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Pandora's Star | [Peter F. Hamilton]

Pandora's Star

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.
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Publisher's Summary

Critics have compared the engrossing space operas of Peter F. Hamilton to the classic sagas of such SF giants as Isaac Asimov and Frank Herbert. But Hamilton's best-selling fiction - powered by a fearless imagination and world-class storytelling skills - has also earned him comparison to Tolstoy and Dickens. Hugely ambitious, wildly entertaining, philosophically stimulating: the novels of Peter F. Hamilton will change the way you think about science fiction.

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

What the Critics Say

"The depth and clarity of the future Hamilton envisions is as complex and involving as they come." (Publishers Weekly Starred Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (5319 )
5 star
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4 star
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4.2 (3553 )
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Story
4.1 (3521 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Amber Houston, TX, United States 02-24-12
    Amber Houston, TX, United States 02-24-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    8
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    2
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    Story
    "Narration is not suitable for noisy environments"

    A few chapters in, I've had to regretfully give up on this audiobook and set it aside for another time-- and I have no idea when that time will be. I listen to audiobooks in exactly two situations-- daily commuting on the bus and long highway trips in the car. Both involve a fair amount of ambient noise. While I find John Lee's narration pleasant enough, he doesn't maintain a consistent volume and it makes it almost impossible for me to hear in any but a very quiet environment. He starts each sentence at a normal volume, but quickly drops off to almost a whisper. Some dialog sequences are read entirely in a near whisper. Even with my Kindle volume turned WAAAAY up, I continue to miss stretches, and I haven't had this problem with any other audiobooks so far. At times I found the effort of straining to tune out the outside noise and focus on what I could barely hear coming through my earphones started to make me feel carsick! Something about the timber of his voice or perhaps the quality of the recording seemed to make the problem worse-- it seems vaguely thick and flat and almost muffled at times.

    So from a technical perspective, I do not recommend it unless you plan to listen in quiet environments, or you have very good quality noise-cancelling headphones. My inexpensive earplug-style phones are usually enough to shut out normal ambient bus noise, and I can easily listen to most audiobooks unless someone is talking within a couple of seats, but they are all but useless with this recording.

    So I gave up just a few chapters in. (Obviously, my 2-star rating for "Story" is artificial and is only there because I had to fill in something.) Thus, I can't say much about the quality of the story, but it seemed to be unfolding with awful slowness and dogged attention to detail. By about Chapter 4 or so (the point where I gave up) no truly engaging characters had been introduced. If the story had been truly gripping from the outset, I might have been more set on making it work. I'm especially sad about this after re-reading the many glowing reviews and remembering why I downloaded this book in the first place. I hope to one day enjoy the story as much as the five-star reviewers did, but first I guess I'll have to invest in much more expensive earphones.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gatambwa Dublin, Ireland 02-17-12
    Gatambwa Dublin, Ireland 02-17-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    63
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    237
    68
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    58
    2
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    Story
    "Great Listen"

    This is an epic adventure. There are a lot of characters in the story but after some time you remember who is who. It is a very well narrated book. Very detailed at times in scenes that honestly you don't care about as much as others. However overall, very entertaining because there are smaller stories within the overall plot which is nice. Ready for the next one in the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. L. Turner 02-17-12 Member Since 2011

    Tutivillus

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    49
    32
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    2
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    Story
    "Really?"

    I won't ruin this for you...really.
    So much promise, many hours, wasted on a "Star Trek" ending.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benjamin 02-16-12
    Benjamin 02-16-12

    thedarkrabbit

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    43
    10
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    3
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    "Could not be happier with this book..."
    What did you love best about Pandora's Star?

