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Judas Unchained (Commonwealth Saga) Paperback – 7 Oct 2005


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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Tor (7 Oct 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1405000376
  • ISBN-13: 978-1405000376
  • Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 15.2 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,127,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Peter F. Hamilton was born in Rutland in 1960, and still lives near Rutland Water with his family. He began writing in 1987, and sold his first short story to Fear magazine in 1988. He has also been published in Interzone and the In Dreams and New Worlds anthologies, and several small-press publications. His work includes the Greg Mandel series, the Night's Dawn trilogy - which established him as Britain's bestselling writer of science fiction - and his critically acclaimed Void novels: The Dreaming Void, The Temporal Void and The Evolutionary Void. His novels and his handbook (a vital guide to the Night's Dawn trilogy) have sold almost two million copies worldwide.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Peter F. Hamilton's flair for huge, star-spanning SF adventures continues with Judas Unchained. This concludes the single long novel--over 1,800 pages in all--whose first half is Pandora’s Star.

Humanity's interstellar Commonwealth is in serious trouble. Thirteen of its hundreds of worlds (linked by wormholes and high-speed trains) were lost to a first mass attack by the insanely hostile alien Primes. The controlling Prime intelligence, MorningLightMountain, can imagine no way of dealing with first contact but genocide--and has the resources to do it.

Amid political and personal chaos, it's becoming clear that the war was arranged by a third party. For centuries, only the fanatical, outlawed Guardians cult believed in this mysterious influence called the Starflyer. New evidence emerges, only to vanish again. Key figures are destroyed by near-invincible assassins crammed with inbuilt "wetwired" weaponry. One determined detective is on the track, but she faces massive political opposition.

The multi-stranded action follows many criss-crossing human stories, with fights, pursuits, quests, deaths, resurrections, exotic landscapes and armaments, good sex, and several interesting aliens. Betrayals are frequent, thanks to brainwashed Starflyer agents in positions of trust. Only the Guardians have a scheme to deal with the Starflyer itself--a grandiose strategy known as "the planet's revenge"--but no one trusts those crazy cultists…

In space, the arms race becomes dizzying, with Prime doomsday weapons used against suns while frantic human research leads to "quantumbusters" so appalling that there's serious moral debate about their use. Can we face the guilt of total genocide, even against a horror like MorningLightMountain? Or is there some way to force this psychopathic genie back into the bottle?

