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Pandora's Star

Pandora's Star

Scritto da Peter F. Hamilton

Narrato da John Lee


Pandora's Star

Scritto da Peter F. Hamilton

Narrato da John Lee

valutazioni:
4/5 (89 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
37 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Dec 1, 2008
ISBN:
9781400177646
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Descrizione

Critics have compared the engrossing space operas of Peter F. Hamilton to the classic sagas of such SF giants as Isaac Asimov and Frank Herbert. But Hamilton's bestselling fiction-powered by a fearless imagination and world-class storytelling skills-has also earned him comparison to Tolstoy and Dickens. Hugely ambitious, wildly entertaining, philosophically stimulating: the novels of Peter F. Hamilton will change the way you think about science fiction. Now, with Pandora's Star, he begins a new multivolume adventure, one that promises to be his most mind-blowing yet.

The year is 2380. The Intersolar Commonwealth, a sphere of stars some 400 light-years in diameter, contains more than 600 worlds, interconnected by a web of transport "tunnels" known as wormholes. At the farthest edge of the Commonwealth, astronomer Dudley Bose observes the impossible: Over 1,000 light-years away, a star…vanishes. It does not go supernova. It does not collapse into a black hole. It simply disappears. Since the location is too distant to reach by wormhole, a faster-than-light starship, the Second Chance, is dispatched to learn what has occurred and whether it represents a threat. In command is Wilson Kime, a five-time rejuvenated ex-NASA pilot whose glory days are centuries behind him.

Opposed to the mission are the Guardians of Selfhood, a cult that believes the human race is being manipulated by an alien entity they call the Starflyer. Bradley Johansson, leader of the Guardians, warns of sabotage, fearing the Starflyer means to use the starship's mission for its own ends.

Pursued by a Commonwealth special agent convinced the Guardians are crazy but dangerous, Johansson flees. But the danger is not averted. Aboard the Second Chance, Kime wonders if his crew has been infiltrated. Soon enough, he will have other worries. A thousand light-years away, something truly incredible is waiting: a deadly discovery, the unleashing of which will threaten to destroy the Commonwealth…and humanity itself.

Could it be that Johansson was right?
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Dec 1, 2008
ISBN:
9781400177646
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Informazioni sull'autore

Peter F. Hamilton was born in Rutland in 1960 and still lives nearby. He began writing in 1987, and sold his first short story to Fear magazine in 1988. He has written many bestselling novels, including the Greg Mandel series, the Night's Dawn trilogy, the Commonwealth Saga, the Void trilogy, short-story collections and several standalone novels including Fallen Dragon and Great North Road.

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89 valutazioni / 51 Recensioni
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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (3/5)
    I suppose the good news is that this is a long book, so there's plenty to read. Unfortunately, the quality isn't nearly up to the quantity. The writing is adequate at best, there's a faint layer of authorial condescension hanging over all the characters, and the cosmology and technology never quite add up.I was just interested enough to make it through this volume's 988 pages, but I really don't think I need to bother with the conclusion in the second book.
  • (5/5)
    I found this at our local used book store, and wowza. Granted I'm a sci-fi nut, but Hamilton surprised me, with how deep his universe goes and how well he lays it all out.

    My only gripe, and this isn't a Hamilton problem, but I had no idea it was a two parter, until I was 7/8s done and the story wasn't resolving, a quick flip to the back page, and low and behold, a second part.

    If you're into the deeper sci-fi stories that have real people and lots of them, this two book series is a must. I'm reading the second part right now.
  • (5/5)
    Addictively good.
  • (4/5)
    Pandora's Star is an epic alien invasion story. Worm-holes are used for travel between planets, but when an anomaly at the far reaches of the known universe is observed by an astronomer, the quickest way to get there and check it out is by developing and building a new kind of starship. It was a bit of a slow starter because there were sooooo many characters to follow, but it ratcheted up to a rip-roaring finale!
  • (4/5)
    An intensely rich world-building book. New worlds were introduced through nearly 900 pages of the book. This book is so large that there are any number of threads that one could comment on. In general it was very satisfying -- although it got to be like a nightime soap opera of the '80's (think Dallas) with everyone being rich and glamorous. A host of characters, so a bit of a struggle to keep the story line straight if you put the book down for any length of time. (Spoiler alert) I had issue with the evacuation of the planets -- the capacity of the 'worrmhole train' wouldn't make this feasible. Unsatisfactory ending for having invested into an 1150 page book that basically requires you to read the same size sequel.
  • (3/5)
    To be accurate, this review should go on for pages, and then stop before actually getting to the point, since that's what Pandora's Star does -- after more than 700 pages, the story stops with absolutely nothing resolved. You must read Judas Unchained to see how it all comes out.So, is this story worth 1500 pages? I'd have to say no. I'm a big fan of Hamilton's three-volume Reality Dysfunction, despite the deus ex machina resolution, and I was OK with half the plot line in the three-volume Void Trilogy, but bored with the world smashing part. With this two-volume set, a number of interesting threads are created, including the story -- told from both sides -- of detective Paula Myo and her life long career attempting to catch the terrorist Adam Elvin, the star (actually two, but one never seems to matter much) in question and its mysterious encapsulation behind a barrier, the system-dominating entity that seeks to exterminate humanity, the Jobs and Wozniak like creators of wormhole technology, the mysterious StarFlyer alien who may or may not exist and be plotting against humanity, and much more. Unfortunately, in the end -- no plot spoilers here -- it all comes down to a pile of McGuffins and several hundred pages of racing against the clock. Other aspects that didn't work for me: a really long boring thread with virtually no important plot payoff or emotional resonance, repeated reference to present-day corporations, e.g., Volvo, and even devices (DVDs passed by at least once), and an over-fondness for handheld super-energy plasma blasters.OK for fans of Hamilton who don't mind that it's all a lot of noise and little substance.
  • (4/5)
    I like science-fiction as it is my comfort food. This one was imaginative, entertaining, and quite long.
  • (4/5)
    Good points: It's indeed galaxy wide, but characters based. Just what I like.The writing style is nice and it flows easily(it truly helps since english is not my primary language)The main story is really interesting, as is the galaxy itself.Mankind future is not all negative, like it seems to be in most of the recent sci-fi books.So-so points: The pacing. After 200 pages, new characters were still being introduced...! The main plot started to move forward only around page 400, then we get a political slowdown near page 600 and it's started moving again about 100 pages later.The endless descriptions: Good God, that author doesn't cut corners when he is introducing a character!(or a race, or a planet) We literally gets days of unrelated stuff they were doing before getting involved in the main plot! I am on the fence about this, as it makes for hundreds of pages that could have been easilly removed and it wouldn't alter the story inthe slightess bit, but it also makes for extra-fleshed out characters(or races, or places). It's a good thing that the writing style is to my liking, it makes this bearable.But what's really important is... when I reached the end, I couldn't wait to read the follow-up book!
  • (5/5)
    There are many subplots here, but they do all coalesce in the end. Amazing imagination with a believable society presented to the listener. Loved it!
  • (4/5)
    Another good space opera infusion from Peter Hamilton. I am enjoying this series more than the Night's Dawn trilogy because in my opinion it's a more focused story. I still have certain complaints. There are so many characters that I found it hard to keep track. I started the book over 3 times just to keep track of all the names, some of which I found superfluous. The length poses a bit of an issue for me, with everything from super science to style of clothes being described in meticulous detail i found it difficult to pick out the more important developments. Though that being said, I found myself mostly engrossed in the bulk of the book. All in all a damn good story. I am already well under way with Judas Unchained.
  • (4/5)
    The story is really good, I felt very engaged once the aliens made their appearance. Considering the length of the book, I was hoping it would have the whole aliens thing to the end. There's a couple character stories that seemed pointless and don't go anywhere, but maybe they're significant in other books.
    My only issues are with the narrator. I think the book must use blank line breaks between story parts, but the narrator reads these in continuous flow with no transition indication. This gets extremely confusing when listening and suddenly finding yourself with different characters and no clue what's going on. The narrator also speaks really quiet at the end of many sentences and especially during speech, and can be really hard to hear at times.
  • (4/5)
    I have read many different reviews calling Pandora's Star "epic," a "space opera," and "sweeping." I have to wonder if that is because the book is so freaking long. And. And! And, it doesn't have a conclusive ending. That's right. You read over 900 pages only to find you end up hanging off a cliff. Pandora's Star takes place in a time when re-life is a common occurrence. Individuals spend time in a womb tank and be reborn following a rejuvenation policy at age sixty-five; or they can modify their DNA and clone themselves. Memory edits are common. They can buy smart memories to give themselves an instant education while they boss around their e-butlers; or they can dump memories in a secure store for nostalgia's sake. OCtattoos allow one to smell what other's are up to. Can you just imagine?This is a world where farms are mechanized. Native plants are destroyed and factories produce everything the inhabitants need. Power plants and super conductor cables rule the landscape. Domesticated beasts like tands, galens, longtrus, finnars, and barntran are as common as the Silfen alien population. Just look out for the armored six legged monster called the Alamo Avenger or the furry Yeti-like creature, the Korrok-hi. Departments like Planetary Science, the Alien Encounter Office, and Emergency Defense are necessary. This is the best line in the whole book, "Astrogration, move the wormhole exit to geosynchronous height above the third planets daylight terminator" (p 191).Ozzie Isaac, inventor of the gateways speaks in poetry. My favorite things about him is that he can switch his retinal inserts to ultraviolet. That's just way cool. He's only one of many, many interesting characters. My advice is pay attention to everyone you meet. Sooner or later they all come back into the picture.
  • (1/5)
    This is the worst edited audio book I’ve ever listened to. The story seems great, but this version skipped an unknown amount of material no fewer than 7 times. Not only that, but it ended abruptly, literally in the middle of a sentence. I’d love to listen to book two, but I have no idea how this one ended, and missed several important sections.
  • (4/5)
    My reactions to reading this novel in 2005.As with his Night's Dawn trilogy and Fallen Dragon, Hamilton's exhibits his characteristic strengths of worldbuilding -- the technology, politics, science, topography, geography, and most especially (and rarely -- and least in a credible sense -- for sf writers) the economics of his worlds. In a certain sense this is a fond, sf version of the British Empire in the Belle Epoque era, a Commonwealth of worlds literally bound together by trains that travel through wormholes, the only fly in the ointment being (as with troubles in the Balkans pre-World War One) some terrorists who are convinced that the government has been infiltrated by a vast alien conspiracy. This rather utopian world is then suddenly propelled into a war with aliens. Despite the absence of a schism in the human ranks as represented by the Adamists and Edenists in the Night's Dawn trilogy, the flavor of the Interstellar Commonwealth is quite similar to that series' Confederation. The world of both features mysterious aliens and alien ruins. In Night's Dawn it was the Kulu and their ruins. Here it is High Angel and the mysterious, rather moronic seeming Silfen. People put aside money for their physical regenerations like we put aside money for retirements and "first lifers" are regarded sexually, psychologically, and socially as something special by those who have lived long enough to undergo rejuvenation therapy. The resulting long lived characters are reminiscent of the longed lived characters in Hamilton's stand alone novella "Watching Trees Grow". (Those whose physical bodies are actually destroyed and who find their edited and recorded memories loaded into cloned bodies have a traumatic time of it.) The novel is not only reminiscent of early Hamilton works, but in several points seemed a takeoff of other sf works. The ice whales Ozzie finds on the world of the Ice Citadel seemed a sort of mirror image of the sandworms in Frank Herbert's Dune. The fast evolving, very smart and adaptive (and ecologically destructive) Primes breaking out of their world -- and gaining the knowledge of interstellar travel -- is quite reminiscent of the human fears about the Moties in Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's The Mote in God's Eye and The Gripping Hand. The conspiratorial linking and media manipulation practiced by the software version of Mellanie's great-great-grandfather (along with Sheldon and Ozzie, one of the inventor's of wormhole technology), implanted in Mellanie, and Mellanie reminded me of Algis Budry's Michealmas. I particularly liked the ongoing plot, with it espionage/crime aspects that Hamilton does so well, with socialist and terrorist for hire Adam. He still resents the economic disparities in the Commonwealth's population and refuses to see the Commonwealth as good though its the most prosperous human society ever created. I also liked Bradley, ex-curator the alien Starflyer ship and now purveyor of the notion a vast alien conspiracy is rotting away at the Commonwealth. And, at least in this first half of the story, there's evidence he may be right. I wonder if Hamilton, still smarting at the silly criticism about making a socialist government the bad guys in his first works, the Greg Mandel series, decided to create a socialist hero. Though, if so, he's a peculiar hero -- he's definitely guilty of killing women and children and doesn't try to deny it.
  • (5/5)
    I liked this positive portrayal of the future
  • (4/5)
    Humans are scattered throughout the Galaxy. Their civilization is surprisingly peaceful, prosperous, and integrated with multiple aliens. But then a dyson sphere is placed around two worlds and they feel they need to discover if it spheres are for protection from an invading alien race, or instead is it there to stop whoever is on those worlds from escaping. Then things really begin to go wrong. Great space opera, encompassing multiple societies and lots of surprising alien viewpoints. Very thoughtfully presented with some deep subjects, like life and death and how we'd deal with a species that is so different from us that we can't hope to come to some sort of accommodation.My only complaint is the book ends with cliff hangers. But at least there is only one more book in the series.
  • (5/5)
    Good enough that after 800 pages I started reading the concluding novel (another 900 pages) right away!
  • (3/5)
    Seems like this book just had a few too many threads.
  • (5/5)
    Wow!! This book (and I include the continuation novel Judas Unchained) is the kitchen sink of sci-fi ideas and implementation all incorporated in a highly entertaining story.

