What a long and tedious journey. Hamilton is nothing if not descriptive. One could say obsessive about details, but to the detriment of the flow of the story. Hamilton may be the only author whose description of metal rusting would take longer than the actual event.
A difficult book to narrate. However the accents of the characters are either too similar or just simply silly.
Naturalist, firefighter, actor.
No, really, it is. Im a pretty harsh critic of contemporary scifi novels. I miss Heinlein and Asimov and their like. But Peter Hamilton has shown me there is hope yet for the genre. Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained are big, loud, action-packed thrillers that don't skimp on the visionary science. These two novels have packed in pretty much everything that makes the genre great. John Lee's performance brings the huge number of characters into bright 3-D reality. I can't really think of anything negative to say about these books. Get em, you'll like em.
The book was a very difficult listen. Primarily due to horrible narration. Most of the time it was practically impossible to differentiate between various characters. Additionally, lack of pauses during narration made it difficult and confusing to follow the story.
The story itself was adequate but often too long winded resulting in apparent lack of direction.
Overall I cannot recommend this book, primarily due to horrible narration. Book would be a lot more bearable in print, for it would be possible to skim over long winded parts.
One of the best I've experienced. Hamilton creates a richly embroidered universe, then fills it with very believable characters and plausible tech. The scope is broad, the pace seldom falters and the narration is excellent.
It's difficult to choose just one moment, but the attack on the Second Chance was a nail biter.
John Lee's narration is perfect. He manages to create and maintain an immediately identifiable voice, with both tone and accent remaining consistent for each character throughout the entire series.
A few chapters in, I've had to regretfully give up on this audiobook and set it aside for another time-- and I have no idea when that time will be. I listen to audiobooks in exactly two situations-- daily commuting on the bus and long highway trips in the car. Both involve a fair amount of ambient noise. While I find John Lee's narration pleasant enough, he doesn't maintain a consistent volume and it makes it almost impossible for me to hear in any but a very quiet environment. He starts each sentence at a normal volume, but quickly drops off to almost a whisper. Some dialog sequences are read entirely in a near whisper. Even with my Kindle volume turned WAAAAY up, I continue to miss stretches, and I haven't had this problem with any other audiobooks so far. At times I found the effort of straining to tune out the outside noise and focus on what I could barely hear coming through my earphones started to make me feel carsick! Something about the timber of his voice or perhaps the quality of the recording seemed to make the problem worse-- it seems vaguely thick and flat and almost muffled at times.
So from a technical perspective, I do not recommend it unless you plan to listen in quiet environments, or you have very good quality noise-cancelling headphones. My inexpensive earplug-style phones are usually enough to shut out normal ambient bus noise, and I can easily listen to most audiobooks unless someone is talking within a couple of seats, but they are all but useless with this recording.
So I gave up just a few chapters in. (Obviously, my 2-star rating for "Story" is artificial and is only there because I had to fill in something.) Thus, I can't say much about the quality of the story, but it seemed to be unfolding with awful slowness and dogged attention to detail. By about Chapter 4 or so (the point where I gave up) no truly engaging characters had been introduced. If the story had been truly gripping from the outset, I might have been more set on making it work. I'm especially sad about this after re-reading the many glowing reviews and remembering why I downloaded this book in the first place. I hope to one day enjoy the story as much as the five-star reviewers did, but first I guess I'll have to invest in much more expensive earphones.
This is an epic adventure. There are a lot of characters in the story but after some time you remember who is who. It is a very well narrated book. Very detailed at times in scenes that honestly you don't care about as much as others. However overall, very entertaining because there are smaller stories within the overall plot which is nice. Ready for the next one in the series.
This book is fantastic. A total immersion into a new world, a new Universe for that matter, that Hamilton describes so well. The characters, the settings, and the intertwining of all the various stories is just superbly done.
If you are a fan of science fiction then this book is for you. It is a long, stretching narrative across centuries as the Human Race expands across the galaxy telling the lives of many different characters. I was skeptical at first, but before I was even halfway through with Pandora's Star, I'd already paid for and downloaded Judas Unchained... which is even better.
I enjoyed the story. it seems the plot kept me listening despite the lack of pause between characters and chapters. Seriously one moment your involved in a characters life and the next your trying to figure out how they got to the new environment or situation. there is no pause between chapters or sections of the chapters where the author takes up a different topic or character (another reviewer stated the same thing and it's true - drive you crazy). sometimes you can pick it up but other times not so much even though you know there is no pause and you're waiting for it - still catches you off guard.
the story was good - a little long and at times the description of events such as conflict scenes was slightly overdone. seems the author almost tried too hard to get in as much science as he could. it was a fine line between just enough science and too much as too hinder the pace of the action ( no one has mastered this as well as B. Sanderson - that guy can describe a fight scene!)
I usually listen intently but this book i found myself not listening as intently and letting it flow not worrying about every little detail as the author tends to lean to excessive description...but as I said it was a fine line and the author rode that ever so carefully and the plot kept you listening.....the only thing stopping me from listening the the second book is the lack of a pause between sections.
I would also say the book has a lot of characters and I dont feel the characterization was what kept me interested - it has characterization but not so much so that I necessarily felt anything for any of the characters. Maybe others would feel different - I am no expert - just my opinion.
I would recommend it if there was an abridged version or if the narration was done a little differently.
The ending was very abrupt and you find it continues in a second book.
At times, though there were several times that the story had changed to a different side story but it took a while to figure it out. The narrator and/or director didn't put a great lot of effort into distinguishing when the story lines were changing.
There are lots of side stories in there and they are slow to tie into the main story line. The main story line is also slow to gain steam. If there was an abridged version of this book I doubt you would miss much and would be probably be a lot easier to follow.