Summary

It's the 21st century, and global warming is here to stay, so forget the way your country used to look. And get used to the free market, too – the companies possess all the best hardware, and they're calling the shots now. In a world like this, a man open to any offers can make out just fine.
A man like Greg Mandel for instance, who's psi-boosted, wired into the latest sensory equipment, carrying state-of-the-art weaponry – and late of the English Army's Mindstar Battalion. As the cartels battle for control of a revolutionary new power source, and corporate greed outstrips national security, tension is mounting to boiling point – and Greg Mandel is about to face the ultimate test.
©2011 Peter Hamilton (P)2011 Audible Ltd
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Catherine on 13-12-11

Great!

Given was written in the early 90s, the setting is eerily apt and poignant right now. Near future sci-fi, elements of cyberpunk, corporate scandal and detective story to boot and Toby Longworth's performance (because that's what it is) is first class. Highly recommended!

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26 of 27 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Paul on 09-04-12

Intelligent, well crafted and absorbing spaceopera

I listen to audio books on long car journeys - if they are any good then the journey appears to take no time at all. Listening to this, the first of the Mindstar trilogy, caused me to enter a time-space vortex in which I was transported nearly 200 K without any sensation of movement, time or other reality. My esper sense clearly helped me to drive while the gland secretions enabled me to do so safely - either that or the other road users just gave me a wide berth. I cannot believe this was narrated by one person; awesome is the only real reaction. I particularly liked the evocation of one of the evil characters who sounded remarkably like a former UK prime minister!!! I think you either love sci-fi or just don't get it. If you love it - you will definitely get this. My feeling about what makes a really good audio book (or any book come to that) is - are the characters believable, do you care about the characters and what is/will happen to them, is the plot immersive and does it make you want to guess? I would answer yes to all those points and just say that the creation of England post global-warming is intelligent and very well articulated. I loved the idea of Peterborough becoming a major sea port and a kool place to live - now that really is science fantasy.

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19 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Michael G Kurilla on 13-01-12

Portrait of a SciFi master as a novice

Relative to Hamilton's more recent work (the Commonwealth Saga), Mindstar Rising is clearly not in the same league. That said, this 1st book of the Greg Mandel trilogy demonstrates the talent that has emerged as one of preeminent contemporary scifi authors. Mindstar is simply not as ambitious, nor as sweeping in scope as his later work, but the story is masterfully done and a thoroughly enjoyable listen.

We are presented with the limits of a near future tale (still near future due to the identifiability with the characters' daily routines), set late in the 21st century. Both environmental (in the form of global warming) and political (in the form of economic upheaval leading to vicious UK socialism) changes have occurred. Greg Mandel is a former UK soldier, discharged by the new, anti-military government. The Mindstar unit was a special ops group that received early experimental bioimplants. Mandel has an "esp" sense to detect mental states in others close by. He does not "read" minds, but can sense emotional reactions.

Greg is hired by a wealthy, elderly businessman and his granddaughter to track down what is thought to be sabotage within their manufacturing facilities (some of which are space based). What appears as straightforward corporate espionage and hardball takeover tactics gradually evolves into a life or death struggle with national political ramifications. For the major scifi elements, biology and cyber dominate along the lines of a William Gibson / Richard K Morgan love child.

The characters are wonderfully developed with vile villains and endearing supporting characters. The narrator performs an admirable rendition for the range of characters.

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35 of 36 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Ralph on 25-04-12

Early career but well written

Obviously an "early" Hamilton. It reads smoothly and the narrator is pleasant, but he's still learning to develop his plots. This isn't the epic thriller you will come to love in the star flyer wars in the Pandora's Star/Judas Unchained series or the Void Series but you'll grow to like the characters and there's pretty good action mixed in to keep action junkies like me happy. If you like his style in his later books read this series and if you give it time it will grow on you, if you're not sure or a new reader of Peter F Hamilton, his later books are his best and these are simply good so whatever you do don't put these down and leave Hamilton until you've tasted the good stuff.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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