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Judas Unchained

(Commonwealth Saga #2)

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  28,760 ratings  ·  1,103 reviews

Judas Unchained is the high-action concluding novel of the Commonwealth Saga from Peter F. Hamilton, one of the world's bestselling science fiction writers.

For hundreds of years the human race has been manipulated into starting a war that could destroy civilisation. As Chief Investigator Paula Myo hunts down the terrifying creature behind the ploy, the invasion continues

Kindle Edition, New Edit/Cover edition, 1265 pages
Published August 21st 2009 by Tor (first published February 28th 2005)
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Chad Smartt [The SI sends her to the Sheldon home in place of the escort that Nigel ordered for Orion. The SI setup the infiltration so that it could continue its…more[The SI sends her to the Sheldon home in place of the escort that Nigel ordered for Orion. The SI setup the infiltration so that it could continue its query of Ozzie on what he learned at the end of the paths after getting cut short the first time when Nigel took him. She meets Orion at the pool.](less)
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Jack Repenning
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4.31  · 
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Jan 17, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
I have a confession to make: the Grumpy Cat is my spiritual animal.
Grumpy Cat
The confession was necessary because seemingly everybody and their brother loved the book. Everybody except for grumpy me that is.

Let me remind you that in the previous book the humans of future opened a Pandora Box and let some aliens with Highlander motto ("There can be only one")
out in the wild. The latter happily proceed to exterminate our future race. End of book 1. This one picked right where the previous one left. Human
6.0 stars. On my list of "All Time Favorite" Novels. As has been mentioned before, this book is really the second half of a much larger book began in Pandora's Star. When counting the first book, this story comes in at almost 2000 pages. As daunting as that may seem, I was amazed by how easy it was to stay focused on the story. All of the different plot lines were so interesting and well done that I was never waiting for the pace to quicken. No doubt, Hamilton spends considerable time on details ...more
“Finally, this book is over!” That was my final thought. After an exhausting total of over 2,000 pages in this saga, I was ready for it to wrap up. I enjoyed the story overall but have a few gripes with Peter F. Hamilton.

Hamilton did an excellent job creating the Commonwealth universe. I really enjoyed the technological advancements yet it was familiar and fun. There are more toys to play with and the concept of rejuvenation is really interesting. The progression from modern day to the 24th cent
Oct 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you have read Pandora's Star previously starting on Judas Unchained should feel like coming home, as there would be no need to familiarize yourself with the settings or characters. On the other hand, if you attempt to read this book without having read Pandora's Star first it would be like wandering into somebody else's home by mistake, wondering who changed your furniture, realizing your mistake and make a quick exit before the cops arrive.

Judas Unchained continues the epic story started in
Apr 27, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
I have a love/hate relationship with Peter Hamilton's books. He's very adept at introducing interesting technology and making a faster-than-light society plausible but, as with a lot of these hard-science, libertarian SF authors, he badly needs an editor. I was skipping over multiple pages of irrelevance in both this book and its prequel, Pandora's Star. He also has far too many "main characters" who (despite 800+ pages) never seem to come alive. They all speak with essentially the same voice. A ...more
After reading the first book, Pandora's Star, I was slightly miffed at just how scattered and sometimes ... dull... it seemed. I only felt that way because the alien bits and the big spaceship stuff and the weird alien stuff simply SHONE for me. I didn't really cotton to all the human-only investigation stuff or the politics until it kinda snuck up on me and grabbed me by the neck because IT WAS IMPORTANT.

Well. It became important eventually. But I should mention that each of these books is roug
Ben Babcock
After I finished Pandora's Star , I ordered this sequel online and began it soon after it arrived at my doorstep. This is significant, because while I do not adhere religiously to the general order of my to-read list, I try to follow it in good faith. I couldn't wait over a year to read Judas Unchained, so despite my general moratorium on buying books, I made an exception. And I'm glad I did. Judas Unchained is off the frelling chain!