    This was the first novel I read from Peter F. Hamilton and he gives you plenty of aliens, a new twist on travel between worlds and lots of political intrigue in the Commonwealth saga. His story is so large that it takes some time to introduce all the characters and plot lines going on including lots of back story. I found myself backtracking several times to confirm people and places that had not been discussed recently but I am glad that I stuck with it as the action really gets going about halfway through the first book and does not really stop until the end of the second book.

    What would the future look like if worm hole technology that gave anybody the ability to travel between worlds was invented some time in the 21st century? or medical science enabled rejuvenation technology that allowed a person to extend life indefinitely? or alien races, including some seriously hostile ones, that were as prevalent as nations are in today's world? Hamilton attempts to answer these questions in this series and does a damn fine job of it in my opinion!

    I can enthusiastically recommend this series if you enjoy any of the sub-genres within science fiction.
  • (5/5)
    Part One of a great read -- Judas Unchained is Part Two. Loved it.
  • (5/5)
    Read and reviewed in 2007.Overview of my thoughts: Pandora's Star is an amazing, sweeping - almost epic - version of the space opera that so many of us know and love. Covering a critical juncture in the history of the Commonwealth (taking place approximately 400 years in the future), which is a grouping of star systems linked by wormholes, Pandora's Star is intricately plotted, giving us a rich array of characters, all of whom are fleshed out and complete. My Synopsis: Two stars, some distance from the farthest outpost, were somehow covered by a barrier hundreds - if not thousands - of years ago. When an astronomer discovers that the barriers went up almost instantaneously and close to the same time, the Commonwealth decides to build the first starship in hundreds of years to go out and take a look. While examining the barrier, it suddenly goes down, exposing a strongly technological - and very aggressive - society of a hive-mind type creature that calls themselves Prime. The Prime immediately set out creating their own wormholes, so they can eradicate the humans and take over their worlds. But is this the only enemy? A cult group calling itself the Guardians of Selfhood have been claiming for decades that another alien, whom they call the Starflyer, is set to destroy the Commonwealth and they believe that the Starflyer is itself responsible for releasing the Prime. For what reason?Characters: This is the very bare-bones of the ideas covered in this book. Every character that is introduced, no matter how minor, is fleshed out and real. Nigel and Ozzie, who created the wormholes - Paula Myo, who is obsessed with shutting down the Guardians - Mark Vernon, who lives on a distant world in a settlement dedicated to a clean, fairly simple life after dropping out of the fast lane . . . these are just a few of the many characters that Hamilton brings to glowing life.My Recommendation: This book receives a strong recommend from me for anyone who likes sci fi in general; space opera in particular; or just a book with a gripping plot and strong characters. Terrific!!
  • (2/5)
    Ugh. This went on forever without coming to any kind of a conclusion, there were multiple sub plots many of which interested me not at all. The prose was clunky the world building was uneven and at times just silly. There were very few female characters I didn't want to drown in a bucket for being useless and unbelievably annoying. There were some cool aliens and a bit of nifty tech. But the rest of it was a steaming pile of oh just get on with it already.

    According to this, the future is going to be pretty much like the mid 80's only with more and better gadgets. Despite the fact that this one ended on a literal cliffhanger, I have zero interest in reading on to find out what happened. I will just make it up in my head. In my version there are going to be some revolutions.
  • (3/5)
    I kind of felt like this book was too long by at least half. There's an intriguing story here that I really liked, but it felt like a chore to get to the meat of the story.

