It's the 21st century, and global warming is here to stay, so forget the way your country used to look. And get used to the free market, too – the companies possess all the best hardware, and they're calling the shots now. In a world like this, a man open to any offers can make out just fine.
A man like Greg Mandel for instance, who's psi-boosted, wired into the latest sensory equipment, carrying state-of-the-art weaponry – and late of the English Army's Mindstar Battalion. As the cartels battle for control of a revolutionary new power source, and corporate greed outstrips national security, tension is mounting to boiling point – and Greg Mandel is about to face the ultimate test.
©2011 Peter Hamilton (P)2011 Audible Ltd
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Peter Hamilton's first trilogy already displays the vivid descriptive writing and complex character development that are hallmarks of his later, more ambitious work. You won't find a better example of the mystery-meets-science-fiction hybrid, and every major character is post-human yet remains profoundly human at his or her core. Fascinating read, great suspense, satisfying resolution.
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.
The key to my enjoying this PFH novel was to disassociate everything I’d previously read by the author in the Commonwealth Saga series. Here there are no alien threats or exotic stellar locations to explore. This story takes place in a far less optimistic, multi-point dystopian future where twin environmental and political disasters have stratified the class differences in society. The gritty tone is exemplified in the protagonist, psychic freelance mercenary Greg Mandel, a two-dimensional tough guy who uses the phrase “no messing” to end far too many sentences. The strength of this story is in the unraveling of a corporate mystery with turns and twists which explore most corners of Hamilton’s dark future. It’s a bit like watching a police procedural with psychic cops and some minor near-future SF tech peppered in. It compares quite similarly to Hamilton’s other, separate, story- Great Northern Road- which features a similar investigation but has the added element of off world alien settings and more examples of action scenes. Much of the crime and conspiracy here are strictly white-collar, and it was hard to identify with the Mandel character or even sympathize with him during the only truly high-stakes, dangerous moments he endures in the climactic ten percent of the story, no messing.
I don't think so. The book is great, and the narration is excellent, but it isn't the sort of book that makes you THINK. Several of the authors' other stories are worth listening to several times, because they're complex and layered, and you always hear something a little different the second and third times you listen.
This book isn't like that; it's satisfying as it is, but not complex enough to require a second listen.
The fact that this book was released in 1993, right around the time that cell phones first hit the retail market, and yet the technology in it feels very "now".
Being that I'm not British, I'm not sure how authentic any of his accents are, but to my Canadian ear, they SOUND perfect, and every character is distinguishable from the others.
My reviews are honest. No sugar coating here.
I'm a huge fan of Peter F. Hamilton. I still think that he is one of the best writers for science fiction. He writes in grand and epic structure with vast amount of detail in his characters. When reading the first installment of "The Greg Mandel Trilogy", you have to tweak your brain from what you read before from this author. "Mindstar Rising" is not space opera, but more action pack and focus on one character that is a sci fi detective on a post disaster in England.
Please don't quote me, but I believe that the Mandel series was Hamilton's first. It will be interesting if he veer off more into space opera and somehow introduce us to Commonwealth as I keep listening to this trilogy.
When reading the this book, Hamilton is in one direction. It's very different than what I've read from him in the past.
I only gave "Mindstar Rising" 3 stars because it's like getting introduce to an new author. My mind still need to adjust that there is no space drama and sexy droids in this universe. I'm sure that more stars will be added in the following books as I see Hamilton in a different light.
Just a lot of action in this one.
I made it through all of Pandoras Star and the sequels. The thickness of the prose was daunting in those books, but the universe created was fascinating.
This book has the same dialogue-heavy blandness with no story or characters. I listened for 8 hours and gave up.
A mail carrier on a rural island somewhere in the US; good books make me stop the "tape" at every door delivery & package hop out.
If the story was faster moving and better paced. This book seemed to drag on. While I understand that the book is suppose to be a mystery, There were several sections that were not very clear and concise. This led to certain sections that were hard to follow.
No While I have a feeling I will not be continuing the series. I love the scifi genre and I will continue to listen/read novels in this area. I will also read other books from Peter F. Hamilton.
I liked the voices in this book, I found none of them to be annoy or hard to listen to. Also all of the voices were unique enough to tell who was who.
