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Pandora's Star Audiobook

Pandora's Star

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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

What the Critics Say

"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 Rating

4.2 (6894 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Overall
4.3 (5055 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.2 (5026 )
5 star
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4 star
 (1382)
3 star
 (568)
2 star
 (217)
1 star
 (200)
Performance
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  •  
    Mattig89ch 10-15-14
    Mattig89ch 10-15-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    "you get your money's worth"
    What made the experience of listening to Pandora's Star the most enjoyable?

    The length


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Didn't really have one


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The reader was rather monotonous, It was difficult to determine when story lines switched.


    Any additional comments?

    The story is a good one, and you will definitely get your moneys worth out of this one. Just don't go into this expecting an amazing listen. You will be disappointed for most of it.

    But if your looking for something to listen to while you drive to work, or do some yard work, then you've come to the right place.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SciFi Kindle Cheshire, CT USA 10-13-14
    SciFi Kindle Cheshire, CT USA 10-13-14

    I'm a Hard SF & Space Opera-loving, alien android from the future. I bring gifts of SciFi eBooks & accessories for your leader's Kindle. Take me to him/her/it.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "The price of utopia"

    This first half of Hamilton’s Commonwealth masterpiece (because it really can’t be considered in isolation from ‘Judas Unchained’), is about as perfect an example of world-building in modern Space Opera as you can find. With only a brief introductory prologue to bridge the present to his imaginative future, the reader is quite suddenly thrust into a society and setting that turns everything upside-down. Modern science's prolongation of life combined with easy and efficient FTL transportation have broken all the fundamental rules of the game, and delivered a post-scarcity standard of living across the board for humankind. With nearly limitless real estate to spread out into among the stars, there seems to be a place for every lifestyle, doctrine, and sub-culture. But after stumbling into their first hostile alien encounter, all of that progress is threatened overnight. Hamilton delivers a handful of protagonist POV characters for the narrative to alternate between, most of which are fascinatingly expert or elite in some field or another. Each is chosen for the distinct corner of the Commonwealth society they can illuminate for the reader, although some are more interesting to follow that others. Unlike the later ‘Void trilogy' set in the same story universe, the stakes feel higher here where humanity is an underpowered underdog still new to the galactic community. The simpler, faction-light society also keep the plot relatively unclouded. Despite the unusual length of the novel, it never really felt overweight or extraneous, something the later Hamilton novel 'Great North Road’ suffered from.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Spudic 10-05-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Engaging Concept of Our Future"
    What did you love best about Pandora's Star?

    This story takes a hard left about how humans will live in the future. Forget an enlightened society and grand starships, they're not here. And you won't miss them! It's our current mix of strengths and weaknesses set against a well written backdrop of technology that is taken for granted.


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

    The moment when mankind is making it's one "giant leap" onto Mars gets wrecked by laughter is the game changer. And that takes place in the first few minutes.


    Any additional comments?

    I could have gone with five stars, but I felt like a little too much time was spent with Ozzie's journey on the Sylfan world.
    Excellent narration!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benjamin Kalamazoo, MI, United States 10-01-14
    Benjamin Kalamazoo, MI, United States 10-01-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "37 Hours and No Ending..."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    If the author had given some sort of closure. The book simply ends. Especially given a reader's/listener's commitment of following along on something this massive in scale, it would have been nice to have some sort of payoff. Any book that leaves me angry and feeling cheated at the end, I can't give a good rating and that's how this left me feeling.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Peter F. Hamilton again?

    Very debatable. This was my first Hamilton book and he's made a very poor impression with that ending. He has epic level scope, don't get me wrong. This was a big story with a lot of moving parts, dozens of protagonists. Think Game of Thrones in space level scope. I didn't expect EVERYTHING to get resolved either. I did expect at least some things though to "close." It makes me curious about what will happen in the next book but also leery of giving the man any more of my time. I think it's a writers job to satisfy their audience. It's why we pay them and this book left me feeling very unsatisfied.


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

    I actually rated the performance as highly as I did because I found the narrator did an excellent job. His characterizations of the different characters had style and while not over the top were quite varied and pleasing to listen to. A poor narrator would have made this text insufferable.


    What character would you cut from Pandora's Star?

    Better to ask which plotline you would cut. The whole SI / Melonie Rescaria plot line could go. Her character exists pretty much to put a human face on the super intelligence and give it an actor in the story. That could have been done with one of the more main protagonists like Paula Myo.


    Any additional comments?

    This book has an incredibly broad and ambitious scope. The main character is really the Human Commonwealth that we see through the eyes of the protagonist characters. It's an interesting portrait and required a lot of talent to pull off. Where it suffers is narrative structure. It's very very slow moving, taking almost 2/3 of the text to start building an crescendo of dramatic tension and it's clumsy in how it releases (or doesn't) release said tension. It's something a good editor might have been able to address, but the scope of the work would have made it difficult just the same.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan Hoffman EMERYVILLE, CA, US 09-12-14
    Jonathan Hoffman EMERYVILLE, CA, US 09-12-14 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "Slow to start, great finish"
    Would you be willing to try another one of John Lee’s performances?

    Unfortunately the weakest part of the experience was the narrator. It felt as if every american-accent was a bad impersonation of Captain Kirk - he'd quickly switch from melodramatic highs to near-whisper lows, almost dropping to the point where understanding was difficult. And whenever the characters hit an emotional or shouting moment, he did a sort of whisper shout which just sounded strange. His narration was great, but anytime he did dialogue I was in pain - although I got used to it by the end of this 37 hour marathon.


    Any additional comments?

    The book was really slow to get going - I feel its a bit of a fiction sin to have this many characters on this many worlds and then just dump the reader in the middle of it. Establishing all of his characters and the scope of the world took far too long. Honestly if I hadn't paid for the book, I'd never have finished it, I was so bored during the first 20 hours. He had moments of interesting things happening, but then you'd have to slog through another five hours of listening to characters you didn't care about doing things that weren't remotely interesting. However, once I made it past all of this, the book started to really pick up. He had some amazing moments in the later third of the volume that make some of the tedium worthwhile, especially when you realize the scope of the disaster that Humanity finds itself in - and the enemy he's created for humanity was incredibly fascinating and terrifying. I definitely don't regret listening to this book, even though I think the first portion could have been more carefully edited for pacing. I really look forward to the sequel, knowing that it won't have to bother with nearly so much establishment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Dyer CA USA 09-09-14
    K. Dyer CA USA 09-09-14 Member Since 2016

    KD

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Hard to listen to"

    While the story is probably terrific (it should be with all the high ratings), I am struggling with the narration. I am only an hour in, but I don't know if I can listen to the rest of this. From the very start the narration has been hampered by wildly varying volume. It seems that the narrator starts each phrase at high volume, and then drops off to very low volume at the end of the phrase. If I turn up the volume to hear the end of each phrase, the start of the next hurts my ears. After an hour of listening I have a headache, and I've missed 25% of the narration on the quite end. I haven't run across anything quite like that on other audible books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brett 07-29-14
    Brett 07-29-14 Member Since 2014
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    1
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    Story
    "Good story, horrible audio"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I've listened to dozens and dozens of audiobooks and there are only one or two flops. One is the fifth book of the Game of Thrones series where they changed narrators and the pronunciation of the names of key places and characters. The other is this one. The sound level of the narrators voice drops at the end of nearly every sentence, making it almost impossible to listen to unless you're in complete silence. Then, it's merely annoying. I gave up on the book half a dozen times or more and only finished it by listening during times when I had nothing else. Fortunately the story, when you can hear it, is compelling and unique enough to bother. I'd recommend reading the book rather than listening to it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Travis Calgary, AB, Canada 07-21-14
    Travis Calgary, AB, Canada 07-21-14 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "One of the few books I would truly NOT recommend"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Better vocals would have bumped this to at least a 3. It is difficult to appreciate the story when the reading is so horrible.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Peter F. Hamilton again?

    I was excited about the premise of this book, but so much of the book is spent describing completely irrelevant things. It was like the author got a listen of descriptive words and used a computer program with the function of using as many adjectives as possible to describe everything.


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

    I would never listen to John Lee again - he reads like William Shatner with a British Accent.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-14-14 Member Since 2016

    I value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Horrible production quality. Need loudness button"

    I've listened to over 100 audible books, and this is the first with terrible production quality. Unless you have a "loudness" button on your device, or some other way to shrink the dynamic range of the audio.

    Fortunately for me, I have a really good external sound card on my computer, and I was able to tweak the audio to a reasonable range. However, my preferred listening to device is my phone, and there is no way I can listen to this book on that device.

    ALMOST EVery phrase STARTS OUT REally loud and then get so quiet ... you ... can .. hardly ... hear.

    My only option on my phone was to turn the volume to max to hear the quiet part, but then every 30 seconds or so, a loud word would blast my eardrums painfully.

    ...Oh, and the book is narrated by John Lee doing his very best to over-enunciate every word, and stop JUST shy of rolling every "R". He also dramatizes EVERY LINE so that mundane descriptions get the same emphasis as tense action sequences. What a hack.

    Anyway, I'll come back and re-rate the story once I've finished listening to it on my computer.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kelvin phoenix 07-14-14 Member Since 2013

    I wont go in to the plots too much mainly if it 3 - 5 stars you may want to try it.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Pandora nice"
    Any additional comments?

    It's slow moving a lot of back stories spaced out through the story so it jumps around. I like the story, but its slower then Stephen King novels.The plot is ok. use a credit or sale but most sci-fi buffs may get into it.

    The Narrator has a British accent and is a little dry to boring to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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