Light Chaser by Peter F. Hamilton and Gareth L. Powell

Light Chaser by Peter F. Hamilton and Gareth L. Powell
Light Chaser by Peter F. Hamilton and Gareth L. Powell

The novel “Light Chaser” by Peter F. Hamilton and Gareth L. Powell was published for the first time in 2021.

For millennia, Amahle has traveled in space in a starship driven by an artificial intelligence that is her only company when she doesn’t stop on a planet. During the long journeys between planets, she spends her time reliving the experiences of people wearing a special device that records their lives.

Amahle’s routine starts getting disrupted when she realizes that the memories of different people who lived on very distant planets include meetings with the same man. As if that weren’t enough, this mysterious man talks to Amahle knowing that she will relive those encounters and tells her not to trust the starship’s artificial intelligence.

“Light Chaser” begins with what appears to be the normal routine of a traveler who makes a regular cosmic itinerary that lasts millennia. On each planet that is part of that itinerary, she leaves devices for recording the experiences of some inhabitants. She will take them back on the next step in exchange for trinkets that will not significantly affect that planet’s society.

The novel starts from the end or almost, a choice that often doesn’t satisfy me because it reveals where the story is headed but which in this case seems to me to be suitable. “The Light Chaser” has a plot based heavily on a series of revelations and without having read them you don’t really understand where the story is headed.

After this anticipation, the initial part is used to get to know a little about the protagonist and her job as a light chaser. It doesn’t last long because her routine is disrupted when she notices the recurring messages present among the experiences of different people on very distant planets. From there, she begins a search for the truth full of difficulties.

The story is short by today’s standards, especially when you think of Peter F. Hamilton’s sagas which are thousands of pages long. In Italy, it’s sold as a novel but in various sources, it’s cataloged as a novella. Due to the limited length, the pace is fast and the plot focuses on Amahle with many twists that follow what she discovers after she starts paying attention to the messages of the mysterious man. The woman is the absolute protagonist but the consequences of her discoveries have a remarkable vastness that is revealed piece by piece.

The revelations come mainly through the memories, hers or from other people who recorded them, examined by Amahle. Among other things, they outline a love story that transcends the protagonists’ single lives. It has the merit of not being cheesy, also because it’s not focused on the romance element but is part of a much bigger story concerning the future of the whole of humanity.

“Light Chaser” has a storyline that is relatively linear despite its many ramifications. The limited length doesn’t leave room for explanations of everything around that plot, so readers who prefer stories in which everything is explained will be disappointed. Honestly, it seemed convenient that the authors avoided providing explanations to some elements.

Despite some perplexity on some points of the plot, overall, “Light Chaser” seemed to me intriguing for everything that Amahle discovers with all the consequences. If you like stories on a broad space-time scale and you have no problem filling in the gaps left by unexplained parts, I recommend reading it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *