Fight or Flight in Salvation Lost | Spoiler-Free Review [spoilers for book one]

Salvation Lost by Peter F. Hamilton

5 Star Rating System 3 and a half stars

Genre: Science-Fiction [hard]
Author: Peter F. Hamilton
Published: October 2019
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Pages: 896 {paperback}

Review on Goodreads

Big thank you to Pan Macmillan for providing me a copy of this in exchange for an honest review!

Initial Thoughts Upon Finishing

This was a step up from book two! Gosh it took me a long time to read, however. Despite struggling a little through the first 100-200 pages as the story really built itself up, everything just suddenly takes off and it became infinitely more interesting in the latter half of the book. The end is so stressful and you just don’t know how things are going to turn. This is honestly just the ultimate alien invasion book. After stewing over my rating for some time, however, I am rating this the same as the first book with 3.5 stars. I’m hanging out for book three and hoping it’ll finally crack the 4-star mark for me!

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This will contain spoilers for book one!!

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Salvation Lost

So this is book two of the Salvation Sequence and things pick up more or less where we left them in book one (there being a small five year difference for Dellion’s story). Having now discovered what the Olyix’s real intent was, book two is all about the stress of finding a solution and to avoid extinction. It’s pretty serious stuff.

The book is slow going to begin with. Hamilton has set up a very specific pace for how he is telling this story. Book one gave us a good look at what was going on and who was involved (as well as their own backstories). This means going into book two, we have a wonderfully rich pool of knowledge that helps us understand the motives of all the characters as they nut out solutions for an alien invasion.

As in book one, we rotate between multiple perspectives giving us the story as the event unfolds, as well as things unfolding in the future with Dellion and his crew who are trying to learn from the past and avenge/save all those who are cocooned.

It’s incredibly stressful as the chances of survival seems so small. So many people already have Kcells implanted within them and that’s how the Olyix are cocooning them – which is a terrifying thought! There is a real atmosphere of fear of the unknown in this book as the OG humans in New York and London learn how to (and how not to) attack the Olyix for the first time. A big question mark still hangs over Dellion’s crew in the future as to whether or not they will actually be able to hold out against these insanely advanced aliens.


What I Liked

Things I really liked about this story was following Kandara, Callum and Yuri (and others) as they try to work together with Jessika and Socko to come up with a solution to the Olyix invasion, even though it all seems so helpless. All the different things they try are exciting and really get your heart pumping as you panic, wondering what will happen if they can’t stop the invasion.

My favourite perspective this time around was probably Dellion. Because they’re in the future with the more advance technology and with more knowledge behind them, what they’re doing is just more interesting. The fact that Yirella sets up a whole planet to try and lure the Olyix into combat, was freaking awesome.

I also really liked that they had the added complication of mental health issues for the crew who were feeling purposeless and depressed. Plus this story really pumps you up with hope that the humans might actually DO IT – they might WIN! But you’ll bite your nails down to stubs anyway.

There is also a wicked twist at the end regarding one of the characters which potentially bridges the gap between the two main stories. This was such a cliff hanger to leave us one once the identity of a certain character is revealed and I NEED to know how it actually happened!

But the best bit about this whole story is the concept of the alien invasion. I love how creepy Hamilton has made the Olyix’s actions. The cocooning was horrifying and the nice facade the aliens first put up so that they could deeply infiltrate human kind was shocking. It’s a fantastic invasion story where the humans realise WAY too late that the deed is done and running away surely is the only immediate solution to save themselves.


What I Didn’t Like

Okay the main thing I didn’t like about this was Ollie’s perspective (and his whole gang). That was really boring and did not bring anything to the story. It certainly aided the slow pace and bleh-ness of the first half of the book. Perhaps at the very end of the book, though, it brought a nice flare to the story when it finally tied the gang’s story to the bigger picture, but I could take it or leave it shrug. Sure maybe it gave us the ‘civilian’s’ perspective but it was honestly really boring and I could’ve done without/with less chapters focussed on them.


Will You Like It?

This series is growing on me as I spend more time with it. Book one was good but didn’t blow me away. Book two was slow but has me really hooked and amazed at Hamilton’s scope of imagination. I suspect book three will have me giddy with delight. If you’re willing to commit the mental effort to reading this book and wrapping your head around some of the serious science fiction in it, then I think you’ll really enjoy the story.

If sci-fi isn’t your usual genre, then perhaps this isn’t the series to start with. This is definitely hard sci-fi – it’s a whole other league compared to YA authors and most other dalliances with sci-fi I’ve ever had. But there is so much to unpack and explore in this story and if you fancy giving it a shot, I’d highly recommend doing so.


Summary

I’m thrilled that I enjoyed book two better than book one – that’s the way a series should go! I’m itching to find out what happens next and see what the humans and Olyix will throw at each other in the third and final book. And maybe I’ll do a little bit of praying that the page count stays under 600 pages!


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Happy reading!

~~ Kirstie ~~

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