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Fallen Dragon/Hamilton, Pete/Paper/0330480065/S021-E
As a child, Lawrence Newton wanted nothing more than to fly starships and explore the galaxy. But, on the colony world of Amethi in the twenty-fourth century, Lawrence is living in the wrong era, for the age of human starflight is drawing to a close. So, like many another teenage rebel, he runs away.
Twenty years later, he's the sergeant of a washed-out platoon taking part in the bungled invasion of another world. The giant corporations owning the remaining starships cynically call such campaigns "asset realization". In practice it's simple piracy.
While he's being shot at and firebombed by disturbingly effective resistance forces, Lawrence hears stories of the Temple of the Fallen Dragon - the holy place of a sect which worships a mythical creature supposed to have fallen from the sky millennia before the first humans arrived. Its priests are said to guard a hoard of treasure large enough to by lifelong happiness - which information prompts Lawrence to mount a small private-enterprise operation of his own...
In Fallen Dragon, Peter F. Hamilton once again brings to bear the universe-encompassing imagination, dazzling technological invention and sheer story-telling mastery that has made his previous novels into international bestsellers.