Book Review: Chung Kuo Volume 02: Daylight on Iron Mountain

Book 2 of the re-envisioning of the Chung Kuo series has finally arrived.

Chung Kuo Volume 02: Daylight on Iron Mountain

David Wingrove

Released 1st November 2011 by Corvus Books

2087 Earth is ruled by China…  Cities span entire continents… History has been erased…

Japan lies under a radioactive cloud, its denizens wiped out. America has been conquered, its inhabitants dispersed into a world of levels. The armies of Tsao Ch’un – the Son of Heaven and supreme ruler – are mobilizing against resistance in the Middle East. But even the Son of Heaven cannot live forever. Already the messengers of the Seven Dragons are being turned away from the Black Tower. Faced with the impulsive behaviour of an aging tyrant, they are about to turn against their master. The anger of the people is becoming outright rebellion.

The fight for the new world is just beginning. Welcome to the future.

When Corvus decided to reprint the Chung Kuo series from it’s original 8 books to turn it into 20 it gave the author David Wingrove an amazing opportunity to revisit his original work’s and enrich the story even more. Part of that process was writing 2 prequels novels. This is the second prequel novel (read our review of the first here). The next 18 books will be the reedited versions of the original books including a brand new ending to the series after Wingrove was not happy with his previous ending due to time constraints by the old publisher.

It has been said that you cannot change the past, only the future.  But history is written by winners, and what we know of the past is what is written.  In Daylight on Iron Mountain, volume two of the Chung Kuo series by David Wingrove, the world has been conquered and is under the thumb of one man, who rules through his seven chosen men.  History has been rewritten by the victors and everyone who has survived has been re-educated to believe the new history.  Western culture has been suborned, with Chinese Han values, mannerisms, and beliefs supplanting its original values.  Only the old remember the original past, and any time they mention it, they are ignored or shunned.

In Daylight on Iron Mountain, volume two of Chung Kuo by David Wingrove more is revealed about how the world won and why.  In this volume you learn about Tsao Ch’un the world ruler and both his reasons for world domination and some of the reasons why he was able to.

You rejoin Jake Reed and learn more about his life under Han rule, follow his court case when the company he works for is bought out and the new company wants to not pay for its employee’s retirement.   You learn of the corruption that pervades this new society from the lowest sections all the way to the top.  You find how the corruption affects even the ruler Tsao Ch’un.

The book also covers the final battles that start the subjugation of the world and how systems were infiltrated.  You finally find about the internal battles within the government and the revolt that begin between the seven and the world ruler, once the corruption reaches the highest levels of the new society.

This is a good read, fast paced and engaging.  To me, not quite as good as the first volume, but an excellent read none the rest.

GS Rating 4/5

SOURCE: Corvus Books

GS Reporter: Whatotherway, Montoya

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