Select one of the keywords
Judas Unchained    by Peter F. Hamilton order for
Judas Unchained
by Peter F. Hamilton
Order:  USA  Can
Del Rey, 2006 (2006)

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Tim Davis

British author Peter F. Hamilton is widely respected among SF fans as a 'master world builder' whose 'superbly imagined, cunningly plotted interstellar adventures' are filled with 'fully realized human and alien characters as complex as they are engaging.' Hamilton's previous works - including the Night's Dawn Trilogy (The Reality Dysfunction, The Neutronium Alchemist, and The Naked God), the Greg Mandel Trilogy (Mindstar Rising, A Quantum Murder, and The Nano Flower) as well as Fallen Dragon and Pandora's Star (the prequel to Judas Unchained) - have earned much deserved places of honor on SF readers' bookshelves.

Readers now have the opportunity to savor the stunningly complicated and brilliantly conceived Judas Unchained. When the action in Hamilton's latest adventure begins, the robust Interstellar Commonwealth is facing cataclysmic challenges. The Prime, genocidal aliens that have been genetically programmed to exterminate all other life-forms, have already annihilated hundreds of millions of inhabitants on twenty-three different planets within the besieged Commonwealth. And the threat posed by the Prime shows no signs of abating.

The weary Commonwealth, while preparing to mount a counter-offensive against the pernicious Prime, must also contend with the enigmatic Guardians of Selfhood, a covert confederation of indeterminate size and power that is perceived as a terrorist organization by many within the Commonwealth. At the same time, according to the Guardians' dire warnings, the mind-controlling aliens known as the Starflyer have infiltrated key positions within the Commonwealth's government and society. Moreover, if the Guardians are to be believed - even if most believe that they cannot be trusted - the Starflyer are determined to sabotage the Commonwealth's efforts against the Prime.

Peter F. Hamilton's intricately plotted space opera explores the ways in which the otherwise peaceful and previously confident Interstellar Commonwealth - in what will be either its 'finest hour - or its last gasp' - steadfastly confronts the duplicity and dangers posed by the Guardians, the Starflyer, and the Prime. Throughout the complex novel, readers will find themselves wondering, 'Who can be trusted? Who can be believed?' Densely and intriguingly textured throughout - with plenty of (no pun intended) alien technology, terminology, and concepts - Hamilton's epic contains the kind of SF writing that will appeal to experienced fans; no patronizing narrator or author-manipulated character intrusively explains the many idiosyncratic details but instead - as in all the best SF - the reader is challenged to decode the denotation and connotations of each singular detail by carefully attending to contexts, repetitions, and implications.

Overflowing with provocative themes and entertaining characters, Judas Unchained is guaranteed to appeal to hard-core SF readers who will eagerly devour its 800+ pages.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more SF books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews