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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
    4,276
  • 4 Stars
    2,308
  • 3 Stars
    903
  • 2 Stars
    395
  • 1 Stars
    318

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,399
  • 4 Stars
    1,625
  • 3 Stars
    708
  • 2 Stars
    264
  • 1 Stars
    266

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,605
  • 4 Stars
    1,622
  • 3 Stars
    592
  • 2 Stars
    253
  • 1 Stars
    208
Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Worst recording ever!

Would you try another book from Peter F. Hamilton and/or John Lee?

I'm sure the story probably has a lot to offer but unfortunately John Lee's performance was so dreadful that I never got to experience it. After repeated attempts at listening to this I finally had to give up never having listened to more than the first half of part I.
Every single sentence is read in the same boring tone starting off way too loud and then drifting off into almost unintelligible quiet. His reading nearly put me to sleep. And then there's some other unpleasant sound that might be him bumping into the microphone or some other sort of technical glitch that added to the overall frustration with this recording.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Hard to follow in spolen format.

Story garbled at best, and unintelligible at worst, very disappointing. I'm sure it will end up as a blockbuster movie.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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

Poor sound quality

It's as though a sound engineer was playing with the volume slider, or the mic was swinging on a cable. A single sentence or phrase will go from too loud to inaudible and back again. It would be tough to make it through 37 hours of that.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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

Have to resort to headphones to listen

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Intricate and engaging story. In terms of value, this is such a long book that "paying by the pound" is returned by the 30+ hour playing time.

Would you be willing to try another one of John Lee’s performances?

This book is almost impossible to listen to using speakers (car, Amazon Echo, entertainment system). The reader's volume changes so much across a sentence that it is either blasting at the start or inaudible at the end. This book (and any like it by the same performer) *really* needs to be "remastered" with dynamic range compression to boost the quiet speech and attenuate the louder speech. Dynamic range compression could fix this completely.

If the listener has any hearing loss, the book's performance is impossible to understand. I hear ok, but the only way I can listen to it is with good headphones. Impossible listening on room speakers of any kind.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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

Bad audio

Can't say much about the story since I stopped listening only a few minutes in. The poor audio quality made the narrator sound like he was speaking from the inside of a plastic bag that was in turn being repeatedly dunked in a puddle.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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

Length Does Not Equal Quality

The author is meandering. The story is jolting. The read is long. I really had a hard time 1) keeping track of all the characters and 2) staying awake. I enjoy a good history book and I've read all of the Wheel of Time series. Initially I thought it was me, but then I realized that it was the book. I am sure some people would love this book, but after nearly 30 hours of listening to be greeted with a cliff hanger ending! No! Not a good book in my mind!

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Slow listening

I took this and a number of other stories with me as I visia Asia for three months. This is definitely a slow listening book. I give this a rating of 3 out of 5 due to the author's inability to capture and keep my attention. The main reason for this rating is due to the huge theme and shifting focus as different stories, with in a single story, are all told. Other books from this author have been much better.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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

Very poor narration

Would you try another book from Peter F. Hamilton and/or John Lee?

I'd try another book from Peter F. Hamiltion, but I'll avoid John Lee in the future. I don't know if he is to blame or if the sound engineer is to blame, but the audio quality is terrible.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Very little tone or inflection. Poor pacing, poor accents. Inconsistent audio levels. Sentences start off loud with a pop and drift away to a mumble. Incredibly difficult to follow.

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

Disappointment in audible for allowing this through their quality control.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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

Too long

Very long, numerous complicated parallel storylines that never come together. Lots of extraneous excruciating detail which does not enhance or advance the story. I found myself enduring this book rather than enjoying it, gritting it out to find out what happened, how things resolved. SPOILER ALERT... Nothing happens, nothing is resolved, storylines do not converge. In order to see what happens, I'd need to listen to the next book, then the next, ad infinitum. But I just can't. I will not continue this series.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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

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.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful