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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"4 Stars because of price, 5 stars otherwise!"
I did not know this author before listening to Great North Road. I think it was the combination of science fiction and being set in Newcastle (where I have just moved to) that caught my eye. I am glad I did.
It is gritty, well written and I think plausible about the future of the world and the use of its resources.
Like other reviews, being split into two, thus twice the price of most other books might put some people off (and I agree with the other reviewers that this is a bit of a swizz!) but if you think it is long, stay with it as the characters develop, the plots intertwine and get more tricky. I think I changed my mind about the murdered about half a dozen times.
PS: You really do need to have a street map of Newcastle open to be able to follow to get your bearings (I had my trusty Newcastle A-Z by my side)
"Great North Road"
At first sight I wondered how the writer could hold my attention for the length of this book - it is indeed a "mighty tome"! I should not have worried as Peter Hamilton's ability to thoroughly immerse the reader in a new world, so very nearly but not quite the one we know, came to the fore straight away.
His strengths lie in his holding together the threads of the storyline until they merge, satisfyingly at the denouement.
"On the Road"
Inadvertently I listened to this out of order; because it dips in and out of the past this at first did not matter but I became aggrieved (because I wanted to hear the rest of this new to me SF story) when I came to what I thought was the end - which in fact was halfway through! I finally listened to Part 1 from the proper start to the end and had no issue with relistening to the sections already heard; in fact it deepened my appreciation. It became a 'must read', oops must listen to! I hastened to download Part Two.
This odd but rewarding experience could only have been achieved through Audible although not necessarily soemthing I would automatically recommend listeners do! I look forward to reading/being read to more of this author's work.
"Another well written, well read Hamilton sci-fi"
I've now read several of Hamilton's books, and find they are well written with believable characters and thoughtful story-lines. This is no exception, and is well read by Toby Longworth, who uses distinct voices for the characters.
If you enjoy this, then you might also like Hamilton's Greg Mandel trilogy, starting with Mindstar Rising.
"Thoroughly engaging sci-fi detective story"
Set in Newcastle of the future, Peter F. Hamilton brings to life a wonderfully believable future and a story that kept me wanting more. The length (consider that this is only the first of two long parts) makes it daunting, but I was engaged throughout. As a fan of both detective and sci-fi, I found this a great mix of the two: introducing the technology in a way that made if feel natural, and slowly revealing parts of the puzzle as the story goes on.
"Hamilton does it again"
I've read and listened to several of Hamiltons series and this is no different - solid si-fi and in the audio book format very well narrated - recommended
"My first Peter Hamilton read"
The Great North Road was the first Peter Hamilton book I read/listened. The size of his volumes were the main reason why i never picked one up before. However, for me, this was an excellent story to introduce me to his writing.
I know this is a stand alone novel, and Peter Hamilton has stated that he will probably not return to this world again. Therefore it is safe for people who do not want to start on a lengthy series.
The story starts off with a murdered clone, and takes the reader/listener on a journey to investigate the murder. This is done by the police, with support from high technology. The other half of the story relates to a genetically modified woman who is part of an expedition to another world to locate an alien (who is thought to be part of the murder).
The pace of the story is fairly sedate, and I certain that some people will get angered by this. For me, it was at the right pace, and didn't bombard me with a lot of techno babble and concepts that were too high to comprehend. The expedition part of the story was the more interesting, but the police investigation certainly played its part.
I enjoyed the audio. The narrator was clear, threw in an understandable Geordie accent or two and didn't include too many long pauses.
This is a long book and is split over 2 audio books.
This book was always leaving me wanting to listen to the next bit, I listen in the car on my way home from work and often have been parked on the drive waiting for the next bit of the story to unfold.
You do need to keep your wits about you as the story switches between different converging story lines, all of which kept me guessing as too the possible outcome.
I cant wait to listen to PART TWO
My only complaint is that this is split in two parts, but thankfully it's still worth it. I love all of Hamiltons works, and although I did wonder at one stage if this would sputter out instead if explode, I needed have worried as the different characters and story arcs all come together to make sense of a difficult situation. If like me you dislike split books, this one is well worth the cost of admission
I found this book very difficult to put down, the story is well written and very easy to follow the plot with several twists and turns to keep you guessing.
The disappointing thing of this book is it is necessary to get Part two which is not obvious on purchase of part one
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