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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
    4,124
  • 4 Stars
    2,245
  • 3 Stars
    884
  • 2 Stars
    378
  • 1 Stars
    303

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,251
  • 4 Stars
    1,576
  • 3 Stars
    682
  • 2 Stars
    251
  • 1 Stars
    248

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    3,451
  • 4 Stars
    1,569
  • 3 Stars
    574
  • 2 Stars
    242
  • 1 Stars
    192
Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Bryan
  • PASADENA, MD, United States
  • 03-20-13

Do you listen while driving? DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK

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

I will NEVER get another book narrated by John Lee.

What could Peter F. Hamilton have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Picked a different Presenter.

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

John Lee has narrated a lot of books, so he can't be a terrible narrator. That being said, this book is impossible to listen to in a car (I have not attempted to listen to this book anywhere else). The loud words are very loud compared to the whispers or low level words. Unfortunately it seems that every single sentence contains both very loud words and whispers.

It's possible this is the sound engineer's fault; as there clearly was no pop-filter used, and definitely no auto-leveling audio compression. The level disparity between words in the same sentence is astonishing. If you set your volume at a level that is tolerable for the loud words you will miss half of every sentence. I could understand if this only happened once every 10 or 20 minutes; but this happens every sentence. I had to give up. I really want to read this book, but it will have to be on my kindle or in a very very quiet room. Do not attempt to listen to this book in your car.

31 of 33 people found this review helpful

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

Couldnt get through it

What disappointed you about Pandora's Star?

Its just went nowhere and nowhere and nowhere...I just couldn't get past the first few chapters.

What could Peter F. Hamilton have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Make SOMETHING happen other than one thing from 8 different people's perspectives.

Any additional comments?

I returned it. horrible

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Laura
  • Dearing, GA, United States
  • 02-09-14

Just couldn't get into it

I have started this book 4 times, I just couldn't get into the story. Nothing grabbed me.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Jakub
  • Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
  • 12-04-13

Dragged out, faulty audio recording.

Audio & Performance - It requires effort and dedication to listen to this particular audiobook. Probably comparable to reading a book printed on grey paper where every word is a different shade of grey.
Many reviewers have said it before me - there is something wrong with the audio. This is hands down the absolute worst recording from Audible I've personally listened to. I went as far as re-downloading the lower quality version, hoping that down-sampled file would correct the volume levels but it was as bad as the high quality. I then reported this as "faulty" audio to Audible who inspected it and found nothing wrong with the file. (A little concerned there an "audio" focused company could not hear the "audio" problem.) I am sure they have not read all the complaints here. Voice volume fluctuations in this recording can give you headaches it's so bad. It sounds like the sound technicians made an error and tried to fix the recording by filtering out the noise so many times they screwed up the audio royally in the end. Many reviewers said that they had trouble following the characters and all the subplots partly due to the poor audio. I could not agree more. I believe it is even worse if English is not your native language such as myself. I was straining to hear and fiddling with the volume the entire time. As for the narrator, John Lee is usually pretty good and I have listened to at least 4 other books narrated by him but audio issues aside his performance here is less that stellar - for obvious reasons though - this book drags on and on and on and on....

This brings me to the book itself. If there was a 2.5 star option I would give it 2.5 stars. Some great ideas but poorly executed. A few good parts. Too many uninteresting characters and too much detail being introduced until almost the very end of this very long book - the whole thing reads like a 35-hour first chapter. I didn't really loose track of the subplots or the characters but every-time the story introduced a new character and a new world or a new branch in an new tree - I rolled my eyes and wished there was an abridged version. The entire book is not flowing well, it's choppy and riddled with poorly developed characters. Is this the author's debut piece? I don't know. Sure reads like one - lot's of maturing needed. HOWEVER, there are sparks of briliance; some subplots are great and some ideas thought-provoking. There is a few good sci-fi hours in of listening here.

The book ends abruptly. The author probably just split the stack of paper in half and called the first stack the Pandora's star. It does not stand-alone as a complete story nor is there a satisfying conclusion; it's like turning a page and expecting more and seeing the closing credits instead.

I finished it but I though about quitting the book many times. If there were no audio problems and if the narration was done by someone else, the overall experience would have been a lot better - probably a 3-star book. John Lee is great in the Pillars of the Earth and similar books but sci-fi might not be his strong genre.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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

Not listenable.

The actor RAISES and lowers the VOLUME of his voice CONSTANTLY for DRAMATIC effect. It is enormously distracting. When I raised the volume to hear the quiet words, the rest got too loud. When I lowered the volume to a comfortable level, the softer words were inaudible. As a result, I was unable to follow the story. I tried on three different occasions, and finally decided it wasn't worth the trouble.

So my review is only on the performance. The story might be good, or it might be terrible. I really don't know. If you want to find out, I suggest getting the physical book. The audio book is a waste of an Audible point.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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

Bad audio quality, confusing story

The audio volume dips from high to low, making it difficult to follow an already difficult to follow story. There's so much going on in this book and the characters are so hard to differentiate, I could hardly keep up with what was happening.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Wesley
  • Casa Grande, AZ, United States
  • 07-02-17

very slow and a bad narrator

story was very slow and hard to stay interested in had lot of useless babbling and droning on. also the narrator needs to learn some volume control definitely don't recommend if you listen on headphones or a headset. had to turn the volume up very high to hear the story then the narrator would raise his voice to the point of hearing damage ouch then so low I could barely hear I tried on 3 different devices same result.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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

Long and Boring at Times

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

No, not after this. Not much action and it reads more like a murder mystery than SciFi.

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

Disappointment.

Did John Lee do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

He was ok. Many of his characters sounded similar. He did add some accents from American to Scottish that helped, but for the most part, he was pretty dull.

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

Only for the fans. For me, I'm done.

Any additional comments?

I forced myself to listen to this because I paid for it. It's overly descriptive in some parts and the "action" sequences are not very exciting. There are TOO MANY CHARACTERS to keep track of and you need to keep a book of notes while you're listening just to remember which character is which.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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

Boring and disjointed

Between the slow story line and the deadpan delivery I found it very difficult to get involved.
On the positive side, it was cheaper than sleeping pills.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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

Not For Me

The author lost my interest after three chapters.
The fluctuating sound level of the recording is annoying.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful