Pandora's Star (Commonwealth Saga, #1)
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Pandora's Star (Commonwealth Saga #1)

4.2 of 5 stars 4.20  ·  rating details  ·  17,423 ratings  ·  891 reviews
"Should be high on everyone's reading list... You won't be able to put it down." - Nancy Pearl, National Public Radio

"The depth and clarity of the future Hamilton envisions is as complex and involving as they come." - Publishers Weekly Starred Review

"Lee narrates...with boundless energy." - AudioFile Earphones Award Winner

The year is 2380. The Intersolar Commonwealth, a sp...more
Paperback, 1144 pages
Published September 3rd 2010 by Pan (first published January 1st 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ben Babcock
We begin at the beginning, because the beginning is awesome and foreshadows the epic quality of Pandora's Star, as well as the sense of humour, levity, and gravity that Peter F. Hamilton uses to create an incredibly compelling and vast narrative.

Wilson Kime is the pilot of the first manned Mars lander. The mission crew steps onto the surface and raises the United States flag, only to be interrupted by a stranger in a home-made space suit. That suit is attached to a pressure hose providing a brea...more
Ryan
I have very mixed feelings about this book, and of the experience of having read it. As a result, I'm not sure I can say that I truly 'enjoyed' it; it's well-crafted, overall, but at the same time not without its frustrations.

First, the good stuff: there's a hugely epic plot here, ultimately concerned with ensuring the continued survival of the human race; bold, three-dimensional characters who are intriguing, and draw you into their story; plot twists that you truly never see coming, and which...more
Stephen
6.0 stars. This one may make it onto my list of "All Time Favorites" but I am going to wait until I finish Judas Unchained as the two books should really be treated as one VERY LONG novel. This was an amazing read filled with mind blowing ideas and superb (and I really mean superb) world-building. Do not let the length of the book keep you from giving it a try. It is incredibly well-written throughout and I think the length is warranted given how much is going on. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!
Radu
Aug 24, 2010 Radu rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: SciFi fans
Don't be fooled by the separation of the "Commonwealth Saga" into two books (this one and "Judas Unchained"). It's just a big-big book, so know that if you're starting this one you'll have a total of about 2000 pages to read. :)

More "mature" and with a more refined style than the "Night's Dawn" trilogy, the "Commonwealth Saga" is still a mix of a good number of different story lines that flow towards a (very distant) convergence point. It's got some pretty "alien" aliens, good humour and interes...more
Jason
5 Super big stars

A new favorite read of mine. This massive tome has everything that a sci-fi lover would ever want...

Review to come


What a total waste...I never came back and wrote a review for this book which is now among my very favorite novels. This is probably the longest novel that I have ever read, but I never felt it. Hamilton creates a massive cast, places them in an epic adventure, and has it cover vast distances of space. This is truly space opera at its finest.

I wish that I had taken t...more
Andy
From the other ratings, there are lots of people who like this a lot, so it may be unfair to review this book in comparison with the best "hard science fiction." Thus, this is a warning for the other people who don't know what "space opera" is and are looking for the next Asimov or OS Card. He's not here.

Space opera. According to Wikipedia, "New space opera proponents claim that the genre centers on character development, fine writing, high literary standards, verisimilitude, and a moral explora...more
Michael
At the end of the day, I liked Pandora's Star enough to finish it and continue with the second half of the story (Judas Unchained). However, this book took a loooong time to get going, and there were quite a few times when I was about ready to give up on it. There were also so many subplots that didn't seem to start connecting until near the end of the book, and were then finally realized in the sequel. I found it very easy to put down and forget about for a while, but I also found myself still...more
Dirk Grobbelaar
First of all, let's get all the bad things about this book out of the way. Um... let's see. It's really, really thick. Oh, and it has a cliffhanger ending, because of the sequel. Um... surely there must be something else I can come up with?

Now, the good: and, boy, there is a lot of that. This novel reads like a greatest hits of everything that is cool about science fiction. Yes, it is a massive book, but that's because it's filled with all kinds of goodies. You want it? It's probably here. It a...more
David Sven
It’s been a while since I’ve read Sci fi this good. I’ve probably been making poor reading choices in this genre for a bit. But finally, I’ve hit pay dirt with an author who has hit the sweet spot with great concepts, epic landscape/world building, excellent plot, AND , very importantly, excellent CHARACTERISATION. The story is set some 300 years in the future where wormhole technology has allowed humanity to spread out to begin colonising other star systems.

This was a big book and a lot denser...more
Dara
After a slow start and a temporary lemming, I ended up really enjoying this book.

