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Mindstar Rising (Greg Mandel) Hardcover – August 1, 1996
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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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Mandel has now turned his talents to being a private investigator and is hired to find the perpetrators of industrial espionage at Event Horizon.
Overall, the book was an enjoyable read, though quite basic in style compared to his later works.
There is one very serious downside to reading this book on the Kindle though - the quality of the converion. I guess that with the age of the book there isn't a digital copy of the text. But what appears to have been done is to OCR the pages of the book and not bother checking the results. There are therefore massive numbers of spelling mistakes and words that are just a jumble of letters leaving you trying to work out what is meant. An example would be one of the main characters who is interchangeably referred to as Julia, Juliet and Julie. Whoever performed this conversion for Kindle should be ashamed of themselves.
With government stores empty of household and farming goods, smugglers became the major source of new supplies. Event Horizon bought surplus stealth transports from various governments and delivered tons of goods nightly. This economic pressure brought down the PSP in England and was bringing down the Scottish PSP.
In this novel, Greg Mandel is a former soldier. He had a bionode added to his brain to allow him to read emotions and thoughts. Afterward, he was transferred to the Mindstar Brigade. Now he occasionally works as a private detective and does other odd jobs to make ends meet.
Gabriel was a Major in the Mindstar Brigade. She is the most powerful prescient in the Brigade.
Eleanor Broady is a girl in a Christian kibbutz. She works from dawn to dusk and also has to take defense training.
Nicole is an ex-navy marine-adept. Her skin has been made water tight and she has gills. She lives in a village on Rutland Water.
Philip Evans is Chairman of Event Horizon and a multibillionaire. He is also the grandfather of Julia.
Julia Evans is a teenage girl and the heir of Philip. She has memory and processor nodes implanted in her brain.
Katerina Cawthrop is a friend of Julia from a Swiss boarding school. Kats is visiting Julia for a week.
Adrian Marler is a friend of Julia and Kats. But he is infatuated with Kats and Julia is jealous.
In this story, Greg flies his Westland ghost wing out to the hills. He lands silently and stakes down the microlight. Following a schedule prepared by Gabriel, he shoots the heavily modified Rottweiler with his maser.
He presses himself against the front wall. Someone inside the cabin opens the door and looks outside. Then a man steps out and turns to the right.
Mandrel is to his left and brings up his maser. He tells the man to drop the shotgun and the man rests the barrel on the threshold. Then Mandrel shoots him.
Greg flies back to Rutland Water. He leaves the Westland and the other military gear with Nicole and her friends. Then he rows his boat home.
After reaching land, Mandrel goes to the pub to wash away the shock of the shooting. He also intends to pick up a girl. The new barmaid looks like a good choice.
Eleanor's father comes into the pub before midnight. He tells her to come home and she refuses. After some more argument, Greg tells the man to leave her alone. When he resists, Mandrel releases the hormones from his node and pushes.
Eleanor goes home with Greg that morning. They get along well in bed and Eleanor stays for the next two weeks. Then a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow comes to his chalet to take Greg to see Philip.
Event Horizon has a problem in orbit. Someone is destroying valuable electronics. Philip and Julia hire Greg to find the guilty employees.
Greg starts interviewing people in the production facility who are down from orbit. He finds one who makes the mistake of lying to him. When she learns that he is a Mindstar, she doesn't hold back anything.
Then Julia finds that another operation in orbit has also been losing valuable products. Greg goes into orbit looking for liars. He burns a few more thieves and sends them back to Earth.
Meanwhile, Julia is using the internal security cameras to spy on Kats. Adrian is playing sex games with Kats. Julia sets up Kats with a very rich man to take her away from Adrian.
This tale follows Greg in his further activities for Event Horizon. He becomes somewhat infatuated with Julia. Then contact with a Merlin space probe is lost.
Later Greg is captured by enemies. The next installment in this series is A Quantum Murder. This novel and the sequel are being reprinted as The Mandel Files, Volume 1.
Recommended for Hamilton fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of future problems, mind enhancements, and tough detectives. Read and enjoy!
-Arthur W. Jordin
I may be a bit dystopic - but I think it can get close to reality if governments in future effected areas don't plan how the climate changes is gonna be handled.