➮ [Ebook] ➩ Judas Unchained By Peter F. Hamilton ➺ – Moncler2018.co

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 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


10 thoughts on “Judas Unchained

  1. says:

    I have a confession to make the Grumpy Cat is my spiritual animal The confession was necessary because seemingly everybody and their brother loved the book Everybody except for grumpy me that is Let me remind you that in the previous book the humans of the future opened a Pandora Box and let some aliens with Highlander motto There can be only one out in the wild The latter happily proceed to exterminate our future race End of book 1 This one picked right where the previous one left Humans have two problems external total extermination threat coming from the guys I just described and internal sabotage from undercover baddies They the humanity tried to solve both problems in parallel never failing to fail sorry for a bad pun I could not resist at both at any given moment The biggest problem was the pacing It was so bad by the middle of the book I felt like my enjoyment of reading disappeared replaced by boredom similar to that coming from doing a routine bland job Even when I was reading action scenes I always had an impression I was watching a movie about a snail racing in slow motion Really frustrating was the fact that Hamilton can write good action scenes please refer to last 200 pages of his Reality Dysfunction book If anybody would ever call for nomination of currently living scifi authors with the greatest imagination I would nominate Peter F Hamilton without a second thought He could describe different location on different planets in such details that you can almost feel being there Now consider that each scene switch starts with 2 3 page description of the surroundings and that the action takes place on multitudes of worlds and places and you already have 400 pages worth of descriptions creating the pacing problem.On the related note all of Ozzie s scenes can be removed from the book without disrupting the tale at all This would be like 200 pages extra Mellanie s as well, but I will talk about her later.Let me talk about the plot We all love to read about an occasional failing of the police to apprehend an especially smart criminal as long as it does not affect us if it does we become very loud about it The keyword here is occasional In the book the police and related secret services failed every single assignment After about third time it all became very predictable example the assignment apprehend a bad guy Result a couple of dead policemen and the bad guy still enjoys his freedom and thus boring I was never a fan of Pink Panther.Do not make any mistakes modern police can be very efficient What changed in the future Please note again Hamilton can write about efficient police work refer to Great North Road So the humanity is about to be totally wiped out but they are still reluctant to do any decisive action for the fear of hurting the aliens feelings The latter killed billions of people on different planets and humans, having the weapons capable of dealing with the menace once and for all, are too busy singling Kimbalaya If you think I am joking this is exactly what they did the second half of the book tried to come up with the solution to avoid genocide while being killed planet by planet I mean what does it say when the politicians whose job is to protect you care about the murderous aliens than their own people Combine it with 100% inefficiency I mentioned about and you will realize why I got bored Some time later I realized that if I switch teams and start rooting for aliens the book became fun again At least aliens did not sing Kimbalaya Last but not least depiction of women Please do not get me wrong I am not asking for strong women to be present having been fed up with pathetic attempts of some authors to depict such please refer to books with a woman blacksmith who works as an assassin part time I am too lazy to search for titles, but will do it if there is a demand All I ask is for woman to be not as useless as main heroines here Paula Myo She is with the police and is supposed to be very competent Well she could not catch a group of smugglers for 130 years Yes, I said years All of her missions failed, and in addition she got too sick at exactly the moment she could do something for a change Add to this the fact that she is completely emotionless and her development was exactly zero she did not change a bit from the beginning to the end and I have no idea why people consider her to be a good example of a strong woman Sexism much Mellanie Rescorai She was so gorgeous every single guy within 1 kilometer of her fell in love She, being of a soft heart, could not resist anybody To put it blindly, she fucked every male who came in contact with her This is how she got to the top and remain there While I have nothing against reading sex scenes the moment I get to her POV I had only one question who was she going to have sex with this time Justine Burnelli A boring spoiled rich brad became a boring politician She had exactly one excitement happening around her and she spent the whole scene being scared and in shock I could go on, but it is a good place to stop I always thought the last book of Night Dawn trilogy with its mother of all Deux Ex Machinas was bad, but I am disappointed in this Failure after failure, fear of making any decisions, uselessness of some characters and pacing killed not only the duology, but my desire to read anything else from Peter F Hamilton It looks like I have already read the best he can offer.


