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Publisher's Summary

From New York Times best-selling author Peter F. Hamilton comes his first audio original, A Hole in the Sky, Book 1 in the Arkship Trilogy.

Sixteen-year old Hazel lives in the Daedalus, a starship that is flying in search of a new world. The ship has been traveling for 500 years, searching for a world to settle in after having to abandon its last world. Everyone on board Daedalus lives a very simple existence in farming villages. The age of machines supplying their needs was lost during a mutiny 500 years ago. The captain regained control of the ship after a huge struggle. Now, with finite resources, everything in the habitat is Cycled, including humans, who essentially are suicided at 65 so they don't deplete the biosphere's resources.

Hazel encounters the Cheaters, people who refused to Cycle, who tell her the Daedalus has been damaged and its atmosphere is leaking away. When her brother has a paralyzing accident which condemns him to be Cycled since he can no longer be productive, Hazel runs off with him to join the Cheaters. While with the Cheaters, she discovers that much of what has been told to the people living on Daedalus for the last 500 years is untrue, and soon, Hazel is in a thrilling race to help repair the ship and help the people of the Daedalus.  

©2020 Peter F. Hamilton (P)2021 Tantor

What listeners say about A Hole in the Sky

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What happened?

I believe I have all of Hamilton's books. My wife and I always hate finishing one of his books because then we have the LONG wait for another one to come out...
We always pre-order his upcoming books, so we didn't have any reviews to read before buying this one, and we usually don't *need* any reviews when it comes to a Hamilton book, but because we pre-ordered way in advance we didn't know it was another attempt to try to get in on the VERY "YA" market... I'd almost believe this was book written very early in his career, and he dusted it off and updated it a little for publication. There also was no narrator listed in the pre-order information. We've been Audible members pushing 20 years now, with thousands of books between us in our libraries, but we won't be pre-ordering a book from a new Hamilton series again.
I don't know what happened with *This* book, but it doesn't even seem to have Hamilton's writing style in it. If it wasn't for his name on the cover, I would have never guessed that he was the author.
Elizabeth Klett just wasn't the right narrator to read this book either. It's like she tried for an over-the-top "British High-Brow" accent... "They fell into the WOAH-Tah". "She didn't rally Cah what he thought". Her HAAh-ah was wet from the WOAH-tah".
You get my point. As friends and co-workers have said, "it wears on you within a few minutes".
I really hate bashing an author or a narrator, especially an author like Peter F. Hamilton, but with the plot holes, combined with the "little British towns in space" feel, and "size/distance/time inconsistencies", it all simply got jarring early on... We almost stopped listening to return the book, but it kinda became a matter of "We've read everything else Hamilton has written, and we're GOING to get through this one too!"
Disappointing. Now this Trilogy is going to leave less writing time for his other AWESOME books series.
It's just not the usual story standard we expect from Hamilton.

18 people found this helpful

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Ok YA Scifi

Definitely not in keeping with previous works, this seems aimed at 10-12 year olds

12 people found this helpful

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Not one of Hamiltons best.

A far cry from The Commonwealth books or Salvation trilogy. Or any of his earlier works for that matter. To me it reads/sounds like a book meant for children. I put it down at Chapter 12.

10 people found this helpful

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So sad

I absolutely LOVE Peter F. Hamilton's books. However, I could only stomach 5 min of this narrator's voice. Sadly, I'll have to return the audiobook.

8 people found this helpful

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Is there another author named Peter F. Hamilton?

Surely, this story wasn't written by the same venerable author who brought us The Commonwealth, the Dreaming Void, and other masterful space operas.

I also see him going the way of every other author here, splitting a good novel into several "Books", in order to maximize profits.

Regardless, I'm in agreement with other reviewers: aside from feeling like the story is aimed as younger audiences, the PFH writing style is just not there, so don't expect complex character development and back stories.

The narrator is terrible. Aside from the seemingly forced and fake sounding british accent, just about all of the characters sounded the same. Where is John Lee?

Either way, not purchasing the other two books when they come out.

4 people found this helpful

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Good Young Adult Book

Entertaining young adult book. Good narration. Not like Peter F. Hamilton's other novels though, but I still enjoyed it.

