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)
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.
Star Opera Western
Not so much a book, but the feel is very much like the Firefly series in that most of the worlds are developing with a few at the very center being the major industrial warehouses.
I love John Lee. I hate this publisher, Tantor Audio. The previous publication audible made available was excellent, but Tantor has ruined this book. It sounds as if they recorded it on a laptop microphone and the free audio editing software that came with the laptop. John Lee, you should demand Tantor pay to have you redo this book. It is an insult to your talent.
On a side note, the version audible will not sell in the US for some reason, by Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd, is also excellent. Log out and search for Pandora's Star. The three-minute section of the Tantor production is as good as that production ever gets and the difference between it and Macmillan's production is night and day.
Audible! What the heck are you doing!?! I loved this book before it became unlistenable.
Was a good story
The poor sound quality really made it difficult to listen to at times. Volume would go low and I couldn't make out what was being said. Other times the volume would go really loud and then low. Made a really good book difficult
Don't know...the narration was one of my complaints, however it may not have been specifically the reader. I like his voice, just not the cadence.
Not really...because I fell like I didn't get out of it the time I invested.
Not my first audiobook. I think this story was a great concept...that's one reason why I got it. One problem I had was it was so stagnate in places that my mind would wander, then I'd end up in a place in the story and not know how I got there. It wasn't the length as much as the pace. I generally like long stories; another reason why I purchased it. The other issue I had was the narration made it difficult to follow. It was the variation in volume and projection of the voice. He's easy to understand and has a nice voice, but even with headphones on, there were too many times I'd adjust to hear him speaking, then the intensity would go up and my ears would get blasted, or he'd speak so low I'd have to go back because I missed what was read. It was a struggle to get through it...I also downloaded the next book (Judas Unchained), and I may give it a try, but I'm a little disappointed as this author was recommended by several people including a few public figures that I admire. Maybe it's a better "read" than a "listen".
I really liked the story but I had to quit listening. Maybe I will go buy the Kindle book and read it.
The narrator was just awful! It was not really his skills, it was his way of reading wherein he tapers his volume after almost every sentence or paragraph. I found myself constantly straining to understand the last few words to the point where it actually gave me a headache and I just had to stop.
I will not be listening to any more books narrated by John Lee.
The reader begins his sentences loudly , then fades and speeds up half way through. It gets maddening after a few chapters.
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