    This book is fantastic. A total immersion into a new world, a new Universe for that matter, that Hamilton describes so well. The characters, the settings, and the intertwining of all the various stories is just superbly done.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are a fan of science fiction then this book is for you. It is a long, stretching narrative across centuries as the Human Race expands across the galaxy telling the lives of many different characters. I was skeptical at first, but before I was even halfway through with Pandora's Star, I'd already paid for and downloaded Judas Unchained... which is even better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick putnam valley, United States Minor Outlying Islands 02-14-12
    Patrick putnam valley, United States Minor Outlying Islands 02-14-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    6
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    "pandora's star - good but dont listen too hard...."
    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed the story. it seems the plot kept me listening despite the lack of pause between characters and chapters. Seriously one moment your involved in a characters life and the next your trying to figure out how they got to the new environment or situation. there is no pause between chapters or sections of the chapters where the author takes up a different topic or character (another reviewer stated the same thing and it's true - drive you crazy). sometimes you can pick it up but other times not so much even though you know there is no pause and you're waiting for it - still catches you off guard.
    the story was good - a little long and at times the description of events such as conflict scenes was slightly overdone. seems the author almost tried too hard to get in as much science as he could. it was a fine line between just enough science and too much as too hinder the pace of the action ( no one has mastered this as well as B. Sanderson - that guy can describe a fight scene!)
    I usually listen intently but this book i found myself not listening as intently and letting it flow not worrying about every little detail as the author tends to lean to excessive description...but as I said it was a fine line and the author rode that ever so carefully and the plot kept you listening.....the only thing stopping me from listening the the second book is the lack of a pause between sections.
    I would also say the book has a lot of characters and I dont feel the characterization was what kept me interested - it has characterization but not so much so that I necessarily felt anything for any of the characters. Maybe others would feel different - I am no expert - just my opinion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Bartlesville, OK, United States 02-12-12
    Amazon Customer Bartlesville, OK, United States 02-12-12 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    39
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lots of story lines"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend it if there was an abridged version or if the narration was done a little differently.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    The ending was very abrupt and you find it continues in a second book.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    At times, though there were several times that the story had changed to a different side story but it took a while to figure it out. The narrator and/or director didn't put a great lot of effort into distinguishing when the story lines were changing.


    Any additional comments?

    There are lots of side stories in there and they are slow to tie into the main story line. The main story line is also slow to gain steam. If there was an abridged version of this book I doubt you would miss much and would be probably be a lot easier to follow.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kcmtnbiker 02-09-12
    kcmtnbiker 02-09-12 Listener Since 2001
    ratings
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    6
    4
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    Story
    "Complex gripping story"

    There are several story lines that develop in this book. You have to pay attention to keep them straight. But, the way they interweave makes you want to just keep listening. Hamilton develops a complex universe that somehow all works together.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    james hualapai, AZ, United States 02-06-12
    james hualapai, AZ, United States 02-06-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "stand still"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    too much jumping around in the stories, to many stories at one time. leaves you hanging on diffrent stories.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    o


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    o


    Do you think Pandora's Star needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    o


    Any additional comments?

    o

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Smyrna, GA, United States 02-06-12
    Michael Smyrna, GA, United States 02-06-12 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
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    9
    5
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    0
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    Story
    "Long but eventually worth it.."

    Honestly it took me several months to make my way through this one. It was very slow in the beginning with lot sub-plots that are seemingly unrelated. Many of them have no obvious connection to the main story line until the second book. Initially I would get bored and head to another book before coming back to this one. Once things started coming together it grabbed my interest and and I easily stayed with it to the end and really enjoyed it and moved straight into the second book ready to see what happened next.

    John Lee's performance on this one didn't help me stay with it in the beginning and really made all of the sub-plot direction changes even harder to follow. It certainly wasn't what I have come to expect from one of my favorite narrators. He was fantastic in Pillars of the Earth, World Without End and Count of Montecristo but here he was just confusing. He didn't change his voice characterizations enough and he would move from one section to the next without a pause or a breath making really difficult to know when he changed the storyline. The only way I would sometimes know that he had moved on was a feeling of confusion where I felt that I had missed something. Once the sub-plots started coming together it got easier to follow but I would still prefer at least a few second pause between sections.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    david 02-03-12
    david 02-03-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "if you stick with it its worth the effort"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    it's a good book but has a lot of wordy background(not bad if you like lots of small details but hard to know whats going on until later when everything falls into place)


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes it was but would be impossible its way to long


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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