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
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.
I had already read the entire Mindstar trilogy on Kindle before receiving this audio book as a gift. I already had a general sense of how things would unfold, yet the amount of detail in the story meant that most of the time I was once again swept up in it. Peter Hamilton created scenes that are full of action and let me enjoy the story at different levels.
I liked the way that Toby Longworth modulated and pitched his voice differently for most of the characters. He was very consistent in this and it made it easier to get pulled into the story.
Hamilton has created characters in this book that I really cared about. He spent enough time developing them as 'real' persons that I got invested in them and wanted things to work out for them.
I am looking forward to hearing the other two audio books that follow this one.
Yes. It's a good story. Industrial espionage and attempted murder (in a way) in a world dealing with climate change and the fall of a fascist political party. It was a solid, entertaining read.
In this story, set several decades in our future, Hamilton and fused some science fiction technology with fantasy-based intuition and empathic abilities raised to new height with an experimental program. The product is now a private eye contracted to solve a simple case. Of course, it's not so simple.
This is not nearly so epic in scale has Hamilton's Commonwealth Saga or Void trilogy. And the novel very knowingly and explicitly violates some rules of science as we know them so far as well as postulating possibilities.
A good read.
Reading Mindstar Rising, the first book in Peter F. Hamilton’s Greg Mandel Trilogy will cost you three credits because I guarantee you will be purchasing the second and third volumes, A Quantum Murder and The Nano Flower in quick succession.
I have to admit to liking a good long story. The problem with that is sometimes long stories are filled with so much superfluous verbiage that you wish you had committed the ultimate of audible sins and purchased the abridged version. Some books although possessing a great premise and promising storyline just seem to waffle.
It is for that reason that Peter F. Hamilton is, and will remain, one of my favourite fiction authors. Because not only does he provide some of the best value for money in the world of audio books he also weaves a compelling and believable story no matter how fantastic the underlying premise. Peter F. Hamilton’s books are the ones you tend not to read in bed because when you nod off letting slip the paperback might break your nose and the hardback will cause concussion. Mindstar Rising is typical of Mr Hamilton’s books in this regard. At 14 hours long it is one of his briefer works. Yet frustratingly this book in common with his other works seems to be far too short as his masterfully crafted characters and compelling environments hold you entranced for every one of those 840 minutes. I recollect starting this book on a Friday evening and I am told that over the next two days I prepared two family meals, mowed a lawn, walked the dog and basically ignored my family and the world. I have no recollection of that weekend because for 14 glorious hours I was transported into a near future Britain where Greg Mandel, an ex-British army paratrooper who back in his service days had been drafted into the Mindstar Battalion due to his ESP potential, now earns his living as a security consultant come private eye. With psi enhancements the legacy of his time in service and Britain coming out of the economic ruin of years of Marxist government on the back of some truly cool tech the story that unfolds could have been predictable and plastic. But it’s not, most definitely not, plastic. This was Peter F. Hamilton’s first published novel and every sentence is carefully layered and finessed into place. Peter F. Hamilton doesn’t write he sculpts. The level of details he puts into his work is one of the reasons that his novels are weighty tomes. But unlike many other authors that detail is almost unnoticed as it creates an incredibly multi-dimensional landscape upon which is then delived a plot that propels you to the end in what feels like a fraction of the 14 hours required to get there.
No sooner had Audible hoped I had enjoyed this programme, I was downloading the next two books. If you like intelligent science fiction, gritty characters and are not afraid of a couple of days of productivity loss buy this book. Now as an undeserved afterthought let me please throw Toby Longworth into the mix. Mr Longworth must be one of the best narrators on Audible. He makes an amazing book incredible. No messing!
Up there with the best
Picturing Greg's gland doing it's thing
The bar at the start when the religious fool was made to look as small as he truely was.
Yes, the concept had me hooked.
Recommended for Sci-fi fans.
I liked the action , but the corporate setting, and scaled back technology was a disappointment. Less epic than I expect from the author.
