In Newcastle-upon-Tyne, AD 2142, Detective Sidney Hurst attends a brutal murder scene. The victim is one of the wealthy North family clones - but none have been reported missing. And the crime’s most disturbing aspect is how the victim was killed.
Twenty years ago, a North clone billionaire and his household were horrifically murdered in exactly the same manner, on the tropical planet of St Libra. But if the murderer is still at large, was Angela Tramelo wrongly convicted? Tough and confident, she never waivered under interrogation - claiming she alone survived an alien attack. But there is no animal life on St Libra.
Investigating this alien threat becomes the Human Defence Agency’s top priority. The bio-fuel flowing from St Libra is the lifeblood of Earth’s economy and must be secured. So a vast expedition is mounted via the Newcastle gateway, and teams of engineers, support personnel, and xenobiologists are dispatched to the planet. Along with their technical advisor, grudgingly released from prison, Angela Tramelo. But the expedition is cut off, deep within St Libra’s rainforests.
Then the murders begin. Someone or something is picking off the team one by one. Angela insists it’s the alien, but her new colleagues aren’t so sure. Maybe she did see an alien, or maybe she has other reasons for being on St Libra....
This is a stunning standalone adventure, by a writer at the height of his powers.
©2012 Peter F. Hamilton (P)2012 Pan Macmillian Publishers Ltd
Peter F. Hamilton has been exploring worlds via wormholes for years and this is yet another universe where the earth has expanded into the local area space with wormholes. This story is an exploration of "what might be" when corporates go interstellar and cloning is understood and if not widespread, certainly well accepted. Enter Sid, a detective living in Northern England in the great city of Halifax. Sid is asked to investigate a murder conducted, possibly, by an unknown kind of alien. The story, despite its ENORMOUS length and word count, paces along nicely. There are very few slow parts and the detail and unravelling of the crime are completely believable. As usual, Hamilton has his heros and anti-heros and in this case some really original aliens.
The story is satisfying and completely contained with an interesting twist. The characters are interesting and mostly believable. Peter F. Hamilton is living up to the high expectations of his fans. I remain one of them.
Toby Longworth maintains a passable performance in reading, he does the accents without over doing them (trust me this is good, Halifax accents are IMPOSSIBLE to understand if you aren't english) and he does a great job on separating the characters.
Overall, this is a great buy and very enjoyable.
The story is very involved and the plot is woven in leaf after leaf. I love Peter Hamilton's stories and look forward to his next book.
I first saw a tome in a book shop with the author Peter Hamilton. Out of curiosity, I got one of his books and have been fascinated by his imagination and depth of description ever since. I almost wish I could be alive when we will be able to travel to his worlds...
Peter Hamilton has a wonderful imagination. He is able to describe his worlds in a very clear manner allowing one to imagine what he is driving at. He is also able to disguise his plot so that you only find out at the end how it all ties together.
I love John Lee reading Peter Hamilton's books and was initially disappointed to see he was not reading this one. However, Tony Longworth has more than stepped up. I like his voice, his intonation and his ability to read the words to tell a story.
A good read. A bit tough if you like short works...
I travel 3-5 hours a day in the car and Audible makes it more than bearable.
I love Peter's books normally and I really like Toby as a narrater but this book was drawn out dribble.
No, I love all of Peter's other work so I will persist.
about half of them
A book does not have to be long for the sake of it, the commonwealth sage was justifed as was the Void trilogy but this was just drawn out and boring, I didn't much like the setting either..
Mr Hamilton has written a lot of good books. But this is by far his best. I like how he mixes scifi and reality in order to create a future you can believe in. I also like how this detective story in a not so distant future keeps you intrigued to the very end.
Angela is a cold hearted female who would do anything to get what she wants. But the better you get to know her, the more you start to like her and feel sorry for her.
No I haven't, but I am looking forward to listen to his other works. I love how he does all these accents. One minute he sounds like an East Indian and the next you think you are hearing some English bloke with a Newcastle accent.
It made me feel sorry for the heroine.
You might want to listen to this book. It is long, I know, but I think this will be one of the best scifi books of 2013.
"Excellent story, excellent narration but..."
I can't recommend this book enough - its excellent in almost every way. Nothing more about the story - just read it!
The only downside I see with this edition is that, along with another book I have recently 'read' (The Name of the Wind), the audio version has been split into 2 parts.
I fear Audible/Amazon is trending towards maximizing profits by splitting large novels. I understand that audio versions of 1100 page novels will cost more to produce but I would prefer if audible were clearer if they have split a single novel into more than one part.
Will this become commonplace? Will we soon see this size of novel split into 3 or more sections? The Kindle version of the novel is £6.99 - audible "list" price would cost you £43.18 or 2 member credits which is £14.99 on a 2 book/month membership so is at least twice the cost?