My favorite characters were any of the characters that are stored/interfaced in a computer. There are several moments where people who use an AI/computer to speak and interact. In several of these scenes there are sections where the computer interface "glitches" This leads to erratic dialogue from the characters. This was amazing to listen to. It must have been so hard for the reader to pull that off. Toby Longworth did a great job reading!
I would not cut any characters personally, All of the characters played a role in the story and moved the plot forward all be it slowly.
I really wanted to like this book, I love Sci-Fi it is fun, techie, and can be full of adventure. This book has a great premise, it blends Sci-Fi and detective work and it does so OK-ish. I would have preferred a little more action in this novel. I did not like the anti-corporate/business and environmental spin. That drove me nuts. I hear enough about climate change and global warming crap in the news today, I don't like to hear it in my science fiction novels. I also did not like the several gratuitous sex scenes in the novel, it did not further the plot and it just added to the dragging on of novel.
All in all I would say the idea of the novel and the series is a great idea but it is poorly executed.
Bad to good
Toby's English accent makes for perfect setting of this English story
This book starts with a couple of chapters like a bad soap opera but after that it switches to a very good thriller. The book reminded me of British sci fi of times past. It is an early work of the author so you can see the characters do not have the depth of his later works but as a thriller with neat plot it works.
I would listen to this book again. The story was a little slow to start, but it captured me in the end. Towards the end I did't want to stop listening.
The story line about the gland enhanced main character. The story starts slow but becomes a murder mystery that draws you in.
Like Isaac Asimov Peter weaved a mystery and SifFi. Great story!
Perfect reader with enough voice inflections to sort out the charterers.
One must ignore the focus on man causing global warming crap unless you are a global warming pin head
Finally, a Peter F. Hamilton audiobook that I can follow without taking copious notes.
I love a good, meaty sci-fi series, like Dune, Simmon's Hyperion, and got all the Peter F Hamilton Commonwealth series on audiobook, but honestly I didn't like them. They were too disjointed, and too many characters involved. One of his Commonwealth trilogies was like sitting down and reading about 5 separate _unrelated_ novels concurrently, and then 50 hours/1000 pages in, these seemingly unconnected stories would "sort of" link up. But by that time, you couldn't remember who they were at the beginning. So the second trilogy I listened to I started taking notes when I was listening (WTF?) on who each person was, which I'd update as I went along. It was better but too much work.
Peter F Hamilton trilogies are honestly the best books for showing the limitations of audiobooks. I wish that the actual audiobooks had a notes page, where you could click to read synopsis up to where you are, or even a character list. In an audiobook, you can't just like a paper book flip back looking for words/paragraphs.
But I digress. When I picked up the Greg Mandel ones and started listening, I was more than a bit surprised, and very happy with it. The cast of characters was manageable, and the characters really well rounded and felt real. It wasn't like a commonwealth series book were you'd be reading the story from some persons point of view, and wondering what it had to do with anything. It is great also to have a sci-fi crime novel, with a lot of conspiracy, action, and intrigue.
Toby Longworth does a real nice job of narration. He's probably one of the main reasons I've stuck with the series.
And on the series as a whole, I really enjoyed the feel of the universe. in short, a damaged earth, where it is rebuilding slowly, with some really good corporate people actually thinking of the world rather than themselves. You hear the constant doom and gloom on global warming, and this story I felt had a nice background non-apocalyptic vision of what the world could be like after.
Yes. The idea of it being 'just' into the future means that although there are science elements that we dont have, it is totally believable as a future that may come to pass.
The characters are well rounded, you are drawn into their persona very well.
The story keeps you hooked with several twists.
Up until this book (apart from the odd star wars novel) i was strictly an epic high fantasy reader. I fancied a change and picked this out at random. For the first 3 chapters i thought i had made a terrible mistake and my prejudice against anything not high fantasy started bubbling up. The further into the book i got, i found myself taking every spare few minutes to listen to a bit more.
I can say with 100% conviction that this book put my prejudice against non high fantasy firmly in its place. It was a thoroughly enjoyable listen, making me get the next two books in the Greg Mandel series.
Special mention should be given to Toby Longworth, WOW! this is how all audio books should be read!