Pandora's Star has a lot of characters and plenty of points-of-view, making it a little daunting at first. That said, Peter F. Hamilton does a great job of making each character distinct and interesting. Even characters I initially didn't like, I ended up excited to read about them and caring about their fates by the end of the novel.

The plot starts with a pair of stars disappearing behind a massive barrier. Natural...more
Rob
Nov 05, 2013 Rob rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: space opera fans
Recommended to Rob by: David Sven
Executive Summary: A really enjoyable hard sci-fi space opera, with only a few minor complaints to prevent it from a 5 star rating.

Audio book: This is the first book I've listened to narrated my Mr. Lee. He does an excellent job. He does a few voices, but I sometimes had a hard time determining who they were at first. It felt like he was using the same voices for multiple characters at time. Overall I was happy with the narration though.

Full Review
Is Epic Sci-Fi a thing? If not it should be. Or...more
Daniel Roy
Being a huge fan of the 'Night's Dawn' trilogy, I was naturally very happy to get my hands on this book. If you liked 'Night's Dawn', there's a chance you will find something to your liking in here - but don't expect anything approaching the quality of 'The Neutronium Alchemist'.

In this series (completed by 'Judas Unchained' next year), Hamilton seems to set out to do something similar to what he did in 'Night's Dawn': present a riveting, complex world and then take a sledgehammer to it. The uni...more
John
Jul 10, 2007 John rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: space nerds
This book is some awesome sci-fi. The author busts opens two major limitations of modern science, mortality and faster than light travel, and coolness ensues.

If that's not enough for you, there is political intrigue, conspiracies and hyper-aggressive aliens to battle.

Please to enjoy.

I give Pandora's Star five terra-formable planets out of five.
Oscar
‘La estrella de Pandora’, del inglés Peter F. Hamilton, es una de las mejores space opera de los últimos tiempos. Aunque la variedad de temas que toca la novela no se quedan únicamente en este subgénero. Trama política, especulación, novela policíaca, ciencia ficción militar, primer contacto, aventuras, misterio, todos estos temas también están presentes en ‘La estrella de Pandora’.

La historia nos sitúa a finales del siglo XXIV, en una sociedad transformada por los grandes avances tecnológicos....more
Yarrow
What a mediocre attempt. I somehow managed to slog through all 989 pages of this, and it never completely lost its narrative thread, in spite of an astonishing redundancy in unnecessary description. It is also significantly hampered by a lack of imagination; my suspension of disbelief cannot withstand the idea of the year 2380 basically looking *just like* the year 2010, only with extra planets, and a small handful of cool new tech. By the end of this tome, Hamilton has *almost* managed to put t...more
Jim
This book is almost 1,000 pages long and is only Part 1 of a 2 part series. If you throw out 2/3 of it, you have one whopping good story.

This is "book bloat" at its worst. There is so much non-essential garbage in this book that I could not wait to finish. It is filled with non-essential details of people you wind up not caring about and who, in effect, are not all that germane to the story or even worth caring about.

A reviewer listed on the cover warns us that we will not be able to put this do...more
Sandi
90% of Pandora's Star irked the crap out of me. First, it just goes on and on and on. It's seems like a bunch of stories pieced together with no real connection. Many of the storylines never even go anywhere. Hamilton does a phenomenal job of over-describing everything. It gets mind-numbing.

Second, the sexism really annoyed the heck out of me. I'm not usually one to scream "sexism", but Hamilton can't resist talking about any female character's looks and about how some male character would like...more
Colin
Made it about halfway through until there was a chapter filled with such monumentally, unbelievably stupid actions on the part of the some key characters that I had to go look up on Wikipedia how things were going to go.... whether the whole plot depended on these monumentally stupid actions.

It turns out it was even worse than I thought. Just lazy, stupid, unconvincing, and not particularly original plotting.

So, the bloated first 534 pages or so do have some interesting ideas, underneath the blo...more
Apatt
This book is fat!

That was my first thought upon picking up this book. Still with all the recommendations I have been getting from the good people at Reddit's science fiction books community ("r/Print SF") and other reviews I wanted to give it a go. With a book this long I would end up either rating it one star for wasting so many hours of my time or five stars for entertaining me for those many hours. I think I'll be magnanimous once again and go for the 5 stars option! This is not to say the bo...more
Billy Maise
Have you ever read a book so life-changing that you don't know what to say about it? Well, this is that kind of book.

I got this book from the library a few days before by sixteenth birthday. Little did I know that it would blow my mind within the first 100 pages. And then, when I scooped all of the brain matter off the walls of my room and meticulously reconstructed my cranium, it blew my mind again. And again. And again.

