Bewildering Stories

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Book Review:
Peter F. Hamilton, Pandora’s Star

by Jerry Wright

Pandora’s Star
Author: Peter F. Hamilton
Publisher: Del Rey Ballantine
Hardcover: March 2004
Length: 768 pages
ISBN: 0-345-46162-2
Price: $26.95

Okay... Good book but be warned going in; it's only half a book. It ends with everything up in the air and "to be concluded in Judas Unleashed". Arrrgh. And the sucker is ALMOST 800 pages long.

This book has more characters than a Russian novel... Well, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but still, there are perhaps 20 or so characters that carry a lot of page-time. Wilson Kime, astronaut and one of the first people on Mars, greeted there by Nigel Sheldon and Ozzie Isaac who just created wormhole technology that allows them instantaneous planet jumping. And that's just in the first few pages. Paula Wu, genetic detective, incapable of telling a lie. Bradley Johansson, who turned to terrorism because no-one will believe his mad tales about this shadowy alien who has infiltrated the highest levels of government with the express purpose of destroying mankind.

And on. And on. This book could have used some judicial editing. There are pages and pages that do nothing to move the story forward, although they do give us great insight into Commonwealth history. Hamilton creates well-realized characters, and a milieu that allows everyone a very rich life who take re-lifing for granted, intending, perhaps, to live forever thanks to memory crystals and clones.

Anyway, exiting discoveries, a really alien alien whose immediate reaction on discovering lifeforms other than itself says, "There ain't room enough in this universe for anyone but me!" And lotsa tossed out ideas, just fizzing out there.

I'm looking forward to Book 2, but, as I was wending to the end I kept wondering, how is he going tie this all up? Only, of course, he didn't.

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