His previous novel, the acclaimed Pandora's Star, introduced the Intersolar Commonwealth, a star-spanning civilization of the 24th century. Robust, peaceful, and confident, the Commonwealth dispatched a ship to investigate the mystery of a disappearing star, only to inadvertently unleash a predatory alien species that turned on its liberators, striking hard, fast, and utterly without mercy.
Coexistence is impossible with the technologically advanced aliens, who are genetically hardwired to exterminate all other forms of life. Twenty-three planets have already fallen to the invaders, with casualties in the hundreds of millions. And no one knows when or where the genocidal Prime will strike next.
Nor are the Prime the only threat. For more than 100 years, a shadowy cult, the Guardians of Selfhood, has warned that an alien with mind-control abilities impossible to detect or resist - the Starflyer - has secretly infiltrated the Commonwealth. Branded as terrorists, the Guardians and their leader, Bradley Johansson, have been hunted by relentless investigator Paula Myo. But now evidence suggests that the Guardians were right all along and that the Starflyer has placed agents in vital posts throughout the Commonwealth - agents who are now sabotaging the war effort. Is the Starflyer an ally of the Prime, or has it orchestrated a fight to the death between the two species for its own advantage?
Caught between two deadly enemies, one a brutal invader striking from without, the other a remorseless cancer killing from within, the fractious Commonwealth must unite as never before. This will be humanity's finest hour - or its last gasp.
©2006 Peter F. Hamilton; (P)2008 Tantor
"For flat-out huge widescreen all-engines-at-full I-dare-you-not-to-believe-it space opera, there is no one quite like Peter F. Hamilton." (Richard K. Morgan, author of Market Forces)
"Richly satisfying.... In more ways than one, this...work is monumental." (Publishers Weekly)
Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.
Firstly the narration: Generally I like the performances of narrator John Lee. I have listened to a number of others of his books including White Tiger, Pillars Of the Earth, Count of Monte Cristo. But the narration in this series leaves much to be desired. This production, while not as bad as Pandora’s Star, is a hopelessly flawed engineering fiasco. One can never tell when there is a change in chapters unless it is stated in the literary context. When there is a change of scene or arc, the narrator just connects the end of the one with the beginning of the next and we are left wondering, where in the universe we are. The variations in modulation are unnatural, distracting and just plain horrible.
However, despite all that Audible has done to detract from the greatness of this selection, it is almost without peer in its greatness. Hamilton creates a world of places, people, aliens and events unlike any I have read. The stories, and there are many, are complex and they all come together in multiple, exciting conclusions. Unlike the series Wheel of Time which seems to go on for several volumes and have very little new to add than what we discovered in the first volume, every part of these two books is fresh, interesting and surprising.
This masterpiece of literature deserved better than the treatment it received by Audible. All of that being said, I could not recommend a selection more highly. It is too good to miss even with all of its detractors.
Pandora's Star introduces us to a collection of amazing characters --- giving us background and stories about their (many) lives. We get to know them all very well. In this book, they join forces in the battle for the future of our civilization. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. It was nice to see all the strings of his amazing story come together in the end.
It was only 99.5% perfect, though. There was at least one starflyer agent that was frustratingly obvious to me for nearly the entire book (mostly due to lack of back story) but wasn't uncovered until the bitter end. And we never really learned much more about the High Angel.
But a really exciting listen nonetheless. Highly recommended.
I'm a politically conservative, technologically inclined, open-minded, all American citizen of this great terrestrial ball we call home. I keep my head in the clouds, I love Sci-Fi and Fantasy novels but I keep my feet on the ground, I stay informed on news and current events, and I love the fact that I can still form and express my own opinions in this great nation we call The Untied States.
I think that this book was very well written and orated even better. It was the continuation of the story of the "Commonwealth" and the "Primes". It kept me on the edge of my seat and I loved every minute of it... I would highly recommend this book of you like it's prequel "Pandora's Star".
This series, in my opinion, is unmatched. Every book I've listened to since seems pathetic in comparison. The character and world creation is so realistic and tangible. I would literally keeping driving around the block or run an extra mile or two to keep listening. The only downside to this series is that there is an end!
Thank goodness Mr. Hamilton is writing another trilogy using the same reality he created for this series, though set further into the future.
The reader takes some getting used to, but after a while, I really appreciated his style and care he took with the way he played each character, as well as his consistency in the style of narration.
This series is highly recommended.
I too began Judas Unchained and had a hard time getting into the book. Now that I am almost 30 hours into the book, I find that audible has now released "Pandora's Star" which is the second book in this series and the story in Judas Unchained continues the story from Pandora's Star. I guess Audible will probably wait a couple of months and then release "Misspent Youth" which is the first book in the series. I sure wish they had released them in the correct order. They have lost a sale because it is too late for me to go back now. I don't usually read sci-fi but the book itself, once you get the various charachters straight, is enjoyable and John Lee does his usual great job. The 3 stars could go to 4 depending on how he resolves the issues by the end of the book.
Only if they were a serious sci-fi fan that wanted a very in-depth story.
There were too many characters for the story to focus on one long enough for me to become attached to.
