Conclusion of the Commonwealth Saga,
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This review is from: Judas Unchained (Mass Market Paperback)
Peter Hamilton has given us a big long novel, split into two volumes totaling 1585 pages. Not as big as L. Ron Hubbard's Mission Earth decalogy or the 163x hypernovel by Eric Flint et al. but still a good long read. This is the concluding 19 chapters (827 pages) and a whiz-bang of a conclusion it is! It features a race to land a glider on the summit of the tallest mountain in the known universe, and a storm second only to John Barnes' Mother of Storms. Contains spoilers for the first 25 chapters (758 pages), so read Pandora's Star first.
For the most part the story is compelling, albeit it drags occasionally, and some of the `science' seems like an attempt to sound `scientific' by one largely ignorant of science. I would have to classify this as science-fantasy, rather than science-fiction. By comparison, L. E. Modesitt, in his mostly excellent fantasy saga of Recluce*, seems much more conversant with real science! But if you can suspend disbelief, you can enjoy a pretty good tale, with interesting aliens, and two hitherto (as far as I know) unheard-of methods of interstellar travel: Most everyone takes the railroad train thru wormholes, but some walk the Silfen paths (distant cousin, perhaps, of the Egger Route^) between the stars.
* See Magi'i of Cyador (The Saga of Recluce) and 15 sequels.
^ See The Sorceress of Karres