Series: Commonwealth Saga #2
It's finally over. The ending wasn't even all that interesting; stuff just happened and then things finally ended. Even the stuff with the Prime aliens and the Starflyer wasn't all that interesting in this one, so everything that bugged me about the world Hamilton created just started screaming at me. There wasn't enough to interest me to balance things out.
This has to the most depressing and unimaginative future someone could come up with. This may be an urban legend, but I once heard a story about someone asking Patrick Stewart why they hadn’t found a cure for baldness in the twenty-fourth century. His answer? It’s the twenty-fourth century; no one cares if Jean-Luc Picard is bald.
The universe in which we find ourselves in Pandora’s Star and Judas Unchained isn’t like that. It’s shallow, ageist (physically), mysoginistic, and it portrays all socialists as terrorists. It’s considered expected and even desirable that human society has organized itself in such a way that, despite miraculous medicine, someone can be grievously injured while escaping a war zone and have to go into debt to pay their medical bills because their insurance company refuses to honour the claim. Seriously.
This is just about the most unimaginative future I have encountered. It reads more like it was written in the 1980s rather than mid-2000s. It’s also indulgently edited to the point that it reads more like an epic fantasy than a space opera and very little happens. It even had a few overtones of what should probably be called racism, but I’m open to other terms, like when a character observes that it just isn’t civilized to build a city in a humid environment like a jungle. Civilized? Wtf?
Melanie, the dimwitted wannabe journalist who pulls off amazing stuff, drove me up the wall, but lots of other characters did too.
The sex scenes were laughable and I just can’t get over how bleak a future it is. The portrayal and judgement of women in the novel just made me angry. The narrator didn’t help matters with his dull reading, but I won’t be indulging in another Hamilton even in print. There are too many better books out there.
Review for Pandora's Star