  2. says:

    6.0 stars On my list of All Time Favorite Novels As has been mentioned before, this book is really the second half of a much larger book began in Pandora s Star When counting the first book, this story comes in at almost 2000 pages As daunting as that may seem, I was amazed by how easy it was to stay focused on the story All of the different plot lines were so interesting and well done that I was never waiting for the pace to quicken No doubt, Hamilton spends considerable time on details and minor plot points, but he does it so well and adds so many interesting bits about the universe that it never seems to drag In addition to Hamilton s superb writing, the two greatest attributes on the novel are 1 the incredibly detailed, complex plot, the gradual but steady advancement of which is the common thread throughout the story and 2 the universe of the Commonwealth that is as good as any I have ever seen in science fiction yes including giants like Dune and The Foundation Trilogy This series raises the bar considerably on what grand scale space opera should be HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION


  3. says:

    Finally, this book is over That was my final thought After an exhausting total of over 2,000 pages in this saga, I was ready for it to wrap up I enjoyed the story overall but have a few gripes with Peter F Hamilton.Hamilton did an excellent job creating the Commonwealth universe I really enjoyed the technological advancements yet it was familiar and fun There are toys to play with and the concept of rejuvenation is really interesting The progression from modern day to the 24th century feels very natural and organic The characters Hamilton created were pretty hit and miss for me There were a few I really connected with and others that I didn t like I particularly liked the alien Tochee and wish we got time with him Which brings me to my major issue with this sagaThe female characters I ve seen mentioned in other places and I have to agree Hamilton is not good at writing women His women are either boring Paula Myo or overtly sexual Mellanie, who couldn t do anything useful without basically whoring herself out Every female character had to have her looks and sexuality mentioned whereas the men did not The women seemed to exist for Hamilton to project his juvenile fantasies onto them It made me groan and roll my eyes repeatedly I was pretty annoyed and upset particularly about Mellanie and Justine Justine played a large role in Pandora s Star but, without spoiling anything, after a certain development, Hamilton almost forgot she existed in Judas Unchained She was barely in the book past the halfway mark.The main storyline with the Starflyer and war with the Primes was quite fascinating I enjoyed learning who the Starflyer agents were and the efforts to find them and viewing the war from the Prime point of view The whole thing evolved at a natural timescale and pace until the end.There are a few things I would have liked to learn about Hamilton inroduces a few alien species but never really explores them or their cultures I would have liked detail about the SI, Barsoomians, High Angel, and raeil species.My last issue with this book both actually is the length and the pacing at the end A lot of detail felt superfluous hang gliding scene, Morton s murder trial in Pandora s Star and could have been edited out I understand that it s meant to immerse the reader into the universe and familiarize them but in a 1,000 page book, that has to be pared down Because of all of that padding and detail, the end of Unchained felt really rushed and didn t feel like a conclusion It wrapped up so quickly that there was no room to breath I would have liked a little catharsis.C


  4. says:

    If you have read Pandora s Star 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 than capable to carry it off This book is basically about alien invasion and how humanity fend them off whereas the previous volume is 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 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 polished At the moment I am reading The Dreaming Void, first of the Void Trilogy which is a direct sequel to the Commonwealth Saga, so far it is wildly entertaining.


  5. says:

    I have a love hate relationship with Peter Hamilton s books He s very adept at introducing interesting technology and making a faster than light society plausible but, as with a lot of these hard science, libertarian SF authors, he badly needs an editor I was skipping over multiple pages of irrelevance in both this book and its prequel, Pandora s Star He also has far too many main characters who despite 800 pages never seem to come alive They all speak with essentially the same voice And when he tries to individualize someone they come off as badly stereotyped 60s era hippies come on, does anyone seriously say dude in the real world much less the imagined future of the 24th century And why is Hamilton so obsessed with sex with young or rejuvenated women Hamilton s treatment of virtual immortality is hit and miss at best On the one hand, the innate conservatism of an immortal civilization is well developed, represented and believable On the other hand, the dynamics of the relationship between old timers and first lifers is unsatisfactory In four centuries, for example, NO ONE has even attempted to unseat Nigel Sheldon from his position as head of the Sheldon dynasty Perhaps the Commonwealth s continual expansion is the safety valve but even here, the government controlled by the eternal heads of these dynasties controls it Another point that is brought up briefly is why would anyone want to live forever if their life didn t change I mean the characters of a novel almost by definition are dynamic, go get em types but most people just plod through their lives and then die Why would anyone want to do that for lifetime after lifetime The aliens are OK The problem with them and this is true of nearly every SF story is that they tend to be one dimensional they re all of a singular type and all too often they really do just act like human beings with weird make up This is a problem in fantasy stories, too On the plus side, I do tip my hat to Hamilton for not allowing the humans to save themselves with an alien deus ex machina Ozzie s adventures in Wonderland i.e., the silfen paths do bring him to the adult silfen and he does find out the origins of the Dyson barriers but the knowledge doesn t really help anyone defeat the Primes Overall, if you started with Pandora s Star, you probably should finish the journey with Judas Unchained If you haven t started down this silfen path, I recommend Alistair Reynolds, Tony Daniel or Iain Banks They write similarly grand space opera but are better at it than Hamilton has proven himself to be to date.


  6. says:

    After reading the first book, Pandora s Star, I was slightly miffed at just how scattered and sometimes dull it seemed I only felt that way because the alien bits and the big spaceship stuff and the weird alien stuff simply SHONE for me I didn t really cotton to all the human only investigation stuff or the politics until it kinda snuck up on me and grabbed me by the neck because IT WAS IMPORTANT.Well It became important eventually But I should mention that each of these books is roughly the equivalent of four normal novels EACH That s 8 standard length novels A slight digression is of a novel length wander What I am most impressed with is the wide range of genre writing going on here There s full flung mil SF, political intrigue SF, murder mystery and spy SF, revolutionary thriller SF, media scoop SF, as well as hardcore alien Hard SF with Big Dumb Objects galore, miniature wormhole attacks, rejuvenation, memory cores so you can get a new body, as well as a LOT of nova d stars Big ass scale.But for me, it s just a matter of having to TRUST the author to get me there All the other books I d read by him had the same kind of style Like a Dickens like wander getting us the feel of so many levels of the society, or Hugo in the way he did Les Miserables It s BIG It requires a LOT of trust from the reader.Fortunately, my trust was not misplaced I m going to rate up the previous novel and wholeheartedly recommend BOTH books with this caveat Stick with it It s VERY rewarding and everything comes together eventually and necessarily.The first book has a great blow out at the end, but it is FAR from being wrapped up This book did a GREAT job with that.


  7. says:

    After I finished Pandora s Star , I ordered this sequel online and began it soon after it arrived at my doorstep This is significant, because while I do not adhere religiously to the general order of my to read list, I try to follow it in good faith I couldn t wait over a year to read Judas Unchained, so despite my general moratorium on buying books, I made an exception And I m glad I did Judas Unchained is off the frelling chain As with my review for Pandora s Star, I ll try to keep this one essentially spoiler free Both books are quite long, so I hope my reviews will help you decide whether they are worth the considerable investment of time And that s all I m going to say about the length.Judas Unchained picks up where Pandora s Star left off, but the stakes are higher and the story much intense In the last book, MorningLightMountain successfully forced the evacuation of twenty three Commonwealth worlds, now known as the Lost23 Now it s bootstrapping further into the Commonwealth and attacks forty eight planets Though the Commonwealth just barely fends off a full defeat by the Prime forces, all but one of the worlds have to be evacuated as a result so they re nicknamed the Second47 Ozzie s still searching along the Silfen paths for their adult form, which he hopes will have Answers And Paula Myo, who has spent 130 years pursuing the Guardians of Self hood, is confronting the fact that their sworn enemy, the Starflyer, seems to be a real threat to the Commonwealth.As I said in my review, I loved the revelation that the Starflyer is a real entity and not just a wacko conspiracy theory Now the problem has become one of establishing a web of trust, since there is no way to know who works for the Starflyer I was totally convinced one person not saying who would turn out to be a Starflyer agent, but I was wrong That s what I like about these books There are plenty of predictable elements such as the identity of the Starflyer agent within Paula s old team , but just when you think you have everything figured out, Hamilton works in a little twist.The Starflyer subplot, which actually kind of becomes the main plot in the second part of the book, is the most interesting part of the story, for me We know MorningLightMountain is thinking nothing but bad thoughts about humanity, and we know it has to be stopped Until much later in the book, we don t know anything about the Starflyer s motives, except that they are malicious, or its origins and nature So I am disappointed with how Paula and Justine are so totally sidelined in this book The former remains involved for the entire story, but we don t spend much time hovering over her shoulder, as it were, and for the last part of the book she is literally incapacitated by her sense of justice Justine, on the other hand, while the target of an assassination attempt, seems to drop out of the book entirely by the time the climax comes round That s a shame, because I loved Justine.Of the remaining characters whose viewpoints the narrator follows, Mellanie would have to be my favourite I love how Hamilton manages to portray these conflicting sides to her personality All at once she s both a spoiled first lifer brat who craves attention and notoriety, a keen reporter who wants to climb to the top and isn t afraid of using her body to do it , a scared young woman who feels out of her depth, and a compassionate person trying to do the right thing Her actions aren t always consistent, because sometimes one or another side seems to win out, and she ll be trying to save herself or do something heroic For the most part, however, I think we see a solid trajectory from her role as insecure eye candy in the beginning of Pandora s Star to the self assured way she handles herself as she helps Ozzie commandeer the Charybdis The romance between her and Orion is rather predictable, and honestly, it didn t do anything for me But I guess it is a sensible way for Hamilton to tie up two loose ends at once.Ozzie was also an interesting character, but he gets very self righteous, especially toward the end Hamilton touches on a moral dilemma that s actually complicated than it seems whether humanity should wipe out the Primes altogether Everyone seems to agree that this is a last resort, but because they don t have the capability to re establish the barrier around Dyson Alpha, Nigel eventually persuades the Commonwealth s War Cabinet to authorize genocide Ozzie disagrees and, coincidentally, develops a cockamamie scheme to re establish the barrier So he steals a starship, initiating what might be the most boring hyperspace chase sequence in all of science fiction.Before I explain that, let me first talk about the moral dilemma of committing genocide Unfortunately, the villains in this book are entirely one dimensional I don t see how it could be otherwise with the way Hamilton has created the conflict between humanity and aliens who are just so alien that they don t regard any other life as having the right to exist Nevertheless, it means that there is no room for negotiation or compromise, and there s really no way to sympathize with or pity MorningLightMountain So on one level, genocide makes sense Indeed, another reviewer makes a convincing case that containment is just a longer, slower death I happen to disagree, for I do not share his pessimistic outlook on the Bose motile s mission to change MorningLightMountain from within And ultimately, there may not be a practical difference between killing MorningLightMountain outright and imprisoning it for the next millions of years, but there is a moral difference It s about demonstrating a respect for the diversity of life and maintaining that diversity, even if it means keeping that diversity contained Besides, every species has an expiration date, even if it s measured in the billions of years The only possible escape from corporeal stagnation that Hamilton offers is the vague notion of transcendence, and who knows maybe MorningLightMountain can achieve that inside the barrier And now back to my boredom When I said that Judas Unchained is intense than Pandora s Star, I meant it in two sense the stakes are higher, and the action is condensed The previous book spent a lot of time developing side plots, and it was not clear until closer to the end how the Primes and the Starflyer would manifest as antagonists In contrast, we know from the beginning of Judas Unchained that the Primes are going to kick humanity s ass, and the Starflyer is both real and incredibly difficult to fight As a result, the narrative is a lot focused on these two plots though I did enjoy the occasional shout out to minor events from the previous book, such as the inclusion of Lionwalker Eyre.Unfortunately, both of the plots seem to slow down and drag during the climax It s odd There s an interstellar wormhole train pursuit, with an intense race to get to Far Away and prevent the Starflyer from escaping But it seems to last forever This is not a consequence of the book s length but of the way Hamilton structures the action sequences I m not sure if I would go as far as calling them padded, because the sequences themselves are short and sweet However, the events that elapse between the Guardians and Sheldon s group deciding to work together and the climactic moment on Far Away are convoluted.Don t get me wrong, I quite enjoyed Judas Unchained albeit not as much as I enjoyed Pandora s Star There were several moments throughout the book where I giggled or otherwise reflected upon how awesome it felt to be reading something like this Hamilton has the ability to make me excited about reading a story in the way that few books or authors do And she does what good science fiction authors should do, which is use science fiction to tell an interesting story sometimes the authors tend to get hung up on the science fiction thing and forget they re telling stories With Hamilton, there s no worldbuilding, just his world, which we learn about as we experience it So I m looking forward to returning to the Commonwealth with his Void series, and to reading of his books in general.I ll be honest or shall we say, realistic and admit that these books aren t going to enchant every reader of science fiction Without falling into the trap of the fallacies of hard and soft science fiction, Pandora s Star and Judas Unchained definitely embrace the technobabble aspects and tropes of the genre, and not everyone enjoys that More importantly, there are a lot of characters, and even for an author as skilled as Hamilton, it s difficult to round them out sufficiently Despite my focus of them in the reviews, I d definitely characterize these books as plot driven than character driven So Pandora s Star and Judas Unchained aren t for everyone, but if you do like action packed science fiction stories about interstellar conflicts, weird alien mentalities, and wormhole hopping, then you ve got a winner here.


