Now, with Pandora's Star, he begins a new multi-volume adventure, one that promises to be his most mind-blowing yet. The year is 2380. The Intersolar Commonwealth, a sphere of stars some 400 light-years in diameter, contains more than 600 worlds, interconnected by a web of transport "tunnels" known as wormholes. At the farthest edge of the Commonwealth, astronomer Dudley Bose observes the impossible: Over 1,000 light-years away, a star...vanishes. It does not go supernova. It does not collapse into a black hole. It simply disappears.
Since the location is too distant to reach by wormhole, a faster-than-light starship, the Second Chance, is dispatched to learn what has occurred and whether it represents a threat. In command is Wilson Kime, a five-time rejuvenated ex-NASA pilot whose glory days are centuries behind him. Opposed to the mission are the Guardians of Selfhood, a cult that believes the human race is being manipulated by an alien entity they call the Starflyer.
Bradley Johansson, leader of the Guardians, warns of sabotage, fearing the Starflyer means to use the starship's mission for its own ends. Pursued by a Commonwealth special agent convinced the Guardians are crazy but dangerous, Johansson flees. But the danger is not averted. Aboard the Second Chance, Kime wonders if his crew has been infiltrated.
Soon enough, he will have other worries. A thousand light-years away, something truly incredible is waiting: a deadly discovery, the unleashing of which will threaten to destroy t...
©2004 Peter F. Hamilton; (P)2008 Tantor
"The depth and clarity of the future Hamilton envisions is as complex and involving as they come." (Publishers Weekly Starred Review)
I've listened to dozens and dozens of audiobooks and there are only one or two flops. One is the fifth book of the Game of Thrones series where they changed narrators and the pronunciation of the names of key places and characters. The other is this one. The sound level of the narrators voice drops at the end of nearly every sentence, making it almost impossible to listen to unless you're in complete silence. Then, it's merely annoying. I gave up on the book half a dozen times or more and only finished it by listening during times when I had nothing else. Fortunately the story, when you can hear it, is compelling and unique enough to bother. I'd recommend reading the book rather than listening to it.
Better vocals would have bumped this to at least a 3. It is difficult to appreciate the story when the reading is so horrible.
I was excited about the premise of this book, but so much of the book is spent describing completely irrelevant things. It was like the author got a listen of descriptive words and used a computer program with the function of using as many adjectives as possible to describe everything.
I would never listen to John Lee again - he reads like William Shatner with a British Accent.
I value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important.
I've listened to over 100 audible books, and this is the first with terrible production quality. Unless you have a "loudness" button on your device, or some other way to shrink the dynamic range of the audio.
Fortunately for me, I have a really good external sound card on my computer, and I was able to tweak the audio to a reasonable range. However, my preferred listening to device is my phone, and there is no way I can listen to this book on that device.
ALMOST EVery phrase STARTS OUT REally loud and then get so quiet ... you ... can .. hardly ... hear.
My only option on my phone was to turn the volume to max to hear the quiet part, but then every 30 seconds or so, a loud word would blast my eardrums painfully.
...Oh, and the book is narrated by John Lee doing his very best to over-enunciate every word, and stop JUST shy of rolling every "R". He also dramatizes EVERY LINE so that mundane descriptions get the same emphasis as tense action sequences. What a hack.
Anyway, I'll come back and re-rate the story once I've finished listening to it on my computer.
I wont go in to the plots too much mainly if it 3 - 5 stars you may want to try it.
It's slow moving a lot of back stories spaced out through the story so it jumps around. I like the story, but its slower then Stephen King novels.The plot is ok. use a credit or sale but most sci-fi buffs may get into it.
The Narrator has a British accent and is a little dry to boring to listen to.
The least helpful reviewer on audible.
There are some characters I just don't care about, but the ones I do care about I really love. There are some amazing moments in this story. If you're a fan of space operas this will be right up your alley. Maybe it's just not for me. I got the sequel because I really want to know how this ends.
