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Judas Unchained

Judas Unchained

Written by Peter F. Hamilton

Narrated by John Lee


Judas Unchained

Written by Peter F. Hamilton

Narrated by John Lee

ratings:
4.5/5 (66 ratings)
Length:
41 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Oct 6, 2008
ISBN:
9781400177639
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

Peter F. Hamilton's superbly imagined, cunningly plotted interstellar adventures are conceived on a staggeringly epic scale and filled with fully realized human and alien characters as complex as they are engaging. No mere world builder, Hamilton creates entire universes-and he does so with irresistible flair and intelligence. His previous novel, the acclaimed Pandora's Star, introduced the Intersolar Commonwealth, a star-spanning civilization of the twenty-fourth century. Robust, peaceful, and confident, the Commonwealth dispatched a ship to investigate the mystery of a disappearing star, only to inadvertently unleash a predatory alien species that turned on its liberators, striking hard, fast, and utterly without mercy.

The Prime are the Commonwealth's worst nightmare. Coexistence is impossible with the technologically advanced aliens, who are genetically hardwired to exterminate all other forms of life. Twenty-three planets have already fallen to the invaders, with casualties in the hundreds of millions. And no one knows when or where the genocidal Prime will strike next.

Nor are the Prime the only threat. For more than 100 years, a shadowy cult, the Guardians of Selfhood, has warned that an alien with mind-control abilities impossible to detect or resist-the Starflyer-has secretly infiltrated the Commonwealth. Branded as terrorists, the Guardians and their leader, Bradley Johansson, have been hunted by relentless investigator Paula Myo. But now evidence suggests that the Guardians were right all along and that the Starflyer has placed agents in vital posts throughout the Commonwealth-agents who are now sabotaging the war effort. Is the Starflyer an ally of the Prime, or has it orchestrated a fight to the death between the two species for its own advantage?

Caught between two deadly enemies, one a brutal invader striking from without, the other a remorseless cancer killing from within, the fractious Commonwealth must unite as never before.

This will be humanity's finest hour-or its last gasp.
Publisher:
Released:
Oct 6, 2008
ISBN:
9781400177639
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

About the author

Peter F. Hamilton was born in Rutland in 1960 and still lives nearby. He began writing in 1987, and sold his first short story to Fear magazine in 1988. He has written many bestselling novels, including the Greg Mandel series, the Night's Dawn trilogy, the Commonwealth Saga, the Void trilogy, short-story collections and several standalone novels including Fallen Dragon and Great North Road.


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What people think about Judas Unchained

4.3
66 ratings / 35 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    An excellent conclusion to the Commonwealth story! Man what ride!
  • (4/5)
    Great finish to the first part Pandora's star. If it wasn't for the hundreds of pages of descriptions, this would be 5 stars. A great story with really great characters and universe.The story can also be difficult to follow from time to time due to the insanely large cast of characters.(with new ones popping in regularly) But, eventually, you remember who they are. You might need a flowchart though ;)
  • (3/5)
    See my review of Pandora's Star. This is the second half of that story.
  • (4/5)
    Really enjoyable pulpy science fiction.
  • (4/5)
    good space opera
  • (4/5)
    Part two of the Commonwealth Saga (Pandora's Star being the first). Epic in scope with a feeling like reading the Foundation Trilogy for the first time when I finished it. Did drag in spots, so put it down and picked it up several times. I guess that could be expected of a 1200 page book...
  • (5/5)
    Really exciting conclusion to Pandora's Star about an alien invasion. Tons of characters, which luckily were easier for me to follow having read the first book a couple months ago (and with the inclusion of a dramatis personae). Hamilton does an excellent job of fleshing out this myriad of characters, although sometimes I would get frustrated leaving one character at a very exciting point to jump over to another character, knowing that we wouldn't be getting back to the first character for quite a while!
  • (4/5)
    There are many things I feel after finishing reading this book: relief at being done with the 2000 page story, memory of being 1500 pages in (500 into Judas Unchained) and stalling out because the story was following people who just weren't characterized enough to stand out against the rest of the large cast, and satisfaction. The end was good and despite being roughly 300 pages long, I was satisfied with everything that happened.
  • (5/5)
    A departure from normal sci fi storytelling. Fantastic world building and thrilling use of drama!
  • (3/5)
    3 stars. barely. maybe. sliding to 3 and a half very rarely. very frustrating writer who can't write (his prose is turgid and his characters all sound the same), and has pretty conventional sf ideas too. making it a very clunky read. still, a pretty broad canvas, some good world-building, some interesting characters, and some ambition. though his view of women, i dunno, i bet and Charlie Sheen are right on the same wavelength. still, points for... something. gonna read some more of him: though i'm not sure what to make of that. is this stuff popular because (rather than in spite of) the fact that it's basically unvarnished 1950s sf, with all its built-in limitations, i wonder? i keep thinking idly, hey if he hired a ghostwriter to write this for him, it could work out better for both writer and reader, you know?
  • (5/5)
    Wow!! This book (and I include the continuation novel Judas Unchained) is the kitchen sink of sci-fi ideas and implementation all incorporated in a highly entertaining story.
    This was the first novel I read from Peter F. Hamilton and he gives you plenty of aliens, a new twist on travel between worlds and lots of political intrigue in the Commonwealth saga. His story is so large that it takes some time to introduce all the characters and plotlines going on including lots of back story. I found myself backtracking several times to confirm people and places that had not been discussed recently but I am glad that I stuck with it as the action really gets going about halfway through the first book and does not really stop until the end of the second book.
    I can enthusiastically recommend this series if you enjoy any of the sub-genres within science fiction.
  • (4/5)
    Excellent world building. Interesting plot. Dozens of cool characters. A few explosions and the fate of humanity on the line.

