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The Saints of Salvation

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Author Peter F. Hamilton published the novel “The Saints of Salvation” in 2020. He has published more than 20 novels. This is the third novel in his "The Salvation Sequence" series. 

I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of violence and mature language. The story is set in the far future. The Olyix have attacked Earth and several other worlds. They have a religious mission. They want to bring all sentient life to its God at the End of Time.

There are several characters that play an important role in this novel. The time span covers many years. A very secret spy mission takes some of the characters deep into the Olyix domain. They are part of the key to defeating the Olyix, providing a signal for humanity to follow. 

Humanity has gathered a fleet like no other. They are about to attack the Olyix. If they fail, humanity, if it survives, will be relegated to the dark spaces between the stars. 

I enjoyed the 16+ hours I spent reading this 516-page science fiction novel. The novel seemed to have a slow start. it did get much better after the first 25%. I found it a little hard to read as it jumped around in time. It definitely makes far more sense if you have read the prior books.  I, fortunately, have read book 2 "Salvation Lost". I like the cover art, though it doesn't relate to the story. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).
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This was my introduction to Peter F Hamilton. Since this was the third book in the series, decided to read all the books first. They were all good, but this was definitely the capper. The pay off was great. Very wide universe. Will definitely need to find more by Peter F Hamilton.
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I love Peter F. Hamilton’s work. I love the Commonwealth Saga and I especially love the Great North Road. So I was excited a few years ago when the Salvation Sequence began. The first book was fun! It was like a hard sf Canterbury Tales, or reminiscent of Hyperion - a bunch of travelers telling their stories which contained an overarching narrative ending with a dramatic twist. Then, in book 2, it seemed to take an odd turn - a bunch of new characters were introduced and the alien invasion seemed to drag on way too slowly while the preexisting characters got short shrift. It felt like middle book syndrome, where not much could happen or it would rush the conclusion. 

Now we are at book 3, the conclusion. (And thank you to NetGalley for a free eARC in exchange for an honest review.) So how was it? Disappointing. The story of the new characters from book 2, the last survivor of the criminal gang and his love interest, are quickly dispatched from the plot, their narrative purpose spent. The characters from book 1 have lost all of their nuance and individual voice. All except Yirella, a character from the far future time frame who has the most to do but without a huge amount of explanation why she is the only one who can see the problems, let alone the solutions. 

The other disappointing part of the story is that it felt over the first two books that there was something else going on with the alien invaders, the other alien species that opposed them from the shadows, and the mysterious deity at the end of time that the invaders worshipped. I was expecting a final book revelation that the aliens were all related, that humans in the future had sparked the entire alien pilgrimage, something! But no. The alien invaders remain two-dimensional, the mysterious plot threads are left unaddressed. 

I don’t regret reading this, because lesser Peter F. Hamilton novels are still enjoyable space opera, but I cannot say that I was fully satisfied when I finished this book. Til next time, Mr. Hamilton. I look forward to your next series.
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Published by Del Rey on November 17, 2020

The Saints of Salvation is like Avengers Endgame without the superheroes and with a lot more science. A large group of heroes, mostly but not entirely human, fight to save humanity from evil. In the process, lots of things explode, a good bit of humanity seems to be wiped out, and time goes a bit wonky.

When I read the first novel in the Salvation sequence and noted that the story would unfold over thousands of years, I expected that the heroes in the first novel would be dead long before the story ended. And I thought that would be unfortunate, as I felt a greater attachment to those characters than to the characters who carry the story in the future. When the key near future characters turned up again in the second novel, I was happy. Here they are again in The Saints of Salvation. They are, in fact, the saints to which the title refers. Humanity appreciates the inspiration they provided in the dark past. Now it’s the far future and, thanks to the miracle of science fiction, they aren’t done fighting. In that fight, they are joined by varied characters old and new, including a bunch of humans (more or less) who were seeded by a far-future character in an effort to kickstart the final battle.

The fight is against the Olyx, an alien race of religious extremists who are on a mission from the God at the End of Time. The first novel tells us that the Olyx captured billions of humans but that some humans who escaped, as well as generations of their descendants, dedicated themselves to fighting back. The second novel sets up that fight while recounting, in vivid detail, the human struggle to delay the inevitable destruction of the Earth. The last novel recounts the last days of that near future struggle on Earth and follows various humans at various points in future history as they carry out a plan to locate and destroy the Olyx home world.

