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Publisher's Summary

A century from now, thanks to a technology allowing instantaneous travel across light-years, humanity has solved its energy shortages, cleaned up the environment, and created far-flung colony worlds. The keys to this empire belong to the powerful North family - composed of successive generations of clones. Yet these clones are not identical. For one thing, genetic errors have crept in with each generation. For another, the original three clone "brothers" have gone their separate ways, and the branches of the family are now friendly rivals more than allies. 

Or maybe not so friendly. At least that's what the murder of a North clone in the English city of Newcastle suggests to Detective Sidney Hurst. Sid is a solid investigator who'd like nothing better than to hand off this hot potato of a case. The way he figures it, whether he solves the crime or not, he'll make enough enemies to ruin his career. Yet Sid's case is about to take an unexpected turn: Because the circumstances of the murder bear an uncanny resemblance to a killing that took place years ago on the planet St. Libra, where a North clone and his entire household were slaughtered in cold blood.

The convicted slayer, Angela Tramelo, has always claimed her innocence. And now it seems she may have been right. Because only the St. Libra killer could have committed the Newcastle crime. Problem is, Angela also claims that the murderer was an alien monster. 

Now Sid must navigate through a Byzantine minefield of competing interests within the police department and the world's political and economic elite...all the while hunting down a brutal killer poised to strike again. And on St. Libra, Angela, newly released from prison, joins a mission to hunt down the elusive alien, only to learn that the line between hunter and hunted is a thin one.

©2012 Peter F. Hamilton (P)2013 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"It's a perfect introduction to his gifts for character design, dialogue, and sheer, big-idea-driven storytelling." ( Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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    26
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    10

Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • JC
  • 06-12-15

Quality Sci-fi

Superbly written and performed. Memorable, well developed characters. Toby Longworth is a top notch narrator giving each character their own distinct voice and accent. He flows from British to Cockney to American accents effortlessly. Well done, very well done!

Just get it! This one will stay with you!!

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

Surprised

I was surprised that I just could not get into this one. I usually like Peter F Hamilton's books, such as Pandora's Star and the Void series. I started this book three times and had to quit.

The narrator was fine but the story did not grab my interest. Maybe there were just too many clones. The police in the story couldn't tell them apart and neither could I.

YMMV. Mr Hamilton is a good writer, but even a good one can't please all the people all the time. I look forward to trying some of his other books in the future.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

Great read as peter's books always are loved probably listen again great story plenty of action

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

Peter F. Hamilton, but not at his best.

I had difficulty sticking with this story. Good characters, but the story wasn't very compelling.

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

Wow- RIVETING adventure, mystery, drama & romance

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I have given this as a gift to my friends and have recommended it to strangers I've met. Yes it is that good.

What other book might you compare Great North Road to and why?

Asimov's writing is the closest. But this is a fascinating history/ mystery. Love all the political angles - I love a fascinating mind- twisty turny is my favorite.

Which scene was your favorite?

Too many for a single scene. You forget this is a "story" and start rooting for the poor slobs going through this.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

sometimes nature is a bitch- think twice about messing with her

Any additional comments?

This is the first book by Peter F Hamilton I read. I admit it I am hooked. I immediately started reading the rest of his brilliant stories. His stories have the ring of truth to them and I'm waiting with bated breath for the next one.

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

A "should read"

Peter F. Hamilton has for years provided some of my most memorable and enjoyable reading experiences (here, I would highlight Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained as the best) by virtue of his Commonwealth Universe first and foremost, but also the Confederation Universe.

In this stand-alone book, as opposed to his normal multi-book series, Hamilton provides a captivating enough story--the characters are for the most part interesting and the plot has both predictable and surprising twists, but one is left feeling that the universe could and should be better developed. The kinds of stories Hamilton does best simply need more space. Furthermore, I'm just not a big fan of his "earth-centric" books. Vast space operas offer greater breadth and detail. This felt almost mundane by comparison, and not for lack of shock factor.

This is a good read, and should be read, but I would place it below any unread Commonwealth or Confederation books on my list.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another fun immersing book by Peter.F

lots of fun hours listening to this to thi marvelous universe unfolding.

great storyline an characters and a great adventure to boost.

thank you!

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

Extremely long and complex, but GOOD!

To enjoy this book, you have to enjoy a LONG story, a complex set of characters and at least three timelines. I would characterize this book as science fiction, so be prepared for LOTS of references to futuristic technology. Very cool.

I was initially concerned: Could I keep track of everyone? But I encourage you to hang on because the result is well worth the effort.

NO SPOILERS HERE:
This is a story about a family of cloned brothers that is prominent on several different worlds and that - in particular - controls fuel production, so they are wildly rich. It is also a story of ecological ethics and carries a Biblical theme (the Garden of Eden comes to mind), in my opinion. "Humanity" is a central character in this book and resurfaces throughout.

It is also a police murder mystery, a convoluted family drama, a commentary on politics, a monster-slasher story, a "who dunnit" and a morality play.

Be prepared for one thing: Author Peter Hamilton periodically thrusts the reader back 20 years, but not necessarily in the order that would immediately clarify certain details. So he will toss you a moment in a brand new character's life for what seems to be no reason at all. Ten hours of listening later, he will bring this character back, and you will think, "AH HAH! I am beginning to get it."

The only reason I gave the story 4 stars is because of the degree of complexity. It will discourage some readers and demands more effort.

As I stated earlier: hang on, and ENJOY!



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

Narration and Story - a One, Two knockout!

What did you love best about Great North Road?

Hamilton's vision of the future. I want to go to there.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Great North Road?

I always enjoy the descriptions of the technology; how basic input/output and data collection devices are woven into society.

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

Geesh - Toby is amazing. Male, Female, British, English - any nationality; doesn't matter. Smoooth and flawless.

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

It is a 36 hour book - probably not an "all in one sitting" kind of book. And frankly, one needed a break here and there.

Any additional comments?

An easy 5 stars. First off, the narration by Toby Longworth is superb. I've listened to many audio books (pushing 200 now) and this guy has a command of characterization that is genuine genius.

And, while Peter Hamilton is a masterful story-teller, particularly of the space-epic variety, this mystery/sci-fi piece is one of his very best. How many of his books have I read? Five, six? Probably enjoyed this one the most.

If you like well wrought sci-fi and a bit of detective drama then this one will be a memorable experience for you too.

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

Jarring voicework

Where does Great North Road rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Middle

What did you like best about this story?

Complexity, idea levels

Did Toby Longworth do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Toby Longworth sounds like he's having a really bad day narrating this. Grating voce, no modulation. His idea of having anyone not a main character speak in a heavy accent is really jarring. It spoils lots of the narrative for me.
The idea of using terrible mock russian or indian accent for anyone not presented as sympathetic is not endearing.

Overall, he'd be better narrating Tom Clancy.

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

No. It's 1½ days long ..

Any additional comments?

I'd love to hear this story given justice by a decent narrator.