  8. says:

    Book Review of Judas Unchained Ass End of The Commonwealth Saga, by Peter F Hamilton In a spirit of full disclosure, I think of myself as a rather lazy person So it should come as a bit of a surprise to me and you, if you know me that I am inspired, nay, compelled to submit a review of Judas Unchained and the Commonwealth Saga of which it is the ass end But it does not surprise me In fact, I ve been saying for weeks how much I looked forward to finishing this series just so I could get some things off my chest But even then, saying the words, I didn t really believe I d take the time So, I give Peter F Hamilton kudos for one thing well in fairness, other things too, but I haven t written those yet his jostling me from my torpor was a groundbreaking achievement Unlike Judas Unchained But first, let me set the mood It was about 3 years ago that I picked up the first volume of Night s Dawn, in my quest to find truly entertaining space opera Anyone who has read the series knows of the commitment required to complete it But I was blown away by the first three chapters truly excellent sci fi Definitely a cut above the typical tripe Had I finally found space opera worthy of the effort It seemed possible So I consumed the first book with some relish Not that relish the other relish Anyway, Hamilton volumes come in at well over 1,000 pages each, and while I knew I had two to go, I already had some metaphorical intestinal rumblings of, how you say, trepidation, regarding the trajectory Hamilton had set But I figured, what the hell, maybe it s not him, it s me Plus, I had already purchased the other two volumes And since I am far cheaper than I am discerning, I continued on I will spare the details, but as you may have inferred from my tone, I was less than pleased The reasons were many, but I ll just list my top three 1 ghosts 2 famous syphilitic gangster ghosts and the coup de grace, 3 a deus ex machina It was a stupid plot full of stupid characters in a universe I would have much preferred see swallowed whole by a different universe wherein books, stupid or otherwise, did not exist At least I was too old to start cutting myself, thank God or in this case, thank the mysterious alien race with profoundly superior, utterly inexplicable technology, foresight and timing Now there are an infinite number of sins off putting than a deus ex machina in general, but few as bad as a deus ex machina after three fucking thousand plus pages And given the poignant promise of the first three chapters, so many pages prior, it felt less like bad writing and like a literary exercise in assault by disparity.Anyhoo, I decided to burn the books We like to camp, so I thought I would just put the books in the car on the next drive up the mountain and burn them Preferably while cooking bacon over them But I never did My car is small, and space is a precious commodity when going camping Unlike a Hamilton tome, some people actually have to make choices to leave some things behind So they remained home unburned But I resolved to never, EVER, read anything by Hamilton again.As some say, that which does not kill us has the capacity to horribly disfigure Time passed, and there really is a dearth of good space opera A friend with typically excellent taste in sci fi happened to mention Pandora s Star and Judas Unchained Amid prolific spittle, wild gesticulation, and much gnashing of teeth, I recounted my Night s Dawn experience, up to and including the planned yet aborted conflagration He encouraged me to give it a shot I took his word for it He s currently rolled up in a carpet in the trunk of my car.I finished Judas Unchained in the wee hours of the morning My experience with the Commonwealth Saga, as with Night s Dawn, is the epitome of unequivocal and insurmountable ambivalence It s not so much that I have a love hate relationship with Peter may I call you Peter, Peter It s that I am as intrigued as I am repulsed by the chasm between how good are some aspects and how lame are others Examples of the good intricate plot an improvement on Night s Dawn , frenetic pace of most action sequences, brilliant description and deployment of technology Examples of meh paucity of character development, infuriating and homogenous dialogue, puerile intrapersonal relationships and dynamics Regarding the good stuff, the plot was particularly entertaining and I really appreciated the lack of a deus