The clear narration, devoid of accent. His ability to voice each character in a slightly different way meant you could tell them just by the sound of his voice and not need the narration to explain anything at all. His pacing was excellent as well, you felt the energy in his reading as the tense and action pints of the story arose.
"Morse with PSI - and more mature"
After enjoying my first Peter F Hamilton book - Great North Road, i thought i would try some more out.
This book reminded me of a futuristic version of Morse or Lewis - a detective working out whodunit - with extra PSI ability. This is not a bad thing as i really enjoyed those series. This changes a little part way through the book and turns into a hunter/prey piece.
OK, some of the techno babble was a little off putting, and a couple of the scenes were a little slow. Some characters were a bit weak/one dimensional.
The hardest part for me was the landscape (both physical and political). As i live in the UK, i knew a lot of the places, but of course it all sounded different.
The narrator (Toby Longworth) did a great job of portraying the main players in the book.
This book was very well narrated and is quite good and interesting even to me, though a bit out of my usual taste area.
"Rough at the edges but shows promise"
PFH's world building is brilliant as usual, but some of the writing in this early novel is a little clunky. And the brand name dropping, like product placement is going out of fashion gets a bit tiresome after a while. But the spark of the brilliance that is to come in his later books is definitely there. And the climactic chase through the Fens - the climax of a scifi thriller set in Wisbech? Priceless!
Toby Longworth's narration is as good as ever, with clear differentiation between the characters, and a nice hint of their accents.
"What a writer !"
As some authors books are not in order, it took me a while to find this first book of a trilogy of three. Listening to the book rather than reading it lets your imagination absorb the graphic words and makes you feel as if you are a by stander.
The author uses places that anyone who knows England would recognise. Real cities, towns and villages.
He brings you right into the story. There is a character that everyone can relate to. The different accents, males, females and children.
I thought that there were very touching moments, funny, romantic, worrying. A combination of most !
A great trilogy, I am now hooked and have three of his trilogies in my library !
"great plot and a compelling story"
Yes, it was extremely well narrated which created a atmosphere and I felt that the characters, especially Greg, had way more depth to them
It was a great story line with twists and turns and which wasn't predictable. I loved the characters too especially Greg and Julia. I wish there were more than 3 books in this series but alas no
He really pulled me into the book and engage with all of the characters
most definitely - I downloaded to listen to it in the car and on a few occasions had to wait until a chapter finished before turning off the engine.
I've enjoyed every Peter Hamilton book - I'm bloody glad I only discovered Greg Mandell now. Total sold on Audible too
"Supernatural sci fi classic"
The attention to detail surrounding the world in Hamilton's future Britain. Therese so many genera i could group this with there really is very little that doesn't add to the universe you find yourself in whilst listening.
Julia for her being both relatable and powerful in a unconventional way
i loved the alternate future with the PSP and the reaction for the country following the warming. Very realistic and a good staging ground for the events of the book.
Why must every alternate universe have zeppelins?
"Oh gosh what a mistake to have bought this"
Right wing in the extreme, story line of no consequence and remarkable ability to shoehorn multiple adjectives into pretty much every sentence - ugh!
"Good sci-fi well narrated"
I read alot of sci-fi and this is a very good story, its one of peter F Hamiltons earlier boxs and having read many of his other you can see similar theme develop from this one, as he refines his style. Its maybe not be his best but its well written and engaging. The story revolves around his main character Greg Mandel, who is a kind of hardcore ex special forces private investigator, and the character developmental and back story is good. The story doesnt sprawl as much as is later books (normaly across time and different plants etc) which is maybe a good thing as it can be different to follow and this feels more of a conventional detective type story all be it in a very well realised and full developed future slightly apocalyptic version of England. As with all this books the detail is excellent and the technology and politics of the future feel very real and plausible, and develops well with the main narrative. Also the narration is very good with different characters played differently but not some much that it detracts from the story. Definatly worth a read/listen and this is a very accessible story for all, rather than lover of pure scifi alone.
"A talent rising"
I came to this book after reading (listening to) Peter F.Hamilton's Commonwealth Saga narrated by John Lee which I loved. The Greg Mandel books (I've listened to all three now) are a little bit clunky in their writing compared to his later works but you can easily forgive and forget this as the characters are well formed and engaging and the plots are a good romp. Toby Longworth does a good job narrating as well, especially handling all the regional accents!
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