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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Millenium Flare With A Classic Feel
Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained have all the romantic feel of a classic sci-fi novel seasoned with some wonderful modern ideas. Hamilton does a superb job of building a new colonial age and writing a compelling history. Interwoven stories of crime, passion, coming of age, personal discovery, conflict, crisis, environmentalism, exploitation, art, and mystery may at...
Published on Sept. 4 2008 by Reality Gazer

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ambitious, but ultimately unengaging
Being a huge fan of the 'Night's Dawn' trilogy, I was naturally very happy to get my hands on this book. If you liked 'Night's Dawn', there's a chance you will find something to your liking in here - but don't expect anything approaching the quality of 'The Neutronium Alchemist'.
In this series (completed by 'Judas Unchained' next year), Hamilton seems to set out to...
Published on April 10 2004 by Daniel Roy


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Ambitious, but ultimately unengaging, April 10 2004
By 
Daniel Roy "triseult" (Shanghai, China) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Pandora's Star (Hardcover)
Being a huge fan of the 'Night's Dawn' trilogy, I was naturally very happy to get my hands on this book. If you liked 'Night's Dawn', there's a chance you will find something to your liking in here - but don't expect anything approaching the quality of 'The Neutronium Alchemist'.
In this series (completed by 'Judas Unchained' next year), Hamilton seems to set out to do something similar to what he did in 'Night's Dawn': present a riveting, complex world and then take a sledgehammer to it. The universe in 'Pandora's Star' sure is awfully detailed, and parts of it (such as the trains that travel between worlds) are surely fascinating.
However, the world just doesn't click as neatly as 'Night's Dawn', and I was left with the feeling that, as detailed as this novel was, I just didn't buy into it. There's a LOT of pages in this book used to describe the world, but instead of being mesmerising, they tend to be very frustrating as the author takes the reader by the hand to guide him through yet another human colony vaguely based on Western places, such as Venice or California.
I think this is one of these books that would have benefited from having less, not more. Some parts were very carefully crafted and interesting, while other sub-plots were frustrating for being so boring and leading nowhere. In some cases (the fanfic-level chapter on the court case of a rich businessman, to quote one) was so poorly written and so unappealing that they almost convinced me to put down the book and pick up something else.
Because of the number of secondary characters in the novel, some characters become such clichés that they`re actually painful to read. Mark, the "everyday normal guy" witnessing the events of the novel in the midst of his very boring life, made me groan every time his name showed up. Mellanie, the nubian naive girl who gets mistreated by the rich man she loves blindly, was also very painful to read so stereotypical she was. It's a pity, because they ultimately bury great characters such as Nigel Sheldon or Ozzie, that show a bit more fleshing out. Oh, and to show you how poorly fleshed-out these secondary characters turned out to be, I was unable to find one woman in the novel that was not somehow beautiful and closer to a man's fantasy than an actual believeable woman.
Still; throughout all these gripes is an interesting bit of space opera waiting to unfold. The beauty of 'Night's Dawn' was to see a fully realized world fall to pieces under a new threat. 'Judas Unchained' promises to do exactly that to the world of 'Pandora's Star'. This promise has kept me going through this very long novel: that all I read so far was preparation for Peter Hamilton taking an awesome sledgehammer to his carefully constructed world. That is not to say I harbor fantasies of revenge upon this long novel, but rather that this long preparation might be worth it once Hamilton turns things upside down.
If the followup is up to par with Hamilton's previous works, then this novel might be worth slowly wading through. Here's hoping that it will be: because Pandora's Star in itself is ambitious, but so flawed that it failed to fire up my imagination and really engage me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New Millenium Flare With A Classic Feel, Sept. 4 2008
This review is from: Pandora's Star (Mass Market Paperback)
Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained have all the romantic feel of a classic sci-fi novel seasoned with some wonderful modern ideas. Hamilton does a superb job of building a new colonial age and writing a compelling history. Interwoven stories of crime, passion, coming of age, personal discovery, conflict, crisis, environmentalism, exploitation, art, and mystery may at first seem a confusing cornucopia, but Hamilton moulds them into a captivating tale that will leave you desperate for more. Full marks awarded for this deeply satisfying tale.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Galactic in Scope, Oct. 20 2007
By 
Ken Breadner "Pageflipper" (Waterloo, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Pandora's Star (Mass Market Paperback)
If you, like me, buy books in order to immerse yourself in words different from ours, this book (and its companion volume, JUDAS UNCHAINED) are for you.
If you want non-stop action, with minimal character development, stay the heck away.
If you like to be confronted with thought-provoking ideas in your books, give this one a try.
If you are looking for a 'check your brain at the door' reading experience, look elsewhere.

