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After hundreds of years secretly manipulating the human race, the Starflyer alien has succeeded in engineering a war which should result in the destruction of the Intersolar Commonwealth. Now, thanks to Chief Investigator Paula Myo, the Commonwealth's political elite finally acknowledges the Starflyer's existence, and puts together an unlikely partnership to track down this enigmatic and terrifying alien. The invasion from Dyson Alpha continues with dozens of Commonwealth worlds falling to the enemy. The navy fights back with what it believes to be war-winning superweapons, only to find that the alien fleet has equally powerful weapons. How the aliens got them is the question which haunts Admiral Kime. Could it be that the Commonwealth's top-secret defence project has been compromised by the Starflyer's agents, or is the truth even worse?.… (plus d'informations)
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Affichage de 1-5 de 53 (suivant | tout afficher)
I hesitate only slightly with the five-star review. This is primarily because there are some faults with this novel--Hamilton suffers a little from over descriptive writing, and while he does create an incredibly vivid world, I found myself at times skimming the more dense prose. I found myself not really caring about the Silfen Paths sections of the book for this reason, though he kind of brought me around by the end.

This novel is a continuation of Pandora's Star, and doesn't stand alone. That's another reason for my hesitation, but if you go into PS with the understanding that the book is 1800 pages instead of 900, it's well worth it. The future he creates is almost distractingly utopian, with humanity effectively able to conquer everything, including mortality. But Hamilton does complicate things, and the politics of the Commonwealth are both interesting and even-handed. He doesn't pick sides (though I did!).

Recommended if you don't mind the commitment. ( )
  allan.nail | Jul 11, 2021 |
Capsule Review: Not too bad.. if you can get through the incredibly 600 page setup in Pandora's Star, the payoff in this book is pretty neat. Like to know more about the cat though (more than we get in void trilogy I mean) ( )
  frfeni | Jan 31, 2021 |
What a galaxy Peter F. Hamilton has created with the Commonwealth! This series was my first exposure to his writing and the immensity and vivid detail of his not-so-distant human civilization has few rivals on my bookshelf. It’s easy to picture it serving as the setting for additional novels (which I am greatly looking forward to reading) while still sparing plenty of room for yet more riffs exploring the nooks and crannies of its patchwork of worlds. Let’s put it this way: William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, and Kim Stanley Robinson could each write characteristic novels that slot perfectly into the Commonwealth without breaking its canon. It’s a shame that they’re never going to as I would die to see a seedy cyberpunk thriller cut out of the underbelly of the cloth used for Pandora’s Star and Judas Unchained.

In many ways I feel that Judas Unchained did not do the Commonwealth justice. Where Pandora’s Star was subtle and intriguing, Judas Unchained was blunt and overbearing. Characters were more repetitive and stereotypical. Sex scenes were more explicit and prolific. Battle scenes were less compelling and felt closer to what you might find in this year’s Marvel movie. For me the climax of the series came at the end of Pandora’s Star and Judas Unchained was a long coast back down from that peak like a hyperglider returning to Far Away from its apex above Mount Herculaneum. The ending was clear from hundreds of pages out and all that was left to be done was to flip through chapter after chapter of what boiled down to a flashy car chase.

Now, I should clarify that I did not find Pandora’s Star to be at all boring, which should indicate my preferences as a reader. If a thunderous plot unfolding is more interesting to you than character development, careful world building, and mystery, then Judas Unchained might be the book in the Saga that resonates more with you.

Viewing Judas Unchained as merely a single path through the rich tapestry of the Commonwealth, even though I was ultimately disappointed with its storytelling I still view the series in an overwhelmingly positive light. The Commonwealth for me stands as a benchmark demonstrating just how audacious and full-featured a fictional universe can be while still being packed full of relatable and fallible humans like the rest of us down here on Earth. ( )
  gordonhart | Dec 13, 2020 |
I knew before I started reading the Commonwealth Saga that Hamilton's latest work — the Void trilogy — was set in the Commonwealth universe. So by the time I began Judas Unchained I was aware the Commonwealth would survive its war with the Primes. But even if I hadn't known that, the book never let the reader think the outcome would be otherwise.

Part way in to the book the Primes invade forty eight Commonwealth systems, adding all but one of them to the twenty three they'd taken in Pandora's Star. Other than that, though, the Primes play a surprisingly small role. There's much talk about how bad things could get, and all the book's trillionaires get busy building ships in which to flee. But at the same time as the Prime's invasion, the humans reveal their uber weapon, which essentially makes the Primes obsolete for the rest of the story. Once the humans have the ability to wipe out the Primes it's difficult to consider them a major threat. And so the real antagonist and focal point of the story becomes the Starflyer — one of the Prime aliens from a splinter group that used genetic modifications and settled a neighbouring star system to their home star.

Except the Starflyer feels like as much of a threat as the Primes. Hamilton invests a lot of time making it the focus of all our heroes' efforts and it's easy to get caught up in that. However, the Starflyer's plan is to engineer a war that will cripple both the Commonwealth and the Primes. It manages to start the war but the Commonwealth's super weapon means the war will end with the Primes wiped out and the Commonwealth stronger than ever. And after crippling the two major players in this corner of the galaxy it planned to escape in its crashed ship. Quite where it planned to go is never really explained. I believe its home system is proposed late in the story, but it's also pointed out that the Starflyer's ship is astonishingly slow compared to the Commonwealth's, so they could easily pick it off en route.

So it seems everything is in order and the Commonwealth will emerge victorious. Yet from that simple premise we get a four hundred page action sequence as our heroes chase the Starflyer all the way back to its ship before engineering a superstorm to destroy it.

Ozzie's meanderings continue in this book. But rather than finding enlightenment his rather extensive subplot ends with a minor bit of exposition before shoehorning him back into the main storyline.

The Starflyer's identity isn't a surprise — it's mentioned back in Pandora's Star. Nor is the identity of its brainwashed human agents. Half of them are too minor to care about and the rest are easily identifiable by Hamilton's ever-shifting perspective refusing to settle on them. And the numerous deaths in the story are hard to get upset about since the Commonwealth can bring most people back to life.

I realise this review sounds all negative, but in fairness the story is really well told, it just falls short when compared to the Night's Dawn trilogy or Pandora's Star. Maintaining tension for over 1200 pages is obviously a terribly difficult task, but Hamilton didn't seem to manage it for even 12 pages. Maybe if he'd invested more time making the baddies threatening rather than slapping a sex scene into every single chapter then the book would have benefited.

Here's hoping the Void trilogy succeeds in the places this book just didn't. ( )
  imlee | Jul 7, 2020 |
I knew before I started reading the Commonwealth Saga that Hamilton's latest work — the Void trilogy — was set in the Commonwealth universe. So by the time I began Judas Unchained I was aware the Commonwealth would survive its war with the Primes. But even if I hadn't known that, the book never let the reader think the outcome would be otherwise.

Part way in to the book the Primes invade forty eight Commonwealth systems, adding all but one of them to the twenty three they'd taken in Pandora's Star. Other than that, though, the Primes play a surprisingly small role. There's much talk about how bad things could get, and all the book's trillionaires get busy building ships in which to flee. But at the same time as the Prime's invasion, the humans reveal their uber weapon, which essentially makes the Primes obsolete for the rest of the story. Once the humans have the ability to wipe out the Primes it's difficult to consider them a major threat. And so the real antagonist and focal point of the story becomes the Starflyer — one of the Prime aliens from a splinter group that used genetic modifications and settled a neighbouring star system to their home star.

Except the Starflyer feels like as much of a threat as the Primes. Hamilton invests a lot of time making it the focus of all our heroes' efforts and it's easy to get caught up in that. However, the Starflyer's plan is to engineer a war that will cripple both the Commonwealth and the Primes. It manages to start the war but the Commonwealth's super weapon means the war will end with the Primes wiped out and the Commonwealth stronger than ever. And after crippling the two major players in this corner of the galaxy it planned to escape in its crashed ship. Quite where it planned to go is never really explained. I believe its home system is proposed late in the story, but it's also pointed out that the Starflyer's ship is astonishingly slow compared to the Commonwealth's, so they could easily pick it off en route.

So it seems everything is in order and the Commonwealth will emerge victorious. Yet from that simple premise we get a four hundred page action sequence as our heroes chase the Starflyer all the way back to its ship before engineering a superstorm to destroy it.

Ozzie's meanderings continue in this book. But rather than finding enlightenment his rather extensive subplot ends with a minor bit of exposition before shoehorning him back into the main storyline.

The Starflyer's identity isn't a surprise — it's mentioned back in Pandora's Star. Nor is the identity of its brainwashed human agents. Half of them are too minor to care about and the rest are easily identifiable by Hamilton's ever-shifting perspective refusing to settle on them. And the numerous deaths in the story are hard to get upset about since the Commonwealth can bring most people back to life.

I realise this review sounds all negative, but in fairness the story is really well told, it just falls short when compared to the Night's Dawn trilogy or Pandora's Star. Maintaining tension for over 1200 pages is obviously a terribly difficult task, but Hamilton didn't seem to manage it for even 12 pages. Maybe if he'd invested more time making the baddies threatening rather than slapping a sex scene into every single chapter then the book would have benefited.

Here's hoping the Void trilogy succeeds in the places this book just didn't. ( )
  leezeebee | Jul 6, 2020 |
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After hundreds of years secretly manipulating the human race, the Starflyer alien has succeeded in engineering a war which should result in the destruction of the Intersolar Commonwealth. Now, thanks to Chief Investigator Paula Myo, the Commonwealth's political elite finally acknowledges the Starflyer's existence, and puts together an unlikely partnership to track down this enigmatic and terrifying alien. The invasion from Dyson Alpha continues with dozens of Commonwealth worlds falling to the enemy. The navy fights back with what it believes to be war-winning superweapons, only to find that the alien fleet has equally powerful weapons. How the aliens got them is the question which haunts Admiral Kime. Could it be that the Commonwealth's top-secret defence project has been compromised by the Starflyer's agents, or is the truth even worse?.

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