In Newcastle-upon-Tyne, AD 2142, Detective Sidney Hurst attends a brutal murder scene. The victim is one of the wealthy North family clones - but none have been reported missing. And the crime's most disturbing aspect is how the victim was killed.
Twenty years ago, a North clone billionaire and his household were horrifically murdered in exactly the same manner, on the tropical planet of St Libra. But if the murderer is still at large, was Angela Tramelo wrongly convicted? Tough and confident, she never waivered under interrogation - claiming she alone survived an alien attack. But there is no animal life on St Libra.
Investigating this alien threat becomes the Human Defence Agency's top priority. The bio-fuel flowing from St Libra is the lifeblood of Earth's economy and must be secured. So a vast expedition is mounted via the Newcastle gateway, and teams of engineers, support personnel, and xenobiologists are dispatched to the planet. Along with their technical advisor, grudgingly released from prison, Angela Tramelo. But the expedition is cut off, deep within St Libra's rainforests.
Then the murders begin. Someone or something is picking off the team one by one. Angela insists it's the alien, but her new colleagues aren't so sure. Maybe she did see an alien, or maybe she has other reasons for being on St Libra....
This is a stunning standalone adventure, by a writer at the height of his powers.
©2012 Peter F. Hamilton (P)2012 Pan Macmillian Publishers Ltd
"Excellent story, excellent narration but..."
I can't recommend this book enough - its excellent in almost every way. Nothing more about the story - just read it!
The only downside I see with this edition is that, along with another book I have recently 'read' (The Name of the Wind), the audio version has been split into 2 parts.
I fear Audible/Amazon is trending towards maximizing profits by splitting large novels. I understand that audio versions of 1100 page novels will cost more to produce but I would prefer if audible were clearer if they have split a single novel into more than one part.
Will this become commonplace? Will we soon see this size of novel split into 3 or more sections? The Kindle version of the novel is £6.99 - audible "list" price would cost you £43.18 or 2 member credits which is £14.99 on a 2 book/month membership so is at least twice the cost?
Luckily, having not read the physical copy, I was fortunate (?) not to realize that this was a single novel split into 2 parts (credits/charge/costs) and had pre-purchased part 2 before finishing the first so was not left hanging at the end of the first part.
"Great book, but this is only half the story"
This is my first Sci Fi audible in 2 years, I was drawn in to it to see how my native Newcastle fares in the future. There are enough seperate strands to keep it interesting and moving along and it was enjoyable to think that technology may improve but human nature doesnt change much.
Perhaps I mis read the blurb where it is listed as a stand alone book. You have to listen to both parts to get the full plot, they are not self contained. In fact part one ends on a cliff hanger so I have to buy Part 2 right now to get it . ..
"Caution - this book is split costing more!"
Objectively, an excellent audio book. However, the split into various parts was not clear and this is simply a con to extract more money from customers. A real shame.
I really enjoyed this book, especially the future Geordieland, and the developments in technology in every day life. This compared well to the more fanciful ideas on space travel. The characters in Newcastle were really interesting and I loved the details of their lives. Hopefully not spoiling the end, I felt it was unsatisfactory and a bit of a "fairytale" ending. Maybe I just didn't want to let go of the real future world of Newcastle.
"Great North Road - Part One "Brilliant""
This is without doubt the most enjoyable audio book of SciFi that I have heard so far (and I have heard many) What works so well is the narrative is not too complex (some Hamilton can get a bit confusing) yet very detailed at the same time. Also living in the UK I love the 'Geordie' accents of some of the characters, as gives a nice realism and homely touch. The Police sections are both real and familiar, then swap into the futuristic bit really well. Actually listened to it slowly so it would not end. Now onto part 2 :)
"The best SCi Fi on Audible?"
I have listened to many many sci fi titles on Audible and fear this may be the best.
Incredible story, Author and the Best Narrator. Get it, Enjoy it!
"150 years on and Geordies still not wearing coats."
Haven't read any science fiction since I was a teenager but picked this out because of the Newcastle connection - I agree with other reviewers that people who know the city will have an added pleasure in listening to the book. It is long and not the sort of thing I'd read but makes for good company while doing chores and I'll be getting Part 2 in due course.
The 'heroine' is too good to be true in her endless resourcefulness, physical perfection and absolute superiority to anyone else she encounters but the other main characters(especially in the Newcastle police department) are more plausible. I thought the ideas about future inter-planetary life were confidently handled and I liked the way that the basic realities of human life and behaviour haven't changed despite the great technical leaps. Of course people still relish good food, become obsessed with their work and form close bonds in difficult circumstances, even if it is 2143.
All in all, pretty good.
I'm not a sci fi fan. I'm jaded by crime fiction. Can stand books about wars and armies. So what made me choose this book I will never know. But I am so glad I did. It was so vivid that I almost believe the technology described in the book actually exists and that I am just too out of the loop to have downloaded it yet! The stories and characters are rich and believable and I was so pleased there was a part two to listen to once I'd finished part one. Amazing. Highly recommended.
"Completely addictive and absorbing, eventually!"
After too many characters and details at the beginning I was completely hooked and have to buy part two immediately. There are several twists that as far as I can see don't add much to the story and are unnecessary however once into the plot you can follow the main characters and story easily.
"too much sci fi!"
I love the sci fi genre but this was just a little too much for me. I found that I couldn't picture or understand any of the elements spoken about. It took too long to get going and I never finished listening to it. sorry, this bored me to a point where I couldn't listen
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.