Misspent Youth – Peter F. Hamilton

Misspent Youth


A look at the use and consequences of genetic therapy for the purposes of regeneration.


The back-cover blurbs would have you believe that this is a Dune/Foundation-level epic. It’s not – there’s nothing epic about it. But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad book.

Peter Hamilton is a somewhat uneven writer – from an interesting but not engaging Fallen Dragon to the generally strong The Dreaming Void. Here, he turns his attention and talent to the use of genetic therapy to regeneration and a second youth.

The writing is smooth, the characters interesting and realistic, the science plausible (well, stretched a bit), and the future environment nicely presented. Hamilton credibly captures a near future society and politics, and even some new slang, without irritating. The motivations of the government in responding to the posited society are not entirely clear, but it doesn’t get in the way of the story too much.

This is a nice, short novel, but one does wonder whether it might not have been better off as a novella. It’s well done, but there’s not quite enough story here to make a novel.

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