What is the the other side of Futurology? It is the desire to ask the question "What if?" on a historical topic, something that happened in the past. The desire to model that past with a new variable. There are no "what ifs" in history, but there are in fiction, and some of them are really good.
Like this one, the Daybreak on Hyperion. The author who was obviously interested in history, asked themself a question - "What if" and that question was interesting enough to give birth to this project.
This is one of those not so often seen reads, where magic meets actual, proper history, and together they form a pretty interesting union. It studies social constructions, the differences between them, gender roles in society, economical, geopolitical and other topics in the envisioned, modelled world called Hyperion.
Just as history, the genderbender in the story is used as a tool, to discuss and study society standing, the initial reception, the inevitable change that it brings, the difficulties one can discover once placed in an unknown, uncommon, uncomfortable enviroment. It helps to provide multiple layers of questions and attempts to answer them, enriches the created modelled world.
The story has a slow start, but gets going nicely and it does not feel stretched, a good pacing, common and much needed for historical fiction. It provides the context, allows you to study the characters. Overall well written and is enjoyable to read.
The character design and development are also great. When i think about characters as a reader, i usually devide them into three categories: Those with whom i can associate myself, accept them and understand them. Those with whom i argue, i disagree and can have an inner dialogue. And those that can be just cast aside. To my enjoyment, this novel has none of the third category, which gives us a good roster of characters, who are well written, motivated and have different and sometimes unique perspective on the events.
I am no expert in the grammar field, as i am not a native English speaker. But i had no problem reading it and enjoying it, and i did not see grammatical mistakes that would catch my eye.
Very enjoyable read for those, who strive to imagine things based on research, studies and ideas. I cannot recommend this to people who want to find themselves something "light" to read though, for those people this novel can still be a joy to read, but not something that they search for.