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Publisher's Summary

In AD 2600, the human race is finally beginning to realize its full potential. Hundreds of colonized planets scattered across the galaxy host a multitude of prosperous and wildly diverse cultures. Genetic engineering has pushed evolution far beyond nature's boundaries, defeating disease and producing extraordinary spaceborn creatures. Huge fleets of sentient trader starships thrive on the wealth created by the industrialization of entire star systems, and throughout inhabited space the Confederation Navy keeps the peace. A true golden age is within our grasp.

But now something has gone catastrophically wrong. On a primitive colony planet, a renegade criminal's chance encounter with an utterly alien entity unleashes the most primal of all our fears. An extinct race that inhabited the galaxy aeons ago called it the Reality Dysfunction. It is the nightmare that has prowled beside us since the beginning of history.

©1996 Peter F. Hamilton (P)2016 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Elements of space opera, Straubesque horror and adrenaline-laced action make this a demanding, rewarding read." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Patrick
  • Evergreen, CO, United States
  • 04-05-16

Finally on Audible!! My favorite Hamilton series!

This book and it's sequels (Neutronion Alchemist, and The Naked God) are simply fantastic. In my opinion, this series is Hamilton's best work. Huge galactic scope, Elizabethan themes, 1940's gangsters, Interstellar travel, a very disturbing take on the Apocalypse, Sentient Cities, bio-engineering ethics (and advantages), telepathy, dystopias and utopias, interesting aliens, the Afterlife, cyborgs, cults, underworld syndicates, horror, etc, etc....

The page to page writing is arguably inferior to Hamilton's later stuff, but the ideas here are so dang grand! This is a Big Story with lots of point of view characters.

Like most of Hamilton's books, the start is a bit slow - with many characters and societies introduced, but once it gets going the momentum is impressive. Stick with it - it's worth it.

****As of writing this review you still need to download in parts, whole book download will not work (hopefully this is fixed soon). ***

Quick tip, I love John Lee as a reader, but I enjoy his reading and performance at 1.25 playback speed even more.

55 of 57 people found this review helpful

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Great story but confusing editing.

Great story and reading performance, but there were no breaks between sub chapters. With so many characters and locations the scene changes were confusing without a audio break to signal them.

27 of 29 people found this review helpful

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All about randy rutting, body snatching, rutting

First off, I don't know of any other author who incorporates science as thoroughly in their novels as well as providing significant details about the various characters and their roles in the story. It is one of the aspects I enjoy most when picking up a Peter Hamilton novel. This, along with John Lee's excellent narration skills, usually makes for a highly entertaining experience.

Peter continues with his in-depth approach in this novel but in the case, it worked to detract from the flow and continuity of the story. There are way too many characters being introduced that it's not too long before one loses track of what role each character is playing. Also, too often he spends too little time outlining a new story arc when the next thing one realizes is that it has jumped to another, unrelated story arc.

This is also the first SciFi novel I've read where so much time is spent; albeit tastefully and artfully, on couples "getting it on". It came off almost as being included as a means of keeping readers engaged but, for me, it was over done.

19 of 21 people found this review helpful

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a bit confusing

this was by no means a bad book. it was pretty cool, and even epic in some parts. but there was so many different story lines and characters and the book bounced around between all of them. it was a little hard to follow at times while at other times I found myself deeply engrossed. overall I recommend this to any fan of truly hard scifi. bur not for those with short attention spans.

22 of 25 people found this review helpful

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The first book I ever read by, Hamilton.

Any additional comments?

I'm so pleased this series has made it to Audible. It is one of my flagship go to Space operas. Epic in all ways.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Tim
  • United States
  • 04-28-16

F Yeah

I've been waiting for the Night's Dawn Trilogy to come out in audio for the longest time now, ever since my friends got me to read Pandora's Star. The first book in the series "The Reality Dysfunction", is by far the best book that I've read from this author because there is only one Peter F. Hamilton for science fiction. Now I understand why my friends has been ra ra over this series. The downside of all of this is we now have to wait for the last two books to be published in audio.

By no means "The Reality Dysfunction" is an easy read. The story is very dense and there are so many characters to remember that I had a rough time at keeping track at where I left off. I would not wanted to listen to this book over an extended period of time. Most of the times, I like to dive into 40+ hours head first before it becomes a chore.

All I have to say about the first book in the series is, "F Yeah!" Finally it came out on audio. I hope "The Neutronium Alchemist" and "The Naked God" will be coming out soon.

PFH is the man for sci-fi. There is no one that comes close to his style of writing. Somehow all of his books are connected to Commonwealth.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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iPhone listener's! This download works!

Audio books automatically download in large complete files. There is a setting in the app that changes it to download in parts. Change that setting and this book downloads with no problems. Android listener's get a message prompt to inform them of this setting when the problem occurs(iPhones are weird!!!).
The book, the author and the narrator are and always have been excellent. The combination of PFH's writing and John Lee's vocal performance adds up to one of the best audio books I've ever listened to.

12 of 14 people found this review helpful

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finally on audiobook

This series was my first exposure to Peter F. Hamilton and I'm excited to finally have it in my audible library! it is a great read.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Definitely not the Commonwealth

If you, like me, are expecting something akin to the Commonwealth books you might be disappointed. This is more like a paranormal thriller that happens to take place in a futuristic SciFi world, and if that sounds like a bit much, it is. Still if you can get past the satanist murder/sex cults and don't mind a morbid portrait of the afterlife it's an engaging story that will keep you wondering what's going to happen next all the way to the end until you're wondering "What hell did I just listen to, and should I buy the sequel?"

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Slow first half then gets good

It's a usual Peter F Hamilton piece. LOTS of little details and back story that tend to get a little dry between action. But the last quarter was good. I preferred the dreaming void to this one though.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful