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
"It's a perfect introduction to his gifts for character design, dialogue, and sheer, big-idea-driven storytelling." (Booklist)
Long, complex, with ultimate resolution of the "Huh?" parts. I would give it 5 stars for the "overall rating" if the download would have let me continue where I left off.
Angela, of course.
The audio in the penultimate dowloaded part kept snapping back to the midway point when I turned off my iPod. Had to hunt around for where I left off. Hope this has been fixed.
Cannot say. Have not read the print version.
Great introduction into Peter F. Hamilton's books. Not connected to his other stories. From what I can tell, I love his writing style and will be moving on to his other books.
Well, now that I've finished I guess I should get back to my life, do some dishes, talk to my husband. But everything real seems so unreal, like waking up from a dream. It may take me a few days to untangle myself from this book.
First of all, Great North Road is Epic. It is really something to sink your teeth into and live with for a while. The characters work themselves into your psyche like historical figures or memories from your distant past. Sid the police detective is an awesome trope given new life in the context of a space-themed sci-fi. Angela the bad-ass babe has added depth with her 1000-year life span. (I do wish she didn't have to be so hot though. Why are they always hot? What about a completely ordinary-looking bad-ass babe? Is that so hard to imagine? Give us normal girls someone to see ourselves in.) The plot is filled with teases and secrets and slow reveals. Sometimes annoying, but oh-so-satisfying when finally resolved.
And the reader was really good too. Very British. His cadence was sometimes a little off, and he propelled us into new chapters, taking place light years away, without any warning - like a little pause or a change in tone would have been nice - so I was confused sometimes, but maybe that was just me. Still a quality performance.
Anyway, I loved it. Get off the fence and start listening.
I truly love how Peter F. Hamilton builds these awesome characters, in a range of regular joe's who live in an advanced technological age, all the way to personalizing beings who are so alien they would be near impossible to comprehend. All the while, he adds in base human problems, thrilling action, and super-nerd science that is well-researched and truly upholds the rest of the story. All of these things in one novel.... I was absolutely saddened when it was over. This is one hardworking author. And an excellent book.
Ravi. Angela. Hard to pick between the two. Ravi is your basic Sgt. Slaughter super-warrior who is past his salad days but is grounded enough he can still see the forest despite the trees. Angela is just a cool character who has floated through so many lives...
The way this guy distinguishes characters voice is as fun as listening to the story.
Yes, never got bored or distracted. The execution was so good. Just when you thought you might hit a low dull point where something is re-explained.... whoosh, it didn't happen.
I recommend checking out other Peter F. Hamilton books if you like this. The guy can tell a story in any setting. And make it worth every last second of the listen.
The story is interesting and the extrapolation of a possible future was well done with one very annoying exception, the christian dogma was very heavy handed and didn't feel like it fit in the story. It was distracting and constantly pulled me out of the story. I would recommend skipping this book.
This is a really good tale. It is engaging and fun and has a nice sci-fi component. It is a Peter F. Hamilton story though so it has (1) Rich Families, (2) Wormholes, (3) Police officers, (4) Murders, (5) High society intrigue (6) anti-aging processes, (7) novel social constructs. Additionally, he includes his standard sci-fi component of wearable computing, omni-present net access and varying degrees of smart-matter.
It's a stand alone tale that, at its core, is a murder mystery. However, the person who committed the murder, the reasons for it, and the what is uncovered by the multiple protagonists is quite fun and enjoyable.
The narration is top rate. Toby Longworth now ranks up there with John Lee, Simon Prebble and Scott Brick as my preferred narrators.
If you like elaborate sci-fi - pick it up. You won't regret it.
A long and complicated detective story set in the semi-near future--about 300 years ahead. Fun for mystery fans to read about futuristic forensics and see that some things remain the same, such as careful, painstaking work. That's only part of the story, Hamilton flips back and forward to reveal glimpses of the universe, new worlds and dawning colonialism with its troubles and foibles and the ever present bureaucracy. Hamilton, as always, manages to tie up all the loose ends with a more than satisfactory climatic ending. A suspenseful, fun read beautifully narrated with so many intricacies that its worth listening to more than once. Can't help wondering what kind of mind composes masterpieces like this? By the way, this does not seem to be a continued story like the Void Series, but complete in the 36 delightful hours.
Researcher/oral historian and fitness enthusiast from Austin, TX, currently residing in San Diego. I love to read, but traditional books require a person to be sedentary while reading. Audio books make it possible for me to increase both my physical activity and reading quantity.
Great North Road is one of the best books I've ever encountered. It's a visionary masterpiece! Even with the few minor flaws in the story and in narration Great North Road is as close to perfect as is possible. I became totally absorbed in the world, characters, and story created by author Peter F. Hamilton and narrator Toby Longworth. Even had dreams about it! This book has everything for everyone -- excellent and creative writing, great characters, thrilling action, adventure, mystery, horror, romance, incredibly imaginative yet believable science fiction, and the narrator did a truly outstanding job! Seriously the best narrator I have yet encountered! I am recommending this book to everyone I know. Plus, it's almost 30 hours long, so it's a great entertainment $/hr bargain.
Amazing Sci-fi Epic.
All paths converge onto the Great North Road.
It is a Great big book and I enjoyed every little bit of it. Doubtless I will enjoy all of his available work.
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.
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