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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4,203
  • 4 Stars
    2,281
  • 3 Stars
    895
  • 2 Stars
    386
  • 1 Stars
    310

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,332
  • 4 Stars
    1,605
  • 3 Stars
    693
  • 2 Stars
    257
  • 1 Stars
    253

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,531
  • 4 Stars
    1,597
  • 3 Stars
    582
  • 2 Stars
    247
  • 1 Stars
    202
Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Ending Stupid

The book started out with some really good character hooks, the discriptions of locations and the technical gadgets were well written and easily visualized. A large part of that was from the high quality and profesionalism of John Lee. My major complaint, and it greatly damaged my appreciation of the story, was by the ending. You fall off the end of the World! In a word it is STUPID!

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Too slow

This book is way too long to get so little done in the main story. A dozen side plots that give way too much detail while the main story fails to move forward to any kind of stopping point. Had some good chapters but overall it is too long, too crass, and not satisfying. 1000 pages is enough to tell a full story even if you leave it open for more.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

When will this book end?

I deserve a medal for sticking this one out. On the surface, Hamilton has crafted a spectacular and riveting space opera. Unfortunately, however, he's completely unable to get to the point and has ultimately bogged down a great story with a ton of meaningless detail. Also, it doesn't help that the majority of his characters are completely one dimensional and seemingly empty inside.

On the plus side, Pandora's Star offers up a plot with enough twists to keep you invested in spite of the slog of a read. I suppose that says something, but I have to admit that after finishing this book, I immediately took to Wikipedia to read the summary of the sequel, Judas Unchained. There's no way I'm subjecting myself to this again when there are so many better books out there.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

37 Hours and No Ending...

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

If the author had given some sort of closure. The book simply ends. Especially given a reader's/listener's commitment of following along on something this massive in scale, it would have been nice to have some sort of payoff. Any book that leaves me angry and feeling cheated at the end, I can't give a good rating and that's how this left me feeling.

Would you ever listen to anything by Peter F. Hamilton again?

Very debatable. This was my first Hamilton book and he's made a very poor impression with that ending. He has epic level scope, don't get me wrong. This was a big story with a lot of moving parts, dozens of protagonists. Think Game of Thrones in space level scope. I didn't expect EVERYTHING to get resolved either. I did expect at least some things though to "close." It makes me curious about what will happen in the next book but also leery of giving the man any more of my time. I think it's a writers job to satisfy their audience. It's why we pay them and this book left me feeling very unsatisfied.

What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I actually rated the performance as highly as I did because I found the narrator did an excellent job. His characterizations of the different characters had style and while not over the top were quite varied and pleasing to listen to. A poor narrator would have made this text insufferable.

What character would you cut from Pandora's Star?

Better to ask which plotline you would cut. The whole SI / Melonie Rescaria plot line could go. Her character exists pretty much to put a human face on the super intelligence and give it an actor in the story. That could have been done with one of the more main protagonists like Paula Myo.

Any additional comments?

This book has an incredibly broad and ambitious scope. The main character is really the Human Commonwealth that we see through the eyes of the protagonist characters. It's an interesting portrait and required a lot of talent to pull off. Where it suffers is narrative structure. It's very very slow moving, taking almost 2/3 of the text to start building an crescendo of dramatic tension and it's clumsy in how it releases (or doesn't) release said tension. It's something a good editor might have been able to address, but the scope of the work would have made it difficult just the same.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

What would have made Pandora's Star better?

A better production.

Would you be willing to try another book from Peter F. Hamilton? Why or why not?

Yes, just to give this author a second chance.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

I usually love John Lee's work, but I couldn't finish this book due to the poor quality of the narration. I don't know if it's a technical problem or the way the book was read, but the sound keeps going up and down. I got so bad that I got completely frustrated and stopped listening after a few hours. Too bad. The story itself seemed promising. Maybe I'll just buy the kindle version and pick up where I stopped...

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not Entertained

What disappointed you about Pandora's Star?

I couldn't but barely wait for this novel to finish, not yet certain if I'll continue, I couldn't find myself being attached to any of the characters, none of them believable.

The narrator keeps speaking louder and quieter the entire book making it a strain to listen to (especially in the car).

What was most disappointing about Peter F. Hamilton’s story?

The book was terribly boring and predictable and I feel like I already know how the story will end.

What didn’t you like about John Lee’s performance?

The constant volume changes and took far too long to read the book.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Pandora's Star?

One could probably combine both novels into one decent Sci-Fi novel, since all of the characters are complete crap, you might as well skip all the parts where you're learning about them.

Any additional comments?

Guess I'll possibly listen to the second novel in this series, but I doubt I'll intentionally spend money on this author again.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Abrupt Ending

What would have made Pandora's Star better?

Good story, interesting characters, very creative but no closure of the plot and.or subplots

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment in the ending

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Pandora's Star (not worth all the hours)

After 37 hours, half of which are boring it ends in a cliff hanger that now requires you
to listen another 40 hours. Unless you are really into Peter Hamiltons Common Wealth
Pandora's Star is not worth it

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Pandora's Star

Several stories going on in this book; they were tuff to follow, left high and dry on all of them the book ended like he just got tired of writing and stopped.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

bad narrator

starts every sentence loud and clear then trails off by the end of the sentence. would be nice to hear everything and not have to listen super intent to hear the last couple words. its basically half a book. the book it self is fairly good, just dont bother listening this tone deaf narrator

11 of 11 people found this review helpful