Pandora's Star by Peter F. Hamilton
narrated by John LeeI was apprehensive at first about getting this book from audible.com for my next commuting entertainment, however it was long (37 hours 26 mins, which is a bonus, more bang for your buck) and had decent ratings (4.1/5 stars overall) so I went for it.
The reason I was apprehensive is because it was coined a "Space Opera" in some of the reviews, which made me think that it would be overly long, drawn-out, detailed to death and the story would be lost. However, it was not what I thought. YES, this story is very involving! There are many characters and worlds and subplots that merge and diverge, so you have to have somewhat of an attention span for this. Also, I wasn't sure of the extent of my sci-fi maturity, I mean sure I love Firefly and Star Trek and I, Robot and X-files and and and... but was I READY? Could I HANDLE IT? I mean, this shit looked legit. LOOK AT THE COVER, STRAIGHT UP SPACE, DAWG!
My god, I am SO glad I listened to this. It was like slipping into a bath after poking it with your toe for an hour to determine if it was too hot. Except the bath turns out to be a wormhole opening to an awesome new UNIVERSE of BEAUTY and ADVENTURE and AWESOMENESS.
Okay, okay, enough with the terrible praise using horrible analogies.
Peter F. Hamilton built a universe, and he had god-like thoroughness. Not only did he think everything out, but he then went on to share it with you in a rich platter of delectable scenes, characters, places, and events. It was never boring, if you paid attention. If humans reach the stars, I hope its in the way he described (minus the frightening events at the end of the book, haha). Everything he described seemed incredible real, so real that I honestly believed this WAS humanity's future, until I came back to reality and remembered it was only 2013. Humans are still incredibly human in this book, and he portrays them fantastically well.
My favorite characters are Wilson Kime, Paula Myo (of course, since she's described as having Filipino ancestry ;) and being incredibly sexy!), Ozzie (his plot is one of my favs).
I can't get over how incredibly well-woven Peter F. Hamiltons universe is. Truly amazing. I mean, the concepts of the individual components such as the High Angel, the Silfen paths, the colonization of new worlds, the concept of rejuvination, organic circuitry tattoos... they would ALL make fantastic stories all by themselves, and yet we get the whole package in Pandora's Star.