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Great North Road | [Peter F. Hamilton]

Great North Road

A century from now, thanks to a technology allowing instantaneous travel across light-years, humanity has solved its energy shortages, cleaned up the environment, and created far-flung colony worlds. The keys to this empire belong to the powerful North family - composed of successive generations of clones. Yet these clones are not identical. For one thing, genetic errors have crept in with each generation. For another, the original three clone "brothers" have gone their separate ways, and the branches of the family are now friendly rivals more than allies. Or maybe not so friendly....
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Publisher's Summary

A century from now, thanks to a technology allowing instantaneous travel across light-years, humanity has solved its energy shortages, cleaned up the environment, and created far-flung colony worlds. The keys to this empire belong to the powerful North family - composed of successive generations of clones. Yet these clones are not identical. For one thing, genetic errors have crept in with each generation. For another, the original three clone "brothers" have gone their separate ways, and the branches of the family are now friendly rivals more than allies. 

Or maybe not so friendly. At least that's what the murder of a North clone in the English city of Newcastle suggests to Detective Sidney Hurst. Sid is a solid investigator who'd like nothing better than to hand off this hot potato of a case. The way he figures it, whether he solves the crime or not, he'll make enough enemies to ruin his career. Yet Sid's case is about to take an unexpected turn: Because the circumstances of the murder bear an uncanny resemblance to a killing that took place years ago on the planet St. Libra, where a North clone and his entire household were slaughtered in cold blood.

The convicted slayer, Angela Tramelo, has always claimed her innocence. And now it seems she may have been right. Because only the St. Libra killer could have committed the Newcastle crime. Problem is, Angela also claims that the murderer was an alien monster. 

Now Sid must navigate through a Byzantine minefield of competing interests within the police department and the world's political and economic elite...all the while hunting down a brutal killer poised to strike again. And on St. Libra, Angela, newly released from prison, joins a mission to hunt down the elusive alien, only to learn that the line between hunter and hunted is a thin one.

©2012 Peter F. Hamilton (P)2013 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"It's a perfect introduction to his gifts for character design, dialogue, and sheer, big-idea-driven storytelling." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1332 )
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4.5 (1212 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Tom Seattle, WA, United States 04-04-13
    Tom Seattle, WA, United States 04-04-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Intricate, engaging, and long"

    I would put this book in the same category as Reamde by Neil Stephenson. It is a bit better in terms of preserving mystery throughout the book, but it is a long haul. The narration is great with good pauses and decent voice characterizations, though the female voices are a bit sad.

    The biggest issue I had was trying to keep track of which clone was which, but I guess that is part of the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachelle 04-01-13
    Rachelle 04-01-13 Member Since 2012
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    "I was already a Hamilton fan, so maybe I'm biased"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely; it was a lovely listen. I enjoyed the story, and really enjoyed the narration. Anyone who's read some of Hamilton's other epics will likely enjoy this one; he has the ability to make a reader understand the technology he's writing about without a lot of explanation, and builds characters who are interesting and flawed and fun, all at the same time.

    Some parts of the book drag out a little, as is wont to happen in a Peter Hamilton novel, but you take the bad with the good.


    What other book might you compare Great North Road to and why?

    No comparisons spring immediately to mind.


    What about Toby Longworth’s performance did you like?

    Excellent narration, great pacing, great characterization.


    Any additional comments?

    Absolutely worth the credit, particularly for people who liked the pacing of the Commonwealth Saga.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shark Likes Tecumseh, MI, United States 03-12-13
    Shark Likes Tecumseh, MI, United States 03-12-13 Member Since 2007

    I'm the most boring person on the planet.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Classic Hamilton!!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Great North Road to be better than the print version?

    Stupid question Audible. But, if you are a fan of Peter F. Hamilton, you will not be disappointed with another sci-fi suspense story that combines the mystery and intrigue of a detective story and the often novel but always interesting sci-fi themes that together form a tantalizing space-epic whodunit. Satisfying ending.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Angela Tramelo, but I can't tell you why without giving too much away.


    Which character – as performed by Toby Longworth – was your favorite?

    Toby did a great job, as always. He is certainly up in my top five favorite performers. In each series there is always one that comes off as core to the performance, for me, in this series, it was the pragmatic Detective Sidney Hurst. I love the way he says, "okay."


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Another stupid question, Audible: No way, this book is over one and half days long; 36.5 hours is too long to sit for one reading... But, if the question is less literal, than yes, I would enjoy going from start to finish in one act of entertainment.


    Any additional comments?

    I look forward to Peter's next book, and hope Toby is there to perform it.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronald 03-08-13
    Ronald 03-08-13
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    "If its Peter Hamilton, I know I will like it"
    Would you listen to Great North Road again? Why?

    I don't usually re-read books, so no, probably not.


    What other book might you compare Great North Road to and why?

    Along the lines of the Commonwealth and Void series, Great North Road fits right into Hamilton's unique take on the future. I would personally recommend the Commonwealth and Void series books over this, but I still loved it.


    What does Toby Longworth bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Great reader - I am a fan


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Avatar with a bad attitude.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michel 03-05-13
    Michel 03-05-13

    I am living proof that the universe has a sense of humor.

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    "Hamilton does it again"
    Would you listen to Great North Road again? Why?

    I have heard some authors being compared to J.R.R. Tolkien. All of them falling far short in my opinion. Peter Hamilton however IS the Tolkien of SciFi. Having read the Commonwealth Saga and the Void Trilogy, this Novel is smaller in scope but still delivers a great story.

    The story is set in the not so distant future and centers around a bizarre murder which is almost identical to another murder of 20 years ago. Hamilton creates a great story inclusive of future tech, intrigue, murder, sex, distant planets and aliens. This is SciFi CSI at its best.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Toronto, ON, Canada 03-04-13
    Stephen Toronto, ON, Canada 03-04-13 Member Since 2014
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    "The word 'Great' is well earned in the title"
    If you could sum up Great North Road in three words, what would they be?

    Great Science Fiction


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the down to earth characters Peter has created for this book. Even though the story takes place around 150 years into the future, you are still able to relate closely with the characters and the situations they find themselves in.


    What about Toby Longworth’s performance did you like?

    One of the best Narrations I have heard yet. I rank him up there with Roy Dotrice from Game of Thrones.


    Any additional comments?

    I originally had some reservations regarding this book as it takes place 150 years before the events in Pandora's Star and was worried that he might roll back the tech tooo much.

    After 5 minutes of listening to the story, all my fears were proved false. The story instantly grabs you and refuses to let you go. The Tech is only used as a means and not the focus of the story, thus allow you to revel in the beautiful drawn characters that Peter creates. The universe is still a fantastic, futuristic place that does connect with our world.

    One of the best books I have read period.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan Gainesville, FL, United States 03-04-13
    Dan Gainesville, FL, United States 03-04-13
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    "Hamilton at his best."

    I love the way he can take what appears to be bunch of disparate plot threads and weave them into an single piece of tapestry that is just amazing to behold, and he does this yet again in Great North Road. He uses science fiction to create another rich universe, weaves a mystery through it, and comments on the importance of taking care of our environment. In my opinion Peter F. Hamilton is one of the greatest authors of our day.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    vale JACKSON, NJ, United States 03-04-13
    vale JACKSON, NJ, United States 03-04-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Another solid Hamilton"
    Would you listen to Great North Road again? Why?

    I have read many of Hamilton's books and am familiar with his slow start-up and build into the story approach he takes. Unfortunately the Great North Road "buries the lead" right near the end of the book. In a word, I got bored.

    If you are already a fan of Hamilton, go ahead and give this a listen - there are some very interesting ideas being played with here. If you are new to Hamilton try starting with Fallen Dragon or Pandora's Star.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Ping CA 02-27-13
    Mark Ping CA 02-27-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Great, but not best work."
    What did you love best about Great North Road?

    Excellent interweaving storylines.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Great North Road?

    The full reveal about Angela's worst night is pretty spectactular.


    What does Toby Longworth bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Excellent vocal characterizations helping me tell the people apart. Similar to his work on the Mendel Files. Excellent inflection, especially at moments when characters are surprised or ironic.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    The denouement with the characters was emotional for me -- probably because I have daughters.


    Any additional comments?

    The resolution of the main conflict isn't quite as satisfying as it was in Pandora's Star/Judas Unchained but I the personal storylines were /more/ satisfying. Toby Longworth's reading is supurb, adding depth and idiosyncrasies to the characters that layered some additional texture onto the text.

    I'd just the whole thing is somewhere between Fallen Dragon and PS/JU, and a great read overall.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig Mesa, AZ, United States 02-25-13
    Craig Mesa, AZ, United States 02-25-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Something to fill the time"

    First off: I'm a Peter F Hamilton fan. I've read or listened to everything he has produced. This novel, at least in audio book form, just doesn't measure up.

    In a word: forgettable.

    You'll want to read/listen to it if you are a fan, but if you are new to Hamilton and are well read in regards to modern sci-fi, you won't be impressed by this. Save your credits.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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