It took me the better part of a year to finish this book. The first 35 hours or so were mostly boring. I purchased this and a couple other books by this author sight unseen on a 4.95 sale. I'll listen to them all eventually simply because I've bought them.
The premise of the book is good but there is way too much uneccesary detail bogging down the story and the build up takes much too long. An abridged version that trims most of the "gristle" would likely rate 4 - 5 stars
A really engrossing and intricate story that will have you counting the days until your credits reload. I blew threw this and the next three available books in the series in just a couple months. The introduction of characters and plot elements does start off a bit slow though understandably so considering the breadth of the story. A sense of connectedness is the reward for enduring the first few slow hours.
Regarding the narration; John Lee does an amazing job and I think his characterization are distinct enough as to be able to differenciate and identify individuals and yet subtle enough to not be annoying, though when he tries to flatten his accent to sound "American" (or whatever) it's kind of hilariously forced. Whoever produced/audio engineered it though did kind of a crappy job, the booming/fadding that a lot of people have mentioned is definitely present. I found it helped somewhat to get a lower fidelity version rather than the enhanced. In the end though it's a better listen in a very quiet car or at home. You'll blow your ears out trying to listen to this on the subway or train. I did not find this to be as much of an issue in subsequent books in the series.
It starts off well (despite the reader being very difficult to listen to and the volume changing dramatically) but soon gets mired in long descriptions of trivial background "details". He uses far too many irrelevant subplots and a great many characters that you don't care about and who contribute nothing to the story line (they usually end up dying before doing anything interesting). In the end he rapidly "ties everything together" (you find out that the subplots were meaningless) and it ends in an incredibly unsatisfying way. If you love top notch science fiction, don't bother. If you like potboilers then maybe you will enjoy it.
Pandora sets the stage for most absorbing science fiction story I've ever read.
I only wish Peter Hamilton could write faster. If you like science fiction, read all of Hamilton's books starting with Pandora's Star.
Thanks Audible for your continued support of "This Week in Tech" over at TWiT.tv
OK so I started this account because of TWiT.tv's show Security Now with Leo Laporte and Steve Gibson after hearing about how good it was and Audible is a sponsor of TWiT.tv shows so I wanted to support them, this is my first book from Audible but I have listened to audio books before so I knew I would like them
so this was a great book and I am now on to the second one "Judas Unchained" and will be writing a review of that when I am done with it (but I am sure it will be great)
the book starts out a little strange with the trip to Mars and such, I was thinking that this would be about a trip to Mars (I never read the full description but that still didnt help with this thing) and how a alien race contacted them but after about half way it made sense but was hard to figure out at first and IMO should have been pointed out what was going on there other to just hint at it many chapters later with 1 line about pissing him off a long time ago with a prank and later about a different way to get to Mars and such - other than that I had no problems following the book and I have ADD and smoke weed for medical purposes
I do think there were some parts that could have been left out (probably what the abridged ver would lack but I dont like those) like the paragliding or whatever part but it is a great book so I say get it
I have only three hours left in the story and I am on the edge of my seat! This is the longest audiobook I've ever bought and it has been awesome! The story is amazing, the narrator is wonderful - I highly recommend this to everyone who likes sci-fi!
If you are into LONG stories with many characters (there's a lot of people to keep track of here) then this is a great option. The premise is intriguing and the science aspect is cool. Interstellar dynasties, planetary corporations and a great variety of characters make it a fun book.
Be aware you'll have to read Judas Unchained (the second and final book) to finish the story (another 40hrs) so it's a commitment for sure.
Personally I loved it. Takes a little time to get into the narrator doing all the voices but it works. Overall a great book with a complex story and fun action sequences.
Peter's style of writing has keep both of us engaged and entertained. My husband and I are very engaged in our work therefore any "free" time we have is precious. We both love to read, audio books have allowed us a way to share our love and time with each other. Thank you, Audible --- Thank you, Peter --- From A Book Loving Couple.
I wasn't aware of Peter Hamilton's work, so I bought the audiobook on the recommendation. I'm very glad I did - it is one of the most entertaining listens I've had in a long time. Be aware tho' that you're going to need to get part 2.