Ryan's Reviews > Pandora's Star

Pandora's Star by Peter F. Hamilton
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's review
Nov 02, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: fic-speculative, i-like-big-books-and-i-cannot-lie
Read in June, 2010


Enjoyable but not-quite-first-rate space opera, Pandora's Star is as much about the politics and foibles of an imagined future human society as it is about exploring the galaxy and alien mysteries. To his credit, Hamilton does a fine job of managing the many threads of his sprawling plot and his large cast of characters, gradually steering them across a dozen worlds to a heart-racing confrontation in the book's final quarter. I also found his conception of a hostile alien species to be quite enjoyable in its almost anthropological detail. That said, Hamilton is a bit of a wooden writer, filling pages and pages with exposition. Many of his characters and sci-fi creations are a little formulaic, and I have a hard time taking too seriously any novel that posits massive advances in technology four hundred years into our future, but envisions a society that's still pretty recognizable to present-day readers. (Think of the differences between the 1600s and now -- the world of 2400 ought to be a stranger one.)

But, Hamilton obviously put some heart into the story, and there's enough interesting stuff going on that it held my attention. Not quite as imaginative or evocative as the best space opera out there (see Dan Simmon's Hyperion), but if you like your science fiction epic and densely-plotted, you might enjoy this book.

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