35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
A worthy conclusion,
This review is from: Judas Unchained (Commonwealth Saga) (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. These are minor threads only, but the vague sense of loose ends being deliberately left for Hamilton's next project, The Void Trilogy (which will be set in the same universe 1,000 years later), is slightly irritating.
But these are minor niggles. Judas Unchained cements Hamilton's place as the most readable and enjoyable SF writer working in the field today.