Judas Unchained by Peter F. Hamilton
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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 roughly the equivalent of four normal novels EACH. That's 8 standard-length novels. A slight digression is more of a novel-length wander. :)
What I am most impressed with is the wide range of genre-writing going on here. There's full-flung mil-SF, political intrigue SF, murder-mystery and spy SF, revolutionary thriller SF, media-scoop SF, as well as hardcore alien Hard-SF with Big Dumb Objects galore, miniature wormhole attacks, rejuvenation, memory cores so you can get a new body, as well as a LOT of nova'd stars. Big-ass scale.
But for me, it's just a matter of having to TRUST the author to get me there. All the other books I'd read by him had the same kind of style. Like a Dickens-like wander getting us the feel of so many levels of the society, or Hugo in the way he did Les Miserables. It's BIG. It requires a LOT of trust from the reader.
Fortunately, my trust was not misplaced. I'm going to rate-up the previous novel and wholeheartedly recommend BOTH books with this caveat. Stick with it. It's VERY rewarding and everything comes together eventually and necessarily.
The first book has a great blow-out at the end, but it is FAR from being wrapped up. This book did a GREAT job with that. :)
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