Great North Road is a standalone science fiction adventure from Peter F. Hamilton, the author of The Night's Dawn trilogy.
When attending a Newcastle murder scene, Detective Sidney Hurst finds a dead North family clone. Yet none have been reported missing. And in 2122, 20 years ago, a North clone billionaire was horrifically murdered in the same manner on the tropical planet of St Libra. So, if the murderer is still at large, was Angela Tramelo wrongly convicted? She never wavered under interrogation, claiming she alone survived an alien attack.
Investigating this potential alien threat now becomes the Human Defence Agency's top priority. St Libran bio-fuel is the lifeblood of Earth's economy and must be secured. A vast expedition is mounted via the Newcastle gateway, and experts are dispatched to the planet - with Angela Tramelo, grudgingly released from prison.
But the expedition is cut off deep within St Libra's rainforests, and the murders begin. Angela insists it's the alien, but her new colleagues aren't sure. Did she see an alien, or does she have other reasons for being on St Libra?
©2012 Peter F. Hamilton (P)2012 Pan Macmillian Publishers Ltd
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"Great North Road - Part One "Brilliant""
This is without doubt the most enjoyable audio book of SciFi that I have heard so far (and I have heard many) What works so well is the narrative is not too complex (some Hamilton can get a bit confusing) yet very detailed at the same time. Also living in the UK I love the 'Geordie' accents of some of the characters, as gives a nice realism and homely touch. The Police sections are both real and familiar, then swap into the futuristic bit really well. Actually listened to it slowly so it would not end. Now onto part 2 :)
"One Book - Two parts to pay for"
Do not be put off by the fact that Audible have decided to split this book into two seperate, CHARGEABLE parts. The fact is this book is massive, and another Author may have decided to make it into a trilogy which would have required three credits!. From the moment Toby Longworth (favourite narrator) starts speaking, the characters will have you guessing as to the truth behind their starting stories. No one is as they seem and you will build a massive amount of information on each as the books progress changing each from hero to villan and back again. The physics of this future world are eminently believable and well thought through, and merge seamlessly into the story. I was amazed as the intertwining threads of several characters combined towards the end bringing almost all loose ends together in a brilliant conclusion, one that didn't rely on a final plot twist, but revealing what was there all along throughout the disparate storylines. Excellent
"Raise your standards?"
To all those who gave this a great review and 'tricked' me into reading/listening to it, I politely, humbly suggest you look elsewhere and then come back to this book/author (if you can bear it) and review it again.
Is good sci-fi the 'spacification' of the mundane to be used as a veneer for a standard (albeit sensationalist) plot of the present? Should the author be able to get away with a few future-sounding adjectives ('smart' seems to be a favourite here) to make up for a lack of imagination?
You don't have to be clever (or even smart) to write successful sci-fi apparently.
The narrator perhaps did his best with the materiel at hand but I couldn't help feeling that he sounded as bored as I was from the outset.
As for the cast of characters, well, a bit of character in any of them might have helped - and the dialogue (son of a deity on a velocipede)! Perhaps people have under-developed communication skills in the future because of, you know, all that tech type stuff?
If you're looking for an imaginative, well plotted Geordie detective story, stick to Inspector Lewis (all irony intended with apologies to any fans of that show)!
I was waiting for it to be released as a single piece (which it now is). Well worth the wait. The story whips along at a good pace and there's always another twist.
My only minor criticism is the narrator occasionally gave non Geordie characters the accent and vice versa but with so many characters this is forgivable
"Still like it"
Third listen now.
Stupid review rules, length and word uniqueness.
Blah di blah di blah.
"Didn't really grab me"
The story was "meh". I didn't get hooked by the unknowns, and remained unmoved add the details became clearer.
But the performance was particularly good. Once you get used to the Newcastle accents!
"Disappointing pseudo space crime drama."
I've read many PF Hamilton books but this was my first audio version. Previously I would have said that he was a spinner of great space or si-fi dramas but this is just a crime who done it with vast quantities of technical adjectives thrown all over the place. I found the endless descriptions exasperating and were used only to pad out the story. I'd be surprised if anybody getting to the end, as I have just done now, can remember many or any of the numbers or semi tech names for the cars, planes, guns or computer devices he has created and gone into huge detail about apart from adding the word Smart to something. Reminded me of uni and trying to get my word count up for a article.
It's a shame as there is a story in there, one that I'm interested in. I'd like to know who did what to who, but it's a tortuous route to get to the end of this, book 1. To be honest I'm really not sure I will bother wasting a credit on the next book. Such a disappointment. Good luck Sid, Angela and...sorry I cannot remember which North it is.
If you want a great space read get hold of the Martian. No crime but a mesmerising story with plenty of math done well.
Two stars for the narrator for doing his best. Difficult to keep interested in some of his character voices though.
Sorry PF H. just not as good as the copious books I've read from you before.
"Fun and exiting"
A nice and exiting story.
My love for this writer only grew bigger and bigger.
"Not My Cup of Tea"
Maybe I just don't get it, but 18 hours on part 1 of what is, extensibly just a whodunnit really doesnt do it for me. Im sure Peter Hamilton is a great writer and futurist, but I felt the story could have been told in half the time. I percivered until the disappointing end, but just didn't have the inclination to buy the next part.
The characterisation and descriptions are rich, but as a story it just didnt grab me
"A cut above the rest"
From the outset this book is a bit different form its counterparts. The combination of technology and murder mystery make it a gripping story. Descriptions of the off world planets, plants and other nuances keeps your attention to the end. Well worth taking the time to read this.
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