But is this the last novel? The story arc is certainly complete, but questions remain about the mysterious God at the End of Time who, at some point in the future, apparently commanded the Olyx to gather all the civilizations of the universe, bundle up their brains and other essential organs in cocoons, and bring them to the god for some unrevealed but presumably divine purpose. The novel suggests that those questions might be answered in a later book. Perhaps that’s why the books are marketed as the Salvation Sequence rather than the Salvation trilogy.

The Saints of Salvation is long book, but the word count is necessary to tell a story that spans tens of thousands of years and encompasses a multitude of smaller, character-centered stories. It combines creative warfare with touching moments of sacrifice. It follows core characters who evolve without losing the kernel of goodness that makes them heroic. It pits good against evil and love against hate in an epic tale that never loses sight of its purpose. The story is alternately thrilling and chilling, sweet and sad. In its plausible construction of a high-tech future, the novel offers a rich display of imagination. It never fails to fascinate.

I could (and did) say the same about the first two books. Everything about the Salvation sequence, from strong characterization and complex storytelling to dazzling suggestions about the future to which science might take us, is impressive. Fans of space opera will heartily enjoy all three books in the sequence.

RECOMMENDED
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an eARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

There are a handful of Scifi authors that are on my "must read" list. Peter F. Hamilton is one of them. His stories are consistently some of the most creative, even if they are a bit dense to get into at the beginning. While his stories are quite heavy on technical language, he always has a unique
vision of what a future Earth culture might be like, without losing sight of people being people.

This book is no different and it picks up the story seamlessly from where the second book left off. Unfortunately, the same problems from the first books are still here. Still a few too many characters and we still spend more time than we need to with the least interesting of these many characters.

Hamilton builds some interesting worlds but I always feel like he can't quite stick the ending. This book is no different.

I thought the story was [driving to an ending where the Olyix are revealed to be proto-humans or the message from the God at the end of time was a message from humanity all along... but no. what you see on the tin is exactly what you get. There is no twist ending here. Which is a distinct shame, because the elements of the plot and all of the foreshadowing seem to point in that direction, but ultimately the book doesn't go there. (hide spoiler)]

The ending is ambiguous enough that another book might be possible, so I guess we'll see. Overall a very good read and a solid close out to an interesting series, especially if you like hard-sci fi with a dash of civilizational conflict thrown in.
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The Saints of Salvation is the mind-boggling five star finale to the Salvation Trilogy, though hopefully it won't be the final visit by the eternally talented Peter F. Hamilton to the Salvation universe. This incredibly creative conclusion warps time and space to bring together the two timelines set up throughout 2018's Salvation and 2019's Salvation Lost. If you haven't read the first two books --- shame on you! --- then read them before proceeding any further as spoilers are to follow. I would like to thank NetGalley for providing me early access to this novel in return for providing an honest review. 

SPOILERS TO FOLLOW

YOU'VE BEEN WARNED

The world created by Hamilton in Salvation features humanity united through the widespread use of quantum entanglement to create cheap and easy teleportation portals to instantly cross space and time. Salvation sets up the story through a combination of flashbacks that builds the mythos of Hamilton's second dive into a world inspired by the idea of instantaneous travel, even between star systems. I much preferred Salvation's take on teleportation compared to Hamilton's well-received Commonwealth series; It simply felt like he had thought out the practical impacts of a society no longer chained to trains, planes and automobiles to the point that the world didn't just feel believable, it felt flat-out real. 

Set against that is the arrival of the Olyix, an ostensibly benign alien species flitting between stars until they reach their God at the End of Time. They've spent the previous one hundred years trading biotechnology for energy with humanity, setting up the first basic rule of alien contact: Never let them alter your biology! 

But we'll get to that.

Alternatively, there is a second timeline set in the far distant future where a small group of humans are on the run from an unknown enemy. They spent most of Salvation training to take the fight to an unknown enemy that turns out to be the Olyix in Salvation's big reveal/cliffhanger. Sure, it seems predictable in retrospect but the presence of a second alien race (the Neana) left it somewhat in doubt and was extremely well delivered.

By the time of the Saints of Salvation, the Olyix are well and good into their attempted conquest of Earth, having previously enslaved numerous other races by putting them into 'cocoons' where their higher brain functions remain but their thoroughly unnecessary limbs and organs literally fall off. It's body snatcher horror taken to the nth degree. See what I mean about never letting aliens mess with your genetics? Meanwhile, humanity has decided to disappear out into the stars while the leaders of Earth plan to attack the Olyix directly at the same time. I've frankly left out a whole lot of excellent action and detail that makes up the extremely worthwhile plot of Salvation Lost. Seriously, go read it. 