Maybe, pretty dull sometimes
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Well I have read all of Peter F Hamilton's books on Audible and some that aren't, I was not sure what I was expecting when I started reading this but I have loved PFH's other stuff so I figured this is probably good - just a few years after these 3 books made him really famous he wrote "The Nights Dawn" (come on Audible get this one in audio format, not here as of 7-9-12) and its just a great set of books, maybe better than these I will know when I finish these so check my review of the last book The Nano Flower when I finish it
There are 3 books and the stories are set in a near-future England, centered around "Hamilton's" own home county of Rutland. Mandel is a former officer of the 'English Army', who fought in the 'Mindstar Brigade', a tactical psychic unit. He was given the psychic powers of intuition and detecting emotions, skills he uses for his new profession of psychic detective.
What I found pretty cool is that there is a "credit crash", "housing market crash" and "global warming" as well as some other things that have either happened already or are likely to happen soon in the future in the real world we live in today and this was written in 1993!
It is good but not in the way his latter works are, this being written in 1993 has some "dated" things in it namely a "Peoples Socialist Party", when is the last time you herd that stuff being spouted since the Berlin Wall fell? - there are some "hacking" that's reminiscent of the movie "Hackers" (1995) how it was not really much like actual hacking is like but made it look cool, in this book its sorta like people thought it would turn out to be until the internet came so big, many methods of attack do work but the way its executed is as bad as Hollywood is today and we should know by now how hacking works - other than that mostly its a great book that doesn't show its age in many other ways than the Socialist thing.
Greg can detect emotions which is pretty cool and one would think that you could get ahead pretty well in life with those powers, and he does pretty well for him self - but he's got this friend who can predict the future, and she doesn't seem to "Rule the World" as someone with that ability should likely be doing, she doesn't do much at all from what is made clear and this is really strange if you can predict the future at least the future around you (don't work far off) why aren't you rich as hell, I don't know but other than that everything makes sense in the book
"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!
"Best so far"
Just brilliant. I've read most of the Hamilton paperback books in the past, including this one. Currently catching up on these great stories again, but in audio format for the long commutes to work. By far the best narration of any audiobook I've come across so far. Well paced with great accents, helping to bring this story to life for me again. Oh, the fantastic writing by Hamilton doesn't need to be mentioned - we all know his quality.
"Much good and much bad"
I find reading this novel was like driving without brakes on an empty motorway. There are moments of intense, exciting action where you can't lose concentration for a moment in case you miss a vital plot twist but also long periods of open road where there's nothing to do except listen to the author's description of the world around. And there are too many of these.
What I like is PH's action narrative. It is punchy, exhilarating and gripping and I often found myself stopping what I was doing to focus on it. What I hate is his long, tedious description in minute detail of the world and surroundings of Greg Mandel. It has too much of the "Look at me ain't I clever" about it for my liking. This is of course a personal taste thing - I like narrative with some description and don't need to immerse myself so completely in the alternative reality described for me. Sometimes I think PH lets himself off the reins too much in this regard and it adds nothing to the story for me.
Still, I can't stop listening because I want to know how it ends (almost there now). I've read other PH books and this is the recurring theme. Yes, he goes on a bit and yes he could sometimes do with a good editor but he clearly has imagination and he can clearly tell a story, one I want to hear. I have already bought the other two downloads for the series which is the ultimate test of his authorship.
A word on the narrator. He is very good and can create an identifiably different voice for each character. I looked him up on IMDB and recalled his scene as the stress counsellor in the IT Crowd. He brings that calm voice to his narration and I would recommend him to others albeit not as fervently as some reviewers would.
"well read story, but not best by peter f hamilton"
This story was very well read by the narrator. Prefer the longer stories from Peter F Hamilton.
"Interesting and enjoyable"
I am not really into futuristic novels but am glad i listened to this. The pace of the story was excellent and i kept wanting to listen to find out what happens next. I have now bought the second book because i quite like Greg Mandel!
"Longworth... a new star?"
I read the original when it first came out in paper format, I enjoyed it then, but loved 'rediscovering' it again. What makes this version is Longworth... he just totally aces the narrative. There are loads of really good books on audible, but what really makes them come alive is the person reading it. Michael Jayston, David Rintoul and now Toby Longworth *make* what they read worth purchasing. My only downside is a bit of audio editing where you can hear him turning the pages. If you like this one, then the rest of the series are worth your time and money!
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