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Judas Unchained by Peter F. Hamilton
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Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
Great finish to the first part Pandora's star. If it wasn't for the hundreds of pages of descriptions, this would be 5 stars. A great story with really great characters and universe.

The story can also be difficult to follow from time to time due to the insanely large cast of characters.(with new ones popping in regularly) But, eventually, you remember who they are. You might need a flowchart though ;) ( )
  kinwolf | Jan 16, 2016 |
If you have read [b:Pandora's Star|45252|Pandora's Star (Commonwealth Saga, #1)|Peter F. Hamilton|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1347952635s/45252.jpg|987015] previously starting on Judas Unchained should feel like coming home, as there would be no need to familiarize yourself with the settings or characters. On the other hand, if you attempt to read this book without having read Pandora's Star first it would be like wandering into somebody else's home by mistake, wondering who changed your furniture, realizing your mistake and make a quick exit before the cops arrive.

Judas Unchained continues the epic story started in Pandora's Star without pausing for breath (because breathing is overrated), I suppose there are people who read "Pandora's" and decided not to bother with the next volume, I further suppose that such people are in the minority. Peter F. must be a very confident author to have the gall to write series that consist of such massive books and expect people to read them. Fat books series are prevalent in modern fantasy epics but rarely found in science fiction. Fortunately for sf readers Hamilton is more than capable to carry it off.

This book is basically about alien invasion and how humanity fend them off whereas the previous volume is more concerned with "WTF is going on?" Like most epic fiction the story features a large cast of characters and several protagonists, the plot is moved forward by switching the narrative between them. Hamilton does this very well for the most part, however the disadvantage of this format is that some characters are more compelling than others and when the reader's perspective is switched to one of the less interesting character it can drag down the pace a little. Still, this is not a major problem because such characters are in the minority and their chapters do not linger on for long. Hamilton's masterful action scenes also compensate for the few instances of drag. My favorite chapter is a deliciously gung-ho scene where a cybernetically enhanced human character faces off an alien modified character. A Marvel/DC style superheroic kickassery ensues with "disrupter pulses" and personal force fields being employed to maximum effect. I do love edifying books but the "F*ck Yeah!" moments are hugely entertaining and make me grin like an idiot ("like" being the operative word). There are also thoughtful passages about existence, humanity, responsibility, redemption etc., with a book this size it is a prerequisite that there is a wide range of elements and moods, nobody likes one single long note that goes on forever, the author does not disappoint here. The whole thing eventually wraps up beautifully and I went to bed in an excellent mood.

A whale of a book, a whale of a time!

_____________________________________

Edit March 30, 2015: After reading this I went on to read Hamilton's famed Night's Dawn Trilogy which is indeed very good (and each book very long), but I find the two Commonwealth Saga books to be more polished. At the moment I am reading [b:The Dreaming Void|866136|The Dreaming Void (Void, #1)|Peter F. Hamilton|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1427515065s/866136.jpg|851537], first of the Void Trilogy which is a direct sequel to the Commonwealth Saga, so far it is wildly entertaining. ( )
  apatt | Dec 26, 2015 |
3 stars. barely. maybe. sliding to 3 and a half very rarely. very frustrating writer who can't write (his prose is turgid and his characters all sound the same), and has pretty conventional sf ideas too. making it a very clunky read. still, a pretty broad canvas, some good world-building, some interesting characters, and some ambition. though his view of women, i dunno, i bet and Charlie Sheen are right on the same wavelength. still, points for... something. gonna read some more of him: though i'm not sure what to make of that. is this stuff popular because (rather than in spite of) the fact that it's basically unvarnished 1950s sf, with all its built-in limitations, i wonder? i keep thinking idly, hey if he hired a ghostwriter to write this for him, it could work out better for both writer and reader, you know? ( )
  macha | Mar 16, 2015 |
One of the advantages of such a long story, and I include Hamilton’s ‘Pandoras Star’ as part of this story, is that you can revisit forgotten characters and events from the earlier pages to great dramatic effect later on. Quite a few such gems get deliberately buried in the intervening text and are delightfully resurfaced when least expected. After my second reading of this pair of novels, I now hold a greater respect for the structural planning that went into it’s plot line and pacing.

As the publisher’s blurb informs us, the story focuses on a society under threat from both an external and internal alien threat. Although neither is fully resolved until the conclusion of ‘Judas’, I would argue that ‘Pandora' focusses more on the Prime alien invasion, while ‘Judas’ takes on the hidden Starflyer crisis. That’s not to say that there is any less intensity of action or violence in this volume- an incredibly dramatic climax awaits the patient reader. There isn’t any new insight into alien biology or psychology compared with the first novel, but many of the human characters are explored and evolved further. A few additional settings are introduced, although none of them are as wild or varied as those already visited. As others have already noted, you really can’t read either novel in isolation from the other, so you will certainly feel well satisfied with the resolution reached by the end of ‘Judas’, putting it only any Space Opera fan’s must-read list. ( )
1 vote SciFi-Kindle | Nov 6, 2014 |
Really enjoyable pulpy science fiction. ( )
  Egon_Spengler | Oct 26, 2014 |
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Dedication
To Sophie Hazel Hamilton
I never knew how much I missed you until you arrived
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Right from the start, there was something about the investigation which made Lieutenant Renne Kempasa uneasy.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Haiku summary
Race to survive starts

As two enemies strengthen

Across universe.

(legallypuzzled)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345461673, Mass Market Paperback)

Peter F. Hamilton’s superbly imagined, cunningly plotted interstellar adventures are conceived on a staggeringly epic scale and filled with fully realized human and alien characters as complex as they are engaging. No mere world builder, Hamilton creates entire universes–and he does so with irresistible flair and intelligence. His previous novel, the acclaimed Pandora’s Star, introduced the Intersolar Commonwealth, a star-spanning civilization of the twenty-fourth century. Robust, peaceful, and confident, the Commonwealth dispatched a ship to investigate the mystery of a disappearing star, only to inadvertently unleash a predatory alien species that turned on its liberators, striking hard, fast, and utterly without mercy.

The Prime are the Commonwealth’s worst nightmare. Coexistence is impossible with the technologically advanced aliens, who are genetically hardwired to exterminate all other forms of life. Twenty-three planets have already fallen to the invaders, with casualties in the hundreds of millions. And no one knows when or where the genocidal Prime will strike next.

Nor are the Prime the only threat. For more than a hundred years, a shadowy cult, the Guardians of Selfhood, has warned that an alien with mind-control abilities impossible to detect or resist–the Starflyer–has secretly infiltrated the Commonwealth. Branded as terrorists, the Guardians and their leader, Bradley Johansson, have been hunted by relentless investigator Paula Myo. But now evidence suggests that the Guardians were right all along, and that the Starflyer has placed agents in vital posts throughout the Commonwealth–agents who are now sabotaging the war effort. Is the Starflyer an ally of the Prime, or has it orchestrated a fight to the death between the two species for its own advantage?

Caught between two deadly enemies, one a brutal invader striking from without, the other a remorseless cancer killing from within, the fractious Commonwealth must unite as never before.

This will be humanity’s finest hour–or its last gasp.


From the Hardcover edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:32 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The factions in the embattled Commonwealth must come together to battle not only the predatory alien species, the Prime, but also the Starflyer, a mysterious and undetectable alien with irresistible mind-control abilities.

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