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Pandora's Star (The Commonwealth Saga Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Peter F. Hamilton
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (359 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $8.99
Kindle Price: $8.54
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Sold by: Random House LLC

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Lords of the Sith by Paul S. Kemp
Lords of the Sith
With only their lightsabers, the dark side of the Force and each other to depend on, the Emperor and Darth Vader, must decide if the brutal bond they share will make them victorious allies or lethal adversaries. | Learn about the author, Paul S. Kemp

Book Description

Critics have compared the engrossing space operas of Peter F. Hamilton to the classic sagas of such sf giants as Isaac Asimov and Frank Herbert. But Hamilton’s bestselling fiction—powered by a fearless imagination and world-class storytelling skills—has also earned him comparison to Tolstoy and Dickens. Hugely ambitious, wildly entertaining, philosophically stimulating: the novels of Peter F. Hamilton will change the way you think about science fiction. Now, with Pandora’s Star, he begins a new multivolume adventure, one that promises to be his most mind-blowing yet.

The year is 2380. The Intersolar Commonwealth, a sphere of stars some four hundred light-years in diameter, contains more than six hundred worlds, interconnected by a web of transport “tunnels” known as wormholes. At the farthest edge of the Commonwealth, astronomer Dudley Bose observes the impossible: Over one thousand light-years away, a star . . . vanishes. It does not go supernova. It does not collapse into a black hole. It simply disappears. Since the location is too distant to reach by wormhole, a faster-than-light starship, the Second Chance, is dispatched to learn what has occurred and whether it represents a threat. In command is Wilson Kime, a five-time rejuvenated ex-NASA pilot whose glory days are centuries behind him.

Opposed to the mission are the Guardians of Selfhood, a cult that believes the human race is being manipulated by an alien entity they call the Starflyer. Bradley Johansson, leader of the Guardians, warns of sabotage, fearing the Starflyer means to use the starship’s mission for its own ends.

Pursued by a Commonwealth special agent convinced the Guardians are crazy but dangerous, Johansson flees. But the danger is not averted. Aboard the Second Chance, Kime wonders if his crew has been infiltrated. Soon enough, he will have other worries. A thousand light-years away, something truly incredible is waiting: a deadly discovery whose unleashing will threaten to destroy the Commonwealth . . . and humanity itself.

Could it be that Johansson was right?