The word EPIC gets tossed around routinely in sf. This book actually merits the word. Dozens of worlds, most of them lovingly described, vie with scores of characters, each with his/her own backstory. Every kind of speculative fiction is well represented here, from hard to soft with everything in between. The chief 'villain' of the piece is truly a disturbing creation--and yet Hamilton gives us a tour of the universe from its perspective (including a riveting, wondrous account of its first contact with humans) and damned if you don't feel a tad sympathetic for it even as it's slaughtering us by the millions.
There are themes writ large and small all over the place, a few laughs, a soupcon of sex, and all in all, a story so involved that a thousand pages does for a warm up. (Be aware you *need* that final installment: this is only half the story. Yes, it's slow in places...of course it is. A truly immersive experience like this pretty much has to be.
I'll be looking for more from this author.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, July 3 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I love both trilogies.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Downhill after the first 300 pages, May 14 2004
By 
Ron Hallberg (Springfield, Il USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Pandora's Star (Hardcover)
If I had been asked to rate this work after the first 300 pages, I would have been hard pressed not to award 5 stars. However, the last half was a real slog. In fact, I had to skip a 100 or so pages near the end just to say I finished it - only to find that almost nothing had been resolved after all this effort. I don't mind (and sometimes really enjoy) multi book series but not this one. An editor with a liberal red pen would have improved this book considerably.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, Feb. 7 2008
This review is from: Pandora's Star (Mass Market Paperback)
I enjoyed this book immensely - but I do recommend you purchase the sequel, otherwise you will really be left hanging at a crucial plot point. The scope of this book is amazing - wildly complicated plot centering on the discovery of hostile aliens intent on destroying the Commonwealth, and Investigator Myo's search for an undercover/terrorist group who believe that leaders of the Commonwealth have been compromised by yet another alien - The Starflyer. All the threads of the story slowly draw together, and Hamilton moves deftly between the various characters,( including an elf like race the Silfin, the human created artificial intelligence SI, and many very long lived human characters) as the plot twists and turns. Overall, Hamilton has created an astonishingly inventive universe and this book is well worth reading.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Riveting cliffhanger, March 17 2007
This review is from: Pandora's Star (Mass Market Paperback)
The worst part of this book was in coming to the end and realizing that it was not an encapsulated story in itself, but an unfinished cliffhanger designed to make you buy the next novel. It is not a read-in-one-night pageturner; but a fascinating, diverse and complex storyline full of unique individuals and threads of meaning that all weave together and apart in satisfying bursts of discovery. Every time I put it down for a break, it kept me coming back for more. My advice is: "don't buy this book unless you are also getting the sequel."
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1.0 out of 5 stars 1000 pages for part 1 and neither part 2 nor end in sight!, Nov. 27 2005
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This review is from: Pandora's Star (Mass Market Paperback)
As the cover says ... "A large case of characters, each with his own story" ... unfortunately each of these might have made a good book but together they lack cohesion as well as a decent climax / catharsis setup that would give the reader closure at the end of the book. I would not recommend to read this unless it is 2007, all the books of the series have been released and you have the time to read a few thousand pages in one sitting.
Well admittedly there's lot's of stories but they drag on and on because Hamilton can't get into gear until about page 600 of the almost 1000 in the book, only to drop the reader in mid-story to wait for the next installment. There's also lots of characters and maybe they will be linked somehow at the end of a multithousand page epos but transitions between their story lines are often choppy and some characters occupy a lot of space that could have gone to story development. Maybe most annoying of all, the book caters to the hard sci-fi crowd but features elementary mistakes starting with the simplest of math: at 2.5 lightyears / hour it will take us 130 days to travel just over 500 lightyears?!? and showing a lack of understanding of the most basic principles of science. Pity, with a bit of decent editing this could have been a good book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 700+ good pages, Aug. 16 2004
This review is from: Pandora's Star (Hardcover)
Excellent story so far... many character's stories are weaved toghether - really a masterpiece. I hope the sequel keeps up the same quality as this one. Only criticism I've got is the discription of "The Incessant California Sunshine", which shows up at least 3 times in the book (LA Galactic Station, Santa Monica, etc.) - anyone who has really lived near the coast in Southern California would know that we DON'T have a lot of sunshine at least 4-5 months out of the year (around Jan/Feb we get lots of RAIN, and in early summer we are always overcast - the so-called "June Gloom"). I kind of think it was pretty cool putting the LA Galactic Station at Camp Pendleton, but the buildings would be no more "bleached by the sun" that most places (indeed probably less so than most American locales).
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book takes space opera to a whole new level!, July 17 2004
This review is from: Pandora's Star (Hardcover)
Its vast expanse of humanity-occupying-space alone earns such a high praise, not to mention its believable characters and intriguing storyline that seems to reach beyond the 24th Century setting. Being an avid sci-fi and space opera reader for nearly thirty years, I know what I love and I loved this book. It's definitely as good as others of its kind, both past and present: "Stranger in a Strange Land", "Puppet Masters", "Foundation", "2001", "2010", "Rendezvous with Rama", "Ringworld", all the "Star Trek" and "Star Wars" books, "Advent of the Corps" and others.
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Pandora's Star
Pandora's Star by Peter F. Hamilton (Mass Market Paperback - Jan. 25 2005)
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