I love Historical Fiction, SF, and a good thriller. listening to audio books affords me a better use of my time by listening to book while driving, working, or doing chores .
A very detailed story of epic proportion.Pandora's Star is very similar to the epics of Asmov and Tolkien. Lots of alien space wars and assassins, spy's and traitors.
I had to re-listen to the story several times to keep track of the many plot lines. But once you're hooked, you can't put it down.
Read this book before attempting to read the sequel.
This book was impossible to understand. The audio level is either not even or the actor thinks talking in high and low tones sounds cool. I have listened to over 40 audio books and have not had any issues understanding the voice acting untill now. This may actually be a good book but I will have to read it to find out.
This is by far the longest series of 2 books I have ever listened to. I normally prefer non-fiction, but I love science fiction in film so I thought I would give it a shot... WOW! Never in my life have I enjoyed listening to any books more... The author is AMAZING!... IF YOU LIKE SCI-FI... YOU MUST LISTEN!... ENJOY THE RIDE!...
The story is great! I couldn't wait to get back to it once I put it down. The people, places, and aliens are well thought-out and highly detailed. You can easily get engrossed in this great book - and picture yourself right there in the middle of the action. I CAN'T WAIT for the next one!!
Unfortunately, the worst part about this book was the narrator. His constant change in volume required me to get out my sound-cancelling head phones just to listen to it in my vehicle during my commute because of the constant need to turn the volume knob up and down! He would go from a normal speaking tone down to a whisper for no apparent reason - making you crank the volume - then he would speak normally again causing the speakers to pop and crack because they were maxed out! I also had a hard time following the change in speakers. From man-to-woman - or man-to-boy, I would have to do some quick calculations of what was said to assume who said it.
If you have a quiet room or some nice noise-cancelling headphones this is good audio-book of a great book!
I have been waiting for Audible to have something from Peter Hamilton for some time. I was completely sucked into "Reality Dysfuntion" after only eighty pages. I woke up five or six books later.
"Pandora's Star" has to be looked at as only a small portion of the whole picture. At the end of the book we still do not have a full grasp of the universe nor do we have an idea how the story will unfold. So I would not be too critical of the ending of the first book. It is difficult to end a book when the story is just beginning. I would blame the editor for the ending of this the first book because I am sure that the author just continued on with the story until the end. The editor was left with the job of determining the break points for each book in the series.
I really enjoyed the discription and evolution of the alien life form MorningLightMountain. I would agree that some of the haute couture was over the top.
Narration was good for the most part. I have 183 books in my audible library and this one definitely worth the credit. Enjoy.
I'm a politically conservative, technologically inclined, open-minded, all American citizen of this great terrestrial ball we call home. I keep my head in the clouds, I love Sci-Fi and Fantasy novels but I keep my feet on the ground, I stay informed on news and current events, and I love the fact that I can still form and express my own opinions in this great nation we call The Untied States.
I am glad that I took the time to read and find out what order these 3 books come in... I found this book to be very engaguing and really enjoyed the story line... The author uses imagry really well and the narrator uses his voice to give each character his or her own "voice" and personality. I enjoyed this book so much that I immediately started listening to the sequel "Judas Unchained" also a wonderful book.
I don't normally put sci-fi on my list but I found this intriguing and I have enjoyed listening to John Lee read other audio books. This seems to be another John Lee sounding totally bored with what he is reading and the monotonous timbre of his voice is driving me nuts. Also, as others have mentioned, the sound volume seems to be up and down and up and down and up and down. I can see how the story could be a fascinating read but listening to it is kind of like water torture. Sorry Mr. Lee but it's a no go for me. I could easily see picking up a copy of the book and reading it. In fact I probably will. I'm finding this was a waste of a credit. I wish Audible would have am exchange program so I could trade it in for something else.
Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres.
I listened to Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained back to back and the Commonwealth Saga is not complete without both books. Now I find I can't write a review of them separately so this is a combined review of the duo. Overall, I was very entertained by these two massive books and recommend them to anyone who loves space opera, but this is a qualified recommendation.
THE GOOD (~70%)
* Fascinating Vision of the future and the universe on a grand scale - entertaining and thought-provoking concepts.
* Terrific use of multiple POV's and subplots woven together to create a much bigger picture.
* Twisty plot lines, evocative settings, and wonderful mysteries that totally engage the listener.
* Some of the characters, especially MorningLightMountain (a terrifying sentient enemy alien who thinks NOTHING like a human) and Paula Mayo (genetically engineered human programmed by OCD-type genetics to be the ultimate detective).
* Narration - not John Lee's best performance, but not bad. Lee is particularly good with the 50's American slang sound he uses for Ozzie's voice.
THE BAD (~25%)
* Too much of a good thing - the future of biology, chemistry, physiology, IT, politics, government, astronomy, the kitchen sink, and pretty much everything else. Hamilton's reach to incorporate all the ramifications of future science and technology is bigger than his story and my patience could handle at times.
* Ozzie's Wilderness Survival Subplot - most of the subplots were engaging, but the story of Ozzie Isaacs trying to find the adult Silfen to get answers reads more like Kerouac's "On The Road" (probably intentionally) than like a sci-fi adventure and I found that it dragged down the story each time Hamilton cut to an Ozzie update. This was maybe 20% of the narrative in Pandora's Star, but less of a factor in Judas Unchained.
* Some of the characters, especially Ozzie (a Beatnik born 100 years too late who totally, like, overuses the word man, maaaan, you dig?) and Melanie, who is a dirty old man's fantasy of a very young, very slutty woman. I hated her, but even people who like the character aren't going to identify with her because she is not like anyone you know. A character based on a sexual fantasy never seems like a real person so it's hard to care about what they do or what happens to them.
* The Science might work, but it hurts the fiction - in the Commonwealth Universe, rejuvenation is routine so people have an indefinite lifetime potential. In addition, if your body or brain are injured beyond the ability of medical science to heal, you can have your memory dumped to a clone and start over. Hamilton does not go into all the science of how this would work, but I didn't have trouble buying into his concepts as presented. What did cause a problem for me was how do you get invested in people who really can't die? No matter how intense and suspenseful the plot becomes, it is just hard to stack the emotional stakes high when most folks aren't going to stay dead!
THE UGLY (fortunately only ~ 5%)
* Many semi-graphic sex scenes - I am fine with sex scenes in my fiction when the plot requires it or even gratuitous sex scenes when they are well-written. However, I think very few authors can write sex scenes that are erotic, passionate, or romantic and more often (as is the case with Pandora and Judas) these scenes come across as self conscious or skeevy. And worse, these stumbles in the bedroom (or wherever) often slow the narrative and break the plot progression. Pandora/Judas would read better without the corny and sleazy sex scenes.
What an amazingly well written story with well developed characters! I just could not get enough and have since gone through all the Peter Hamilton stories on Audible and have enjoyed them all but I will always remember my first.
The writing and narration are well matched and it is thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end. I do have to say that I found the antagonist incredibly well developed in the sense that the author went well outside of the proverbial box and created a unique and even if incredulous, believable perspective on the development of intelligent life independent of our own lifeforms and devoid of human sensibilities and morals. Bravo! Can't wait to get my hands on more books from the author.
Destined to be a classic! In the same vein as "Dune" or "The Brothers Karamazov." Like a novel of novellas. Narrator should have paused a bit before going from one story arc to another, but I could still follow. If you like hard sci fi, this book should satisfy. One warning: The story will be completed in the upcoming sequel, "Judas Unleased."