Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Book Review: Judas Unchained

(Info & Pic taken from Amazon)


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 twenty-fourth 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. 

The Prime are the Commonwealth’s worst nightmare. 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 a hundred 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.


I'm giving this one 4 stars for a lot of the same reasons I gave Pandora's Star 4 stars. You can't read one without the other. I get the feeling that when Hamilton wrote this story it was all one big manuscript that had to be cut into two books. But I'd give the story all together a definite 5 stars.

Judas Unchained picked up where Pandora's Star left off. You're dealing with all the same characters with the same problems. And what makes this so magical is that Hamilton manages to bring pretty much every character into the final conflict in one way or another. And that final battle takes a long time and I was honestly not sure if the good guys would win or not.

But what amazes me most about these two books is from a writing perspective. There is so much creativity here. So many characters and worlds and alien races, I can't even imagine how Hamilton kept track of all of it while he was writing.

Anyway, if you like space opera on an epic scale, then you'll like this. There's something for everyone within these two books.

Well, thanks for reading, and have a great Wednesday!