There was a scene where the aliens capture a member of a human expedition c...more
Josh
Hamilton truly shines when writing from the alien' perspective, so much so that I believe this to be one of the best depictions of alienness ever to be penned in science fiction, rivaling Stanislaw Lem's Solaris. This alone makes Pandora's Star worth your time. On the other hand, this massive novel is populated by scores of unnecessary viewpoint characters, many of whom are dropped from the narrative, which serves to bloat the story rather than fill it out.

When I first read Pandora's Star, I did...more
Jeromy
Great hard sci-fi, one of the better ones I've read in a long time. I love all the imagination that went into this book. Some of the best world-building I've seen.
Andrew O
That ending made me LOL, seriously the author wrote it for all those people that hate cliff hanger endings.

This series strives to compete with the likes of Dune and Hyperion, which are the top space opera books, and the ones which set the highest bar. And trust me that's really tough competition. It actually does a good job of measuring up, but doesn't make it.

There are just a few minor flaws.

One thing I find funny in Sci-fi and that characters always talk about current science that is being...more
Ryandake
just finished off Pandora's Star--am vacillating wildly between wanting to punch hamilton in the nose and wanting to read the sequel.

i mean, what a great, great setup. i am smoking with envy for the imagination that dreamt up the world(s) hamilton built. and the kick-start for the book--the disappearance of the stars--is breathtaking. i mean, it's so like humans, to be unable to leave that alone.

hamilton's cast of characters wouldn't fit on a double-decker bus, but that's ok. he makes it work. a...more
Andy
Hamilton does it again. By 'it', I mean: weaves an excellent story, fully realizing an amazing sci-fi universe told from the perspective of about thirty different characters. By 'it', I also mean: writes 1 gigantic book, then breaks into parts that have no business being called 'books' of there own.

Pandora's Star took a long time to get going. I pushed through the slowness in the beginning because I knew, having read him before, that it would all mean something. Thirty desperate stories all humm...more
Chris Perrin
This was a fantastic, fantastic book. After this and Fallen Dragon, Peter F. Hamilton is now my favorite author, beating out Frank Herbert. I think both authors are intelligent and insightful, but Hamilton gets the nod for me now because he deals with more contemporary issues like the chance at immortality, spirituality in a technological world, and what impact technology has on society.

Oh, yeah, and he's a good storyteller.

The only beef I had with this book was its length. I don't know how they...more
Megan Baxter
I quite enjoyed Pandora's Star, and the vast universe Peter F. Hamilton creates. Where many science fiction writers take one significant technological advance and write about how their world would change around that, Hamilton has explored numerous game-changing advances all at once, and tried to see what wormhole travel/body rejuvenation/memory download would together do to a rapidly expanding human Commonwealth of planets.

And for some authors, that might be all. But no. Add in to this one two s...more
Mike
The NPR drone on the front cover was wrong...I could put it down (I never would go to NPR for scifi opinion anyway). Other reviews here though make me want to retry and I will. I did. Oops, :o) I have to retract my initial words and agree with the NPR reviewer...what a fantastic book! He has so many interesting characters, plotlines and technologies...and believeable. You won't have a problem finding at least one character to identify with. I had the feeling this world was just a little in the f...more
Amanda
What a marathon of a read! Well over 1,000 beautifully formed pages. What I love about Peter F Hamilton is that this is all about the characters and the worldbuilding. The Commonwealth, with all of its technological advances, is just a superb creation that stands up to re-reading and analysing, especially how the idea of rejuvenation affects the way a person looks on life. The aliens are suitably alien, without human ideals prescribed to them. The characters are varied and multi-faceted. This re...more
Tamahome
The first chapter from the alien's point of view was amazing. I wish I read this before the Void trilogy. I love Paula Myo.


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Worth it? 17 157 Mar 26, 2014 03:54PM  
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Peter F. Hamilton is a British science fiction author. He is best known for writing space opera. As of the publication of his tenth novel in 2004, his works had sold over two million copies worldwide, making him Britain's biggest-selling science fiction author.
More about Peter F. Hamilton...
The Reality Dysfunction (Night's Dawn, #1) Judas Unchained (Commonwealth Saga, #2) The Dreaming Void (Void, #1) The Naked God (Night's Dawn, #3) The Evolutionary Void (Void, #3)

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“How you humans survive so much experience is something I shall never understand. To do so much and react to it all in the way you do is as much a curse as a blessing. You never take time to digest and appreciate what happens to you.” 6 likes
The hostile force! The reasone the barrier was established. "Astrophysics, do we know what's causing that?"

"No, sir," Bruno said cheerfully. "Not a clue".”
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