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Publisher's Summary

Peter F. Hamilton's superbly imagined, cunningly plotted interstellar adventures are conceived on a staggeringly epic scale and filled with fully realized human and alien characters as complex as they are engaging. No mere world builder, Hamilton creates entire universes - and he does so with irresistible flair and intelligence.

His previous novel, the acclaimed Pandora's Star, introduced the Intersolar Commonwealth, a star-spanning civilization of the 24th century. Robust, peaceful, and confident, the Commonwealth dispatched a ship to investigate the mystery of a disappearing star, only to inadvertently unleash a predatory alien species that turned on its liberators, striking hard, fast, and utterly without mercy.

Coexistence is impossible with the technologically advanced aliens, who are genetically hardwired to exterminate all other forms of life. Twenty-three planets have already fallen to the invaders, with casualties in the hundreds of millions. And no one knows when or where the genocidal Prime will strike next.

Nor are the Prime the only threat. For more than 100 years, a shadowy cult, the Guardians of Selfhood, has warned that an alien with mind-control abilities impossible to detect or resist - the Starflyer - has secretly infiltrated the Commonwealth. Branded as terrorists, the Guardians and their leader, Bradley Johansson, have been hunted by relentless investigator Paula Myo. But now evidence suggests that the Guardians were right all along and that the Starflyer has placed agents in vital posts throughout the Commonwealth - agents who are now sabotaging the war effort. Is the Starflyer an ally of the Prime, or has it orchestrated a fight to the death between the two species for its own advantage?

Caught between two deadly enemies, one a brutal invader striking from without, the other a remorseless cancer killing from within, the fractious Commonwealth must unite as never before. This will be humanity's finest hour - or its last gasp.

©2006 Peter F. Hamilton; (P)2008 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"For flat-out huge widescreen all-engines-at-full I-dare-you-not-to-believe-it space opera, there is no one quite like Peter F. Hamilton." (Richard K. Morgan, author of Market Forces)
"Richly satisfying.... In more ways than one, this...work is monumental." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Phebe
  • Joppa, MD, United States
  • 04-20-13

It's the ideas, too!

The Pandora's Star/Judas Unchained volumes are instant science fiction classics, as readers know. I was blown over by John Lee's voice characterization of such a multitude of characters. His gangster voice for Morton is perfect, and his crude, humorous, and matter-of-fact accent for Clouddancer, the utterly unexpected adult winged Silfen, is delightful. I immediately searched through Audible for more John Lee readings and either bought them or put them on my Wish List: he's that good, like the great, late David Case/Frederick Davidson but without the taint of cynicism.

The character development, the action, the space opera ought to satisfy us in themselves, but I was continually pondering the ideas. Ideas is what science fiction is for, and Hamilton's got them. If you can be "re-lifed" from a memory chip when you die........are you REALLY the same person alive again?? The entire Commonwealth has talked themselves into this, but....... How about genocide: if an alien species is determined to annihilate every other life form in the universe however long it takes, is it morally justified to destroy them? If someone erases all his memories of a murder he did during his periodic regenerations, can he still be guilty of a murder?

Ozzie is the most charming character, a Wild Child of Leonardo-quality genius, whose idea of solving the problem of invasion of the Commonwealth of human civilizations by implacable murderous aliens is to ask, well, the elves. It is not clear that this works, precisely, but it does expand human knowledge exponentially, which seems to be Ozzie's life speciality. "Elven" Clouddancer's last speech at the end of the book is well worth waiting for.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Nathan
  • Long Beach, CA, United States
  • 07-22-12

Awesome Space Saga

If you could sum up Judas Unchained in three words, what would they be?

Awesome Space Saga

What was one of the most memorable moments of Judas Unchained?

Of course this is the second of the two books so it brings together all the detailed elements Peter F. Hamilton has setup for the series into a fast paced and energetic climax.

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

The voices he brings to each character are phenomenal. My mind would not be able to get the tones and inflections he has to bring the true feeling to the words written.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Detail, detail, detail, amazing

What made the experience of listening to Judas Unchained the most enjoyable?

The depth of details in each chapter is amazing! The descriptions of the environments is almost like a photograph or a painting. Characters and stories interweave in a truly amazing and enjoyable series.<br/>

What was one of the most memorable moments of Judas Unchained?

Discovering with the characters that the Starflyer actually existed and was Prime.

What about John Lee???s performance did you like?

Excellent voice representations. Very easy to recognize different characters from the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Russ
  • Salt Lake City, UT, United States
  • 05-17-12

An Incredible Performance!

This book blew me away. The author did an incredible job of placing himself in the minds of his characters, both humans and non-humans. Additionally, John Lee does a spectacular job with the narration. Overall, it made for an incredible, entertaining listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding on all levels

Thsi is my first Peter Hamilton series.
Both books are outstanding and I will definately be reading/listening to more of his books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jeremiah
  • Murphysboro, IL, United States
  • 04-23-12

If you liked Pandora's Star, you need to read this

This book concludes the story from Pandora's Star. So read that one first. The assumption of Judas Unchained is that you know what happened, especially since the first book leaves some of the protagonists at cliffhangers.

The Void Trilogy from the same author is set in the same universe, and has some of the same characters, but this book with Pandora's Star is its own space opera. I mention this because I have criticized other series that, while set in the same universe, do not need to be read in chronological order.

If you like books that describe the technology and science of the fictional universe, as I do, then you will enjoy this book. It has spaceships, cool sci-fi technology and interesting alien races. Best of all it stays away from science fantasy conventions.

The characters are not your typical sci-fi heroes, no space marines, super secret spies, or genetically created killing machines. Just very relatable people who attempt to solve their problems in logically consistent ways.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Tim
  • United States
  • 04-09-12

E-butler

The Commonwealth series is the best sci-fi that I've read so far. I already read the first book (Pandora's Star) last month, and I was a bit reluctant to start on Judas Unchained because you have to invest so much time on this novel, but I didn't wanted the journey through galaxy to end.

Judas Unchained is even better than Pandora's Star because the foundation of the story has been already set in the first novel, where you start daydreaming on the sequel, like rocket ships, different worlds, fighting aliens and having an E-butler.

Like a hyperactive kid being sent to the principle's office for not paying attention, all of these fantasies comes true in Judas Unchained.

If there were action figures in the Commonwealth series, I would be ripping up the packages and playing with the toys, as if I was eight years old again.

The Best Sci-Fi ever for grown ups.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Brian
  • CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA, United States
  • 03-09-12

Long and very descriptive

What did you like best about Judas Unchained? What did you like least?

Good characters that developed well within the story. At points there was a bit too much detail

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

Yes, entertaining story

Which character – as performed by John Lee – was your favorite?

Ozzy

Was Judas Unchained worth the listening time?

yes

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Entertained for many, many hours

Occasionally I become jaded when authors spend half their time writing minutia. This has plenty, but is well done...overall. I enjoyed many aspects and loved the way characters were written. It's easy to get lost in the sheer volume of words being thrown at you, but its fun opera.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Andrew
  • Madison, WI, United States
  • 10-15-11

Excellent hard sci-fi

This is a long, convoluted story spanning a large cast of characters and many worlds but it still manages to keep me sitting in my car after my commute completely enthralled. The Sci-Fi feels very plausible and the author seems to really understand how technology changes society. The reader does a great job, occasionally slipping up on an accent or doubling up several characters with the same voice but given the huge cast and great length that's not surprising.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful