After a long listen, and then to be left at a cliffhanger. This is classic 'Buck Rodgers in the 24th Century' Saturday morning serial nonsense.
When I first started reading, "ahem" listening( and that's for you Leo) to Pandora's Star I was struck by the similarity to the British Empire. The author never comes out and makes the comparison but the underlying current is there with of course, a liberal does of American Capitalism. The premise of the world he created appealed to me probably because I am a good commonwealth member; Canadian, and of course, we are influenced by the Yanks(no offense) so I "get" the capitalism.
Now to the meat. The story is wonderful with an overall positive view of our future and while I agree with that view I have to now be pragmatic. Humanity will never be absolute in their morality. The moral issue in this story is resolved too easily at the expense of reality and how we, in the real world, would of solved the issue. I know this sounds vague but I don't want to give anything away for new readers.
Onto the characters. I enjoyed everyone of them for what they represented in their cookie cutter way, by that I mean they didn't offer me any real insight to something new. It's kinda like the movies Avatar, and Dances with Wolves. You know what's going to happen; there is no deep meaning, it's an old story done very well and that is the same with the characters of this story.
Now while I really didn't guess the ending of the story I did guess the conclusion of some of the sub plots and that was the blame of the lack of certain character developments. But that's OK because I still enjoyed the overall story. All in all it is a good story that appeals to my futurist side and my wanting for our humanity to remain intact with that everlasting wonder for the new and thought provoking.
I love the writing and story. The characters were well developed and interesting. The story was exciting then came the end... it was a total let down. There is no end. You are just left cliffhanging and no satisfaction at all. Don’t buy this book unless you also purchase Judas Unchained. There was notice that this was part of a trilogy but I failed to notice that fact so the end came as a shock to me. So I am downloading the next one and hopefully it will pick up were this left off. I have no problem with the narrator, where several other reviews complained. As with most audio books it is like listening to the old radio programs. You mind takes you were no visual images can every manage.
The story is deep and rich and has great characters. The only things that I found to be an issue is the number of story lines make it a little to follow at times and the ending just unexpectedly cuts off in preparation for the next book.
I'm still in Part 4, but I'm really enjoying the whole story line. I'll agree that I wish there were longer pauses when the book transitions from one perspective to the next. There have been quite a few times where I didn't realize the previous perspective had ended and a new one began.
I also have some issues with the narrators accent, but for me it's only when he says "exploritory", which comes out more like "exploditody". And he says it quite a number of times throughout the whole book.
I also have issue with the way the audio was mixed for Part 1. There was no balance between high's and low's. One moment the narrator is accenting a word, blowning out your ear's, and so I turn the volume down on my Ipod. The next, he's whispering so low that I can't hear a thing and have to turn it up, only to have my ears yelled in a few seconds later. Part 1 almost made me give up on the book. But I'm glad I didn't because the audio problems seem to be resolved by Part 2.
The depth that Hamilton gives his characters personalities, even when they are the shallowest of individuals, really draws you into the story. And as should be when creating a strange new world, the comprehensable detail he gives to the foreign worlds, aliens, and technologies has kept me listening for hours. I can't wait to listen to the rest of the story, yet I don't want it to end. An excelent buy!
I thoroughly enjoyed Pandora's Star, but as a regular audio book consumer I was extremely disappointed with the quality of the production. There are no pauses in narration when the story changes from one point of view to another (which happens frequently) or even if there are ellipses. It took a long time to determine that "Far Away" is a proper noun, something that would be immediately obvious if you read the book in print.
But honestly, as poor of a production it was, it should not deter you from buying this book. It has been one of the most enjoyable science fiction novels I've read in recent years. The author has a broad technical knowledge and can paint a thoroughly wonderful picture of life in this future. He may not be the best writer out there, some chapters can pass almost painfully slow, but it makes up for it when you get to the end and the plot reaches an epic climax. I warn you, you will want to have the sequel downloaded and lined up by the time you reach the end of this book!
Loved the story, but it loses a point because of Mr.Lee's narration. Not the way he read it, but the pauses. I have listened to books he has narrated before and have loved them. However, in this book he really doesn't pause at all between parts. I found myself getting confused about which character he was speaking about. One moment Ozzy, the next breath Paula. That is my only criticism of his narration. Otherwise I'd recommend it.
Could have been so much better with a different narrator. There is no clue when narrator moves from one scene to another. I found myself asking where the heck did this guy come from? Why is he there? Then I realize we have jumped to a new scene.
His constant rhythmic tone made it hard to stay focused on the story as well. I found myself wishing for a monotone reading as opposed to the up and down up and down up and down of his tone.
Maybe I'm spoiled by Stefan Rudnicki productions.
Excellent story though. Epic in scale. It was very difficult to get through the first 2/3'rds of the book because of the narrator.
First, regarding the narrator. I've only listened to a few audio books, including Something Wicked This Way Comes and The Fountainhead. Narration for this book by John Lee is significantly worse than both of them, both in consistency and in voicing. Often, I couldn't tell characters apart, and often, the tone didn't match the character or the scene. So thumbs down for the narrator.
As for the story, I've listened to 8 hours so far, and while it has technically interesting passages, it's is not very engaging. It just doesn't grab your interest in the beginning (a very long beginning in this case), like a good story should. Also, it does tend to drag on, for the sake of length it seems. I think the writer is forgetting that he's writing fiction, so he goes into enough detail until it doesn't seem plausible or real anymore.
In summary, I've read many Science Fiction novels, and I am very disappointed with this one. I don't think I'll get through it. Frankly, I chose it because I wanted a long audio book, for value. I guess I was spoiled by The Fountainhead, which was amazing. I'd say you should pass on this one, especially if you're paying money for it, rather than 1 credit.
I'm afraid hard core science fiction like this is not my thing. There seemed to be zillions of charecters. I love John Lee, but he did horribly on this book, which might be the faiult of the editor. I could not tell when we changed places, charecters, or times. Making this more clear might have saved me from having to re-listen to the first 2 downloads twice. I found barely any of the charecters likeable and really didn't care what happened to them. Needless to say I never did finish the book. Some of the plots were a bit intriquing, but I couldn't find much to tie them together or figure out when or where they were occuring. I want my credit back!