All the best in humanity rises to meet a powerful alien threat in the sequel to Salvation—part of an all-new trilogy from “the owner of the most powerful imagination in science fiction” (Ken Follett).
The comparative utopia of twenty-third-century Earth is about to go dreadfully awry when a seemingly benign alien race is abruptly revealed to be one of the worst threats humanity has ever faced. Driven by an intense religious extremism, the Olyix are determined to bring everyone to their version of God as they see it. But they may have met their match in humanity, who are not about to go gently into that good night or spend the rest of their days cowering in hiding. As human ingenuity and determination rise to the challenge, collective humanity has only one goal—to wipe this apparently undefeatable enemy from the face of creation. Even if it means playing a ridiculously long game indeed.
But in a chaotic universe, it is hard to plan for every eventuality, and it is always darkest before the dawn.
The middle volume of Hamilton's Salvation Sequence space opera trilogy (after 2018's Salvation) provides a clever variation on the theme of alien invasion, but it's stronger on worldbuilding than characterizations. Hamilton's early-23rd-century Earth features intriguing developments: 3-D printers produce much of the food supply, and kilowatt-hours back major national currencies. Against that backdrop, and with 100 million humans living in colonies on asteroids and other planets, humankind must confront an existential challenge from an alien race, the Olyix. The Olyix have given humans biotech in exchange for electrical energy, which the aliens need to power their ships on a journey to "the end of the universe." But their true intentions are revealed by another nonhuman race, the Ne na, one of whom, Jessika, discloses that the Olyix are bent on offering human souls to their deity, whom they expect to find at their journey's conclusion. The humans' suspenseful resistance against overwhelming odds sets the stage for the series' conclusion, and Hamilton keeps things grounded with all-too-credible passages about partisan political bickering in the face of disaster. Series fans will enjoy this installment.