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Simon

Auckland, New Zealand

ratings
28
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2
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HELPFUL VOTES
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  • Mindstar Rising: The Greg Mandel Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Peter F. Hamilton
    • Narrated By Toby Longworth
    Overall
    (829)
    Performance
    (745)
    Story
    (739)

    It's the 21st century, and global warming is here to stay, so forget the way your country used to look. And get used to the free market, too – the companies possess all the best hardware, and they're calling the shots now. In a world like this, a man open to any offers can make out just fine. A man like Greg Mandel for instance, who's psi-boosted, wired into the latest sensory equipment, carrying state-of-the-art weaponry – and late of the English Army's Mindstar Battalion.

    Michael G. Kurilla says: "Portrait of a SciFi master as a novice"
    "Buy this book! No Messing!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Reading Mindstar Rising, the first book in Peter F. Hamilton’s Greg Mandel Trilogy will cost you three credits because I guarantee you will be purchasing the second and third volumes, A Quantum Murder and The Nano Flower in quick succession.

    I have to admit to liking a good long story. The problem with that is sometimes long stories are filled with so much superfluous verbiage that you wish you had committed the ultimate of audible sins and purchased the abridged version. Some books although possessing a great premise and promising storyline just seem to waffle.
    It is for that reason that Peter F. Hamilton is, and will remain, one of my favourite fiction authors. Because not only does he provide some of the best value for money in the world of audio books he also weaves a compelling and believable story no matter how fantastic the underlying premise. Peter F. Hamilton’s books are the ones you tend not to read in bed because when you nod off letting slip the paperback might break your nose and the hardback will cause concussion. Mindstar Rising is typical of Mr Hamilton’s books in this regard. At 14 hours long it is one of his briefer works. Yet frustratingly this book in common with his other works seems to be far too short as his masterfully crafted characters and compelling environments hold you entranced for every one of those 840 minutes. I recollect starting this book on a Friday evening and I am told that over the next two days I prepared two family meals, mowed a lawn, walked the dog and basically ignored my family and the world. I have no recollection of that weekend because for 14 glorious hours I was transported into a near future Britain where Greg Mandel, an ex-British army paratrooper who back in his service days had been drafted into the Mindstar Battalion due to his ESP potential, now earns his living as a security consultant come private eye. With psi enhancements the legacy of his time in service and Britain coming out of the economic ruin of years of Marxist government on the back of some truly cool tech the story that unfolds could have been predictable and plastic. But it’s not, most definitely not, plastic. This was Peter F. Hamilton’s first published novel and every sentence is carefully layered and finessed into place. Peter F. Hamilton doesn’t write he sculpts. The level of details he puts into his work is one of the reasons that his novels are weighty tomes. But unlike many other authors that detail is almost unnoticed as it creates an incredibly multi-dimensional landscape upon which is then delived a plot that propels you to the end in what feels like a fraction of the 14 hours required to get there.
    No sooner had Audible hoped I had enjoyed this programme, I was downloading the next two books. If you like intelligent science fiction, gritty characters and are not afraid of a couple of days of productivity loss buy this book. Now as an undeserved afterthought let me please throw Toby Longworth into the mix. Mr Longworth must be one of the best narrators on Audible. He makes an amazing book incredible. No messing!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack: Burton & Swinburne, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Mark Hodder
    • Narrated By Gerard Doyle
    Overall
    (27)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (27)

    Sir Richard Francis Burton is an explorer, linguist, scholar, and swordsman. His reputation has been tarnished, his career is in tatters, and his former partner is missing and probably dead. Algernon Charles Swinburne is an unsuccessful poet and follower of de Sade, for whom pain is pleasure and brandy is ruin. The two men are sucked into the perilous depths of this moral and ethical vacuum, when Lord Palmerston commissions Burton to investigate assaults on young women.

    Simon says: "bloody brilliant"
    "bloody brilliant"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wow. What a story, what a series!!

    Mark Hodder spins a brilliant yarn. He winds real historical characters into a complex evolving steampunk tale of time and fantastic technology in a world where Victoria doesn’t survive an assassins bullet. This is the first book in a series of three and it’s a ride all the way to the finish. Nothing here is obvious and the twists kept me on the edge of my Galaxy S3 until the last paragraph. Get the series and shut yourself away for the weekend.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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