The first novel in this series (https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2018/11/19/review-salvation-by-peter-f-hamilton/) used a structure similar to Dan Simmons’s Hyperion to take us on a tour of future Earth and introduce a cast of characters. The sequel puts that strategy aside and the result is something a lot more like Hamilton’s other novels: multiple points of view as humans struggle against an alien threat that is distinctly alien in its motivation.
It’s entertaining but feels familiar. Even the far-future strand of the plot, with humanity planning an elaborate ambush for the Olyix is similar in style and events to the near-future storyline where Earth is readying its defences against the same aliens.
Having gone to some lengths to establish the near-future characters who will become the legendary saints of the far-future, I found that there was so little to distinguish them in this sequel that they largely blurred into the same person. The far future characters were a bit more distinct but the story is dominated by people getting ready for an attack by the Olyix.
New characters for this book include a young criminal gang in London caught up in acts of sabotage that may be commissioned by organised crime or might be part of the Olyix infiltration of human society. Less than convincing and at least one of them is intended to be a horrible person, which makes it hard to care about them amid the unfolding disaster.
Having said all that, it kept me diverted and entertained. Although the big reveal was in the first book, there were enough twists and turns to keep the action going. Hamilton knows how to write these kind of stories that makes reading them effortless.