Bill's Reviews > Judas Unchained

Judas Unchained by Peter F. Hamilton
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's review
Oct 16, 2011

This is the second in a pair of books by Peter Hamilton, the first being Pandora's Star. I enjoyed this book, and I'd describe it as a satisfying, workmanlike conclusion to these books... yeah, I know, damning with faint praise. That is what this review will be all about. I am sure that some folks will dig these books a lot, but for me it was just a little lacking in the end.

There is a convoluted and interesting plot, a sense of uncertainty all the way to the end, a wide ranging cast of characters, and a knack for throwing in interesting chapters where, instead of the drumbeat of "advance the plot for 2-3 characters" segments, Hamilton will throw in a deeper introduction of a completely new narrative perspective or a long visitation of a neglected character arc.

All of which is fantastic for an airport yarn, and definitely pulls you through these 2000 pages of space opera, but still left me feeling cold. For example: how often do I have to think to myself while reading a book, "I wonder if men in romance novels are analogous to women in this book"? How unsurprised could I have been at the reveal of the final traitor? (I was yelling at this book for like 300 or 400 pages) And for being a "Well, let's pick up another sci fi novel at long last" novel for me, could this book have possibly been any more devoid of interesting ideas and settings? Wormholes and immortality have never felt more like plot devices than they have here.

I know it seems so harsh, but for a particular kind of book, these books really are perfectly written. Maybe I'm too old for this stuff.

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