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
Say something about yourself!
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 have listened to and read most of Hamilton's works, and though I enjoyed this one a lot, it doesn't stack up to his later Novels. Hamilton's brilliance is in crafting expansive epics with a diverse cast of brilliant and intrepid characters. This novel, while imaginative, simply lacks the scope, scale, and depth that lend greatness to some of his later works. I am still sincerely hoping that an audio publisher decides to put his Night's Dawn trilogy on here eventually!
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.
If you come into this series after reading anything from the Commonwealth universe, you're going to be a bit surprised. The first book is just average, the story telling is a little rough at first and just not the same quality as his later books. Give it a chance though. Hamilton improves with every chapter he writes and matures as a writer over the series.
Peter F. Hamilton makes for an interesting sci-fi read and this book is no exception. On a side note a sci-fi book is exactly where a global warming story should be when the polar ice caps melt in no time.
I have not read the print version.
The extremely logical predictions about how technology and humans would integrate and the changes the global climate. Extremely believable and lovable characters. Phillip Evans just warms the heart. Loved the spikes of humor in the story as well
This was the first performance I have heard by Toby Longworth but I must say he has done a fantastic job ! It is not easy to emulate the throaty gruff voice of Mandel and the feminine voice of Julia Evans in a single conversation but Toby has done a wonderful job of it !
He has the best vocal range I have heard so far in any story teller.
Get ready to have your mind blown !
As is the case with other stories by Hamilton, there is detail about characters and small aspects of the story which is too much and the story would be more streamlined if all of this were to be removed. Too much scene description for example bogs it down if it is an action scene that is going on. But I guess it might be needed for world building. All in all this is the only problem I had with the story, otherwise it is fabulous !
Hamilton is a contemporary master of building future societies that make sense and contain amazing surprises. And then the stories he sets within them are great fun.
"buy the follow on books"
bought this as a reduced price audio book liking sci-fi detective/thriller type books, the narrator is absolutely brilliant with a great range of voices and great character portrayal the pace of the story is easy and i found myself stopping what i was doing to listen as this book totally absorbed me, I have bought books 2 and 3 and have enjoyed the whole series. this is the first time I have felt compelled to write a review
"Unsure about this one"
This is an odd book. I think it's PFH's first book, so I'll forgive him somewhat, but I think it could do with a good edit, as there's a lot of clumsy bits...
I don't like the fact that it's been grounded in the near future, using real places and real corporations, it's odd. A book set in Peterborough anyone? No, it didn't need setting in any real place. There's also a lot of brand names that make it very dated, and again this is very odd - Amstrad, Olivetti, Commodore all make an appearance in the descriptions of various technical devices, it's just not necessary to do this, and they want editing out.
The story itself is okay, but it didn't grip me at all. Greg is just about okay as a protagonist, but the rest of the bunch didn't really bring much with them.
Hamilton's later books, such as the Commonwealth Saga are some of my favourite books ever, so I'm going to try more of his work, but I don't think I'll follow the Mindstar series anymore.
"Fortunately I know things get better"
This book has weathered quite well with only the slightest of telltales of it's age. It paints a perfectly believable and engaging view of the near future but is really more of an action adventure (Clancy more than Ludlum). The book is lifted by Toby Longworth's narration and the highlight for me is that he seems to have given the book's despicable prime ,minister Tony Blair's voice.
The book isn't great but, if you like the mix of genres, a worthwhile and entertaining read and everyone tells me the series gets better
"A soild first offering for Greg Mandel"
This audiobook is good and as a start into the Greg Mandel series this is well done.
Toby Longworth is an exceptional reader for audiobooks and for Peter Hamilton this seems to work exceptionally well. I've heard Toby read The first of Hamilton's Void series and was gutted when he was unable to read any more. He just seems to have the right voice for this universe.
The characters are good and as with any Hamilton book I've come across at this point it has something unique. In this case the glands that Greg and others in the story possess giving them some extra unique ability beyond normal human capability. This adds an extra zing to the story and I did enjoy it.
The only thing that I will say about this was that it felt "rough" compared to the Night's Dawn or the Void series. Not to say that it is bad, but I didn't think that this was as up to par with those. Did this mean I didn't enjoy it? HELL NO! I thought it was great and I savoured the moments I had to listen to it. Just perhaps check those ones out first if you're looking for an into to Peter Hamilton and his work.
"Mr Hamilton never disappoints"
Peter F Hamilton creates civilisations and characters that are totally believable.then he takes you to places you didn't really expect to go.
the moment Greg and Gabriel are snatched. It's memorable because it is so unexpected, as is the revelation of the true mastermind behind the plot.
Worth a read,
"Peter Hamiltion has become one of my favourates"
The expansive world in which the characters are introduced and evolve really makes you care are about them and allows you to loose yourself in a future that is plausible.
"Probably the best sci-fi i've read in years"
The genre has been missing this quality of story for years. The world created by Peter Hamilton is highly believable and he works the story well. I only hope the characters have the legs to be developed fully in future book - can't wait to find out.
I came to this in reverse order - seeking out the work of an author I have grown to love.
It's all here - a proto-cyberpunk, British setting with silly action and ridiculous female characters. Good fun for sci-fi and Hamilton enthusiasts. For the perfected and crafted work go immediately for the Commonwealth or Void Sagas. If you know what that means - enjoy this for what it is
"Fantastic, A great intro to the world of Peter H"
the characters and how believable they were, each character has there own personality and they mix together brilliantly
the part where Greg and Julia were in his car, nearly brought tears to me eyes
Greg, Julia and well all of them each given a different voice and brilliantly delivered
If i could I would have yes
its a great book if you wanting to start in Peter F. Hamilton worlds, the detail he puts in is amazing and I almost immediately fell in love with all the characters even the villains and scumbags
defiantly worth your time by my account, fantastic read... now for the next book in the series
"Good story with twists and turns"
Good start to the series
The start was a little slow but overall the pace was good and the final scenes were great.
Enjoy Toby's enthusiasm and characterisation. Audio books are a good hybrid between film and printed media.
Shame I could hear the pages being turned, but didn't really distract from experience.
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