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on 3 December 2013
Good Story, Great Characters, Makes you want to read the other in the series.
It's a long read but worth it...
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on 29 March 2013
For me this is an addictive series because it has it all, boys toys n Sci Fi, love links, politics, detective etc etc ......... Read and enjoy, but start at the beginning
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on 8 January 2014
An amazing achievement - one of the most striking worlds in literature, and a fantastic story to boot. I really didn't want it to end – but then again, at least I will get my evenings back now. 'Saga' is an appropriate title, this isn't exactly short. But it's very much worth it.
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on 14 April 2013
Always a good story from P.F.Hamilton. Fits my Knidle Fire nicely, just in time for my holiday and has no effect on my weight allowance!
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on 6 May 2017
Hugely enjoyable space opera by Peter Hamilton. The fact he (just about) manages to tie off all the loose ends and plot strands is in itself quite impressive. He maintains a really smooth writing style that never becomes hard-going, always skilfully keeping the reader in no doubt about what's going on.

It's quite plain to see that if you are in any way a science fiction (or fantasy) fan then you simply have to read these books. Packed full of inventiveness and ideas, there is a confidence to the author's approach to writing that really shines through.

Although I seem to be in the minority in actually preferring Pandora's Star. I felt narratively, the overall build up of intrigue and shocking developments in the first book were more interesting than the actual conclusion itself. There are parts in Judas Unchained where multiple plot strands meet together and do rather get bogged down, slightly jarring against the overall story.

The sheer number of point-of-view characters (literally dozens) begins to work against it and as a result many of them lack any depth whatsoever, often going hundreds of pages unseen. Thankfully there are 5 or 6 characters who Hamilton manages to flesh out quite nicely, but it does rather show up all the other 2 dimensional POV characters that are merely there as plot triggers/'cogs in the narrative machine'.

Also, there are certain plot contrivances towards the latter stages which have an imperfect feel to them, compared to the more measured Pandora's Star.

So, a decent 4 stars I think. If I marked the saga together it would get 5 stars, but I think it's worth noting there are perhaps some drawbacks to Judas Unchained (in my opinion).
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on 14 January 2013
I love the way he brings things together in this one and his writing style doesn't get old for me anyway
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on 6 September 2006
Having read the first book, "pandora's star" I could not wait to read this book and find out what happens to all the various charcters and plot lines. I was impressed with his pacing of the first book and it is not dis-similar here.

I did have one big problem. I managed to get to page 1190 with about 38 pages to go--- only to find the next page reverted to page 1 of the book. The next 38 pages were an exact recreation of the first 38. I contacted Amazon customer service, who were their usual helpful selves, and they checked the other stock that they had. This doesn't appear to be a problem with the other stock and so i asked for a replacement. So I would suggest that if you buy this, and i do recommend it, that you check the back pages in the bottom corner and check that it isn't just the start of the book.

Reading the reviews of "Pandora's Star" someone else had a problem with missing pages of that book, so it may be a production problem for Pan MacMillan.

This would have been 5 stars but for this problem
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on 25 February 2014
Just as good the second time around, I rarely read a book twice but I found I enjoyed it just as much if not more
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on 19 November 2005
I find it difficult to be objective about this author and his work. I well remember my first experience of a Hamilton epic. The Reality Dysfunction. I was blown away. So blown away in fact that I was able to overlook the rather throw away ending as it was the first book of a trilogy. Since then however I have come to the realisation that the author finds it difficult to wrap up his novels.
He is able to write hundreds, no thousands of pages, introducing scores of characters, and pulls you into a world quite unlike any other author. His writing is mesmerising, thrilling, compelling and only feels anything approaching complete in the larger works.... Night's Dawn, Fallen Dragon and this Pandora's Star. His shorter books just don't do it for me as he never seems to get into his stride. Characterisations take time in a Hamilton novel as the descriptive narrative is somewhat superficial.
What lets it down is the wrap. This was most marked in Nights Dawn. Fabulous ideas, imagination and characters only to be let down by running the whole trilogy into a brick wall and drawing the conclusion together in the last 2-3 pages. You end up feeling let down, short changed. You want a little suspense. False endings. You don't get that tease in a Hamilton novel.
This was certainly the case in this book's prequel, Pandora's Star.
This book however is an improvement. Certainly there is no teasing ending. It is very linear and clearcut. You know what is going to happen but it is drawn out to allow the reader to feel a sense of satisfaction. The book is superb.. not deep, but it is rewarding to read and not too let down by the ending this time. There are the irritations, main characters get killed perfunctorily. There are a few red herrings thrown in, Bradley's relationship with Tiger Pansy for instance, as if this were an opportunity flag left in a work in progress to change the course of the novel if required.
The book is worth reading, well worth reading, but be prepared to be irritated. The literature is not deep and meaningful but neither is it pulp trash. The ideas are imaginative and consistent and the grammar precise. It is just the end. It turns out the way you know it will, no surprises but there are no tears either. Ultimately you don't care about the characters. In the same way the author can kill them off without apparent remorse you can enjoy the book immensely yet not feel too upset when it is over. You are just looking forward to the next Hamilton, hoping next time it gets closer to that cigar!
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VINE VOICEon 31 May 2006
Despite reading a lot of it, I'm not actually a massive fan of Sci-fi, especially Space Opera. Although as a genre it's produced some greats (for example, Clarke, Brunner, Dick and Bear), the vast majority is easy-reading brain candy which helps me relax after a long day at work without making me think.

I've read a fair amount of Peter F Hamilton with this in mind - I wasn't overly smitten with the 'Night's Dawn' Trilogy, and Fallen Dragon was also very ho-hum. The first book in this series, 'Pandora's Star' was interesting enough to make me look forward to the sequel, but I still wasn't singing it's praises.

Judas Unchained starts unexceptionally enough with the usual SciFi and Fantasy staple of two dense pages naming the major characters and then the plot gets cracking.

About four hundred pages in I realised something. Despite dozens, if not hundreds of named characters and at least a half-dozen seperate plot threads which cross and weave at no point had I got confused as to who was who, what was going on or where the story was. As a feat of storytelling and authorial skill this is remarkable.

I've never doubted Hamilton's imagination, but in the past his writing has left much to be desired. With Judas Unchained he seems to have overcome his former limitations and this book is, undeniably, the work of a tremendous writer at absolutely the top of his game. Yes, there are criticisms. Other reviewers have pointed out that his characterisation of women is poor and that is his big weakness as a writer. Beyond that, though, Judas Unchained is a remarkable work of the imagination and of writing and whatever your views of SF, this is a book I'd heartily recommend.

Five Stars.
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