I am going to mention the performance first. there might be two narrators, or it might be one man at two different points in time. right off the start, the narrator pronounces names differently than the previous book. then later on he gets them in sync with the last book. his speech pattern is difficult at best for any listening outside of headphones in a quiet room. He tends to trail off in volume so the end of sentences are much quieter than the start. Walking outside next to a busy street, I had to turn the volume up to where his trailing voice could be heard but sometimes his loud start to a sentence would be painful and I was constantly adjusting the volume. The same problem in the car. Highway driving drowns out the end of sentences where he apparently loses breath. Then there are the second take areas. Part way through the book, his entire cadence and accent changes. This is where it sounds like another person reading. But it returns towards the end of the book. However, all throughout the book, there are tiny bits of second takes that totally sound different. Some are just one sentence, others are paragraphs. It is a jumbled mess of editing that leaves echos in the background and uneven volume between the edits.
The only reaction other than enjoyment, was that I was relieved to finish after nearly 80 hours of listening to this story.
The story itself is good. Granted the amount of extra detail gets cumbersome, but if you read the previous book (if not, go read/listen as this is a sequel) you knew what you were getting into. Seriously though, I did not need all of the descriptions of Melany in this book. Yes she must be beautiful, but a few of the wardrobe descriptions could easily have been edited out without losing any scope of the story.
Ignoring my opinion of the unnecessary details, the story was good. it made me happy at the end and left the universe open. characters had an end to this time of their lives but it did not end them. I feel they will continue to live on after this story. Overall I enjoyed my experience.
I'm a Hard SF & Space Opera-loving, alien android from the future. I bring gifts of SciFi eBooks & accessories for your leader's Kindle. Take me to him/her/it.
One of the advantages of such a long story, and I include Hamilton’s ‘Pandoras Star’ as part of this story, is that you can revisit forgotten characters and events from the earlier pages to great dramatic effect later on. Quite a few such gems get deliberately buried in the intervening text and are delightfully resurfaced when least expected. After my second reading of this pair of novels, I now hold a greater respect for the structural planning that went into it’s plot line and pacing.
As the publisher’s blurb informs us, the story focuses on a society under threat from both an external and internal alien threat. Although neither is fully resolved until the conclusion of ‘Judas’, I would argue that ‘Pandora' focusses more on the Prime alien invasion, while ‘Judas’ takes on the hidden Starflyer crisis. That’s not to say that there is any less intensity of action or violence in this volume- an incredibly dramatic climax awaits the patient reader. There isn’t any new insight into alien biology or psychology compared with the first novel, but many of the human characters are explored and evolved further. A few additional settings are introduced, although none of them are as wild or varied as those already visited. As others have already noted, you really can’t read either novel in isolation from the other, so you will certainly feel well satisfied with the resolution reached by the end of ‘Judas’, putting it only any Space Opera fan’s must-read list.
I'm just an old goat that like magic, dragons, elves, dwarves, wizards and witches. I read for intertainment and like long fast paced books that have just a few central characters....Loved Iron Druid series and Monster Hunter series. I live on a farm in SC and have given all the birds and animals that hang in my yard names and magical powers, and sometimes it seems like they really do.
This book would be good for a real SF geek.. For me the plot jumped around more than I could keep up with. Never figured out who was who. I listened to the first 3 1/2 of the 5 parts and just finally gave up. Maybe I'm not to bright but it was just too jumbled up for me.
Don't know.....His next book could be one of the best I've listened to.
About 1/2 of them
The Pandora's Star/Judas Unchained volumes are instant science fiction classics, as readers know. I was blown over by John Lee's voice characterization of such a multitude of characters. His gangster voice for Morton is perfect, and his crude, humorous, and matter-of-fact accent for Clouddancer, the utterly unexpected adult winged Silfen, is delightful. I immediately searched through Audible for more John Lee readings and either bought them or put them on my Wish List: he's that good, like the great, late David Case/Frederick Davidson but without the taint of cynicism.
The character development, the action, the space opera ought to satisfy us in themselves, but I was continually pondering the ideas. Ideas is what science fiction is for, and Hamilton's got them. If you can be "re-lifed" from a memory chip when you die........are you REALLY the same person alive again?? The entire Commonwealth has talked themselves into this, but....... How about genocide: if an alien species is determined to annihilate every other life form in the universe however long it takes, is it morally justified to destroy them? If someone erases all his memories of a murder he did during his periodic regenerations, can he still be guilty of a murder?
Ozzie is the most charming character, a Wild Child of Leonardo-quality genius, whose idea of solving the problem of invasion of the Commonwealth of human civilizations by implacable murderous aliens is to ask, well, the elves. It is not clear that this works, precisely, but it does expand human knowledge exponentially, which seems to be Ozzie's life speciality. "Elven" Clouddancer's last speech at the end of the book is well worth waiting for.
Brian is an avid reader. He is interested in great stories and human behavior. His job is as a behavioral specialist in public schools.
Good Lord Almighty this book is boring! I have tried so hard to listen and enjoy it. I love a great sci-fi, but the author jumps to so many different characters and so many different stories that it makes the Wheel of Time series look easy to read and I've read all of that series! The performer is good, but the material is not. I had a hard enough time staying awake through book one. This second book is the last straw! No more of this author!
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