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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

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    3,799
  • 4 Stars
    2,120
  • 3 Stars
    833
  • 2 Stars
    360
  • 1 Stars
    287

Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    2,940
  • 4 Stars
    1,488
  • 3 Stars
    620
  • 2 Stars
    238
  • 1 Stars
    222

Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    3,126
  • 4 Stars
    1,469
  • 3 Stars
    533
  • 2 Stars
    227
  • 1 Stars
    182
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Sound was TERRIBLE!

the comments about the audio are not wrong at all. this is my first review in nearly 40 audio books and it seriously almost made me return the book. also the scene changing and chapters are seemingly done without thought at all. I've had many moments where I thought I missed something and rewind only to realize, nope they've simply gone to a new chapter, and did not bother to tell you....... however if you can make it through the plethora of characters, and keep up with the unannounced chapter switching it's a good listen. the narrator is excellent and does not over do it, but they need some serious leveling done to his voice. it goes from too loud to too quiet in a single sentence.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not bad

Would you listen to another book narrated by John Lee?

I'd prefer not to. His voice inflection habit of getting really loud and then really soft in each and every sentence makes it difficult to listen to. If I really wanted to hear a book and he was the reader, that would not stop me though.

Any additional comments?

The production is poor on this book. That coupled with the vocal inflictions of the reader can make it hard to listen. I have found that using higher quality devices, such as a new smartphone or a desktop computer will give you a better experience. I could not for the life of me get my outdated 4th Gen iPod set up to play this where I could even stand to listen. With my Galaxy s7 equalization I have an easier time . The story is excellent. Use the right device and you will enjoy it.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Thought provoking, couldn't stop listening!

Where does Pandora's Star rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Best book I've ever listened to, so much so I bought every book in the rest of this Hamilton series.

What did you like best about this story?

It was epic from start to finish, and my heart was racing for the last 12 hours straight.

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

Gore, without a doubt.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Conversation between morninglightmountain and unisphere AI deciding what was most logical from two entirely different perspectives.

Any additional comments?

Likely my new favorite author for a long time, 2/3 through void series now.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Mike
  • Vancouver, BC
  • 03-29-15

long and thin

What disappointed you about Pandora's Star?

Most of it. There were a lot of different characters, but I didn't really find anyone of them interesting. The cop and the hippy got me curious, but to much in between that I was bored with. And THEN, there is the READING, done by John Lee. I FOUND the volume to be really out of whack. There WAS always a PUNCH at the beginning of the sentence, THEN a Captain Kirk trailing off... at the end.<br/><br/>I do not fault John Lee for this, it was produced horribly. And it makes Mr.Lee sound awful. Listen to the sample at around the 2:30 mark and the 1:30 mark. With headphones on it is nails on a chalk board.

What do you think your next listen will be?

I liked Great North Road a lot, but I am a bit sour on Mr. Hamilton after Pandora. So I am going to give Outlander a try.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of John Lee?

John Lee without the microphone on a large swinging pendulum.

What character would you cut from Pandora's Star?

Not so much the characters but the fluff I have to sift through to find them. Its a quad-decker sandwich with 2 too many slices of bread for the filling.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

The book was great, the narration not so much.

Would you listen to Pandora's Star again? Why?

No, the audio levels were all over the board. I was unable to follow the story because I was too focused to trying to make out what was being said.

What other book might you compare Pandora's Star to and why?

Hyperion cantos, for the excellent scifi world.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of John Lee?

It wasn't exactly John Lees fault the recording itself is garbage.

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

If only I could understand it.

Any additional comments?

I was really enjoying this book, but the audio engineering was horrific. If I could get a refund and spend the money on a book I could actually understand I would.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Good book. Horrible narration.

What did you like best about Pandora's Star? What did you like least?

I enjoy reading Sci-Fi and this book has a good mix of both. Unfortunately this book, in my opinion, needs more action and less drama. It was also very hard to follow.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I thought that this book had too much "fill" in it which made it very drawn out. There were too many needless scenes that had little bearing to the story.

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

John was extremely monochromatic. No inflections in his reading and absolutely no pauses in between scenes and arcs which made it very confusing to follow. i believe I would have enjoyed it more had I read a hard copy. I'm sorry but John Lee ruined the book for me.

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

Obviously the book needs a follow up and apparently has one but I unfortunately will not read/listen to it. The book literally falls of the edge of the world.

Any additional comments?

Not my cup of tea.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great story telling, but ends in a cliffhanger

Any additional comments?

The story is very good. The universe is diverse and compelling. If you have a science fiction fan, its definitely worth a listen. Be warned, you will end up listening to the second one if you finish this one. <br/><br/>4 rather than 5 stars on story because I feel that the book cannot stand alone.

  • Overall
  • Story

Great story, terrible narration

Great story. Huge fan of PFH. In fact I signed up for audible for this book. But it's completely unlistenable. The narrators volume goes up-and-down constantly. For those of you old enough to remember, it's like listening to a worn-out cassette tape. I put up with it for the first part of the story but had to give up. It's so annoying and uncomfortable. It constantly take you out of the story. Very disappointed. Please audible put this through a filter or something to level out the volume and re-release it.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great story! Meh Narrator.

Book is long, but fantastically imagined story and so the length is actually a plus in my view. My only slight issue is John Lee's narration which is not my favorite. He's by no means bad, but if you've never listened to him, he's almost like a British William Shatner. His loud then soft cadence makes it unusually challenging to listen to on the road, because all of a sudden it's too loud right before it's too soft to hear. That said, I eagerly purchased the second audiobook in the series.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Erik
  • Seattle, WA, United States
  • 03-18-15

Epic

While sometimes it feels like there are too many characters and too many storylines they all come together perfectly at all the right moments for this epic start to a series. I was worried about the complaints of too much sex in the story from other reviews but found there were only a couple instances where it was more than a passing mention. The few that were in more detail were relatively short descriptions that were not very graphic and fit well to the story so worry not IMO