Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Judas Unchained (Commonwealth Saga, #2)” as Want to Read:
Judas Unchained (Commonwealth Saga, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Judas Unchained

(Commonwealth Saga #2)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  35,372 ratings  ·  1,378 reviews
In the star-spanning civilization known as the Intersolar Commonwealth, twenty-three planets have fallen victim to the Prime, a technologically advanced alien species genetically hardwired to exterminate all other forms of life. But the Prime is not the only threat. The Starflyer, an alien with mind-control abilities impossible to detect or resist, has secretly infiltrated ...more
Paperback, 1008 pages
Published March 27th 2007 by Del Rey (first published February 28th 2005)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Judas Unchained, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)
Jack Repenning
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
This question contains spoilers... (view spoiler)
C [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)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.30  · 
Rating details
 ·  35,372 ratings  ·  1,378 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Judas Unchained (Commonwealth Saga, #2)
Mario the lone bookwolf
Characters unleashing their full potential and sci-fi capabilities, while the plot is accelerating towards a bombastic showdown in many different constellations, is one of Hamilton´s favorite style vehicles.

The optimistic outlook on human society can´t just be seen in the civilizations and fractions, but even in the tycoons of the future. While they, in other sci-fi and reality, are mostly the purest manifestations of evil, immediately killing billions of humans, animals, or aliens for a permil
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 the 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. H
“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
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
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
Oct 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Close to three months have passed since I started reading this book. Three months of trying desperately to find something captivating enough to go on.

Peter Hamilton's Commonwealth Saga is not a bad little (heh) duology; it has its interesting concepts, its solid characters, its wonderfully described worlds. It is also filled to the brim with page after page, chapter after chapter, of unnecessary filler material that could easily have been removed for the reader's benefit. In Pandora's Star, the
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
Kara 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
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the second "half" of the 2,200 page Commonwealth Saga, started in book one "Pandora's Star". This is superb, hard sci-fi, space-faring, wormholes, technology galore and perhaps 100 characters. This saga has one of the most interesting alien species I have ever seen - truly creative imagination and design.

I give these books Top Marks, and will continue to read Mr Hamilton's works.
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 b
“The fact that it was he who in the end had underestimated the Starflyer gave his situation its wretched poignancy.”

Good endings are are hard, great endings are Peter Hamilton. Oh, I had my doubts, my disagreements, a character I could have done without (Orion), but this blockbuster came through! Dreaming heavens, The Planets Revenge lived up to its name.

I would read a whole book on Paula Myo and dearly hope she appears in subsequent books. Perhaps the Cat too?

*audible note: The narrator i
Sep 30, 2022 rated it it was amazing
I think it's hard to rate and review this as a single book so consider this my rating for the duology. I finished Pandora's Star for the first time a little over a year ago and felt fairly middling on it and decided not to continue. For a variety of reasons I felt, over time, that this was mostly my fault and not the book's. I went in not knowing it was an expansive giant story with a huge cast and only half of the story at that. Also, I was fairy inexperienced with sci fi and audiobooks to the ...more
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
Wick Welker
Apr 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
A creative, innovative and imaginative sci fi setting make for a worthwhile saga albeit it with poor portrayal of women and overall unnecessarily steeped in sex.

This is the conclusion to the duology starting with Pandora's Star. Hamilton does many things well, more than he does wrong. The short of it is that I've never read a sci fi series like this. The Commonwealth is totally immersive. There is an ecology of wormholes, star systems, and inscrutable alien life forms mixed with imminent interst
Dec 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Four and a half stars.

The rereading just as well as the first time. In my opinion, the best space opera.
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
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
Audiobook part 1, 5h 20min, pages 1-159, ★★★☆☆, nothing really stuck with me. It was ok, I guess. Nothing really memorable happened. Or it did, but it was indistinguishable from the end of the last book...

Audiobook part 2, about 1 hour left, DNF on page 334 of the ebook. ★☆☆☆☆

“A ghost in the machine? How appropriate. It is certainly a machine’s ghost.”
“Ah, right. So, what’s it doing?”
The darkness within Dr. Friland’s hood lessened to reveal a row of smiling teeth. “Whatever it wants.”

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
Dirk Grobbelaar
Sep 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
So, I’ve now completed my two book journey into the Commonwealth that started with Pandora's Star. I have to say, it was a marathon (a combined 78.5 hours of audiobook!), but well worth the run. Being a marathon, I found myself struggling to keep up at a few points in this journey, but I’m very glad to have persevered. I ended up going with 4.0/5.0 stars, and really the only reason for the docked star was the length.

As I noted in my review of the first book, I really enjoyed the glimpse of a po
Finally finished, whew!...It's a long one, but it kept my attention throughout...
I will need less complex but great book to wind down after reading this duology (Pandora Star and Judas Unchained) for suggestions...
Aug 14, 2022 rated it liked it
Well. That was a wild ride - and Hamilton's obsession with trains is confirmed - Starflyer was a train all that time!

I must admit that Hamilton has a great imagination - the plethora of different words and cultures presented in the Commonwealth series is proof of that. He can also flesh out (some) believable characters in challenging situations. Altogether, the Commonwealth series forms an almost fantastic epic space opera. But my oh my, he needs a more aggressive editor who will slap him occasi
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.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 29, 2022 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
The first three quarters of this very long book are quite enjoyable. This is actually a bit surprising as there is virtually no additional world building and little character development. Nevertheless, the various plot lines are sufficient to keep the reader fully engaged and eagerly turning pages. Unfortunately, the final 25% of the novel--a section long enough to easily be a stand-alone book--drags. This portion of Judas Unchained consists of almost non-stop action (chases, battles, heists, an ...more
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
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
this book is Volume III 2 22 Mar 12, 2018 08:20AM  
change Original Title 1 2 Mar 10, 2018 11:57PM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Revelation Space (Revelation Space, #1)
  • The Prefect (Prefect Dreyfus Emergency, #1)
  • The Pandarus File
  • Absolution Gap (Revelation Space, #3)
  • Redemption Ark (Revelation Space, #2)
  • The Eden Paradox
  • The Lazarus Men
  • Machinehood
  • Eyes of the Void (The Final Architecture, #2)
  • House of Suns
  • Pushing Ice
  • Chasm City
  • Inhibitor Phase (Revelation Space #4)
  • Blue Mars (Mars Trilogy, #3)
  • Leviathan Falls (The Expanse, #9)
  • Shards of Earth (The Final Architecture, #1)
  • Matching Configurations (Quantum Roots, #3)
  • Use of Weapons (Culture, #3)
See similar books…
See top shelves…
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

Other books in the series

Commonwealth Saga (2 books)
  • Pandora's Star (Commonwealth Saga, #1)

News & Interviews

Horror fiction, as a genre, can be fascinating to track over time. The scary stories that we tell ourselves often reflect the anxieties we’re...
246 likes · 57 comments
“But to have dreamed the dream is to have flown above the mountains so high in all but deed.” 16 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…