Code of the Lifemaker Paperback – May 7, 2010
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It's basically biology in terms of machines rather than DNA. Even after the prologue, it's a bit slow.
However, it's worth the effort as you get into Hogan's amazing story of Earth's future. You just don't see sci-fi writing with this kind of intelligence anymore.
Although it's not typically my style (much of it is psychological), it was enjoyable. I used 4 stars simply because it just doesn't compare to some of my favorites, but it was worth my time and that means it was worth my money.
There are also twin battles going on between science and mysticism. For the robots of Titan, there is a nascent movement towards science and observations, all the while struggling beneath an oppressive religious doctrine handed down in the sacred scribings of the Lifemaker. Meanwhile, amongst the humans, we have hardened scientists trying to expose the trickery of a new-age psychic who is in truth an incredibly talented con artist.
It was an interesting story, and I eventually enjoyed most of the characters, though the psychic bugged the hell out of me at first. I did find some of the storytelling mechanics hard to follow as we jumped from one setting to another and one POV to another with little visual or textual clue that it was happening. I wonder if this might have been the fault of the transfer to ebook, since this is an older book that came out on paper back in the 80's. Either that, or it was just the way it was written.
It was a good ending in that everyone got what they deserved, so I came away pretty happy.
I've made it through only 7% of the book and that has been laborious. Every "page" on my kindle contains 2-5 words that have had hyphens randomly inserted in them. At first I thought this was some sort of quirky style on the author's part (although I don't recall Hogan doing that in the novels I've read by him before) but the farther I go, the more annoying it has become.
Personal names in the book are frequently hyphenated as well:
Hendridge = Hend-ridge
Zambendorf = Zam-bendorf
Hoffmann = Hoff-mann
Eidstadt = Eid-stadt
The effect of all these extraneous hyphens gives the book the feel that it was written by a ten year old, experimenting with a new punctuation tool.
Shame, as the premise behind the book sounds interesting enough.