Not especially. There are too many stories happening all at once (for my taste). Found it difficult to hear when one story line ended and the next began. LOTS of characters to remember. I listen while driving 30to 90 minutes at a time.
If the cast is as limited as his voices.
the book doesn't so much end as it just stops. kind of like the last episode of the season in a TV show. It's a cliff hanger to bring you back. I hanen't looked but I suspect there are 2 or more additional books after this one.
Excellent story and thoroughly enjoyable read/listen - Peter Hamilton's well developed characters all fall within the full spectrum of the human condition, beautiful flaws and all ... and the varied aliens are truly alien in their essence - especially the main alien antagonist, in the sense that "it" doesn't think or isn't motivated in the same context as a human (as it should be - which many writers fail to establish). The multiple characters, from all walks of life, really develop over the two books and all culminate and contribute towards the story's climax.
John Lee's narration is brilliant, and brings each of the many characters to life with unique voices and style. I didn't hear many of the production issues others have mentioned - I thought it sounded excellent throughout. I was sorry to finish this two book series and will be looking for another audio-book to fill the void.
I generally like John Lee quite a lot but just as there are few things more annoying than Americans trying on fake British accents, there are very few Brits who can do a tolerable American and he is not among them (even the superlative Patrick Tull falls short in this, if very little else). Peter Hamilton is British, so perhaps that dictated this choice, but given that 90% of the characters are being portrayed as having some form (some completely unidentifiable form) of American accent it was an unfortunate one.
Lee's efforts in this regard are at best grating and at worst absurd to the point of parody. To single out just one example of many, the character of American astronaut Wilson Kime sounds like a parodic William Shatner on a particularly hammy day--think of Zapp Brannigan from Futurama but with twanging vowels that go sproinging off in startling directions and resemble the inflections of no actual American anywhere ever in history. I suppose this stuff sounds "American" to Lee, but to a native speaker it's just weird. (And a newsflash to Brit narrators in general: Not ALL Americans pronounce the letter "R" so hard it bruises your eardrums.)
Some listeners may find this less annoying than I, and in small quantities I can tolerate it, but it when it's this pervasive it really mars the experience of what is quite a decent SF novel.
Hugh Laurie is the exception that proves the rule: Brits shouldn't do "American" (and vice versa).
I did not Like John Lee as a narrator! His tone, accent and dialect cause the volume to fluctuate continually throughout the story. He clips words and almost mumbles, which makes it difficult to listen to while driving (when I listen to most audiobooks).
Uh, NO. It and its must "read" successor, Judas Unchained, are in total almost 80 hours. Sorry, but I like to sleep and eat. The story is great but this just ends at a very climatic point. You cannot "read" this book without listening to the Judas Unchained.
Its a good time pass but needs a better edit job
YES, the story goes on and on in that amount of time you'd think it would wrap up but instead it ends abruptly in an cliff hanger (LITERALLY)
Worth the money and a good distraction that is well read and easy to escape into for a while. However the same story could have been told in a book 1/4 as long. The other 75% goes to character development and in depth descriptions of technology and futuristic scenes and interactions that don't really forward the storyline.Some Character development is OK but this felt like a whole bunch of short stories that were written separately and afterward someone came along and wove them together in an attempt to make some overriding storyline out of it.
There are clear antagonists but no clear protagonist. Its an attempt at a War Drama, a P.I. story, a courtroom drama, a fantastic journey and a who-dun-it all wrapped up into one with all of the stories left hanging at the end. I'd have to put it on the shelf with the other new "mature fiction" stuff that seems to be so common today like Game of throne and Malazan Book of the Fallen (if you like these two you'll probably like this). But like these this left me trying to figure out who\ what the story is about and who\ what I'm supposed to be wanting to see happen and how the heck I'm going to know when the story is over.
Haven't decided if I'll listen to the next one yet. Likely will eventually but only if there is nothing else on audible at the time that looks better.
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