    Lots and lots of characters are piled on top of long, drawn out descriptions of science fiction worlds that don't really enhance the the story that much. I understand the idea of world building, and its not much different than the long back-story passages in something like Tolkien, but for whatever reason I just didn't find it that interesting here... kind of noodling about and just adding pages to an already long book.

    Neat story though. I don't think I hated it, but I don't know that I feel motivated enough to read the second book in this series. I think I need to go re-read some Hemingway because I'm feeling in desperate need of some short, concise prose right now.
  • (4/5)
    Overly long, but otherwise good book. Cover was misleading, not a shoot-em up book, more political intrigue, space-mystery, and suspense. Setting up well for the sequel Judas Unchained.
  • (5/5)
    Two years ago, I read Peter Hamilton’s magnum opus, The Night’s Dawn trilogy, a 3,000 page doorstop of a space opera which opened my eyes to a new era of science fiction. Far removed from the old pulp novels, with predictable hackneyed alien races and faster than light travel, Hamilton actually created new life forms and technologies that I found to be very creative and believable. And while I was glad to finally finish the final novel in the trilogy, it motivated me to sample more of his writing, hence this, the first of a two volume work.Much like the Night’s Dawn trilogy, in this work Hamilton weaves a dizzying number of story threads into an ultimately cohesive, tightly wound story that captivates the reader. If you can push your way through the first 200 pages without feeling completely lost, you will be amply rewarded in the balance of the novel.Set several hundred years into the future, the human race has colonized hundreds of planets through the use of wormhole technology. While this is not a new construct, Hamilton has modified and applied it to make it his own. These human occupied colonies are joined in an intergalactic Commonwealth, governed largely by an aristocracy of powerful families and organizations. In addition to conquering faster than light travel, the human race has discovered the fountain of youth, a medical procedure referred to as “rejuvenation”, which is scheduled every 20-30 years or so, depending on one’s pocketbook and lifestyle preference. Humans periodically initiate “memory dumps” and carry memory chips in their brain in the event of accidental death, after which a person’s memories can be implanted into a newly cloned body. Presto, eternal life.Of course, in colonizing the universe, several alien life forms are encountered, some with mythological origins and others created out of whole cloth by the author. Thankfully, there are no giant insect or animal forms that so annoyingly find their way into most science fiction stories. Instead, as in his previous work, Hamilton has gone far outside the box in hypothesizing possible alien life forms which are far beyond the constructs imaginable by most sci-fi authors.As mentioned above, this is the first of two books in a series, being followed by Judas Unchained, another roughly 1,000 page book. I’ll say this for Hamilton, if he is paid by the word, he is a very rich man.
  • (5/5)
    This was a chore for me. Not because it wasn't good but because I guess I read slow and the time I have to read is limited. Content wise, this was an awesome book, I love the operatic nature of it and the sense of wonder. I really did not get bored anywhere along the way, which can happen easily for me.
  • (3/5)
    Another big idea world building piece from Peter Hamilton. He probably needs a much tighter editor to be more to my taste, but I understand that its probably part of his appeal to many readers.
  • (3/5)
    I suppose the good news is that this is a long book, so there's plenty to read. Unfortunately, the quality isn't nearly up to the quantity. The writing is adequate at best, there's a faint layer of authorial condescension hanging over all the characters, and the cosmology and technology never quite add up.I was just interested enough to make it through this volume's 988 pages, but I really don't think I need to bother with the conclusion in the second book.
  • (5/5)
    Great book. Hamilton never lets the technical sci-fi elements overwhelm the story. The chapter in which he introduces the aliens is particularly well done.
  • (5/5)
    Pandora's Star is one of the best books I've read in a while. It's a long book, but the plot is paced so beautifully you never notice. The characters are balanced against a back drop that spans worlds, cultures and alien intelligence. Hamilton rarely misses a step. The worlds are believable, yet unique. The aliens are really alien and not just facsimiles of humans. And the story is as great as anything I've read. The sub-genre of space opera was written just for Hamilton to write this novel, or so it seems.The deeper issues are missing a little here. This isn't a simple adventure novel, but the themes are not as deep as you'll find in a book like Hyperion. On the other hand, because of this, Hamilton avoids some of the missteps of Simmons in balancing his interweaving tales. It's tough to say which approach is better. But it really doesn't matter, because I can't imagine a science fiction fan who wouldn't enjoy this novel. Also, while characterization is sacrificed for story to some extent in this novel, I have to say the character of Ozzie is one of the most realistic and likable heroes of any novel.