ex machina although, for the record, he did include an aloof, vastly superior alien race with technological prowess defying comprehension, but at least he introduced them early, so whatever The action sequences were well crafted and vivid The tech was cool, if not at times merely convenient to further the storyline But there simply wasn t enough of the good to overshadow the bad And I d feel differently if Hamilton stood alone on the good, but he doesn t Iain M Banks comes to mind Vernor Vinge is another And by bad, I mean, wait, what bad Singularly, no one flaw rises to the level of the primary antagonist is the ghost of Al Capone bad But collectivelyit s like death by a thousand cuts About the characters Given the staggering number of characters introduced, they were fundamentally the same character Correction the men were all the same two dimensionally inflexible and unmemorable Some did have Scottish accents, purportedly The women were varied, if by variety one means they each embodied different stereotypes the ambitious ball buster politician with a weakness for hot young terrorists the slut straight out of pre pubescent wet dream central casting you know, for the boy who dreams of one day becoming a sci fi author so he can meet, and touch, women the bawdy, military badass whose communication options are limited to snark , skank, and snarky skank The women who weren t stereotyped were less interesting and memorable, if not less annoying None of the characters came across as believable, which is remarkable given the number of characters and the number of pages with which Hamilton had to work I certainly didn t care about any of them, individually or collectively, and I like to think of myself as a fairly nice guy Seriously, for an extinction level threat to humanity to work for the reader, it might be helpful to create a society, culture and characters one would actually mind seeing wiped out for the rest of the galaxy s sake I would have actually routed for the aliens, except I make of point of never throwing my hat in the ring with giant, insectoid, telepathic butternut squash About the Project Runway Effect I must say that Hamilton does have an eye for detail and description This is both good and bad At times he draws a vivid tableau onto which the action unfolds in a compelling way At other times, he becomes a bit preoccupied with women s fashion, which comes off as rather creepy and uncomfortable, as if we have a perspective into a blind spot we were not meant to see About the dialogue First, an author without a sense of humor is incapable of writing funny dialogue I think that s a law of physics Banter can become freakish Not that every author needs a sense of humor It s just that, if you want to write a character with a sense of humor, your own is indispensable Second, if every character says the same things in the same ways, it s an act of courtesy to begin or end each line of dialogue with, Joe said, Jane exclaimed, or some variant thereof It became so difficult at times to follow who was saying what, especially in the midst of the ubiquitous witty repartee, until I remembered that the dialogue didn t matter anyway and I scanned ahead to the next volley of micro missiles.And finally, about the sex Stop Just stop I understand that some teenage boys may read these books I d prefer if they didn t read like a teenage boy wrote them This becomes particularly abrasive in the context of humans with the ability to live for hundreds of years I mean, I like a romp in the sack as much as the next guy, but I m thinking that my expectations might be just a bit different in 300 years, rejuvenation or no Think it through a bit Or just stop We have the internet, we don t actually need to read porn.So there you have it If you are into space opera, have exhausted all other options, don t mind reading books that are too long full of characters who suck but who have cool toys and blow things up this might be worth your while But might I suggest a quick scan of Wikipedia, or perhaps take another stab at Iain M Banks There, I said it I feel better And as every voracious reader knows, it s all about me As a sage elder statesman once said, fool me once, shame on.err.me Fool me twice.you can t get fooled again I ve been fooled twicefor a net close to 6,000 pages worth I guess I just can t get fooled again I think I ll lick my wounds in some non fiction for a while.


