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Pandora's Star | [Peter F. Hamilton]

Pandora's Star

Britain's bestselling SF writer returns to outer space.In AD 2329, humanity has colonised over four hundred planets, all of them interlinked by wormholes. With Earth at its centre, the Intersolar Commonwealth now occupies a sphere of space approximately four hundred light years across. When an astronomer on the outermost world of Gralmond, observes a star 2000 light years distant - and then a neighbouring one - vanish, it is time for the Commonwealth to discover what happened to them.
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Publisher's Summary

Britain's bestselling SF writer returns to outer space.

In AD 2329, humanity has colonised over four hundred planets, all of them interlinked by wormholes. With Earth at its centre, the Intersolar Commonwealth now occupies a sphere of space approximately four hundred light years across.

When an astronomer on the outermost world of Gralmond, observes a star 2000 light years distant - and then a neighbouring one - vanish, it is time for the Commonwealth to discover what happened to them. For what if their disappearance indicates some kind of galactic conflict? Since a conventional wormhole cannot be used to reach these vanished stars, for the first time humans need to build a faster-than-light star ship, the Second Chance. But it arrives to find each 'vanished' star encased in a giant force field -- and within one of them resides a massive alien civilisation.

©2004 Peter F Hamilton (P)2008 Tantor Media Inc

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  •  
    Stephen Downham Market, United Kingdom 21/09/2013
    Stephen Downham Market, United Kingdom 21/09/2013

    steve359

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very solid and enjoyable space opera"

    I enjoyed this book (which is part 1 of a 2 part story - see Judas Unchained for aprt 2) which takes place in the Commonwealth - a version of human kinds future where the stars are within reach via wormholes and you can, mostly, if you're reasonably careful, live forever!

    The story is about the discovery of a couple of stars which dissapear, the investigation as to what happened and the subsequent consequences. Hard to write this review without spoliers so I shall skip the detail of the plot and just say it is quite complex and there is a lot of detail but never so much that you end up confused as to who is doing what and why - a triumph in books this large in both size and scope.

    The characters are well described and Hamilton spendsa a lot of the time in the book detailing people and places in a infinite detail. There were time's I really thought the book could have been 2/3 of the length but after reading Judas Unchained afterwards I was impressed how pretty much everything came together with good solid reasons for the details in the first (and also the second) book.

    I really liked the Commonwealth and the tech and the concept of people living for >200 years allowing them to have several marriages and so on, with the ability to block out bits of the past. I also enjoyed what was discovered at Pandora's Star and felt that how this was described and built up was really very good.

    It's a long book, but the pay off is worth it in my opinion. This was my first Hamilton book and I look forward to reading the others.

    I see some criticism of the narrator, and it did take me a few chapters to get used to him, but his speech was clear and personally I did not find it a problem. After listening to tyhe sequel as well it's a good job too - must be 50+ hours!

    In summary, a great space opera, long and detailed but with some nice ideas. Moderately hard core sci-fi which is easy to read yet epic is scale and scope.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Si UK 18/06/2014
    Si UK 18/06/2014 Member Since 2013

    Barely human.

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    "The good just about outweighs the bad"

    I read this in print some time ago but when I recently listened to it on audio it seems to have lost some of its magic. What struck me most this time was Hamilton's long-winded explorations of trivia and his excruciating fixation on teenage girls. Almost every female character has a body age of under 19 and Hamilton describes them in detail, normally starting with the breasts. It's a wonder he can write so many books using only one hand.

    That aside I do still like the universe he creates and the way he integrates believable future tech into the story. As a creator of believable far-future worlds he's one of the best.

    And the narration? No. Just, no. John Lee would make a great newsreader but for a story like this, not a chance. He sounds like a cross between Rising Damp's Rigsby and the host at a spelling bee. He pronounces every syllable with such clarity you can almost hear him winding up before each word, the individual sounds clattering off his tongue like the noise of malfunctioning farm machinery. If he could do this whilst retaining the emotive content directed by the text then maybe I could live with it, but he can't, and I can't.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    christopher Reading, United Kingdom 31/08/2013
    christopher Reading, United Kingdom 31/08/2013 Member Since 2013
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    "An amazing story that only leads to wanting more"
    If you could sum up Pandora's Star in three words, what would they be?

    Complex, Detailed and Beautiful


    What did you like best about this story?

    It’s a mix between the paths and the Politics within the commonwealth.


    Which character – as performed by John Lee – was your favourite?

    Aussie!


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    One sitting would be too long but listened to it over 5 days well worth it.


    Any additional comments?

    An outstanding story and performance with the need for more each time you pause.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dr. S. Johnston Wales, UK 09/04/2013
    Dr. S. Johnston Wales, UK 09/04/2013 Member Since 2012

    Steve J

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Absolutely fabulous!"

    A space-opera on a grand scale, this really is a modern classic. The narration is fabulous, John Lee has a great style, all the main characters have their own voices, that are instantly recognisable, making it a pleasure to listen to. Even better this is a great vision of the future for the human race, not one of the more depressing dystopian affairs.



