Category Archives: Book Reports

Pandora’s Star | Peter F. Hamilton

cover_PandorasStarI finished the insanely long book Pandora’s Star
by famed author Peter F. Hamilton yesterday. In book format it’s just under 1,000 pages. In audiobook format it was listed at 37 hours to listen to it. That’s like a full work week just listening! Being that I listened to it at 1.25x and sometimes 1.5x, I think I cut the time down to something like 33 hours.

The book is widely liked by folks as evidenced with its high markings by Amazon reviewers and Steve Gibson and Leo Laporte.

I had high expectations and I was let down by it. I suppose I was comparing it to the writing style of David Weber, a favorite author of mine. I hadn’t read (listened) to anything by Peter F. Hamilton before so I didn’t know what to expect.

The primary reason I didn’t like it so much was that it was painfully long and didn’t capture my imagination like David Weber does. Pandora’s Star is full of character detail and development to a fault. Throughout the book the author takes us down a path and then veers off into ancillary stories about other things/ times and character events and it’s hours before you’re back on track to the main plot. Many times I forgot where we were going and what the point was. Additionally, with all of the extra stuff, there wasn’t a lot of science fiction to it – at least, nearly as much as I was expecting/hoping for.

The audiobook was broken into five parts and by the start of the third part I had fully lost interest in the book and finishing it was just a matter of pride and persevering through to the end.

I doubt I’ll read or listen to another Peter F. Hamilton book unless it shorter, of a more normal novel length.

Field of Dishonor | David Weber

I’ve now finished David Weber’s Field of Dishonor (Honor Harrington)
, the fourth book of the Honor Harrington series. I bought it on Audible, so, obviously this is an audiobook. To be clear, I do not believe this is the same as reading. I call it listening.

I wanted to give this a try and see how it goes, to see if I get the same satisfaction out of listening as I do reading. I used the promo link from the TWiT network show iPad Today and received the book for free, plus the first 3 months subscription for $7.95. After that it goes up to $14.95 per month and can cancel at any time.

It took a total of 8 hours and 32 minutes to listen to it, split between two days.

For the first couple of hours I listened at normal speed. Then I discovered that the Audible app can do various playback speeds up to 3x. I tried it at 3x and actually found it easier to keep my mind focused and not drift off into other thoughts. Perhaps at the increased speed, it required my mind be extra focused so as not to miss anything. Plus it has the added benefit of finishing the book much sooner.

Screen Shot 2013-09-16 at 6.46.42 PMField of Dishonor was another great installment of the Honor Harrington series.

It was sad when Paul was killed just to hurt Honor before she was to be killed. It took so much for her to let anyone into her heart and her life, and Paul was the only one she ever did and fell in love with him. He saw a side of her that no one else ever saw. All anyone knew of Honor was her cold, even keel of command and poise under pressure during combat. Paul, knew her differently, as a woman to love and enjoy life with.

It hurt to see Honor hurt in such a way as to have Paul’s life taken from him, and subsequently from her.

Lord Paval Young was the biggest coward and couldn’t accept responsibility for all his previous actions and when burned for his latest, had to seek revenge on Honor but had to hurt her in the worst possible way first.

It was fitting of his cowardice to cheat in the duel at the end and begin firing before he was supposed to, though it mattered not as he was a poor shot, and nerve-wracked, while Honor was sharp and quick and still took him down after being hit.

What a great book.

Faster Than The Speed of Light | João Magueijo

I finished David Weber‘s ‘A Short Victorious War‘ which is the third book on the Honor Harrington series over the weekend. What a fantastic book and series. I’m looking forward to the next book soon.

But before I start the next Honor book, I started reading the book ‘Faster Than The Speed of Light‘ by João Magueijo.

This book is about the author’s story and theories about breaking the speed limit of light and Einstein’s special and general theories of relativity. The story part is supposed to be about the author’s endeavors in getting his theory out there for discussion and acceptance for discussion amongst the theoretical physicists whom are his peers. So far, I’ve read the first 2 or 3 chapters and he’s going over Einstein’s theories and how they work. So far its a good read and understandable for someone whom is not a theoretical physicist but has a good understanding of the theories and concepts of cosmology.

The book is ten years old, but it’s going to be new to me (the FTL part). Once I finish it, I’ll be curious to see where this author’s theory has taken him, and itself, over the last decade.

This book, by the way, is a real book, hardback with a dust jacket and that wonderful book smell to it!