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
After about 3 hours I just couldn't enjoy this story. I've read several books by Hamilton and loved all the rest, but this one just couldn't get my interest. I may be biased by my dislike for psychic abilities in stories. If you want Hamilton at his greatest try Pandora's Star, but be warned you might get addicted to a series of long books. ( the kind I look for most)
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.
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.
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.
I didn't hate this book, but I found myself reading it just to get through it. The writing is adequate, occasionally clunky, especially when describing women. The book is full of near-future ideas, some of them rather hackneyed, some of them quite interesting. I enjoyed the depiction of England, post environmental shift. The characters are broadly sketched, not particularly interestingly . The reader made a big difference here though, his command of idiom and accent is very impressive. Unlike many male narrators, he also does convincing women. I'd be inclined to listen to other books read by Mr Longworth. I doubt that I'll bother with the rest of the Greg Mandel Trilogy however.
I've listened to a lot of audio books, but Mindstar Rising is easily in the top 10% of them.
Comparing Peter F. Hamilton to any other author usually leaves that other author looking like an amateur. In terms of compelling storyline and characters I'd compare it to The Lies of Locke Lamora. In terms of quality and care of writing I'd compare it to The Name of the Wind. In terms of page turning action I'd compare it to a James Patterson or Brad Thor novel.
I haven't, this was my first experience with Toby, and it was a great introduction. He's a quality voice actor.
I don't typically have extreme reactions to books. I don't typically laugh out loud or cry. This book was no exception. But it did have me listening well into the night when I should have been sleeping.
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.
"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
"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,
"Paper thin characters"
The main character was moderately likeable and the plot was okay.
The adolescent descriptions of women's bodies gets tiresome. I lost count of how many times I rolled my eyes.
"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.
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.
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