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)
This is essentially the second half of a single book - the first half is Pandora's Star. Judas Unchained begins where Pandora's Star left off, in the middle of a very exciting battle for survival. The writing is very descriptive, the action constant and intense. The author has a wonderful and consistent vision of other alien cultures, including philosophy, anatomy, and so on. There are enough threads of today's society that the descriptions of human culture in the future are quite believable and consistent. The narration adds to the quality, and is superb. You'll want to read Pandora's Star first, and download this one before you finish, so that you can go on listening to the end. The ending, of course, is quite satisfying.
If you made it through Pandora's Star, you will definitely need to keep going with Judas Unchained. If they had tacked Chapter 1 of Judas Unchained onto the end of Pandora's Star, you wouldn't tell the difference. And in Judas Unchained, you get all the benefits of Pandora's Star without the confusing three hundred pages of introduction.
Judas Unchained continues the story of the Commonwealth as they battle against aliens both in and outside of their civilization. It basically felt like this entire book is one humongous climax as things start falling into place, you start discovering the enemies, and things come to a focal point. Things get exciting because no one is safe. Fear of killing of main characters? Nah... not this guy. There's enough of them to keep things going. So, when someone is in danger, you start to get nervous for them.
This was the end of a very interesting two part book and I would recommend it for anyone who has the time to listen. But, even at a total of 80 hours for both books, I would say it is worth it.
I really liked Pandora's Box, and had high hopes for Judas Unchained - even though I'm wary of sequels. The end of Pandora's box leaves you hanging and I couldn't help myself. I was not disappointed. Broad in scope, varied in character, suspenseful, philosphical, humorous, riveting - I seldon rave about modern science fiction. I must say that after 80+ hours of listening, it felt like it was time for this tale to wrap up - but that was OK. The ending was quite good and appropriate to the characters and story. And what characters they were - intriguing, surprising, funny, scary, and more. Even though some of the physics was a stretch, Hamilton has the knack of getting you to suspend doubt and - after a while - you start to see how inspired some of it actually is! E.g., just tonight I read about a Washington university prof testing contact lenses that could quite likely receive microwatts of energy from an iphone transmitter and give you an output display on your eyeballs ... and the other day I saw something about wiring your body with circuits under the skin, not unlike the tattoos in this tale. Also, the aliens were varied, highly believable some terrifying and some quite likable - espcially Tow-Chee (spelling?). Often you come out of a really tense scene on the edge of your seat and are led into something totally different where a character likeTow-Chee makes you laugh out loud! And, John Lee's narration is FANTASTIC. It boggles my mind to go through 80+ hours and still find myself in awe of his story-telling skills and voices. I haven't had this much sheer fund since Snow Crash! I think you'll really like these two volumes.
Because Hamilton has already built much of his commonwealth galaxy, the second book is focused more on actually telling the narrative and less on world building.
Overall a satisfying conclusion.
The story gets really good in this book the first was enjoyable but this one was great. both books are a little long and a little detailed for me, but that wont hold me back enjoying this book. Im downloading the next in this series. i hope he writes more. i think the narrator does a great job. although i wish there would have been a little more ozzy in this one.
I absolutely loved both books in this character driven & masterfully written series, Pandora's Star & Judas Unchained.
Multiple intertwined story lines & numerous memorable characters in this futuristic, space travel, murder mystery, alien invasion, technology driven Sci-Fi epic will keep you hooked regardless of its length of 37 hrs (PS) & 41 hrs (JU). In fact, I hated to see the books end.
Humans now inhabit planets throughout the universe via wormhole travel, and are not alone. They can also, theoretically, live forever. So needless to say, all sorts of intrigue and adventure ensue. Great fun. Highly recommend!
Peter Hamilton continues what has been a thoroughly engaging sci-fi novel. Plus he does what so few sci-fi writers can: actually wrap up the ends to thier stories. John Lee is perhaps my favorite narrator and so I've spent a couple months now looking forward to my daily commutes. Highly recommended to those who like thier sci-fi believable and intricate.
It's hard to discuss this book without mentioning it's companion, Pandora's Star which must be read first; therefore they will be discussed as a set. Hamilton is a true grandmaster of the craft of space opera. The breadth and depth of the two books is simply breathtaking. The sci-fi aspect is rock solid and well presented in that the science is not overwhelming. In addition, the evolution of humans is also logically developed and natural in light of advancing science. The alien cultures are also sufficiently different to make them interesting and compelling. While the plot is quite complex with multiple character viewpoints, the variety inherent in a universe as diverse as this one demands it. Hamilton is certainly a virtuoso when it comes to storytelling that makes the listening easygoing and never tedious.
This is the sequel to "Pandora's Star". I read these books when they first came out and enjoyed them. Hamilton is an extraordinarily descriptive writer, and the difference between reading words on the page and hearing them inside your head is striking. One can see, in one's minds eye, the mis-en-scene and the action in a way only listening can achieve.
The story spans a great part of our galaxy, and introduces a number of alien species, including one implacable enemy, that come alive as characters in the story. The protagonists--and there are several--are not supermen (or super beings) but have their faults and foibles.
Of course, this being science fiction, there are some advances in technology (especially in biotechnology) that are central to the plot. And while these are, typically, a good deal beyond being likely anytime in the near future, they are extrapolations of present-day technologies that ring true to the imagination.
Finally, the reading is superb.
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.
"Where are the rest of the series?"
This is mainly to say James is right. Get all the books to the listeners! I started with to the \"Void series\" only to discover that they where part of a series. Audible - are you listening?
When will void book two be recorded?
"Top class science fiction.."
Excellent story (make sure you know the plot from the first in the series) from one of the most accomplished and consistently high quality science fiction authors currently writing. Top class listening..
"Beware, this is the second book of the story."
This isn't a review of the audiobook as I've not listened to it. This is just a warning that Judas Unchained is the second book in the story. Audible should have released Pandora's Star first for listeners to get the most out of this one.
4 stars, based on the paperback version.
This is the second Peter Hamilton book I have listened to and is set centuries before the events in the Dreaming Void. Annoyingly the first book in the series Pandora's Star is not available as an audiobook, I read it first because I wanted to know more about the universe in which Judas Unchained is set.
Judas Unchained brings the series to a brilliant conclusion though an incredible mind-numbingly large number of people die due to the catastrophic events that are triggered in Pandora's Star. A great listen - kept me rivetted wanting to know how the characters were going to extricate the future of humankind from an almost fatal fix.
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