Luckily, having not read the physical copy, I was fortunate (?) not to realize that this was a single novel split into 2 parts (credits/charge/costs) and had pre-purchased part 2 before finishing the first so was not left hanging at the end of the first part.
"Great book, but this is only half the story"
This is my first Sci Fi audible in 2 years, I was drawn in to it to see how my native Newcastle fares in the future. There are enough seperate strands to keep it interesting and moving along and it was enjoyable to think that technology may improve but human nature doesnt change much.
Perhaps I mis read the blurb where it is listed as a stand alone book. You have to listen to both parts to get the full plot, they are not self contained. In fact part one ends on a cliff hanger so I have to buy Part 2 right now to get it . ..
"Caution - this book is split costing more!"
Objectively, an excellent audio book. However, the split into various parts was not clear and this is simply a con to extract more money from customers. A real shame.
"Not all books are 1 credit."
I like Audiable, its a wonderful service but sometimes it makes me laugh. A long time ago some books used to be 2 credits to buy. Then Audiable made a big splash telling every one that all books were 1 credit.
Unless it is a Peter F Hamilton book. This book is a 2 credit book. This is not part one of a two part story. Its the first half of a book. Audiable did not even go to much effort to find a convenient place to split the book. It just stops, suddenly. I would prefer they listened to the book, found a better point to split it so the book doesn't just stop.
The reader is doing his best to make the normal Peter F Hamilton pulp enjoyable. He has enough voices to go around. His regional British and regional American accents are good. He has a good pace and emotes nicely.
The story is absolutely typical Peter F Hamilton. If you have a long repetitive job to do and want a fairly ok Sci-fi book to help pass the time then this is good stuff. Its not new or particularly imaginative but it gets the job done.
Fun while you listen but after a week you'll struggle to remember what happened.
"150 years on and Geordies still not wearing coats."
Haven't read any science fiction since I was a teenager but picked this out because of the Newcastle connection - I agree with other reviewers that people who know the city will have an added pleasure in listening to the book. It is long and not the sort of thing I'd read but makes for good company while doing chores and I'll be getting Part 2 in due course.
The 'heroine' is too good to be true in her endless resourcefulness, physical perfection and absolute superiority to anyone else she encounters but the other main characters(especially in the Newcastle police department) are more plausible. I thought the ideas about future inter-planetary life were confidently handled and I liked the way that the basic realities of human life and behaviour haven't changed despite the great technical leaps. Of course people still relish good food, become obsessed with their work and form close bonds in difficult circumstances, even if it is 2143.
All in all, pretty good.
I have a love/ hate relationship with Mr Hamilton. His world building is always amazing though his door-stopping tomes are generally far too bloated and the less said about his adolescent fantasy women and cringe-worthy sex fantasies the better. So why did I pick up Great North Road? Despite my misgivings I enjoy Hamilton's imaginative settings and story telling, and Great North Road delivers both by the bagful.
I loved the depiction of near future Newcastle and the police procedural set within it. Reading what detective work 150 years into the future, using new surveillance and other technologies might look like was fascinating and I enjoyed future Newcastle immensely. There were also hints of economic worries, corruption and political struggles, so not such a near utopia as Hamiltons usual fare. I could have just as easily enjoyed this story if it had remained solely in this setting as a noir thriller, and it probably would have been a very good novel too. However, being a Peter F. Hamilton we also have far flung colonies on exotic worlds, a war with inscrutable aliens, mysterious billionaires seemingly cloned to infinity, an ill-fated expedition set out to find a dangerous alien monster and a kick-ass femme-fatale who holds it all together. This is another very bloated work that would have benefited a lot from tighter editing, though this will be nothing new for P.F. Hamilton fans. It compares to an entertaining but undemanding action flick with great CGI, sit back and enjoy it for what it is. Toby Longworth's narration was well done and he did an admirable job with the Geordie accents. Despite it's flaws Great North Road was still a good yarn and an enjoyable listen.
"The best Peter F Hamilton I've read"
I view Peter F Hamilton as very much pulp fiction: I don't expect much from him except lots of action and pages. Great North Road still isn't on the same level as anything by Iain M Banks, but it's by far the best he's written and a good step up from his other books. The world he has created is intricate and nuanced, and the story explores it thoroughly. There are a couple of weak sub-stories (I felt the expedition was insufficiently justified and not entirely believable), but mostly top notch. Enjoy!
I really enjoyed this book, especially the future Geordieland, and the developments in technology in every day life. This compared well to the more fanciful ideas on space travel. The characters in Newcastle were really interesting and I loved the details of their lives. Hopefully not spoiling the end, I felt it was unsatisfactory and a bit of a "fairytale" ending. Maybe I just didn't want to let go of the real future world of Newcastle.
"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 :)
"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
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