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Now, with Pandora's Star, he begins a new multi-volume adventure, one that promises to be his most mind-blowing yet. The year is 2380. The Intersolar Commonwealth, a sphere of stars some 400 light-years in diameter, contains more than 600 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 1,000 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, the unleashing of which will threaten to destroy t...
What the critics say
What members say
By Moore Family on 2018-11-07
I can not make it past the first chapter. The narration is absolute terrible. Every sentence starts really loud and tapers off in volume to the point I can't even hear the words. It is like the narrator is running out of breath every time he speaks.
1 person found this helpful
By Anonymous User on 2020-03-25
Skip this one
Massive amount of narrative that adds nothing to move the story forward. Story would benefit from an edit to reduce the length by half. Added to a long rambling narrative there was no conclusion, the story is not complete in the one text. I will not be sucked in to buy the next text.
By Shesophist on 2020-01-12
great space opera, meh narration
Slow start but an awesome space opera, really worth it by halfway in.
I usually like John Lee but his narration wasn't great here. sometimes I couldn't even tell which character was talking, and his American accents are very inconsistent
By RRT8H on 2019-07-24
The story is interesting and i want to listen. But the audio is a problem, the narration would be good if the audio could normalize the volume. His reading puts an emphasis at the start of sentences for example and the the rest of the sentence becomes too quiet and you turn up the volume to hear and are then blasted by the next sentence start.
By Paul on 2018-03-26
Boring sometimes hokey storey
some interesting concepts, some badly executed, I hate the word "e-butler" it's the worst name... it's like everyone in the story saying things like: "call me on my cellular phone" nobody says that, the would say "call me on my cell". so similarly even if there was a thing called e-Butler that's such a terrible name it would get nicknamed to something else. Not in Peter f Hamilton world though, instead you have people seeing a train and going into an elaborate speil about that particular model of train. Do you care about fictional train makes/ models? I sure don't. then when somebody does something interesting like go through a wormhole you don't get the same level of detail about that as you do about sci fi trains... this book is boring, has goofy plot elements. did not finish.
narration is decent, but the narrator STARTS OFF Loud and then trails off to almost inaudible near the end of every paragraph. I found it annoying.
By Sue Nami on 2016-10-05
Have to resort to headphones to listen
Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
Intricate and engaging story. In terms of value, this is such a long book that "paying by the pound" is returned by the 30+ hour playing time.
Would you be willing to try another one of John Lee’s performances?
This book is almost impossible to listen to using speakers (car, Amazon Echo, entertainment system). The reader's volume changes so much across a sentence that it is either blasting at the start or inaudible at the end. This book (and any like it by the same performer) *really* needs to be "remastered" with dynamic range compression to boost the quiet speech and attenuate the louder speech. Dynamic range compression could fix this completely.
If the listener has any hearing loss, the book's performance is impossible to understand. I hear ok, but the only way I can listen to it is with good headphones. Impossible listening on room speakers of any kind.
47 people found this helpful
By E. Scott on 2016-12-23
Poor sound quality
It's as though a sound engineer was playing with the volume slider, or the mic was swinging on a cable. A single sentence or phrase will go from too loud to inaudible and back again. It would be tough to make it through 37 hours of that.
29 people found this helpful
By Martin Donlon on 2015-06-23
Very poor narration
Would you try another book from Peter F. Hamilton and/or John Lee?
I'd try another book from Peter F. Hamiltion, but I'll avoid John Lee in the future. I don't know if he is to blame or if the sound engineer is to blame, but the audio quality is terrible.
How did the narrator detract from the book?
Very little tone or inflection. Poor pacing, poor accents. Inconsistent audio levels. Sentences start off loud with a pop and drift away to a mumble. Incredibly difficult to follow.
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
Disappointment in audible for allowing this through their quality control.
23 people found this helpful
By Brian on 2012-10-04
Length Does Not Equal Quality
The author is meandering. The story is jolting. The read is long. I really had a hard time 1) keeping track of all the characters and 2) staying awake. I enjoy a good history book and I've read all of the Wheel of Time series. Initially I thought it was me, but then I realized that it was the book. I am sure some people would love this book, but after nearly 30 hours of listening to be greeted with a cliff hanger ending! No! Not a good book in my mind!
19 people found this helpful
By Reid on 2015-01-16
Very long, numerous complicated parallel storylines that never come together. Lots of extraneous excruciating detail which does not enhance or advance the story. I found myself enduring this book rather than enjoying it, gritting it out to find out what happened, how things resolved. SPOILER ALERT... Nothing happens, nothing is resolved, storylines do not converge. In order to see what happens, I'd need to listen to the next book, then the next, ad infinitum. But I just can't. I will not continue this series.
18 people found this helpful
By Khai on 2016-04-07
Can't say much about the story since I stopped listening only a few minutes in. The poor audio quality made the narrator sound like he was speaking from the inside of a plastic bag that was in turn being repeatedly dunked in a puddle.
30 people found this helpful
By Hiway65n on 2012-02-12
Lots of story lines
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I would recommend it if there was an abridged version or if the narration was done a little differently.
What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)
The ending was very abrupt and you find it continues in a second book.
Did the narration match the pace of the story?
At times, though there were several times that the story had changed to a different side story but it took a while to figure it out. The narrator and/or director didn't put a great lot of effort into distinguishing when the story lines were changing.
Any additional comments?
There are lots of side stories in there and they are slow to tie into the main story line. The main story line is also slow to gain steam. If there was an abridged version of this book I doubt you would miss much and would be probably be a lot easier to follow.
12 people found this helpful
By Norman on 2015-12-05
Sound and fury
About halfway through, I realized this was going to be a continued story, and would probably end in a cliffhanger. How right I was.
This has all the earmarks of an epic saga: a huge cast of characters, covering the breadth of an entire milieu.
Multiple viewpoints show us almost everything that's happening. I hate that kind of book. I can't put them down, and I'm forced to go out and buy the next volume, or the previous one, if I'm unfortunate enough to have started in the middle.
Technically, I found the volume
level to be a little quiet for listening with the iPhone speakers. The narrator also varied his tone, so I constantly had to adjust the volume on my earphones.
11 people found this helpful
By Wiegand on 2011-02-08
Some great concepts, but that's it.
There is without a doubt some fantastic concepts introduced in this book which should have allowed the writer to create a SF masterpiece. Unfortunately, that never happens. The brilliant concepts instead become mundane and are forgotten. None of the characters are actually likeable, and there are so many side plots, it is difficult to keep a coherent plot in your head. By far the worst, however, is the narration. Granted, you have to suspend belief when a man reads a woman's voice, but this narrator was so amateurish about it it was laughable at times. The award for the absolute worst portrayal of a character however, was the use of a Mike Myers aka Austin Powers voice for one of the main characters. Really? You couldn't have come up with something better than that?
9 people found this helpful
By BlueKoi on 2012-04-10
Too many grounding stone, not much in building
The plot is too big from the beginning of the series. I find it difficult to correlate the story. Author tries to put together toward at end but it is not captivating.
8 people found this helpful