfully, Peter F. Hamilton took the time in 'Mindstar Rising' to fully introduce the reader to the 21st century world of Greg Mandel (a veteran soldier turned trouble-shooter for hire) before launching his characters into a thrilling mystery plot.
The end result is a futuristic detective story that has heavy techno-thriller aspects and touches of the fantastic, by the way of psionics and precognative abilities. Nonetheless, it all makes perfect sense... and at no time does the reader feel like an alien in the setting. This makes his already well-drawn characters even more believable.
If more writers were willing to spend the time that Hamilton spends on world-development, we might see non-media tie-ins reclaim some of the shelfspace in the bookstores. We certainly need more writers of Hamilton's calibre working in the science fiction and fantasy genres!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 19, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Despite disliking the title of this book - as it is way to close to Brin's "Startide Rising" - and thinking that the opening was weak (especially the "sharp scintillations slashing" triple enumerated alliteration in the first line), I found that I enjoyed it. After a shaky start, Hamilton manages to spin an interesting story. Set in the near future, the world his protagonist, Greg Mandel, lives in is one afflicted by climate change and political warfare. Hamliton manages to pump out numerous dry and wet tech ideas as well as including some sociological ones.
Some of the characterization is a little weak and, in my opinion, the balance between filling in too little detail on the "universe" the story is set in and too much is off a few times. (I found myself skipping parts of paragraphs here and there which, to be fair, was probably as much to get back to the gripping action as to skip tedious excessive descriptions of the countryside.) That said, this action-detective story is worth reading as it still manages to entertain and stimulate the imagination.
This was Hamilton's debut novel. In his later works, especially in "The Reality Dysfunction" Hamilton improves on his characterization without loosing the ability keep the action and ideas flowing...starting with his first book will only whet your appetite for Hamilton's writing.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David A. Lessnau on December 4, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The three books in Peter F. Hamilton's Greg Mandel series were written before his "Night's Dawn" series. I'm not certain of this, but they seem to occur in the same universe as that series, just at a MUCH earlier time. Regardless, this series is excellent. What's especially nice, is that, for the most part, each of these books stands alone. You still need to read them in order, but none of them ends in a cliff-hanger requiring your reading of the next. Unfortunately, each of these books has a few fairly explicit sexual situations described in them. The amount of sex increases as you move from book to book. If it weren't for that, I'd recommend these books for everyone.

"Mindstar Rising" is the first book in the series. It's a very good, fast-paced sci-fi action thriller. The book introduces all the important characters and the "universe" used throughout the series. For the most part, the character development is good. I have a few qualms about a character or two suddenly being more capable than they are during the majority of the book, but that's mostly inconsequential. The plot, too, is very good. However, the transition between the first, introductory, situation in the book and the primary situation could have been worked better: it seems contrived. But, I might be seeing that solely because I've read the book four times now.

"A Quantum Murder" is the second book in the series. This book takes place about three years after "Mindstar Rising." Instead of being the science-fiction action thriller that the first book is, it's more of a science fiction mystery. It's a close call, but I think this book is slightly better than "Mindstar Rising." Once again, there's good character development, but this time, the plot is somewhat more tightly put together.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Peter Venetoklis on May 11, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I picked up this trilogy after reading, and loving, The Reality Dysfunction and The Neutronium Alchemist. Mindstar Rising is entertaining and moves along well, but comes nowhere near the scope, grandeur, and excellence of his later works. It is clearly a 'first' novel - it became rather tedious to receive a description of hair and clothing every time a character appeared in a scene. Hamilton does demonstrate, however, his knack for creating a rich and detailed world - one of the elements that makes The Neutronium Alchemist such an astounding work. The book is easy reading, and has plenty to keep the reader's interest, but I'd steer towards the latter series if you haven't already read them.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Allan A. Macbain on August 27, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mindstar rising was the first Peter Hamilton book I read - but not for long. As soon as I had got past the first couple of chapters of this book, I went out & bought the rest of the trilogy ('A Quantum Murder' and 'The Nano Flower'). All concern a 21st Century dramatically changed both Politically and Environmentally. The main protagonist is Greg Mandell, a veteran of the second Gulf war, who has some enhanced psychic ability - due to experimental surgery performed on him & others who tested 'positive' for the basic capability. Due to this ability (and the fact that he has become a private detective), he gets pulled into a world of high-powered politics & intrigue, with the action mainly taking place in the Rutland area of England. If you haven't read any of his books, this is good one to start with; but don't forget to buy the rest of the trilogy. The book is handled well, with the characters being believable, & having a depth to them that you will find in all his books.
Any complaints? Ony one - that I hadn't read it sooner. This trilogy is one I keep coming back to (8 times so far), and has become one of my firm favourites. Saying that.....which bookcase did I put them? I think I'll start them again, ta ta.
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