    In short, everything a sprawling Peter Hamilton book should have.

    And this time no deus ex machina to pull humanity's bacon out of the fire.
  • (4/5)
    There are many things I feel after finishing reading this book: relief at being done with the 2000 page story, memory of being 1500 pages in (500 into Judas Unchained) and stalling out because the story was following people who just weren't characterized enough to stand out against the rest of the large cast, and satisfaction. The end was good and despite being roughly 300 pages long, I was satisfied with everything that happened.
  • (5/5)
    I would like another one please! What a good series!
  • (5/5)
    Reviewed in 2007.My Reaction: I could hardly contain myself to wait for the ending and find out whodunit! This book - sequel to Pandora's Star - defies genres and contains elements of science fiction, space opera and mystery. My Synopsis: While more and more people are beginning to believe that the Guardians of Selfhood have been correct all along about the existence of the Starflyer, the Prime launch an all-out attack to take over the Commonwealth and wipe out as many humans as possible, and enslave the remainder. At the same time, agents of the Starflyer continue to do their best to cover up any evidence of their existence and since the sabotage continues to come out at the highest of levels, no one is certain who they can trust anymore. Nigel Sheldon has created a weapon that can cause a sun to go nova instantly - he calls is a quantumbuster - and consideration is given to using it on all star systems where Prime have settled. Is genocide the option humans will take? Or will another route be found? Will the Guardians of Selfhood be able to stop the Starflyer from taking off in its starship? What *is* the Starflyer? Recommendation: You need to read the book to find out - and you will not be disappointed in the ending - you may be shocked, but you will not be disappointed!
  • (5/5)
    Second to last book in my great to-read shelf project, and it was a doozy. 1000+ pages of hard sf, with wetwired assassins, neural access to the net, defacto immortality through memory crystals and rejuvenation, FTL ships, two sets of hostile aliens, insane technological advances, and the potential extinction of the human race. Hamilton keeps the human element front and center, jumping between points of view on various worlds: a reporter, a navy officer, a freedom fighter, and 300+ year olds who were present at the start of the whole thing of using wormholes as transportation (with train tracks running thorugh them!). I wish I'd started this sooner after finishing "Pandora's Star", there's no provision made to remind you of who's who and what happened before, so I worked it out from context.
  • (4/5)
    Liked it despite its flaws. It's really a part 2 of Pandora's Star, picking right up when the last one left off. Much too long, not very exciting writing, but the world building and character development was great. I liked and wanted to find out about characters I had nothing in common with.
  • (3/5)
    This is the sequel to the author’s Pandora Star. It is not a stand-alone novel and must be read quickly in succession with the first novel in the series. Trying to pick up the numerous threads involved after a respite or after reading other books, will likely leave the reader hopelessly lost, as the author makes no effort to refresh the reader’s memory.Like its predecessor, this science fiction work weighs in at 1,000+ pages. After having read both of these novels, I’m left with much the same opinion as that held after reading the 3,500 pages of the author’s Night’s Dawn series. Both works begin slowly, establishing numerous story lines and plot threads. After several hundred pages, the reader becomes engrossed with the fascinating and original ideas, concepts, technological advances, new worlds and alien constructs. Of all the science fiction writers I’ve read, Hamilton is perhaps the best in the originality and fresh outlook that he gives his future and alien worlds.After another 1,000 pages, however, the novelty wears off. All of the great ideas and originality soon becomes second nature and you are left with only the underlying story. As good as it may be, another 1,000 pages (or more as was the case in Night’s Dawn) ultimately bogs down and loses those strengths that made the previous pages so enjoyable. The worm hole technology and the methods used to exploit it, the concept of rejuvenation and immortality, the methods of establishing new outposts of human development and the political constructs established to govern them, and the alien worlds and races encountered are all handled magnificently. It is easy to say that a 2,000 page work is too long, but the reason it is too long is because it ultimately dilutes that part of the work that is so stunningly good.Having read this work, I can’t help but feel that it would have been a better reading experience as two 500-750 page books as opposed to the 2,000 total pages in its current form. Quite frankly, mid-way through this sequel, I became terribly bored with it and frequently fell asleep