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Judas Unchained

Written by: Peter F. Hamilton
Narrated by: John Lee
Length: 40 hrs and 41 mins
5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The high-action concluding novel of the Commonwealth Saga from one of the world's bestselling Science Fiction writers.

After hundreds of years secretly manipulating the human race, the Starflyer alien has succeeded in engineering a war which should result in the destruction of the Intersolar Commonwealth. Now, thanks to Chief Investigator Paula Myo, the Commonwealth’s political elite finally acknowledges the Starflyer’s existence, and puts together an unlikely partnership to track down this enigmatic and terrifying alien.

The invasion from Dyson Alpha continues with dozens of Commonwealth worlds falling to the enemy. The navy fights back with what it believes to be war-winning super weapons, only to find that the alien fleet has equally powerful weapons. How the aliens got them is the question which haunts Admiral Kime. Could it be that the Commonwealth’s top-secret defence project has been compromised by the Starflyer’s agents, or is the truth even worse?

©2005 Peter F Hamilton (P)2008 Tantor Media Inc
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sebastian
  • 13-04-18

The book is great! audio issues tho.

The performance of John Lee is again, on point, but it's plagued by low volume and some weird production decisions that don't allow it to reach its full potential

1 person found this helpful

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  • Paul
  • 26-04-12

Great read

If you could sum up Judas Unchained in three words, what would they be?

Enthralling, gripping, brilliant

What was one of the most memorable moments of Judas Unchained?

all of it

Which character – as performed by John Lee – was your favorite?

All the characters are portrayed brilliantly

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Bought more

Any additional comments?

This was my first science fiction read, Pandora's Star being Part 1 of the story. Well written story line, paced nicely, all the elements, plots and sub-plots along with the characters brought together perfectly. I would highly recommend this book, and have just bought another, The Void Triology. Really great from start to finish.

The reading by John Lee is utterly brilliant, as usual. I lost count of the different characters, and John Lee gave each one a different distinguishable character and accent. Without being told which character was speaking, you knew.

After many books read by him, I am still in awe of his talent.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Witold Baryluk
  • 22-04-20

Conclusion of an epic story.

It was an epic journey, with flawless execution, a lot of fascinating characters, and arc. I will definitively listen or read it again.

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  • Givi Dochviri
  • 18-09-19

Better than Pandora’s star

Second Book is more action packed than the first one and many questions that were left open in first book are answered.
Definitely a must!!!


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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-07-19

Just one more chapter!

Exciting, thrilling. All i want from a sci-fi space opera. Now i cant wait to start on the next commonwealth-saga trillogy.

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  • Stig Ove Johnsen
  • 06-04-19

This was sadly a waist of time

This book is possibly good in paper format, and may even work as a tv-show. But as an audio book, it didn't work for me.

Too many people and side stories that is difficult to keep track of, and at many times the story is dragged out with really uninteresting parts that last for 10-20 minutes.
This combined with really awful editing that have made the switching between scenes so short that for most times you are not aware it has happened. You are just suddenly pulled out of the story because you realize that the scene has changed almost mid-sentence. When this happens, it took me a little while to get back to actually listening to the story again.
And this is true between ALL story sections - in both books!
Was there no quality control of this before releasing the audio books?

And suddenly (I think it was about 10 hours before the end) they even changed the narrator for about 2 hours?? At least, that was what is sounded like. Totally different voice and audio quality of the recording.

I will try to return both of these books - only completed them due to foolishly hoping for an increase of quality or that maybe it would be easier to follow all the different story lines after a while. It didn't.

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  • Mathias
  • 18-07-18

Good book, terrible editing

Great story and a great performance butchered by the editors. The audiobook skips entire chapters, and it is impossibly to tell when the viewpoints change because of the lack of pauses. Audio levels are also all over the place. Skip this and read it yourself instead, the story is worth it.

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  • Eric Jensen
  • 25-06-18

fantastic story

other than a missing part, this book was great and the narrator also does voices to distinguish characters. Superb experience!

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  • Marcus
  • 03-12-17

Good story - probably better to read

This is a massive piece of fiction with a lot going for it. Unfortunately, the narration doesn't do it justice. It's not that the narrator doesn't do a good job portraying the characters. Quite the opposite; I thought he did a great job of bringing the characters to life. The problem lies with the organisation of the reading. First, the narration suffers from weird shifts in tone and recording quality that I believe to be a result from the narrator taking a break from recording and starting up a while later. This means that the the narrator's tone of voice and the volume of the recording might switch at any time. Sometimes in the middle of a sentence. Second, given the large number of characters, it becomes confusing when the story shifts perspective between characters as the narrator does not mark this shift whatsoever. You might switch from the calm view of a mountain range to the center a frenzied battle in a heartbeat, without knowing that the two scenes belong to different characters. This is too bad, really, as this book features a number of bombastic action sequences featuring several main characters which become a confusing blur instead of the intense cataclysmic events that they try to be.

TL;DR: This is a good book that is marred by poorly structured narration.

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  • jason
  • 29-10-17

Great series<br />

Exciting fascinating and fun ride. Great end to a thrilling story fine storytelling imaginative world.

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  • carl
  • 24-12-17

Some issues with this recording

Book is a bit long as with a lot of Peters books! But the audio was too quiet I have 100s of audio books and only a few have issues like this I usually play at max volume and if it's quiet knock it down 3 notches but this at max is only loud enough for a quiet room if there is noise you will have to concentrate on what being read to hear it

4 people found this helpful

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  • Andy
  • 10-10-12

Great story, well read, terrible editing!

I know it happens a lot at editing that sometimes sentences are squeezed together to cut the time down, but this is absolutely the worst case I have heard.



Gaps at the end of sentences or paragraphs that are shorter than the words spoken in the sentence are not only confusing, but they do end up taking away from the enjoyment.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Stephen Cooke
  • 18-12-16

Difficult narration

This is a much poorer book than the first in the series, not the story but the narration. John Lee seems to have forgotten how to change his voice, it's hard to know which character is talking or if indeed it's just narration, and the voices he created for the first book seem to have gone.

These books were made for a full cast audio and whilst the first book was ok in the narration dept this one is sometimes a struggle.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Gerhard
  • 22-02-19

Speed it up

I agree with most reviews that the narrator doesn't quite hit the high notes with some character voices and sometimes it's hard to keep track of who is speaking. Also, the cadence and drawl of the 'voices' for most just sound odd... no one speaks like that in real life. BUT! Fear not, I have found a solution! when you play the book, set the speed to 1.15 or so. it's the sweet spot for smoothing out these wrinkles and the narration is significantly less grating. Story though is bloody brilliant, space opera deluxe goodness all round. Highly recommend this series , so far 2 books in. Can't wait to see what happens next

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lucy
  • 25-07-18

good plot and ideas but dated

great plot line and worlds kept me listening. Found the endless pointless descriptions of machinery and their statistics tedious, the habitual descriptions of athletic women with massive sex drives dated, while trying to be progressive (written in the 70's?).

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mark Ridgwell
  • 06-03-18

Good story, but hard to hear even at full volume

Recording seems to be very quiet compared to other books. Had to turn phone and echo up quite a bit to be able to hear it. Any other books or music shout at that volume.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Simon
  • 27-10-17

What an utter disaster

This is simply too quiet and almost impossible to listen to. A massive disappointment.

1 person found this helpful

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  • C. Sexton
  • 19-08-17

Great Story Poor Sound Level

Read and had all of Peter F Hamilton's books so not going to say anything about the story because they're almost always excellent.
However the sound levels of this book are awful. It's the quietest one I've ever had and stopped me listening on several occasions. Fine if you're sitting on the beach with headphones but I had to have the sound on full volume in the car!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ben
  • 25-07-17

Great story, flawed narration.

If you have listened to Pandora's Star, this is an absolute must. An epic conclusion to a story, so brilliantly brought to life by Peter F Hamilton.

Sadly, John Lee's narration is by comparison, rather poor. It was serviceable, but certain parts were made confusing by the lack of nuance between characters voices. The audio quality would also change mid sentence. Making it painfully obvious where re recordings had taken place. It didn't break the immersion totally. But the story suffered because of it.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 26-03-17

a must

very good story
but keep your mind on it as you can forget the plot

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jack
  • 30-10-17

Sound is very low!

The recording volume is very low had to put my phone earphone volume to max to hear it.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Dale
  • 17-05-18

broken audiobook

the volume is too low and a huge chunk of chapter 12 is just missing. this is probably the most important part of the whole book and it's gone. last time I listened to this about 2 years ago it was fine. don't waste your money

2 people found this helpful

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  • Damien J
  • 31-05-18

Volume issues

Whispering and quiet speech in some sections is too quiet even with volume on max

1 person found this helpful

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  • James
  • 15-10-17

A very engaging piece of science fiction

Only issue with the book was that the volume of the recording was very low. while I had no trouble immersing myself in this story, there were moments where the lack of volume was problematic.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Hawk
  • 22-09-17

Very Low Sound Volume

The volume of this book is so low that any background noise will override the narration.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Reuben
  • 14-07-16

Really great detail!

This series of books is amazing! The detail that the writer goes into paints such a good picture. Well worth it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • umaikeru katinka
  • 09-06-20

A decent sci-fi. Too much porn.

This book isn't bad, and the story is sometimes compelling, nothing compared to the previous book, but what can you expect from a sequel. However, the author included so much erotica and terrible romance it was hard to listen to at times. I can't remember the last time I was so put off by romance. I skipped whole chapters trying to find the story.

This book could have been an awesome short read if the porn was cut back. Instead it's an epic teenage sex fantasy without the youthful belief in idealistic love.

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  • Ben
  • 11-05-20

Could have been awesome!

Books can be a slog and still enjoyable. I'd mention Tolkien's LOTR and Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy as examples. The Commonwealth Saga was just a slog.

Both books in this series yoked good concepts and fine world building to a tawdry plot that tried hard not to be linear but just was. I found characterisations, motives and emphasis all to be shallow, confusing and misleading. The fending-off-a-malignant-alien plot needs to be done astoundingly well these days not to sound tired. This sounded tired. Add in the semi-mystical-freedom-fighters-on-backward-planet trope and the situation just gets worse. I kept waiting for the twist and there wasn't one. Finally, Hamilton's characterisation of women made me embarrassed for him. You kind of get that a certain amount of sexism would be portrayed by 'golden age' scifi writers, even if they clearly tried hard to avoid doing so, and you manage to chalk it up to historical context and still basically enjoy the book. PFH's female characters seem generally to be over-sexed and over-sexualised, except for the ones who in the book's narrative are not quite right somehow. The powerful ones use sex to corrupt, negotiate, sway and steal secrets. A pretty toxic, misogynous mess more offensive than the casual inequality of 1970s scifi. This series could have been so much more than it is, and two thirds the length to boot. Possibly what was ultimately needed was a competent editor to put their foot down.

John Lee did a good job reading as he so often does, though he occasionally forgot what accent he'd assigned each member of the large cast. Again, the performance might have benefited from more rigorous oversight.

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  • Benjamin
  • 03-04-20

Fantastic

Have listened to this one about three times now , it’s like an old friend love the characters, the story , the narrator.

Highly recommend

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  • Kazablanka
  • 08-03-20

Kazablanka

Simply fantastic. The imagination of the author and the sheer depth of the story leaves other science fiction for dead. Loved the character accents by the performer.