The action climaxes in a long, exhilarating chase sequence spiced with ultra-violent skirmishing as the Starflyer comes into the open at last. Stormgliding, an extreme sport introduced in book one, becomes vital to the race against time. Meanwhile, rival starships with different plans chase one another to the Prime system. Hamilton delivers the expected multiple payoffs with suitable pyrotechnics and a satisfying scatter of happy endings. A long, colourful, suspenseful example of modern British space opera. --David Langford --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Advance praise for Judas Unchained " For flat-out huge widescreen all-engines-at-full I-dare-you-not-to-believe-it space opera, there is no one quite like Peter F. Hamilton." - Richard K. Morgan, author of Altered Carbon and Market Forces Praise for Pandora's Star " Should be high on everyone's reading list . . . You won't be able to put it down." - Nancy Pearl, National Public Radio " An imaginative and stunning tale of the perfect future threatened . . . a book of epic proportions not unlike Frank Herbert's Dune or Isaac Asimov's Foundation trilogy." - SFRevu " Recommended . . . A large cast of characters, each with his own story, brings depth and variety to this far-future saga." - Library Journal " Complex and engaging." - Booklist "From the Hardcover edition." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A. Canfil Jr. on 1 Jan 2006
Format: Hardcover
I'm a Yank, and, having read Pandora's Star a few months earlier, I simply could not wait for the American edition to finally come out on February 28, 2006. So I bought Judas Unchained as soon as it was first published, directly from the UK. (You Brits are fortunate to have this fine author so conveniently at hand!)
I'm glad I didn't wait. The many charcters and very complex storylines begun in Pandora's Star are difficult to hold in one's mind for months on end. These two books are essentially one very long novel, with many parallel plot lines through which Hamilton rotates. I strongly recommend that people read them in (of course) the proper order, and one right after the other. As it was, I had some difficulty recalling who several of the protagonists were, and I had become vague about some of the events depicted in Pandora's Star as well. But I hasten to say that my problems in this regard were not the fault of Peter F. Hamilton, but more a matter of my aging mind's somewhat declining memory capacity. (I did have a compensating pleasure as I finally remembered various events and characters.) Do be forewarned: These are complex novels, so reading them straight through is probably best for all readers.
As for what happens in Judas Unchained, I will only say that all the storylines of Pandora's Star are appropriately and logically resolved. Hamilton has put even more of his rollicking, gee-whiz action into this concluding book, and the ending of the saga is both intellectually and emotionally satisfying. These two volumes are "space opera" at its very finest, and in the best sense of the term.
Hamilton just gets better with time. I can't wait to see what he comes up with next.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A. Whitehead TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Oct 2005
Format: Hardcover
The first volume in the Commonwealth Saga, Pandora's Star, ended on a humdinger of a cliffhanger. The Commonwealth has been invaded by the alien Primes. 23 planets have been conquered, 30 million humans have died. The Commonwealth responds by building a huge fleet of warships and equipping them with new super-weapons, only to find the Primes responding with devastating weapons of their own. As both sides continue to up the ante, it becomes clear that the war can only end in the genocide of one species or the other. Meanwhile, key Commonwealth personnel have accepted the existence of the hostile alien Starflyer, which has orchestrated events for its own reasons. However, the number of Starflyer agents at large in the Commonwealth is far higher than was suspected and soon betrayals start piling up, culminating in a lengthy, exhausting chase sequence as the Starflyer is finally forced into the open and tries to flee to its crashed starship on Far Away. Elsewhere, Ozzie Isaacs' quest to find an alien intelligence which might be able to shed some light on the situation reaches a conclusion with some very unpalatable answers being revealed.
Judas Unchained is a fitting conclusion to the story begun in Pandora's Star. It carries on Hamilton's enviable talent for juggling multiple character viewpoints and complex storylines with flair and verve. Complaints are minor: the lengthy chase sequence with vehicles and running battles is perhaps a little too reminiscent of Hamilon's earlier work (particularly The Neutronium Alchemist) and the conclusion, although arguably more successful than the deus ex machina ending of The Night's Dawn Trilogy, leaves whole string of loose ends.
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45 of 51 people found the following review helpful By C. Green TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Oct 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After one misfire (Mispent Youth) and a so-so effort (Fallen Dragon) Peter F. Hamilton returned to form with Pandora's Star, the first volume in the Commonwealth Saga. Now, with Judas Unchained, he concludes a story that, in terms of scope if not length, surpasses his previous work; the Night's Dawn Trilogy.
As with its predecessor in the series it is another tour de force of intricate plotting, epic themes (genocide, time travel, human evolution), personal relationships, interwoven story strands, high politics and pounding action. Picking up where Pandora's Star left things, it follows the same characters, human and alien, minor and major, as they find themselves caught up in a battle for human survival against alien forces seen and unseen.
Trying to summarise the plot here would be pointless. There are simply too many storylines running in parallel throughout this book to come up with a succinct description. All readers need to know is that Hamilton handles each strand, without exception, extremely well. Be it the intrigues of high politics or the down and dirty survival of troops on the ground he gives each one as much care and attention. He also pulls off the almost impossible feat of bringing them all together so that there are no dead ends and even the most minor character has some key role to play in events.
All this is combined with Hamilton's highly evocative descriptions of mankind's future. This is an epic tale set in a fully realised and wholly believable universe. By combining the utterly fantastic (laser weapons and wormholes) with the mundane (trains and Volvo trucks) he gives the reader points of reference grounds the story even during its wilder flights of fancy.
Of course, as with any second volume it is imperative that you read Pandora's Star first.
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