    I originally bought this because of the lengthy run-time (lots of long-distance driving) but this should not put anyone off - it's very easy to listen to, the pace never lets up, and you're through it all too soon. Some of the characters you can't help but love, even some of the more machiavellian (Ozzy, the super-genius surfer dude, is my personal favourite).



    For those who like this, Judas Unchained is the sequel that continues the story and is equally as good. I have a feeling, after this, most of Peter Hamilton's books are going to be making their way into my wishlist.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jon Bristol, United Kingdom 30/07/2013
    Jon Bristol, United Kingdom 30/07/2013 Member Since 2013
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    "One Of The Best SciFi Books Ever!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Pandora's Star to be better than the print version?

    For any SciFi lover this book has it all. The plot is gripping with plenty of truly breathtaking science. I can highly recommend this book as must read. It is up there with the greats of SciFi - Arthur C Clarke, Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sonic Prince Manchester, UK 08/04/2013
    Sonic Prince Manchester, UK 08/04/2013 Member Since 2008

    Sonic PriceNamed for a Michael Moorcock Character

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    "Excellant"

    This is the first part of two culminating in Judas Unchained. This book, whilst entertaining, proves to be more difficult to engage, as there is much foundation to the plot and characters to be established. Peter Hamilton's description and character development are again superb and this book is well worth the effort, particularly as the second part of the series is 5 Star.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Man Hull, United Kingdom 07/09/2012
    Man Hull, United Kingdom 07/09/2012 Member Since 2008
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    "Just can't listen to narrator...."

    I have listened to a lot of audiobooks, usually as passenger in a car.
    Everyone is different, but for me I also could not continue listening to this book. I listened to the preview and thought it was OK, but believe me after a while it is totally brain numbing.
    Peter F Hamilton takes ages getting to the point, and likes to describe loads of scene setting stuff and frankly tons of superfluous detail and observations that are of no real relevance to main plot or story. This is OK if reading - but somehow this narrator so slow and tries to dwell on words as if he is enacting a dramatic scene in a dark twisted play - and he does this ALL the time. It's difficult to concentrate on, and he moves from chapters as if there is no break so you sometimes don't realise he's talking about a different scene or person until its a minute in so you have to rewind.
    I actually ended up trying to listen to him at 1.5 times speed - and was surprised that even at that speed, some words at the end of his sentences still seemed unnecessarily drawn out. Sounded like a cross between Richard Burton reading in the stye of James T Kirk (the actual character not William Shatner)
    This narrator might be good for some styles of books, but definitely not P.F.Hamilton.
    In the end I have tried on 3 separate occasions to listen to this in the car - and have decided to give up.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kashif MancheserUnited Kingdom 08/10/2010
    Kashif MancheserUnited Kingdom 08/10/2010 Member Since 2009
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    "One of the greatest space operas yet!"

    Absolutely love this book!

    Set against the backdrop of a world connected by wormholes reducing distances between Earth and the stars combined with the process of rejuvination - the plots, subplots, conspiracy, love, sex - this book is a masterpiece.

    Looking forward to getting through the next one!

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Pinxton 10/05/2011
    Christopher Pinxton 10/05/2011 Member Since 2010
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    "Nice aliens, shame about the people"

    This is tedious stuff, full of dull rich people, leading meaningless, near-immortal lives. A thousand pages in there is a bit of action when the aliens finally arrive; by now you are hoping for a swift annihilation of the human race, but then you discover that this was only part 1.

    7 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David DUNECHT, United Kingdom 22/10/2011
    David DUNECHT, United Kingdom 22/10/2011
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    "narrator"

    At first i thought i had a software problem, downloaded it in the wrong format or something. It sounds like when a child plays with the volume control on your stereo, trying to be a dj. It turns out this intentional.... Never have i found a narrator so unpleasant.

    If your sensitive to the random loud soft delivery its impossible to pay attention to the story (which seems to be pretty damn interesting). For me i will have to read the book.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 37 results PREVIOUS124NEXT
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  • Terry
    Byron, WY, United States
    14/10/10
    Overall
    "Long Winded But Enjoyable"

    Pandora's star is no light read (or should I say listen to), be prepared for a long haul that seems to take, at times forever to get where it's going. You may well believe that Mr Hamilton is paid per page as this detailed at at times rambling tale trundles along the tracks. However the author manages to invent a truly engaging and detailed Universe where Humanity despite being able to practially live forever is in true danger of being wiped out by an alien menace.

    However understand that this is only the first part of the series, it isn't a stand alone book. So take the ride, settle in, give it a chance and I think you will enjoy this tale a great deal, the narrator does a fine job of bringing all the characters to life and the story, while long winded this is a very enjoyable one.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Benjamin
    Rushcutters Bay, Australia
    18/09/10
    Overall
    "Wonderful & transporting!"

    I have been a fan of PFH's work for some time, and jumped at the opportunity to get this audiobook. In short, the material is fabulous and John Lee's confident reading is inspirational. He brings this exciting and non-stop story to life! Thoroughly recommended!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    Cape Town, South Africa
    29/07/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Awesome story written by a brilliant mind"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Pandora's Star to be better than the print version?

