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4.3 out of 5 stars153
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 15 February 2006
There was so much in this and the previous book that at the end the first thing I wanted to do, sad as it may sound, is write Mr Hamilton a little note requesting that he finish the story. There really are so many things left to tell. I mean, what happened to life boats? Although the threat no longer exists, there is still sound reason to send them on their missions... and what about Ozzie's little mission and Orion and Touchee as well?
This book is large, near bible size, but I couldn't stop reading. Also, must first read Pandora's Star or you will be lost.
I hope Mr Hamilton was kidding when he said at the Cambridge signing that there were no plans for a third book in the series.
Keep it coming Mr Hamilton.
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on 25 October 2005
This book provided a satisfying ending to the story, while leaving a couple of threads open for Hamilton's upcoming Void Triolgy which is supposed to take place in the same universe. One aspect of this book that was confusing was keeping track of the various worlds and their capitals - a guide would have been nice. Otherwise, great book, with a much better ending than the Night's Dawn trilogy.
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on 12 April 2007
I really enjoyed the prequel to Judas Unchained, Pandora's Star, but this thing I really struggled through.

I would have loved to have read more about the Motiles and their zany existence. I would love to have read more about their psychological struggle to keep human rationalities at bay. I would have loved to have learnt more about Dyson Beta. Alas, these are my expectations of the sequel, and maybe a lesson why expectations, whether high or low, should be used warily.

There were too many niggles in the plot and writing style for me to enjoy it fully. For example, when reading at length Ozzie's trip along the Silfen tracks I puzzled over how it would all tie together to the Commonwealth, but it never really did. Why include it? The second half of the book is FULL of sub-chapters that run for 2 pages before switching to another sub-plot which runs for 2 pages before switching to another sub-plot which runs for 2 pages before... you get the picture. Some of these sub-plots are just boring (Ozzie and Orion's Bogus Adventure) but some are great (Illuminatus), but switching to and fro between them left me constantly frustrated as I'd finally get my teeth into one before being yanked away again to another. I can understand this style being used to create a "page turnover", but 600 pages of it?! Why _is_ this book 1200 pages long anyway?

Anyhoo, I can recommend it if you're into space operas, but "Dreaming Heavens" don't expect anything too "enzyme-bonded concrete" breaking, "dude".

I have given the book a positive 3 stars despite the above anger-driven ramble (I only finished the book last night and the agony is still fresh in my mind). Alright, back to Iain M Banks I guess.
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on 30 May 2009
If ever a book needed an editor with a ruthless streak when it comes to cutting out dead wood, then this book is it.
An involved storyline, threading dozens of different characters and view points into a wide picture of a future society, an imagining of a burgeoning human expansion into space, the politics, subterfuge and powermongers that fuel it, and its inevitable friction with non humans, world building on an impressive scale. An epic story. However, it suffers from not knowing when less is more - the final straw for me, was when one of the climactic clashes of the story was building, the novel decided to detail the cable car that was being used in yawnifying detail - who had planned it, which political group had opposed its building, which had supported it, the argument over its green credentials, whether it was better for the environment, a page of mindless, not even exotically interesting fluff . . . and, oh my, do we care ? Does it matter ? Just get on with it. Rather like suddenly coming across the minutes of a local council meeting stapled into the middle of an otherwise fine story.
And unfortunately theres quite a lot of this fluff and obsessive detailing - its a tribute to the author that he can put that much thought into building a deeper world with a background for much of it, but its also about telling a story as well as the world building, and sometimes the story is lost amongst the endless boring details that have no point.

Theres a reason this book is so long, and its not because its jam packed with a wild story, its because it often digresses into trivial uninteresting detail.

There IS a good story and set of ideas here, you just have to sort through a lot of chaff sometimes to see it. Halve the book size, and this would be a cracking read that would lose none of its intricate interweaved plotlines.

Less is sometimes more after all.
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on 13 November 2015
It's taken months. After a couple of breaks in the middle I finally finished this great second part of the Commonwealth saga.

Hamilton once again shows here just how great of a storyteller he is. The imagination, creativity and articulation is astounding throughout. I won't include any spoilers but suffice it to say the book is awesome. Magnificent sci-fi, action and brilliantly done suspense and humor throughout.

I literally had no idea of what to expect. Simply unpredictable edge of your seat storytelling! Wondrous exotic worlds, both complex and simple exciting characters with great depths to them. This is the fifth book of this great author's that I have read and he really is incredible. Would be nice to see some of his stories adapted for television one day!

