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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

       
Judas Unchained

Copyright 2005 by Peter F. Hamilton

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Mediocre (1/5)

I first read this on the 20th May 2006.

In which Hamilton (presumably) concludes the "The Commonwealth Saga" series that commenced with "Pandora's Star".

More of the good guys are finding out that the Starflyer is real and that they have not just MorningLightMountain - the alien hive mind released in Pandora's Star - to contend with but also the Starflyer. Thus the Guardian's end up being on the right side finally, not the total lunatics they may have seemed at the beginning of the first book. Mind you, their plan for the destruction of the Starflyer still counts as absolute idiocy in my opinion.

Nigel Sheldon finally gets his hand on the wheel and gets down to saving the known Universe. Ozzie gets back from his wandering of the mysterious Silfen paths. Paula Myo develops severe hypochondria but rallies for a bit of detective work near the end. Mellanie meets loads more guys who think she's fab and her round heels get to work overtime. The SI seems to have lost interest in imminent human disaster and doesn't seem to do much at all.

It's exciting, chock-a-block with ideas and sub-plots. If you enjoyed "Pandora's Star" you'll probably love this.

However, you may get the feeling - as I did - that Mr Hamilton found it a bit of a chore to tie up those sub-plots and finish the novel. My impression is that the novel wasn't plotted out before writing it. For example, I'd guess that the Starflyer was probably intended to be something different, but in the interests of closing the book down at 1300 pages, a simpler solution was adopted. That's just my view of course. I readily admit I might have missed something - I did nod off several times, and in fact almost gave up reading the book a couple of hundred pages from the end since it was apparent that nothing of real interest was going to happen.

The first time I almost gave up reading this was on the first page. The fourth sentence in fact:

It was the kind of plush metropolitan pad that a group of funky TSI soap characters usually lived in; beautiful single people with well-paying jobs that gave them most of the day off so they could enjoy a floor space of around 500 square metres as they lounged around in an extravagant decor provided by overpriced interior designers.
It's only around 58 words but I would have opted for a bit of editing around there, I think.

In summary, it was a very disappointing novel, and far, far too long. It's delayed me a week from reading Haruki Murakami's "Kafka On The Shore".

Loaded on the 15th July 2006.
    
Cover of Judas Unchained
Cover by Jim Burns