while reading it.As an aside, Hamilton repeats what has become a pet peeve of mine among science fiction writers; the need to create a new epithet to be used by future humans, and repeat it ad nauseam throughout the work. The exclamation "Dreaming Heavens!" must have been uttered thousands of times, to take its place with other such creative utterances as TANJ (There ain't no justice) and TANSTAAFL (There ain't no such thing as a free lunch). Hamilton must be a Heinlein devotee. What? The old expletives were not good enough to last? Every future human uses the same epithet hundreds of times a day? This, despite the fact that not only are automobiles still the primary method of local conveyance after 500 years, but they are still manufactured by the same companies (Ford, Volvo, Toyota and Land Cruiser are all still around). I'm willing to bet that the "F" word outlasts all of the above.
  • (5/5)
    A great conclusion to the story begun in Pandora's Star. Hamilton continues his marvelous development of the characters introduced in "Part One" and brings the conflict to a stunning resolution. A fun read.
  • (5/5)
    There's not much to say about this novel. If you enjoyed the original, you are going to enjoy the conclusion. There were some elements I was slightly disappointed with. The identity of the Starflyer was not as gripping as I hoped. A few of the character's wrap-ups were less than satisfying. But these are only very minor. There still are plenty of moments that surprise you even at the very last. A few people have criticized the number of characters and length of the novel. Please don't buy into that. The characterization is so well constructed, I can't understand how any of the characters could be confused with each other. They are just too different. Any reasonably well-read sci-fi fan will love the Commonwealth Saga.
  • (5/5)
    Continuation of Pandora's Star. Nearly as good as Pandora's Star if not for the slow section involving Ozzie on some planet . The chase part at the end went on a little too long.
  • (3/5)
    Another 1000 pages of exposition. If you've read the first one you'll be used to this by now. It hasn't and doesn't change. There's still the vast and annoyingly huge character list, and continual jumping around of locations, the irritating anachronisms, but then after dragging us about for what feels like ever, a very sudden and unsatisfactory ending.The beginning was so long ago I can barely remember where we started. However I do know that it was immediately after the 1st book finished. No natural story break, or jump between the two books, just a sudden I'll split it in two here. I think this epic, would have been vastly improved as four book project with each book having a crafted beginning middle and end. Craft though may not be something that Hamilton does.The existence of the StarFlyer is becoming more widely known, and in consequence it's 'sleeper' agents become more active. Their identity is always a surprise, but eventually some people begin to figure them out. (The last agent's identity is dragged out forever before being revealed. What's so annoying (along with many other aspects of the ending) is that having had 2000pages to do so, Hamilton is unable to reasonably explain how or why this person has become corrupted. Instead their corruption is just discovered, and never explained, even though they would have had many other opportunities to act). Mellanie continues her whoring around the universe, allowing the SI to show off. Ozzie's long walk along the paths comes to a rather boring end, and just about manages to be tied into the main plot. I was impressed with the planet's revenge. Many of the other inventions are also impressive, and a lot of thought has gone into the society and people's responses to it, all of which is good. However the exposition descriptions the endless interchanging characters, and the lack of anything even remotely resembling pace, mean I'm unlikely to try anything else by this author unless he's been heavily edited..............................................................
  • (3/5)
    (Reviewed May 19, 2009)About halfway through this, I was ready to give it five stars and declare it the best thing I'd ever read. Hamilton has an incredible knack for describing action that is just unparalleled. Some of the action scenes in this book will make your head spin in wonder and awe, and I am very much thankful to him for allowing me that experience.But. And it's a big but.The third act is pathetic. An anti-climax of epic proportions. From the moment the *SPOILERS* nova bomb is deployed against Hell's Gateway right up to the ultimate "planet's revenge" against the Starflyer, everything feels rushed and incomplete, with characters dropping out of focus, plot strands that seemed of the utmost importance abandoned with not a whimper of explanation (SI anyone? High Angel? Qatux? What was the point of all that foreshadowing?) And that race across Far Away that took up 400 pages or so, why? So in two pages he could kill the apparent main "bad guy" who had been such an elusive mastermind for the entire saga with "and then the storm came and smashed the ship, the end"? Bah!I know I should be used to this kind of thing by now, after all, space operas are notorious for it. And to an extent I am, I did enjoy the book overall, I didn't hate it. It's just so damn frustrating when all that promise and downright brilliance is wasted like it is here. The guy's got talent, he really does, but he needs a better editor, or something. I dunno.