Very well structured pace throughout with an excellent ending. Had me flipping page after page looking for more. If you like sci-fi and excellent storytelling then pick this up (and its predecessor 'Pandora's Star')
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on 12 November 2012
Pandora's Star (part 1) was a bit hard work. This is much better.

The overall series would be much better if PFH exercised some discipline and cut down the series from just under 2,000 pages to say 4-500 pages/volume. Just lots of ideas but 'trim and select' would be a very good idea here. And as for the 'sex' - really is the man a teenager?

Set aside a couple of weeks eg take both on holiday - making an excellent excuse for using a Kindle - "other readers are available". You don't want to leave too big a gap between Vol 1 and 2 or you may well (I know I did and I only had a week's gap) remembering 'who's who'. At least there's a brief character list at the start of each novel. I needed it even while reading.

But don't let me put you off. It is fun and I particularly loved the 'elves'. Really clever the way PFH weaves Tolkienesque ideas with SciFi. Very neat indeed.

In summary great fun but it will take some time to read through both volumes.
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on 2 September 2012
Judas Unchained by Peter F Hamilton.
A continuation of the Pandora's Star saga. Upon finishing the Pandora story I was
left in awe at the destructive ferocity of the Primes. The universe was doomed or so it seemed. Reading into Judas Unchained a little I soon felt more reassured that all
would work out well in the end. It was with some relief that I found there was a way
to combat these ferocious aliens.The book is long and the plot complicated. I enjoyed
reading it right through. The adventures on the Silfen Path in particular.There is a strong
interplay between Nigel Sheldon and Ozzie and I think this gives the story added depth.
There is room to breath in this volume. I am not exaggerating when I say that it is one of the best S.F. books I have ever read. It will keep you guessing
all the way through. It is set in the far distant future and describes a universe that has
developed FTL. I know you will enjoy it.
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on 27 October 2007
This book and its precursor: "Pandora's Star" have an absolutely excellent plot. The plot with Morninglightmountain is an absolute cracker. It is original, well thought out and, regardless of other reviews, the Ozzie story is very good and has much subtlety.

But.

Both books have so much extraneous wording that on times I was nearly screaming "GET ON WITH IT!". And I'm the kind of person who eats novels.

For example, if the author was to refer to 'concrete' as 'enzyme-bonded concrete' once and then refer to it as 'EBconcrete' that would acceptable. However he does not. As a result I'm sure that a goodly proportion of at least one chapter is full of 'enzyme-bonded concrete' references.

Or, almost to the molecule, what person X was wearing.

As a result I was trying to skip pages to actually get to something which had a reference to the current plots. I most probably missed parts due to the tedium of trying to find needles in haystacks.

Please don't misunderstand me. I thought the plot was excellent and showed a keen mind for science fiction. I just wish there were fewer words. Both books (at 1200+ pages each) could have fit into one of that size. And what a corker it would have been!
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on 30 March 2014
Like the first book in the Commonwealth Saga it is enjoyable space opera romp, but sadly it is little more than that. It mostly settles into being an action adventure novel that happens to have space ships, ray guns, and very, very big explosions. One of the main plotlines boils down even further than at the end, to become a long pursuit sequence with high tech weapons. This is a bit disappointing when compared to Peter F. Hamilton’s earlier works such as the Night's Dawn trilogy which also had an action adventure feel but somehow ran that as part of a truly inventive and intriguing SF milieu.
However there is some hope for the next three books set in this universe (which is a good thing as I have already bought them!). The Silfen and the Silfen Paths are intriguing, and the last pages of the book, after all the action is finished, form a sort of epilogue that seems to hint at much more interesting science fiction.
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on 22 March 2006
I am long time fan of Hamilton as space opera is my favorite subgenre and overall this is a great finale to the Intersolar story. Tremendous widescreen, complex , all the elements are there I have enjoyed reading it a lot.
As ever the Hamilton flaws are still present as mentioned by other reviews. His writing still seems to be tad adolescent as regards the fairer sex ( tip , see Iain M banks for how to do this ) the overall style and content is still a bit pulp fiction rather than literary ( ditto Banks as above ), sometimes less is more here .
However this is highly regarded stuff. and I could not do it so I should shut up I think and recommend this highly. Look forward to the next book please Peter ..
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