From New York Times bestselling author Peter F. Hamilton comes his first audio original, A Hole in the Sky, Book 1 in the Arkship Trilogy.
Sixteen-year-old Hazel lives in the Daedalus, a starship that is flying in search of a new world. The ship has been traveling for five hundred years, searching for a world to settle in after having to abandon its last world. Everyone on board Daedalus lives a very simple existence in farming villages. The age of machines supplying their needs was lost during a mutiny five hundred years ago. The captain regained control of the ship after a huge struggle. Now, with finite resources, everything in the habitat is Cycled, including humans, who essentially are suicided at sixty-five so they don’t deplete the biosphere’s resources.
Hazel encounters the Cheaters, people who refused to Cycle, who tell her the Daedalus has been damaged and its atmosphere is leaking away. When her brother has a paralyzing accident which condemns him to be Cycled since he can no longer be productive, Hazel runs off with him to join the Cheaters. While with the Cheaters, she discovers that much of what has been told to the people living on Daedalus for the last five hundred years is untrue, and soon, Hazel is in a thrilling race to help repair the ship and help the people of the Daedalus.
I was absolutely looking forward to this audiobook from the moment I heard it was coming. I purchased it upon the release date but took a few days to start it. By that time, there were plenty of reviews up that were absolutely blasting it, as a YA, and not up to his usual brilliance. I am a hardcore Hamilton fan, and stripped of any expectations in this day and age, the book was great.
The tension built slowly at first, but proceeded to cripple me, and I had to stop a few times just to catch my breath. For me, I recognize that as my level of engagement hitting its peak. I credit that to a combination of the worldbuilding, the characters and character growth, the unique storyline, and the performance melding into pure enjoyment.
Life aboard the Daedalus from the perspective of Hazel, the main character starts off with a preparation for a teenagers “coming of age” event that is always conciding with what’s called a cycle day, which is when adults around the age of 60, or those who are branded “cheaters” are put to rest, or recycled, in order to keep population down and to provide materials to keep the habitat functioning. Or so the inhabitants of this generational ship have come to believe.
Hazel, Knows that this isn’t right, and is compelled to find out what is really happening on this ship. Why have things become this way, why haven’t they reached their planet yet, why is the captain withholding all the important details of this centuries, and centuries long voyage?
Hamiltons genious shows itself in the precarious situation these humans have been living and are about to go through. Secrets of the ship, as well as answers to questions that arise are intricately built, and revealed here and there, but seem to result in more questions.
Once a part of The ships AI is awakened, the tension is taut and my curiosity and interest were hitting the stratosphere.
My only feedback is in regards to the cover, I’d love to see more detail of the ship, or just more than what it is. It’s not horrible, but looks like it was put together in a hurry. Granted this is a book that is not in print, so technically doesn’t have a cover, but I think more could be done, he is after all, one of today’s best SF writers. But that in no way affects my enjoyment of a great story, covers are fun and have the potential to bring an audience in and whet the appetite, but in the end, are just covers.
I agree that a story from a younger person’s perspective is different for him, but I appreciate PFH’S work as art, however he decides to convey that, I’m a fan, and this did not let me down in any way, and I’m am going to be impatient for the next book. We’ll done to the narrator, she was spot on, and hope she continues the story with Peter. Don’t let the negative reviews decide for you. I’m happy to throw in all 5 stars for this kind of art.
Peter F. Hamilton is the author of numerous novels, including A Night Without Stars, The Abyss Beyond Dreams, Great North Road, The Evolutionary Void, The Temporal Void, The Dreaming Void, Judas Unchained, Pandora’s Star, Misspent Youth, Fallen Dragon, and the acclaimed epic Night’s Dawn trilogy: The Reality Dysfunction, The Neutronium Alchemist, and The Naked God. He lives with his family in England.
Elizabeth Klett is an English literature professor by day and an audiobook narrator by night. She has been a professional audiobook narrator since 2011 and has produced over 170 titles. She trained as an actor at Drew University and holds a doctorate from the University of Illinois. She loves reading (and teaching) fiction, drama, and poetry of all kinds, and delights in creating distinctive voices and accents for literary characters. An absolute Anglophile, Elizabeth has narrated dozens of books in a British accent, despite the fact that she’s originally from New Jersey. Her expertise in analyzing and understanding literature makes her recordings particularly enjoyable for her listeners