As with my review for Pandora's Star, I'll try to keep this o
Apr 16, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Book Review of Judas Unchained (Ass End of The Commonwealth Saga, by Peter F. Hamilton)

In a spirit of full disclosure, I think of myself as a rather lazy person. So it should come as a bit of a surprise to me (and you, if you know me) that I am inspired, nay, compelled to submit a review of Judas Unchained (and the Commonwealth Saga of which it is the ass-end). But it does not surprise me. In fact, I’ve been saying for weeks how much I looked forward to finishing this series just so I could get
Executive Summary: An enjoyable conclusion to the Commonwealth Duology. I plan to check out the Void trilogy at some point in the future.

Audio book: John Lee once again does a great job. He doesn't do voices, but he's got a great reading voice that I could listen to for hours and seems well suited to Space Opera. I'm excited to see he reads the Void series for Tantor as well as a few other books I plan to check out.

Full Review
This is a long one, but overall I enjoyed it. I think this works bes
Longer review appearing much later than I anticipated... ah well.

This book picks up immediately after the end of Pandora's Star, and it distinctly benefits from not having to establish as much worldbuilding as its predecessor. Here, instead of introducing the reader to the numerous worlds and characters of the Commonwealth, Hamilton can simply jump right into their stories. With one major exception, the plot feels a lot tighter and less of it seems extraneous to the point. That said, the pacing
David Sven
Nov 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Wow! What a ride. This is Space Opera at its finest. This second book in the Commonwealth Saga can’t really be described as a sequel as much as a continuation of the same story. If you put both books together you would be unable to discern where the break between the two would be.
As such, a lot of my comments made in my review of the first book still apply

Some of our characters have decided the mythical Starflyer Alien is a real entity who has been subve
Jun 06, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Dreaming heavens, finished at last! Fascinating read. Hamilton's science is the kind I like to read and immerse myself in: realistic with a good sprinkling of sci-fi magic here and there to keep the reader wondering. In this book there are lots of these without becoming overwhelming. The story starts where it's left off in Pandora's Star, and one surprising thing I noticed was that it pretty much moved forward with only brief reminders of what had happened in the first book (which I liked becaus ...more
Dirk Grobbelaar
Don’t approach this book as a sequel to Pandora's Star. It is merely a continuation of the story. The two books form a cohesive whole, and are really just parts one and two of the same story. There is no way, really, that the two books can be read separate from one another.

The war between the Commonwealth and the Prime was always going to reach critical mass in this novel, and this is more or less what happens. However, things didn’t pan out quite how I was expecting. In this novel there is a sl
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Combined with 'Pandora's Star' this is by far the longest and most detailed space opera I have ever read. Judas Unchained is listed as the 2nd book of the Commonwealth Saga, but in reality the two books are just one very long story. There's not even a hint of a conclusion at the end of Pandora's Star, so you have to read both together. In paperback, that's 2,000 small type pages.
In terms of content, this book hit's all my particular sweet spots required for the genre. There is so much in here
Jan 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Edwin Priest
You know that feeling you had in college after you finished your last final before vacation? That happy feeling of relief, of accomplishment, and of finally, FINALLY being done. Well, that’s the feeling I had after finally finishing the Commonweath Saga the other night.

Pandora’s Star and Judas Unchained should essentially be viewed as one LONG book, nearly 2000 pages long in fact. It is epic, in scope, in vision, in ideas…….and in bloat. Hamilton really does need a better editor.

There is certai
Jun 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andrew Obrigewitsch
This book had so many good things going for it, but a few bad things really overdone degrade the whole story.

The ideas and story are brilliant, and keep you interested. There are only 2 problems:

1. Hamilton cannot write characters with personality at all. They are just stereotypes and many of them act so similar I couldn't tell one from another. All the soldiers acted the same, all the villains acted the same, and everyone had the same attitudes concerning most subjects. I assume they are the a
“Gideon” Dave Newell
One of the advantages of such a long story, and I include Hamilton’s ‘Pandoras Star’ as part of this story, is that you can revisit forgotten characters and events from the earlier pages to great dramatic effect later on. Quite a few such gems get deliberately buried in the intervening text and are delightfully resurfaced when least expected. After my second reading of this pair of novels, I now hold a greater respect for the structural planning that went into it’s plot line and pacing.

As the pu
Jun 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reviewed in 2007.

My Reaction: I could hardly contain myself to wait for the ending and find out whodunit! This book - sequel to Pandora's Star - defies genres and contains elements of science fiction, space opera and mystery.

