Audiobook short: Judas Unchained

The audiobook version of the second and last part of Peter Hamilton’s Commonwealth Saga is even longer than its predecessor Pandora’s Star,counting only two minutes short of 38 hours! So the same comments apply that I offered in one of my previous posts: this requires some stamina to finish, especially since it also needs you to concentrate – really concentrate – while listening, to avoid getting lost in the intricate plot, habitated by its many characters. 

Whether this is worth your precious time and effort I leave up to you, my dear readers, to decide; however, I really liked it, inspite of its sometimes overly detailed plot threads. The reason is that the novel is, in the end, character driven, more than plot driven.

Publisher’s summary

The high-action concluding novel of the Commonwealth Saga from one of the world’s bestselling Science Fiction writers.

After hundreds of years secretly manipulating the human race, the Starflyer alien has succeeded in engineering a war which should result in the destruction of the Intersolar Commonwealth. Now, thanks to Chief Investigator Paula Myo, the Commonwealth’s political elite finally acknowledges the Starflyer’s existence, and puts together an unlikely partnership to track down this enigmatic and terrifying alien.

The invasion from Dyson Alpha continues with dozens of Commonwealth worlds falling to the enemy. The navy fights back with what it believes to be war-winning super weapons, only to find that the alien fleet has equally powerful weapons. How the aliens got them is the question which haunts Admiral Kime. Could it be that the Commonwealth’s top-secret defence project has been compromised by the Starflyer’s agents, or is the truth even worse?

©2005 Peter F Hamilton (P)2008 Tantor Media Inc

My thoughts: “Satisfying end to this 2-part saga”

Judas Unchained continues where Pandora’s Star left off. It follows the story through to the end, with a neat, not-very-rollercoaster-yet-satisfying-nonetheless climax and ending. All the characters you loved (and loved to hate) from the first novel are there, and every single one of the storylines is solved. Which is how it’s supposed to be, especially after two of those immensely long audiobook listens. No annoying cliffhangers or unresolved plot points here. Good!
Narrator John Lee is still fantastic, but the breaks between sentences and chapters are still confusingly absent – as they were with part 1, Pandora’s Star. If you liked that first part, you will like this sequel as well. The quality is the same and the stories are truly two halves of one saga.

This was not a five-star novel for me (too long and detailed for that, which slowed it down) but I liked it enough to have bought the second saga as well (a trilogy called The Void, in the same universe but far into the future).


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