3 people found this helpful

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Very Disappointing

I'm a big fan of Hamilton's books, going all the way back to the Reality Dysfunction, so I was looking forward to his latest series. Sadly, this isn't at all what I expected from Hamilton. It's a generation ship goes bad story which is hardy a new idea. Still there is nothing wrong with a fresh rework of a familiar theme. Sadly, Hamilton doesn't rise to the challenge. The characters are cardboard and the plot, usually Hamilton's strength, is leaden and predictable. My guess is that anyone with a background in SF will have figured out where this is going in the first fifty pages. In fact, perhaps this would have been better marketed as a YA book, to readers new to SF. The tone, typified by Hamilton's use of juvenile euphemisms for swear words, suggests YA too. Not recommended.

2 people found this helpful

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Another FANTASTIC Hamilton Novel!

Hamilton has yet to disappoint!!! Although I wish the book was longer, it was a wonderful book and I can’t wait for the next in this series!! He does an amazing job developing the characters and storyline so you feel like you are part of the story! I have read and loved everything he’s ever written and I’m looking forward to enjoying this series as he continues it in the future!!

2 people found this helpful

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Yes, a departure for PFH, but still awemazing!!

I was absolutely looking forward to this audiobook from the moment I heard it was coming. I purchased it upon the release date but took a few days to start it. By that time, there were plenty of reviews up that were absolutely blasting it, as a YA, and not up to his usual brilliance. I am a hardcore Hamilton fan, and stripped of any expectations in this day and age, the book was great. The tension built slow at first, but proceeded to cripple me, and had to stop a few times just to catch my breath. For me, I recognize that as my level of engagement hitting its peak. I credit that to a combination of, the worldbuilding, the characters, and the performance melding into pure enjoyment.

Life aboard the Daedalus from the perspective of Hazel, the main character starts off with a preparation for a teenagers "coming of age" event that is always conciding with what's called a cycle day, which is when adults around the age of 60, or those who are branded "cheaters" are put to rest, or recycled, in order to keep population down and to provide materials to keep the habitat functioning. Or so the inhabitants of this generational ship have come to believe.

Hazel, Knows that this isn't right, and is compelled to find out what is really happening on this ship. Why have things become this way, why haven't they reached their planet yet, why is the captain withholding all the important details of this centuries, and centuries long voyage?

Hamiltons genious shows itself in the precarious situation these humans have been living and are about to go through. Secrets of the ship, as well as answers to questions that arise are intricately built, and revealed here and there, but seem to result in more questions.

Once a part of The ships AI is awakened, the tension is taut and my curiosity and interest were hitting the stratosphere.

I agree that a story from a younger person's perspective is different for him, but I appreciate PFH'S work as art, however he decides to convey that, I'm a fan, and this did not let me down in any way, and I'm am going to be impatient for the next book. We'll done to the narrator, she was spot on, and hope she continues the story with Peter. Don't let the negative reviews decide for you.

2 people found this helpful

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Definitely YA

Don’t bother listening if you don’t like YA. That will save you an unnecessary bad review. For what it is it wasn’t too bad but it was definitely not directed at the usual audience. I could definitely see some Hamilton in it, but quite different than i was expecting.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nick GB
  • 03-19-21

Derivative story read without dramatic range

OK so the headline is a little harsh but this is not the Peter F Hamilton I know and love. The story was just interesting enough to carry me to the end. Having read the RAMA book series (Arthur C. Clarke/Gentry Lee) and listened to Earthsearch (James Follett) on the radio, this story was familiar territory; familiar enough that it did not excite me sufficiently with new ideas or grand spectacle to be more than averagely good.

The narrator did not have the range for characters or emotion I have come to expect from the star performers of Audible. They read clearly and had a light voice which was good for the main character, but did not have the variety which some readers have to make their reading feel like a full cast. Also the accent - a clipped and at times slightly plumy English accent - distracted me as it evoked a 1940's romantic film more than a sci-fi novel.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Mark Chitty
  • 03-17-21

An enjoyable first entry in a new trilogy

A Hole in the Sky is the first entry in Peter F Hamilton’s latest series, the Arkship Trilogy. Releasing as an audiobook exclusive, A Hole in the Sky is a departure from the typical widescreen space opera Hamilton is known for, instead focusing on a colony ship story from a first-person perspective.

The arkship Daedalus is 500 years into its journey to a new world, the second such journey it has had to make. The first world it arrived at was already home to alien life, albeit seemingly not quite sentient, and the decision was made to move on to another world so as not to interrupt their development. However, not everyone on board was in agreement and a mutiny took place where much of Daedalus’ equipment and technology was destroyed. Although the mutineers were ultimately unsuccessful, humanity needed to return to an agrarian culture in order survive, growing the food needed for the population, and implementing cycling once a certain age has reached – essentially euthanising the elderly in order to limit population and maintain enough resources.

Hazel and her younger brother, Fraser, live in one of the villages within Daedalus, doing their part for society and abiding by the rules. When Hazel is to be flower girl for the latest cycling ceremony she encounters a group of cheaters – elderly people who fled to hide rather than be cycled – who had been caught near the village and will now be euthanised and cycled. One of these cheaters tells Hazel that the Daedalus is losing air, and before long the arkship will no longer be able to support life. If not enough to deal with, Fraser suffers an accident that leaves him almost entirely paralysed, which in turn means he will be cycled early, something Hazel can’t begin to accept. From here begins a journey to try and repair the Daedalus, and along the way they learn lots of untold details of its past…

Going into A Hole in the Sky I knew that this wouldn’t be a typical Hamilton novel with a wide cast of characters spread across the galaxy, but a more focused novel dealing with a specific story. Told in the first-person and set on a generational arkship, the basic structure of the novel is nothing new to the genre, and it’s also, because of its nature, a simpler approach to storytelling. It does, however, work well, and it’s easy to get caught up in the story without additional information on the world and technology making its way into the narrative. A reliable narrator or not, Hazel has a limited knowledge base and everything we know comes from her, or through her interactions and understanding, and it works to build up that sense of something not quite right.

Hamilton is known for in-depth worldbuilding in his novels, yet A Hole in the Sky manages to mostly move away from this. Yes, there are times through the story where we get bits of information, with the occasional longer section, but it’s relevant to the story and dealt with accordingly. Again, all of this information comes through Hazel’s perception and participation in events, and as expected it keeps the story flowing nicely. The actual society on the Daedalus is also fascinating, and so much is simply taken for granted by its inhabitants as the way things have to be. While Hazel has her own views on this, Fraser, her younger brother, is the character I most enjoyed because of his inquisitive and intelligent nature.

Elizabeth Klett, the narrator of the audiobook, does a good job here. Admittedly, it took me a while to really get into her narration – often the case with many of the audiobooks I listen to due to the number of different narrators I’ve heard – but by the end it was easy listening and well suited to the story.

It’s hard to say too much more about the story without delving into spoilers, but suffice to say that Hamilton delivers a solid and entertaining novel. Much like other generation/arkship stories, this one is carried along by its characters and that underlying question of what exactly is going on. It’s been a while since I read them, but Scott Sigler’s Alive and Pamela Sargent’s Earthseed are apt comparisons for A Hole in the Sky, and, much like those novels, I enjoyed A Hole in the Sky very much. While I have some inclinations on where the story might go from here in the next volume, I could be very wrong – but either way I’m looking forward to finding out.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Cynder
  • 03-26-21

Harmed by poor narration.

An okay story but read by a narrator without range. The story comes across as bland and childish.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-30-21

disappointing

Story ok, but narration awful- much too 'plummy'! Definitely don't want to listen to it again. Won't buy next in series if same narrator used.

4 people found this helpful

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  • ZX80
  • 03-27-21

Not Hamilton's best and poor narration

I am a big Peter Hamilton fan and rate his work among some of the best Sci-fi ever written which makes this all the more disappointing for me. The story is OK but nothing new, at least not in this book of the series, I suppose it may get better but others have done the whole 'generation ship with regressed societies' better than this and while that's not a reason to dislike this book on its own the other major issue is the poor character development and the convenient way the main character (a product 500 years of deliberate technological repression) takes to advance technology within hours of discovery. This is just not the level of sophisticated hard Sci-fi that I have come to expect with Hamilton, it feels lazy and also feels a bit like a YA story, simplistic and no real depth. Finally I have to point out the narration which is particularly poor, very limited range and a bit of a chore to listen to as a result. All in all a disappointing listen, I will hesitate to progress with the series.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Phil
  • 04-04-21

Not Like Peter

Well I'm just over halfway through and I sadly have to admit to being a little underwhelmed. Peter F Hamilton is one of my favourite sci fi authors, his way of bringing you into the universe he's created is second to none. His stories are always imaginative and engaging. This doesn't feel like his writing, unlike his usual stuff, it's a little predictable. I have to say that the narrator doesn't do the material any favours. It's like listening to a supply teacher telling a story to young kids.
I will finish this but my expectations are quite low.

3 people found this helpful

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  • GobiD
  • 03-27-21

The narration is awful

I can’t listen to this. The narrator sounds like she is taking the mick by putting on a really posh accent. The writing does not lend itself to someone so well spoken. Just terrible casting. I am bitterly disappointed.

3 people found this helpful

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  • MBayes
  • 04-06-21

Oh dear

I quite liked the story and would look forward to a follow up but definitely not by the same narrator... it was awful to listen to. Where did that accent come from, calm and palm both pronounced as they are spelled instead of the silent l, composter pronounced as post (as in mail) it goes on and is so annoying. Hopefully book a will have a much more sophisticated narrator who can put a bit of atmosphere and personality into the characters.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Matt
  • 03-29-21

Great storyline, poor narration.

I love Peter F. Hamilton‘s work so I was very excited to listen to this latest release.

The storyline didn’t disappoint, although the first person narrative threw me at first as it isn’t his normal style.

Out of loyalty to the author I stuck with the audiobook, and I enjoyed the story so I won’t be asking for a refund. However, the narrator was quite possibly the worst choice that could’ve been made! Why on Earth did they choose an American narrator to perform the entire first person novel in a British accent? To be fair, it wasn’t a bad attempt and would have been fine for a character here or there, but the entire audiobook was read in a totally over-exaggerated Jane Austin/Bridgeton voice littered with American pronunciations and intonations which near ruined the story!

I give the performance five stars for effort, (to be fair the British accent is difficult), but unfortunately I can only bring myself to give two stars on the Dick Van Dyke scale for authenticity.

“Flan” should rhyme with “plan”, not “farm”!

This was a badly cast audiobook, but it is the publisher to blame for a bad decision, not the narrator for a pretty decent effort nevertheless. First person audiobook narration should always be cast using a native actor!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jenette Hale
  • 04-03-21

Sorry but that is awful narration!

As far as I am aware this form of speech ended shortly after the Second World War!
Talk about “got a plum in Er gob!”
Ruined an already poor storyline
Echos of HG’s Time Machine anyone?
Instead of Moorlocks breeding and munching on docile humans it’s aliens...

1 person found this helpful

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  • Will
  • 04-13-21

Disappointing

Compared to author’s prior, elaborate, terrified space odyssey’s, this is a great disappointment.

Appears to be aimed at young teens.

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  • Alexander
  • 04-06-21

My review Paul

I read all of Peter f Hamilton‘s books feeling feeling the following in the series I can’t not recommended his books especially Pandora’s Star and the following series. I enjoyed this book listen to it in two days The story is addicting with the environment pulling you in and capturing your interest twists and turns like call Peter f Hamilton books( only downside I didn’t really like the narrator weird character voices that pull me out of the story Old one was better 🤷‍♂️. Sorry for bad spelling I’m dyslexic I’m not spending time on reviews concluding statement good book read !

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-31-21

Not his best, not even close

This is not the Peter Hamilton I know and love. Very different from his other work, a simple story and more teenaged romance than space opera.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-17-21

High standard sci-fi

Story: The start of yet another hamilton epic saga?
With a great strong female lead character this builds a story in a ever deepening and rich setting to spin a tale of people, family and humanity vs environment.

Performance: Well read - female voice. (did struggle with 'deep voice of...' (S17*spoilers*) but balanced and played character voices well to convey emotions from the text.