My Synopsis: While more and more people are beginning to believe that the Guardians of Selfhood have been correct all along about the existence of the Starflyer, the Prime launch an all-out attack to take over the Commonwealth and wipe out as many humans as possible, and en
Jul 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you made it through Pandora's Star, you will definitely need to keep going with Judas Unchained. If they had tacked Chapter 1 of Judas Unchained onto the end of Pandora's Star, you wouldn't tell the difference. And in Judas Unchained, you get all the benefits of Pandora's Star without the confusing three hundred pages of introduction.

Judas Unchained continues the story of the Commonwealth as they battle against aliens both in and outside of their civilization. It basically felt like this enti
Pandora's Star: Second Half of a Massive, 2,000 page Space Opera
This is a very long, detailed, imaginative, and sprawling epic space opera that involves dozens of characters, plots, advanced technologies, alien races, ancient galactic mysteries, nefarious plots and counterplots, all told in an engaging narrative that doesn't get bogged down in exposition like a lot of other hard SF stories. It's far more entertaining than the more grim future vision of Alastair Reynolds, to which Peter Hamilton
Is it good? Yes.
Is it worth ~1800 pages (including Pandora's Start)? Not sure.

The best is still the world-building: I can't remember any sci-fi that can rival it and only the best heavyweights in fantasy could beat such a complex (but feasible!) world.
Not all good, since in this second book the characters start feeling a bit flat: Everyone seems to behave the same way, just with different goals.

But the main issue of the whole endeavour is that, although everything adds together at end (which is
Donncha Ó Caoimh
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An amazing read but this one went on too long. I still recommend reading it, but only if you've read Pandora's Star first.
Nov 22, 2018 rated it liked it
All the story arcs are concluded by the end of this second instalment. Unfortunately, the characters don't hold my attention for long. Once you know a certain aspect of a character you fail to take them seriously like my view of Nigel was destroyed by his silly 'revelation' during his encounter with Mellanie. I felt that the Mellanie's character was too lucky to be present at crucial situations. Morton's revival is purely unnecessary. The massiveness of the impending doom is lost when you have t ...more
Mar 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
These two books are simply two volumes of the same novel, dubbed the Commonwealth Saga. In the tradition of the other (even more) massive Hamilton opus, Night’s Dawn, it is a somewhat daunting cornucopia characters and interweaving subplots. This author can get away with it, since even his explanatory filler is eminently enjoyable. A very rich societal backdrop forms the stage for a drama with some very unexpected twists and turns. The most insignificant details come back to haunt the characters ...more
The second book in common wealth saga Judas unchained was hit and miss for me in some ways, because many of the things which I liked in the first book became a bit redundant in the second book. I think Hamilton has spent lot of words micro managing the story in this book, due to which some of the most intense scenes in the book dragged out a lot. The story wraps out properly in this book but the whole starflyer conspiracy felt like a red herring to me due to the fact because we do not get its po ...more
Nov 26, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: space opera fans
I used to really like Hamilton. His Night's Dawn series, all two million words or so of it, was great when I was younger- kind of Dickens meets Asimov, with billions of characters, subplots that zip around an immense and vivid universe, alien aliens, etc.

Hamilton was one of the first of the new space opera writers from the UK but his work at both novel (and series) level and his short fiction was limited to one main universe. He branched out with the very interesting Fallen Dragon which satisfie
Jul 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014, e-books
4 Stars

Incredible science fiction from the master Peter Hamilton. Book two, or really more like the second half of Pandora' States is a complex, hugely entertaining space opera that is really about an alien invasion. I loved both of these books as they appeal to my tastes and my favorite genre. I do however have some issues with them. The sheer size makes them difficult to complete and as a result to truly love. At over 2000 pages for just two books, most other authors would have written it as f
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this book is Volume III 2 18 Mar 12, 2018 08:20AM  
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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.

Other books in the series

Commonwealth Saga (2 books)
  • Pandora's Star
“But to have dreamed the dream is to have flown above the mountains so high in all but deed.” 14 likes
“Are you sure it is trustworthy, Mellanie?"
"I'd be dead if it wasn't."
"Yes, I suppose that does generate a respectable level of personal confidence.”
More quotes…