From the Hardcover edition.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Hamilton's exhilarating new opus proves that "intelligent space opera" isn't an oxymoron. By the 24th century, the vast human Commonwealth has spread from Earth via artificial wormholes. Various benign or seemingly indifferent alien races have been encountered during exploration of new planets, but an astronomer sparks curiosity by announcing that a pair of stars is enclosed by a mysterious energy barrier. [...] The author deftly juggles many characters in multiple plot lines, sometimes slowing down the action briefly, at other times racing forward. Revelations late in the book will have readers scurrying back to earlier pages to reinterpret what they initially thought. Not many SF writers are capable of tackling such a big project so confidently. In this respect, Hamilton (Fallen Dragon) resembles a less cheery but very tech-savvy—and extremely paranoid—Charles Dickens. Given the abrupt cliffhanger of an ending, some may prefer to save this massive installment until the story's conclusion, Judas Unleashed, appears next year. Anyone who begins this one, however, probably won't be able to put it down.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Hamilton creates a dense, thoroughly defined twenty-fourth-century world, in which humanity has colonized the stars, thanks to the discovery of wormhole travel, and established a successful commonwealth. The species has even encountered aliens and space-faring artifacts. One remaining mystery is the barrier around stars known as the Dyson Pair. Human curiosity still being what it is, a spaceship capable of faster-than-light travel (thanks to those wormholes again) goes to investigate. When what's behind the barrier is discovered, the thrill-ride really starts. Aliens formerly trapped inside it, fighting over limited resources, are freed to invade human space. Unfortunately, that is more or less where this book leaves us, but a sequel is in the works. Hamilton's attention to character development makes the slow buildup to a dizzyingly destructive denouement rewarding, and all the little subplots and threads one hopes will be tied back to the main thread keep it complex and engaging. Hamilton is never simple, and even his aliens are well written, complex creations with their own motivations. Regina Schroeder
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 2046 KB
  • Print Length: 992 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0345461622
  • Publisher: Del Rey; 1st edition (March 2, 2004)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FC1AFC
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,314 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
146 of 165 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Space Opera at its most extreme March 24, 2004
Format:Hardcover
Most readers know Peter Hamilton from his Night's Dawn trilogy, published in this country in six volumes. Pandora's Star is the first volume in another sprawling (and I do mean sprawling) series. The book begins with the discovery that two distant linked solar systems have been isolated by a force field. Because the observation is made visually, this means that the event occurred hundred of years ago. This event leads the Commonwealth, an organization of the human planets, to investigate. Whoever could put a force field around such a tremendous area would be very possible. And what is the motive? Is the force field meant to keep others out, or those living in the system in?
In a break from Hamilton's early books, as Pandora's Star opens, humanity does not use star ships for faster than light travel. Rather, wormholes are used to link distant worlds. Thus, one of the first things that must be done is to build a ship capable of faster than light travel. Other aspects of Hamilton's future are near-immortality, a terrorist group obsessed with the idea that an alien has taken over the government, and various alien races that seem indifferent to human population, and whose motives are not apparent.
Those who've read Hamilton's Night's Dawn trilogy will not be surprised at his practice of introducing many characters and separate plot lines that will (one hopes) converge eventually. Some of these plots are so separate from the main plot as to seem to exist only to establish background of the characters. Indeed, at time the books seems to consist of short stories set in the same future but having no other connection. For example, we follow a police inspector investigating a 40 year old murder case relates to the main plot in a tangential (at best) way.
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91 of 102 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful but a few quibbles July 22, 2004
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Let me start off by saying I enjoyed this book a lot. I have only two quibbles, but they prevent me from giving it 5 stars. Quibbles first.

The narrative style gets in the way of both the story and the characters. Except in a few places, the action is told almost entirely via narration; we don't discover the characters, we are told about them. As a result only a few characters stand out. The narrator's filter occludes the rest. SImilarly, the action and the character's interactions are described by the narrator, rather than playing out by themselves. I know that some like this style, but I don't.

My other quibble is that the books stops halfway through the story, at a cliff-hanger. This is mitigated by it being an actual CLIFF-hanger, but I'm not fond of this wait-til-next-episode stuff. Next episode is March 2005, BTW.

Now, having griped, I must admit I enjoyed this book immensely. The rich portrayals of the 25th Century society, politics and economics all ring true. The implications of indefinite life, told in passing, are interesting, especially as they add to a body of other current work (e.g. MacLeod, Morgan). The natural refusal of all concerned to believe in (or adequately prepare for) the several dooms that are approaching, and the coming end of their Golden Age, are completely human and completely tragic. In many ways its an allegory for our own times.

If Amazon had a listing for the next book, I'd have ordered it already.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The title sums up my opinion of Pandora's Star. It was a decent book, a fun read, with moments of brilliant action and pure wonder. However, these moments were rather thinly spread through a very large, bulky book that should have been trimmed to about half its actual size.

A glance at my bookshelf will reveal that I have nothing against long books per se. However, in order for a book that weighs in at over 1,000 pages to be worthwhile, it needs to have enough action to fill that many pages, and it should not punish the reader with the appearance of complication for complication's sake. Pandora's Star fails on this latter count. The narrative wanders this way and that, and it takes nearly half of the book for the major narrative thrust to become clear. The tangents and asides are numerous and long. A murder mystery takes up a major part of the first third of the book, but it turns out to have no relation or relevance to the rest of the story except as an introduction to the detective and the murderer's girlfriend. There are so many characters that you will be tempted to take notes to keep track of them, and it's impossible to tell which ones are actually important and which ones are merely prop-pieces in yet another 75-page expository tangent.

