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"Pandora's Star" and its sequel are two of my favorite audiobooks, and I've listened to atleast 50 audiobooks over the last few years.
I do have one warning, the story is fairly slow going at first and there are many characters/subplots. I almost gave up after a few hours, but I'm glad I kept going. I caught myself wishing at points that he'd just stop introducing new characters, but hang in there, the story is well worth the initial effort. Some of the characters who I thought were boring and extranious at first ended up being the most interesting and exciting in the end.
Peter F Hamilton has created a unique new scifi universe in these two books. Like all great Scif universes this is futuristic and imaginative without feeling fake or "made up". The humans still act like humans(with human strengths and flaws) and the aliens are truely alien(not just humans that look different). Hearing about life in the Commonwealth is almost as interesting as the story itself.
I would definitely consider this epic scifi, but there are elements that appeal to the Cyber-punk fan in me. This is certainly edgy with plenty of sex and violence. There aren't that many sex scenes but sexuality is certaintly a driving force in some characters and is often refered to in the context of the story. There are also several homosexual characters, but he hardly makes it into an issue, its just one part of a few characters lives. Its refreshing to have characters who also happen to be gay rather than "gay characters".
Some reviews have been critical of the narrator, don't believe them. I think he did a great job, sure some of his american accents aren't flawless, but give him a break hes obviously british. Each character is easy to distinguish and he does a good job with the individual voices without going overboard(like some narrators when they voice a different gender)
122 of 129 people found this review helpful
Hamilton has done a brilliant job of creating a complex, fascinating and believable future for Mankind. Unfortunately he is a little too much in love with it. He gives us far more detail than we need in order to understand and engage fully with the story. Some readers, perhaps those who delight in spending a lot of time developing elaborate computer sims, will love it. For me, it was often tedious and retarded the momentum of the developing narrative.
I also found it difficult to care about the characters in the book. There are so many and we move back and forth between them so often, that we are constantly dislocated just as one begins to matter to us. This is not to say that they are not interesting or believable--they are. I just don't care what happens to them in the long run.
Which is a problem since the book stops abruptly in the middle of their stories. There is no temporarily satisfying resting place as we contemplate the problems and possibilities which yet remain. It just stops. I was really irritated, and as I have mentioned, I don't care enough about the characters to spend another thirty eight hours plowing through excessive detail to find out what happens to them.
I really wanted to love this book. The author has a fantastic imagination and has created a compelling and convincing plot which allowed me to hang in there in order to find out where it was going. I can understand why many others DO love the book. For me, however, there was just too much and not enough there.
28 of 29 people found this review helpful