Summary

Britain's bestselling SF writer returns to outer space.
In AD 2329, humanity has colonised over four hundred planets, all of them interlinked by wormholes. With Earth at its centre, the Intersolar Commonwealth now occupies a sphere of space approximately four hundred light years across.
When an astronomer on the outermost world of Gralmond, observes a star 2000 light years distant - and then a neighbouring one - vanish, it is time for the Commonwealth to discover what happened to them. For what if their disappearance indicates some kind of galactic conflict? Since a conventional wormhole cannot be used to reach these vanished stars, for the first time humans need to build a faster-than-light star ship, the Second Chance. But it arrives to find each 'vanished' star encased in a giant force field -- and within one of them resides a massive alien civilisation.
©2004 Peter F Hamilton (P)2008 Tantor Media Inc
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Stephen on 21-09-13

Very solid and enjoyable space opera

I enjoyed this book (which is part 1 of a 2 part story - see Judas Unchained for aprt 2) which takes place in the Commonwealth - a version of human kinds future where the stars are within reach via wormholes and you can, mostly, if you're reasonably careful, live forever!

The story is about the discovery of a couple of stars which dissapear, the investigation as to what happened and the subsequent consequences. Hard to write this review without spoliers so I shall skip the detail of the plot and just say it is quite complex and there is a lot of detail but never so much that you end up confused as to who is doing what and why - a triumph in books this large in both size and scope.

The characters are well described and Hamilton spendsa a lot of the time in the book detailing people and places in a infinite detail. There were time's I really thought the book could have been 2/3 of the length but after reading Judas Unchained afterwards I was impressed how pretty much everything came together with good solid reasons for the details in the first (and also the second) book.

I really liked the Commonwealth and the tech and the concept of people living for >200 years allowing them to have several marriages and so on, with the ability to block out bits of the past. I also enjoyed what was discovered at Pandora's Star and felt that how this was described and built up was really very good.

It's a long book, but the pay off is worth it in my opinion. This was my first Hamilton book and I look forward to reading the others.

I see some criticism of the narrator, and it did take me a few chapters to get used to him, but his speech was clear and personally I did not find it a problem. After listening to tyhe sequel as well it's a good job too - must be 50+ hours!

In summary, a great space opera, long and detailed but with some nice ideas. Moderately hard core sci-fi which is easy to read yet epic is scale and scope.

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14 of 14 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By dannacet on 24-02-15

Unexpectedly superb sci-fi

I haven't read any sci-fi for a long time, but based upon its star rating I decided I would give this a go. what a pleasant surprise. The character development and story delivered something quite enthralling. I am already looking forward to the next book.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Robert N. Stephenson on 13-12-12

And So this Massive Journey Begins

What did you love best about Pandora's Star?

The grand size of the book surprised and pleased me at the same time. While some of the technical jargon was hard to follow at first the book was dedicated in part to helping me understand and I appreciated this.

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

I cannot compare anything I have read, but I can say there is a smattering of Brin, Asimov, Bova and even Benford within the text and it was a joy to hear something new that in a way also paid some kind of hommage to these great writers. Hamilton is unique though and this work is not a characature of those that have come before.

Have you listened to any of John Lee’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I find John Lee to be a good narrator, his clarity is outstanding and his light inflections on tone and voice go a long way in developing a good connection between the story and the listening. I believe any book narrated b y him would be a damn fine listen.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I suppose in the end I could relate well to the character Ozzie and his final outburst matched mine, or I his. It was shock, disappointment, excitement and wonder all rolled into one. I purchased the next book within minutes of completing this one. So, yes, I developed a strong connection with the story and have fallen for the massive world view Hamilton has created.

Any additional comments?

Don't listen to this in big swathes unless you have time to burn. I did this in short 1 hour blocks which allowed me to consider the story a little before continuing. That helped a great deal with understanding and over all enjoyment.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Benjamin on 18-09-10

Wonderful & transporting!

I have been a fan of PFH's work for some time, and jumped at the opportunity to get this audiobook. In short, the material is fabulous and John Lee's confident reading is inspirational. He brings this exciting and non-stop story to life! Thoroughly recommended!

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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