Which brings us to the Saints of Salvation, where it all comes together, the titular Saints and their Trojan Horse assault into the Olyix enclave, where time and space move at an alternate rate. I will not spoil this book's plot for you, but the fact is that time literally is used as a weapon at one point in the fight between the future humans and the Olyix in a twist that had my eyes bugging out of my head as I read. 

Hamilton's exceptional use of florid detail (I re-read the description of the galactic core's incandescence above the Olyix enclave a dozen times) and understanding of pace make this one of the best science fiction novels I have read in years. His approach to the confluence of post-humanism, freedom of self-determination and post-scarcity societies open up thought provoking possibilities for the human race in the centuries to come and frankly left me wanting more as the book rocketed to its conclusion. This is the best new science fiction trilogy I have read in years. The good news is that Hamilton hints at a possible return to Salvation's glittering portals and Immannuel's aspects in the epilogue. I, for one, will be eagerly waiting.
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Another great series from Peter F. Hamilton!  The Space Opera master strikes again with another great book and series.  Such brilliant and clever ideas inhabit these pages.  Will definitely recommend to my customers!
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Hamilton expounds on his "Salvation Lost" series with new narratives, details, and plot lines.  With new twists, reader will continue to learn more about the alien threat to the human race and humanity's long term response.  In this case an alien race attempts to "save" specimens of other races for the end of the universe.  Often this means a horrifying storage process for victim races including humanity.  Unlike other races, humanity fights back over eons of time periods.
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https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3436331554

I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Simply put this trilogy is the best set of three books that I’ve ever read across any genre.

This book is a perfect finale; it has everything you’d expect from Peter F Hamilton’s Space Opera - I mean we’re talking thousands of years of elapsed time. It’s vast, so very vast - but at the same time completely straight forward to comprehend and enjoy.

I’m sad to see the end of the series, it really has been something special. I’m just glad that I don’t think this is the complete end - I can imagine we might see some other storylines taking up the reigns in this universe.

At lest I hope we do...
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The Salvation trilogy is one of my favorite epic Sci-Fi series to come out in quite some time, so this book had quite the reputation to live up to, and it did so admirably. The Saints of Salvation opens with a lovely, serene scene echoing that of the first book before jumping right into the chaotic whirlwind where Salvation Lost had ended, throwing the reader right back into hectic plotlines and character struggles as the stakes continue to rise and time runs out. I would recommend re-reading the prior book if it has been awhile since you read it as Hamilton does not waste the time to rehash the prior books; I certainly would not recommend starting the series here as I expect a new reader would be completely lost, not to mention they'd miss out on a pair of fantastic books :)

Hamilton manages to balance massive, beyond epic battles and events with small, intimate scenes between characters. I was very impressed how the seemingly disparate individual stories/plotlines (good as they were for showing different perspectives of the overarching threat that humanity is facing) increasingly drew closer together in ways I had not predicted but seem obvious in hindsight (in a well-constructed manner) . As the book proceeds, certain threads become more relevant, leaving a few behind; I found myself a bit confused regarding what ended up happening to a couple of the characters that had been focused on early in the book such as Ollie. At times, the book also seemed a little anticlimactic, but it generally pulled together a solid ending given the high bar and higher stakes set by the trilogy.

One of my only real frustration is that Hamilton repeatedly brings up a very interesting, plot-relevant question repeatedly throughout the book that he does not answer or fully address by its conclusion. While it provides a good narrative thread that can easily lead into future books, the amount of focus given to this unanswered question (with no promise of an answer to come) hollowed out an otherwise solid end to this series, as I walked away a bit unsatisfied as a result. 

Overall, I greatly enjoyed The Saints of Salvation and found it a good conclusion to one of my favorite new Sci-Fi works of the last decade. This ride is not one to miss! 

Thanks to NetGalley for access to the digital ARC; having read it, I do plan to pick up the hardcover up upon release to grace my bookshelf and eventually re-read :D
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Peter Hamilton, bravo! The Saints of Salvation is worth every bit of the mental acuity required to keep up with multiple plot lines occurring over multiple time lines and multiple concepts that make you stop and ponder, and wonder, and the effort required to stay at top page-turner speed through a 623 page tour-de-force. This resolution of the first three books leaves one completely satisfied and pushing back the chair from a sumptuous meal with a full belly. And then, we are left with the tantalizing hint of a fabulous dessert to come just when you think it is all over. This is a great, stop-drop-read installment for fans of the series. Bon appetit.
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How I do wish book rating systems allowed for decimal designations of some sort. The previous two books in this trilogy (hmm, can't help but wonder if that will really hold true) were solid 5 star books for me. This one wasn't as good for me but it certainly didn't slip too far backward either. 4.5 would definitely come closer to an accurate rating. I latched on to one of the main big concepts flowing throughout the series and discovered in this book that I had been sold a slightly incorrect bill of goods. I was disappointed about that.