  9. says:

    Executive Summary An enjoyable conclusion to the Commonwealth Duology I plan to check out the Void trilogy at some point in the future.Audio book John Lee once again does a great job He doesn t do voices, but he s got a great reading voice that I could listen to for hours and seems well suited to Space Opera I m excited to see he reads the Void series for Tantor as well as a few other books I plan to check out Full Review This is a long one, but overall I enjoyed it I think this works best in audio because Mr Hamilton can sometimes go overboard on the details and I found it easy to miss a little here and there and still not seem to miss any plot points If I were reading it, I might start skimming or something.This book picks up right where Pandora s Star leaves off, so you ll want to read that first before jumping into this one.We re introduced to a few new POV characters in this one, to go along with some old favorites of mine anyways like Ozzy and Paula Myo.I think Mr Hamilton does a good job in not only tying up all the loose ends but merging the various story lines together into a cohesive finale.There were some parts of Pandora s Star that felt superfluous I m looking at you Hang Gliding scene or just background and depth that felt necessary like the whole murder disappearing bodies subplot that suddenly clicked in with this book.The real enjoyment for me wasn t necessarily the space battles, the politics or the aliens, but just the Commonwealth itself and the people we meet Don t get me wrong all that stuff was cool not to mention I had a hankering for some Starcraft after the scenes with the soldiers in badass armor suits going to toe to toe with aliens that remind me a lot of the Zerg.The Commonwealth feels very much like our world today, only with a lot fun toys to play with and near immortality to allow one to experience them That is if you re lucky enough to be part of the right family born on the right planet.I think Mark really became one of my favorite characters because he uses his intelligence and hard work to get ahead, albeit thanks to taking advantage of some timely opportunities.I m excited to check out other stories the Commonwealth, even if they are with a whole other cast of characters I happened to snag The Dreaming Void as part of an end of year BOGO sale too I m hoping some of the characters from this are still alive and kicking and make a cameo or two at least.


  10. says:

    Longer review appearing much later than I anticipated ah well.This book picks up immediately after the end of Pandora s Star, and it distinctly benefits from not having to establish as much worldbuilding as its predecessor Here, instead of introducing the reader to the numerous worlds and characters of the Commonwealth, Hamilton can simply jump right into their stories With one major exception, the plot feels a lot tighter and less of it seems extraneous to the point That said, the pacing is still uneven and too slow for the seriousness of what s at stake, and all of the problems with the lack of soft SF worldbuilding are still present.Starting with the soft SF stuff, because I covered that in depth in my review of the first book women remain absent from most positions of power or chances to act with authority, though whether this is an oversight is unclear, as Hamilton at one point highlights the fact that there s only one female Dynasty Head Mellanie Rescorai briefly moves away from being a character centered around sex, with some serious reflection on what it means for her career, and then goes right back we see of Nigel Sheldon s harem and it s exactly as shallow as I expected and his sexual stamina clearly wish fulfillment for someone WE CONTINUE TO NOT TALK ABOUT THE EXPLOITATIVE NATURE OF RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN 20 SOMETHINGS AND PEOPLE OVER A HUNDRED YEARS OLD there are no queer characters really to speak of, etc, etc At this point I find Commonwealth society actively repulsive, to be honest The constant modern brand namedrops especially of cars don t help with that, as it s just a reminder that in Hamilton s ideal future the rich have continued to get rich and successful, and the poor underclass lives and dies a dozen times in the lifespan of one oligarch.I want to talk about Mellanie a bit , because this bothers me on a deep level Spoilers follow view spoiler So, just as she starts to move out of navigating the world entirely through sex something which read, in the first book, a lot like a coping mechanism after abuse exploitation, which Morton s relationship with her pretty clearly was she gets dragged into another scheme and pimped out, quite literally, to Ozzie s teenaged compannion, Orion Orion is a quintessential horny teenage boy, has no idea how to interact with girls, and idealizes her a frankly disturbing amount when they first meet, describing her as an angel This is not the first time we ve seen this description it also showed up in Kazimir s first encounter with Justine, which went so well and in no way ended up sidelining her because emotions that was sarcasm It absolutely did Then other shit goes down Mellanie sleeps with Nigel Sheldon, who proposes marriage to her and who really needs to shut the hell up, and then gets ripped in half by his security staff Boom No Mellanie in the resolution of the book worth noting that she already missed her own personal objective seeing her former boss arrested to be pimped out to Orion Mellanie is not allowed to achieve goals, apparently She shows up again to get married to pimply teenage horndog, and we get a lot of information on how much they re fucking Lovely Bonus, because she insists she s not good enough for him HE HAS DONE NOTHING TO DESERVE THIS It s got to do with her own low self esteem than it does with anything about Orion, which casts their entire relationship s health in doubt Anyway, they ride off into the sunset together and there s no way this will collapse later or be ultimately terrible for either of them, nope hide spoiler