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Book Review: Pandora’s Star by Peter F. Hamilton

September 19th, 2011 · 5 Comments

Pandora's Star (Commonwealth Saga, #1)Pandora’s Star by Peter F. Hamilton
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I’m not finished yet – it’s a very long grind to read this book. That’s two in a row – I need a good book next!

Peter Hamilton weaves an intricate plot with lots of story lines. I’ve never read a book with so many story lines before in my life, and I’ve read thousands of books. It’s impressive that he thinks his stories through so thoroughly, but a book is more than its story lines, and this book is lacking in other areas, particularly pace and character development. Peter introduces you to many, many characters, but you don’t spend enough time with any of them to actually like them, just enough to get to know their irritating idiosyncrasies. As for pace, this book really drags on, and because of all the story lines it’s so long between each one that I lose track of who’s who.

On the plus side, I find the author’s description of the impact of traveling by wormholes on society to be pretty interesting. Unfortunately, you could fit that in a 1000 word essay pretty easily. Just saying.

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5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Josef // Sep 19, 2011 at 7:43 pm

    If you think that one is big, read the Night’s Dawn trilogy, that starts with “The Reality Dysfunction”. Still one of my favorites.

    As to multiple characters. In this series some people show up and then are heard from no more. The author said, that is how the real world is. I think he’s kind of right.

  • 2 James Gregory // Sep 22, 2011 at 7:26 am

    I think I generally enjoyed Pandora’s Star more than you did, though I do agree with your points. It could’ve easily been half its length.

    I found the sequel, Judas Unchained, to be much more entertaining. It’s about the same length as Pandora’s Star, but has much better pacing. It continues the story, and adds some much needed depth to the characters.

  • 3 David Christiansen // Sep 22, 2011 at 7:55 am

    What?! There’s a sequel!!! Oh crap. I really just want to know the ending… at this point I’m only reading because I don’t like not finishing books. Sheesh.

  • 4 Bob Mattax // Sep 30, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    I agree with James. I think I enjoyed it much more than you did, but I actually listened to the unabridged audio book. It was 40 hours. Ouch! I also agree that Judas Unchained was better. I think the second half of the book is much better… it just takes a little time to warm up. :)

  • 5 David Christiansen // Sep 30, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    I hate not finishing a story, so I’m listening to Judas Unchained now. It is better. I’m a glutton for punishment I guess!

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