I do not recommend that any reader begin this Salvation Sequence series with this third book. Author Peter F. Hamilton never does any kind of recap of at least book two - Salvation Lost, so anyone new to this series will be pretty much lost the whole time. The concepts in this series are large and it takes the full three books for them to unfold completely. But, was it completely? There seemed to be some niggling dangling threads still unresolved. As with the first two books I thoroughly enjoyed the portions of the book which described what was happening on Earth. Living under protective shields and having Olyix ships bombarding those shields constantly made the efforts of the human population so poignant, a touching tribute to the human will to survive. Most of the earth portions take place in London which is suffering under what the people are calling Blitz2, a description that took me back to the real history of an heroic population trying to find some normal ways of living during the World War II years. That touch of quasi realistic life made portions of the book more relative to me.

I must admit that I bought into what was being urged on me throughout the first two books, so the conclusion of this third book made me go back and re-read portions to see if I had gotten what was being presented correctly. After thinking over the full story I can't help but wonder if this is really the end. There is a very large number of characters in these books and it seems a shame for them to stop being used to tell stories. Maybe some of them will migrate over into another series and the adventure can continue.

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group, Ballantine for an e-galley of this novel.
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The Saints of Salvation by Peter F. Hamilton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have nothing but positive things to say about Peter F. Hamilton's new series, now on its third book.

It has everything I dream of in a story. Not just a good story that takes on the full subjugation of humanity, but tens of thousands of whole technological alien species, but a rebellion story that goes all the extra miles with solid tech, solid circumstances, and mind-blowing ramifications.

For not only did we start out with micro-black-hole technologies in the first book, but we go way beyond that with post-human neutron-star hacking, expanded and split consciousness immortals, standard and not-so-standard cyberpunk, and a scope that spans the entire freaking galaxy.

The stakes? Freaking end-of-the-universe stakes. The enemies? An alien species that started its monocultural crusade to cocoon ALL other species to "save" them for the end of times more than a couple of a million years ago. The resolution?

Muahahahahahaha it's epic, man. It's epic.

Hamilton rocks. I've known this for a while. I did take some time to get into his earlier works, it's true, but now I'm a believer.
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Like the other books in the series, it is long, imaginative, and engaging. Hamilton is very talented and if you like any of his books, you'll like this one as well. I enjoyed this. Hamilton is a solid bet for a good tale. Recommended.

Thanks very much for the ARC for review!!
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Prior to 2013 I did not read much science fiction. I read some classics like 2001 and Dune and some of Ted Chiang's short stories but not much else. I am also a lover of long books. If I'm into a story it doesn't matter if it's seven thousand six-hundred and fifty-seven pages long, I'm there for it. So, point being is that in 2013 someone recommended I read some Peter F. Hamilton because his books tended to be on the long side and the stories were pretty vast, so I read Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained back-to-back and while not only totally blowing my mind those two books opened my eyes to a genre I have been devouring ever since.

That brings us to Saints of Salvation, the conclusion to what I think might be his most accessible series to date. The trilogy as a whole is more streamlined and focused than some of his earlier stuff but it retains everything that makes Mr. Hamilton one of the best science fiction writers writing today. This last book is almost too much to comprehend in terms of scope and some of the time fluctuation stuff and few authors would be able to pull off explaining some of the ideas and technology without becoming totally incomprehensible or turning my brain to mush. Ole Pete pulls it off while instilling a sense of wonder and excitement that I liken to what it was like for me to see The Empire Strikes Back in the theaters as a five year old and how at ten years old at Boardwalk and Baseball I overcame my fears and rode my first roller coaster. Sincerely, this book takes you up down, left right, and it made my stomach plunge, but in a good way. There are bigger action scenes than anyone could ever imagine filming for a movie and some serious fist-pumping, yell-out-loud moments in the third act. I thought I knew a few times where the book was going and what was going to happen and was deliciously surprised when I turned out to be wrong and unthinkable unfathomable ideas began to be poured into my brain. Epic writ so large it would look like an infinitely high wall if you were standing in front of it and fun beyond my wildest expectations, this book is spectacular in every sense of the word. There was not a boring page in this, as it is a culmination of events introduced in the previous two books. I loved the way everything came together and appreciated the few dangling carrots left to pursue in future books but those strands did not take anything away from the way it ended and how things turned out.

