Great North Road

I recently finished Peter F. Hamilton’s novel called Great North Road.  It was an awesome sci-fi book that mixed in a great murder mystery.  I love Hamilton’s books, mainly because he loves to expound upon some current technology and take it a to a new use or level.  There will probably be a few spoilers here.

The book starts out with a dead body being found.  Turns out that it is one of the very powerful North clones.  The murder is very similar to one committed against another North twenty years ago.  A girl was convicted (Angela) and has been in prison since then. 

Angela claimed that it was an alien that killed the people.  The government protection agency (HDA) now believes her and they mount a massive campaign into St. Libra to find the alien.  The mission is a complete disaster.  Many people are killed by the monster.

I actually had a feeling that St. Libra was a living being.  However, I thought that the monster was going to turn out to be Bartram North (the North who was supposedly killed by Angela).  He was working on a rejuvenation thing that would help make him much younger.  I figured that it went horribly wrong and he was some kind of monster.

The truth ended up being much cooler.  The monster was an avatar of the living planet.  It is so powerful that it can cause sunspots on it’s star.  It caused all of St. Libra to go from a jungle environment to a snow covered blizzard in a few days.

The story was mainly about Angela and her history.  Turns out she was from one of the richest families in the world.  The Norths formed a cabal to destroy her family, they controlled the flow of the bioil from St. Libra, helping to end a recession caused by the bioil speculators (mainly Angela’s father). 

She loses her fortune and has to rebuild herself, which she does.  Unfortunately things go wrong for her when she has a daughter, who has genetic problems.  Angela is genetically modified, she ages one year every ten years (a one-in-ten), but since she decided to have a natural birth, her daughter ends up having major complications.

Angela has to steal money from the Norths in order to pay for her daughter’s procedure to fix her genes.  We learn the story in bits and pieces in reverse.  We learn that all the characters have some connection.  And that Angela should never be underestimated.