    The intertwined lives of the various characters and species, but most of all the complete escape from what we call normal, into a world (Sorry I should say galaxy) that just blows your mind.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There were just too many really interesting and funny scenes to single out any in particular, I really enjoy Peter's sense of humour, and John Lee brings this across so nicely


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    After listening to all of his books on Audible, I started all over again, this is the second time I've listened to The Commonwealth saga, and both books are excellent. This is most definitely a good listen


    Any additional comments?

    I would love to meet Peter in person, with a brain that can come up with all the amazing technologies and incredible places and people in the characters in the books as only Peter introduces in his work. He's amazing. Sounds corny but living in one of his worlds sound absolutely amazing, I love listening to his stories.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Robert N. Stephenson
    Blackwood, South Australia Australia
    13/12/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "And So this Massive Journey Begins"
    What did you love best about Pandora's Star?

    The grand size of the book surprised and pleased me at the same time. While some of the technical jargon was hard to follow at first the book was dedicated in part to helping me understand and I appreciated this.


    What other book might you compare Pandora's Star to and why?

    I cannot compare anything I have read, but I can say there is a smattering of Brin, Asimov, Bova and even Benford within the text and it was a joy to hear something new that in a way also paid some kind of hommage to these great writers. Hamilton is unique though and this work is not a characature of those that have come before.


    Have you listened to any of John Lee’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I find John Lee to be a good narrator, his clarity is outstanding and his light inflections on tone and voice go a long way in developing a good connection between the story and the listening. I believe any book narrated b y him would be a damn fine listen.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I suppose in the end I could relate well to the character Ozzie and his final outburst matched mine, or I his. It was shock, disappointment, excitement and wonder all rolled into one. I purchased the next book within minutes of completing this one. So, yes, I developed a strong connection with the story and have fallen for the massive world view Hamilton has created.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't listen to this in big swathes unless you have time to burn. I did this in short 1 hour blocks which allowed me to consider the story a little before continuing. That helped a great deal with understanding and over all enjoyment.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Pnar
    istanbul, yeniköy Turkey
    01/08/11
    Overall
    "lame narration.. could only listen for 2 hours"

    love sci fi when doing my cardio and was looking forward to an endless scifi saga, something that hooks you when you do sport. but this narrator does just the opposite. he just could not manage to grab my attention, i really tried hard. his voice is ok, but the tempo is awkward to say the least, his voice flattens at the end of each sentence. terrible. spoiled the content for me. zero stars.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Arne
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    16/02/11
    Overall
    "Excellent!"

    Fast paced, mature, well thought out and awesome. Not suitable for children but great for anyone else.
    Now for the sequel...

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Rob
    Purga, Australia
    12/12/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story, deep characters"
    Would you listen to Pandora's Star again? Why?

    While it is one of those "every detail down to the nose hair" books, the characters are deeply developed.
    Hamilton offers an insight into a scientifically plausible future with great insight and interesting story line.
    yes a tad long and you must buy the second book but if you like the first hour, you will love the rest. one of those that is hard to press stop.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • William
    San Francisco
    14/09/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic Sci Fi"

    Absolutely love the ideas in this book, Peter F. Hamilton does a brilliant job of fleshing out an extremely interesting and compelling future. Some may be turned off by the wordy descriptions of tech but I absolutely loved that aspect of the book. Maybe the character development isn't quite what it could be but overall I just thought it all came together incredibly successfully. I have to get the next chapter in this saga because of the cliff hanger that it leaves you on. I will definitely check out his other works as well as I am extremely impressed with his tech knowledge and the way he implements that in his story. Fantastic stuff.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew
    Dapto, Australia
    20/03/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing saga"
    Would you listen to Pandora's Star again? Why?

    Absolutely I will listen to this again. I didn't want this book to end, so many sub-stories within the main text, great characters and the amazing world in which the live.


    What other book might you compare Pandora's Star to and why?

    The Rama series would be the next best thing aside from other Peter F Hamilton books.


    What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I hated John Lee's narration when I first heard him narrate the Dreaming Void, but after a few chapters he settles in and I started to enjoy his narration. The same applied to this book but this time I was expecting it so it did not bug me so much. In the early part of the book he sounds like he is over emphasizing parts of the sentence and overall it sounds to staccato in his speech but then he settles into normal reading pattern as he progresses.


    Any additional comments?

    Best series I have ever read, after reading Game of Thrones series it was a pleasure to read a well written series that was as interesting on page one as it was on the last page.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ted
    Tenambit, Australia
    14/06/11
    Overall
    "Pandora and Judas ....so far"

    Hooowee!!!!.... strap in for a cosmic ride of scifi seasoned with a pinch of fantasy.
    LIke most good eats, this is done to a turn and slow cooked in a faster than light oven that captivates with what's happening now and the aroma of the feasting to come.
    You will not want it to finish.... but you will crave for the end........a blissful dilemma


    Great science fiction.
    .

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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