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Great North Road by Peter F. Hamilton

Wow, this is a long audiobook. Just looking at the length of it at 36 hours 27 minutes, I know that sounds long but it is nothing compared to just how long this book feels. I repeatedly thought the story was winding down and coming to an end only to have it pick back up again and go on for hours longer. But don’t let that fool you.

This is a really good book and an amazing story. The Great North Road is an epic story spanning multiple worlds, aliens that are truly alien, and a human race that is in fear of extinction.

The Angela character and her story really got me, she was easily my favorite character in the story with Sid being a close second. People doing the hard thing because they think it is the only choice they have that will result in a better life for their family. Really good stuff.

Toby Longworth does an admirable job trying to give each character a unique voice, but there are so many characters that it is an impossible task and from time-to-time I was quite confused about who was speaking and even where the speakers were, what world they were on.

Don’t let any of that stop you from reading or listening to this book though. If you have the patience for really long space operas, this is Peter F. Hamilton after all, you will really like this one.

From the publisher:

A century from now, thanks to a technology allowing instantaneous travel across light-years, humanity has solved its energy shortages, cleaned up the environment, and created far-flung colony worlds. The keys to this empire belong to the powerful North family – composed of successive generations of clones. Yet these clones are not identical. For one thing, genetic errors have crept in with each generation. For another, the original three clone “brothers” have gone their separate ways, and the branches of the family are now friendly rivals more than allies.

Or maybe not so friendly. At least that’s what the murder of a North clone in the English city of Newcastle suggests to Detective Sidney Hurst. Sid is a solid investigator who’d like nothing better than to hand off this hot potato of a case. The way he figures it, whether he solves the crime or not, he’ll make enough enemies to ruin his career. Yet Sid’s case is about to take an unexpected turn: Because the circumstances of the murder bear an uncanny resemblance to a killing that took place years ago on the planet St. Libra, where a North clone and his entire household were slaughtered in cold blood.

The convicted slayer, Angela Tramelo, has always claimed her innocence. And now it seems she may have been right. Because only the St. Libra killer could have committed the Newcastle crime. Problem is, Angela also claims that the murderer was an alien monster.

Now Sid must navigate through a Byzantine minefield of competing interests within the police department and the world’s political and economic elite…all the while hunting down a brutal killer poised to strike again. And on St. Libra, Angela, newly released from prison, joins a mission to hunt down the elusive alien, only to learn that the line between hunter and hunted is a thin one.

©2012 Peter F. Hamilton (P)2013 Tantor

I rate Great North Road an 8 out of 10 and recommend to anyone who loves a good space opera.

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