  • (3/5)
    Again. It's very very long and, while the story is sometimes engaging, I spent most of the book wishing that Hamilton would stop describing the color of the sky and the haze and the number of buttons on a uniform and just GET ON WITH THE STORY!Anytime there's an opportunity to go off on a tangent, he does. Sometimes these weave back into the story, but more often than not they are just detailed descriptions (pages of them) of the repercussions of a specific event. (i.e. a nuke going off is followed by 6 pages of description of the fires and melting rock and smoke and gases and etc that were caused by the nuke).This 2nd book in the series is *much* longer-winded than the first - and there is less about the Primes and more about the Commonwealth's politics - which made it very difficult to wade through the absolute hundreds of pages of useless descriptions. Even the "battle" between the Guardians and the Starflyer was more political than action-y and had about 50 pages of "wow they have great armor".It's a darn good thing that I really really really wanted to know how the story turned out!
  • (5/5)
    Much more action packed than the first (Pandora's Star). Everything comes together, revealing a super-entwined story of mankind fighting for survival against an alien race. Again, like the first, this is a long story, with many characters (most carried over from the first book, some new). Very well done.
  • (4/5)
    In this second volume of the Pandora's Star duology, Hamilton really comes of age as a writer.Don't get me wrong. Judas Unchained is in many respects the typical future space opera that Hamilton is known for. JU is set as a sequel to Pandora's Star, in a universe where wormhole technology and rejuvenation have led to a world where a commonwealth of planets are connected by trains and wormholes. And where an accidental release of an xenophobic alien species threatens to bring down the Commonwealth for good.Beyond that, though, Hamilton shows an improvement and maturity on his writing from his previous efforts. Some of Hamilton's previous series and novels have suffered from a bit of a deux ex machina ending, as if he was unable to come up with answers within context to the major tsunami of tsuris sent his characters and worlds.In JU, without giving too much away, the explicit chance that the readers might expect for that Deux ex machine ending actually turns out to be a red herring. The problems are resolved by humans and in a satisfactory manner.The characters continue to develop and grow from the first novel, and finding out the ultimate fates of Paula Myo, Mellanie Rescorai, Ozzie, Captain Kime, and the galaxy of characters is a major driver. The novel crackles of energy. I wouldn't start here, starting with Pandora's Star is a much better option. And once you devour that volume and come to this one, I promise you will be most satisfied, as I was.
  • (5/5)
    This is the follow-on to Pandora's Star. Humanity has lost 23 worlds to the Prime, an alien species that has bred from its earliest days to do nothing but expand by conquest. Humanity isn't ready for warfare on such a scale, and has another problem - the Starflyer alien and the Guardians, that wish to rid the universe of the Starflier and those it secretly controls. A galaxy spanning techno-thriller. Very good sci-fi in the best traditions of Simmons and Vinge.
  • (4/5)
    At 1235 pages, even longer than 'Pandora's Star', this takes serious determination to get through. Even the proof reader was getting bored, because there are numerous typos towards the end. Once again, Hamilton juggles his vast cast of characters - the main character list runs to three pages - until it becomes really confusing when a character pops up again after three hundred pages. I lost track of all the assistants in Paula Myo's (old and new) departments, when it's really quite important to know who's who. Not too many space battles this time round: the pace of weapons development means that it's just the case of whether you can deliver your super-duper brand new weapon to the battlefield in time. You almost get the feeling that Hamilton is bored with writing about missiles that only accelerate at 100g ... I remember being blown away by the battles in 'Night's Dawn', so perhaps it's just me that's getting jaded. I've also just found out that he's working on a new trilogy set 1500 years after the events portrayed here. Can't wait.
  • (3/5)
    This is the second half of Pandora's Star. I wouldn't recommend reading it as a standalone; it picks up right where that left up, and so it would be like starting a novel half-way through. Otherwise it's much the same as its forerunner.
  • (3/5)
    Not as good as Pandora Star but a nice ending to the series