Sunday, July 05, 2009
Book Report: The Legend That Was Earth by James P. Hogan (2000)
I'm always up for a James Hogan novel. I first read Inherit the Stars in middle school and have encountered other novels in the 20 years since (see also Paths to Otherware and The Multiplex Man).

This book starts in the near future, where aliens have established contact and want to impose a soft totalitarianism on the world, and they find helpful accomplices in Western governments, particularly the United States, where the ruling class wants power and wealth that collaboration will bring. A fixer gets dragged into insurgent plots because his ex-wife has become a revolutionary. The battle for Earth becomes bloodier as the insurgents arm up and begin convincing aliens that the Earth way of creativity and experiential pleasure beats the rational and regimented alien way.

I enjoyed the book, even the italicized expositionary chapters describing the alternate science that powered the aliens. In the middle of the book, though, Hogan splits the characters and then goes into their points of view covering the same time period for some reason. It didn't really add suspense and just seemed to bog the book down. But when the timelines merged again, the book picked up.

So it's not his best, but it's pretty good anyway.

Books mentioned in this review:


To say Noggle, one first must be able to say the "Nah."