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Judas Unchained

Written by: Peter F. Hamilton
Narrated by: John Lee
Series: Commonwealth Saga, Book 2
Length: 40 hrs and 58 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (67 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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 24th 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.

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.

©2006 Peter F. Hamilton (P)2008 Tantor

What the critics say

"For flat-out huge widescreen all-engines-at-full I-dare-you-not-to-believe-it space opera, there is no one quite like Peter F. Hamilton." (Richard K. Morgan, author of Market Forces)
"Richly satisfying.... In more ways than one, this...work is monumental." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Love the story - the parts I could hear that is

Thus narrator frustrated me throughout:
1. He reads slow. I had to speed it up to 1.25x just to make it sound normal.
2. The start of his sentences are VERY loud and he trails off to almost inaudible at the end. Dynamic range, barf.

I really liked most of this marathon of story except the politics. He could have skipped a lot of it and I'd still have been happy.

In aggregate, my favorite character was the, "enzyme bonded concrete." I think it might be the author's as well, despite just playing a supporting role. Concrete lovers are really going to appreciate Hamilton's attention to detail in framing this character's development. Not to give to much away but, in the end, despite the massive tensile stress and lack of reinforcement, he never cracks. Seriously though, how many times was the phrase, "enzyme bonded concrete," used?!

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Really Fun<br />

maybe you thought book one was a bit of a drag. well that ends at this book. This book was a great time, and spared no details. I have read every single book in the dune series, and I had to work hard to get through all of those. I think that while this world has a less philosophical outlook, it's world building is still fantastic and the characters are what makes the story interesting. there are subtle hints at everyone's deep character that are never addressed directly. it's just them. it's what makes you care about them, they seem like actual people.
what a blast.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

so good

although I will admit, as much as I typically enjoy John Lee in other narrations, I think he has a lot of trouble with accents, and seemed to forget what certain characters sounded like. big cast though, very tough job.

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    4 out of 5 stars

I couldn't do it

I have read half of this book on paper. It is a fantastic story. Unfortunately, things happened, and I didn't get to continue reading it. That was a year ago. I decided to give the audiobook a try, because I rarely have time to sit and read these days. And I just can't stand the narration. Like, I tried... I really did. But I found the narration to be unbearable. Please re-do this book with a better narrator! Perhaps I've been spoiled by so many great titles with fantastic narration. This one just really fell flat. The character voices were indecipherable, so you never knew who was speaking. Which was particularly difficult when multiple characters were talking. And the slow drone he gave to every character. No one speaks like that! And he speaks so slowly!

I am going to have to find time to read the physical copy I guess, because I cannot do this. I will be seeking a refund.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Sweeping space opera with original ideas

Great voice acting and engrossing story, a bit rambling at times but that’s just more for your money. Many interesting technological ideas and social concepts are described, leaving the reader with plenty to think about. I will look for more Peter Hamilton titles - this cat has the goods.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Stephen
  • 2015-03-21

The Audible version of this book is disapointing

What would have made Judas Unchained better?

A non iritating naraitive. Maybe R. C. Bray would have been a better choice. John Lee's gasping pronounciation is quite distracting

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator seemed to be gasping and charging into every sentence.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I will have to read the book to have any comment.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Tony
  • 2015-03-09

Not the reader for me

I had a very hard time listening to these books. I missed most of the story because the reader doesn't grab my attention (probably good since I listen while driving.) I don't know how to rate the story since I missed so much.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • prashy21
  • 2018-08-03

Bad narration !! no pauses and change in volume

Narrator keeps on switching scenes without a pause, really annoying when you find out last few lines were from different scene.
narrator keeps on changing the volume level sometimes so high that i had to lower the volume of my headsets and other times making it so low that i was forced to increase volume.
Story is not bad from top but useless explanations and details of non-relevant things and people were excruciatingly bad.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • DocJim
  • 2012-03-17

Long, Long, Long, and X-rated!

This story is way too long. It must be read with Pandora's Box as a prequel. The graphic sex could have been left out or reduced. The language is awful. Very hard to follow which is too bad.

It winds 3 (maybe 4) stories togethers which all come together at the end. That is masterful. That is why I gave it a rating of ★★ rather than ★! This book is too long, too confusing and unnecessarily vulgar. I will skip books by Peter Hamilton in the future. John Lee I thought did a good job with the screwy material.

14 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Kurt W.
  • 2016-07-18

Different narrator would have made this infinitely better!

The narration was very poor...all female characters sounded breathy and seductive, even the tuff as nails detective (she just sounded pissed off and seductive). Most of the male characters had English/Scottish accents which made all those characters sound the same , to include the California surfer character who just sounded like the same Brit saying dude every other word....too many of the other american accents were of the Harvard jaw clencher variety...variances from whisper quiet to normal tones were equally irritating having to constantly adjust the volume on whatever listening device being used. The story and writing were also mediocre with very little character/plot/story line development. Some of the verbiage was so redundant it became comical...Dreaming heavens, I have learned my lesson and will never purchase another book from author or narrator. If u want a story to allow u to really climb into another world; feeling compelled by excellent characters, and a story that defines the environment and existence of those characters, this book is not for u! It's more comparable to a Danielle Steele novel, with aliens.

13 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • AmyJ
  • 2013-03-18

Too LONG

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

I love a long book, but I need to be able to stay interested in it the whole time. I found this very hard to do. I also love sci-fi, but again, it needs to be intersting. So I am not sure who would want to listen to this. I guess the characters were just hard to care about, so then who cares what happens to them.

What do you think your next listen will be?

I am going to try to finish Noble House.

Which character – as performed by John Lee – was your favorite?

none, it wall all one long lonlg long grey monotone.

What character would you cut from Judas Unchained?

The leader or president or whever he was that asked Melanie to mary him out of the blue. What in the world was he needed for? NOTHING

Any additional comments?

I did not really hate it, but that is the best I can say. I forced myself to finish it.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Andre
  • 2011-09-25

Judas Unchained too long

For what you get it is way to long. But at least this one has an ending.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Jeanne Greulich
  • 2017-05-22

Not worth the time

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

. it should have been a much shorter novel. He goes on a lot about technology and he goes back over everything from several points of view and it just makes it drag.

Would you ever listen to anything by Peter F. Hamilton again?

I wouldn't recommend him.

Would you be willing to try another one of John Lee’s performances?

This is the second series of his I have listened to and I think he over dramatizes and takes away from a story. . I can listen to him but I don't enjoy his performances.

Any additional comments?

The audio itself was poor. It kept changing quality. It would sound normal and the the narrator voice would get all echoey and loud, then it would go back. As if they had reread a section and not balanced it correctly.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Greg
  • 2016-08-26

Yawn and awe mixture

This book is so long the story line almost does not count in the end. If it was 12 to 15 hours long it would have been a super story. The quality of the final production is pathetic, not the narration. I only have another 2.5 hours of torture to endure.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • CanineFerrisOxide
  • 2015-10-25

terrible book

don't waste your time, hard to follow, terrible narration, not worth 1 star, save your money

12 people found this helpful