I can't thank NetGalley, Del Rey Books, and Peter F. Hamilton enough for the arc copy and how that in no way impacted my opinion or review.
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I read this final installment in the Salvation series without actually reading the other two - so I missed out on a lot! At first I was overwhelmed and a little confused by the story line, but after several chapters, pieces finally started falling into place. The scope of this book is as vast as Cixin Liu's trilogy, with so much more optimism and fierce defense of the best of humanity. Peter F. Hamilton planned every single detail perfectly; no "convenient" solutions or deus ex machinas here! I will admit I lost interest in the middle, due to that same extreme attention to detail. But I pushed through because the concept was so fascinating to me, and it was worth it. The last 25 percent of this book was fantastic, and I could not put it down! I would recommend this book for sure if you've read the first two, because despite the bogged-down places, the ending is whirlwind and satisfying.
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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher, who allowed me to read this ARC in return for a fair and honest review.  I had the good fortune or reading book 2 and book 3 of the series back to back.  This made everything flow very well-the story, which spans the galaxy and even time, is expansive but reading the story together heightened my appreciation for the author's craft.  So my first recommendation, lucky reader, is to get all three books at once, or read them right after one another.  This series deserves attention.  Where in the first book I was getting my bearings for this immense world the author built, much like the humans were in dealing with the antagonist Olyix species, the second book had an escalation of the conflict, and this, the third, brought almost every thread to a satisfying conclusion.   Normally, I am not a huge fan of time manipulation, but this book describes it, and how it can be weaponized in believable ways.  The off POV development of the ships and evolution that ended up being instrumental in the final battles was frustrating at first, because I wanted to learn more about it, but the author deliberately left that mystery, teasing answers along the way, to perhaps be fleshed out later.  Wanting more, in this case, is a good sign. The author did give enough details that it ended up not feeling like a god in a box solution.  
    The final battles were cathartic, and appropriately epic in size.  Think about your favorite Borg or Star Wars scenes, but then layer on nuance that comes from being in a novel and you might get a sense of the scale and quality of writing that went into the story.  But, and it is hard to write this in a way that isn't a minor spoiler, but I really enjoyed how the various storylines came together in the end.  It really felt like an Aha moment for me, and underscores how the author had plotted everything together (or at least seemed to) methodically from the first book.  There are still some major mysteries at the end.  Non -antagonist alien species, what are their motivations?  The future message from the 'god', who or what is motivating that.  This leads me to believe Hamilton will return to this universe in the future, and the tale will be warmly welcomed.
Even though this is sci-fi, fans of epic fantasy will also like it.  Fans of Star Wars and Star Trek will enjoy this series.  People who like Vernor Vinge and John Scalzi should definitely check this out.  Anyone into sentient spaceships will also like this series.  I can't wait to read more of Hamilton's other series now.  Anyone my age who played Star Con 2 will probably also love this work.  Highest recommendation of five stars.
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This is the third book of the series and Hamilton continues the high standards of the first two books.  The book is a fun read and well worth the time.  I enjoyed the characters and the plot.
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This final installment in Peter Hamilton's latest standalone Salvation Sequence trilogy goes above and beyond what I could have hoped for or imagined.

This is galaxy and millennia spanning, alien apocalypse mania that continues the parallel narratives, past and present, of the previous books. Many of the narrative threads are personal stories of triumph and tragedy that Hamilton gradually weaves together in some unexpected ways, converging in an ultimate showdown with the Olyix and the God at the End of Time. Instant galactic travel via quantum spatial entanglement, gender (and age) bending bio-engineering, time travel paradoxes and quantum temporal theory that twist your brain in knots, timeshifting via time flow control technology, post-human "corpus" aspects, von Neumann style self-replicating tech and more, even some cyberpunk vibes, mix with a thrilling story of humanity's fight for survival against an enemy of implacable, highly advanced alien zealots.

Part War of the Worlds, part Battlestar Galactica and even part Ender's Game, this is a fantastic end to an exhilarating, mind blowing trilogy that few authors could have imagined, let alone wrote so deftly. While this ends in a very satisfying way there is still a rather crucial component that Hamilton leaves wide open, possibly for exploration in future stories.
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Saints of Salvation by Peter F. Hamilton- The third book in this exciting trilogy is full of strange twists and turns as we find out more about the Olyix and their strange Enclave. Across several timelines, humans are playing a millennial-long game after their rude awakening at the Vayan trap. They need to out-think and outmaneuver their deadly foe, who has become even more resourceful and dangerous. Once again Peter F. Hamilton gives us a daring space epic, where the human condition stands steadfast and unbent. Thanks to NetGalley for this great ARC!
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