This adds up to a significant strike against the book. However, if you are able to look past these flaws, and perhaps skim some of the longer and less interesting chapters, you'll find at least a handful of truly compelling characters (like the multi-billionaire hippie wormhole inventor) and a truly intriguing, multi-layered story. If you make it to the end, you'll probably find that you enjoyed it, especially as your brain will edit out the parts that shouldn't have been there in the first place.
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44 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ___ You want a SCI-FI story, you've got it ! ___ October 28, 2004
By _ 1 _
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Peter F. Hamilton has written a great story with Pandora's Star.
I don't want to argue a case for people to like this book, some
will love it while others won't. We all enjoy different types
of stories and authors - so let me give my opinion to those who
are contemplating reading this book.

READ IT & ENJOY! I was very happy to see another 'BIG' book
from Hamilton. I am also a fan of short story collections, but
sometimes it's nice to be engulfed by a deep story which can be
enjoyed over many weeks or months of reading : )

Parts of the book I enjoyed much:
Scenes where the characters are being chased or trying to
elude others (Hamilton wrote these parts well - I couldn't put
the book down!)

Detailed enviroments of 'other' worlds - At one point Hamilton
places some characters into freezing climates with limited
means to warm themselves, I could feel the cold!

The great dilemma when humans find an alien race trapped
inside a barrier! We wonder why they are trapped there,
Who constructed this barrier to keep them there & more
importantly why !?

Mankind must travel farther than ever from earth to study this
barrier and the aliens trapped inside it, all the while being
warned by a group of humans who claim to know that these aliens
WANT US TO COME AND RELEASE THEM and in doing so will spell
disaster for humanity!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Pandora' Star ( the commonwealth Saga Book 1)
Multiple well developed groups of characters in diverse social settings within complex interweaving plots on multiple futuristic worlds discover a destructive civilization across... Read more
Published 9 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
I couldn't put this book down. So many sleepless nights trying to finish it. On to the next! The end
Published 12 days ago by kevin g
4.0 out of 5 stars Beyond conventions
Hamilton goes beyond his genre's conventions to expand the possibilities of being human. I'm going right to the next book in the series.
Published 21 days ago by Kevin Corn
2.0 out of 5 stars Laborious read, very little pay off
Some of the concepts, technology, locations and themes are really cool in this book, but its just not tied together well. Read more
Published 26 days ago by g
4.0 out of 5 stars good read
Slow start but was totally involved at the end. Looking for the next book at my library now.
Published 1 month ago by Diana Felde
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazingly creative!
I loved every minute, the plot twists and adds layers of reality and characters with an effortless feeling that is very enjoyable.
Published 1 month ago by Gabriel Castro B.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
This book is a roller coaster. It gets super awesome then switches POV and it throws you off. It almost an entire book of setting up... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Daddyx4
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Been having trouble getting into this book.
Published 2 months ago by Randy Z
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't keep track of the vast number of characters!
We’re talking about an almost-1,000-page novel here, in which old souls all jockey for various types of power and position. Read more
Published 2 months ago by H. Grove (errantdreams)
4.0 out of 5 stars Good story but excessive stage-setting
Within this book and its sequel is a truly excellent sci-fi story. It is however quite a bit longer than it ought to be. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Goku
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More About the Author

Peter F. Hamilton was born in Rutland in 1960, and still lives near Rutland Water. His previous novels are the Greg Mandel series and the bestselling 'Night's Dawn' trilogy: The Reality Dysfunction , The Neutronium Alchemist and The Naked God. Also published by Macmillan (and Pan) is A Second Chance at Eden, a novella and six short stories, and The Confederation Handbook, a vital guide to the 'Night's Dawn' trilogy. His most recent novels were Fallen Dragon, Misspent Youth, Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained.

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$140 for a book???
This "new $140.00 book" (out on July 1st 2009 ) and its sequel(s) have been on the market for at least 5 years, Quote from AMazon page regarding Hamiltons latest book Temporal Void " .......and threads from the Starflyer War (see Pandora's Star, 2004, and Judas Unchained, 2006) I... Read More
Jun 20, 2009 by chiefpilotncsd |  See all 5 posts
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