Very engaging, unique and gripping.
The unique concept and storyline.
the length of the book is great. It's a good long read and well performed with a unique style and story.
The characters' voices were mostly similar, the side stories were all over the place (or were they?), and at times I found myself thinking "you have this technology but not ___? What, that plot point doesn't make any sense. Ugh!" but at the end of it all the book was just awesome. Repeat: awesome.
I had high expectations for this book. The premise sounded great and the reputation of the author is good. Unfortunately it didn't live up to expectations.
I found the technological concepts to be a hard to buy. Hamilton would be wise to become better educated in physics and chemistry before attempting to write believably about technology.
The characters lacked depth, originality and most significantly likableness. Among the large list of characters Hamilton has created, most are not particularly engaging or attractive. There is a lot of speculation about how extremely long lives due to cellular regeneration will affect perspectives but little of it is positive and the exploration of this idea is woefully incomplete as are many other concepts that make up the rather shaky foundation for this story.
The book is very long because the number if independent threads that Hamilton initiates and eventually brings together is gratuitously large. It is as if Hamilton is attempting to win a bet for the most threads he can incorporate in a single story. It took over 20 hours to establish all these story lines and they weren't that engaging. They did leave the reader wondering how things would come together. Unfortunately I, at least, didn't end up caring about most of the characters to be excited about the next chapter.
This book ends quite abruptly without tying anything up. After 37 hours the author should be able to deliver some conclusions. Instead the reader is left hanging on nearly all fronts having to get the next book if they want any resolution. This is cheap on both the author and the publishers part.
Hamilton is obviously talented, He can definitely weave an intricate story and he has some very clever ideas. A better education in science and technology would help him write a more believable story. Better understanding of character development would help him create more interesting characters with which readers can identify. A decent editor would have cut this book down by half.
On the other hand John Lee is a fantastic narrator! He is the only reason I saw this book through to completion. He brings the characters to live which, for this book, was particularly important. I'll look for other books he narrates.
This book has haunted my daily thoughts, sometimes to the point of obsession. The amount of detail and ability to relay opposing perspectives leaves me whirling. I cannot recall having been this mentally stimulated by a book before. It will keep you entranced until the very end. If there is one book you read this year, this should be it.
The narrator John Lee has a decent amount of different voices.
The detail to all sub-plots.
A produced audio book is much better than reading a book. John Lee did pretty good at all the characters that this book has.
Humanity as a common wealth has overcome the brutality. How have other alien beings evolved?
The writer is a like a Stephen King of Sci Fi.
This deserves a movie. I'm now going to listen to book 2.
20 Hours in, and I'm just not sure I'm willing to finish this one... This would be the first of 100+ Books (Fiction & Non-fiction) that I will abandon. I'm not a stranger to longer books (Count of Monte Cristo, Atlas Shrugged, The Stand...), but this one feels like suffering due to:
1. Outright terrible narration/production... Virtually EVERY sentence read begins at double the volume that it ends with... prepare for ears being blown out at each start, followed by inaudible words near the end.
2. Lack of any "breaks" (such as a Pause) when switching from one "scene" and character to another... it sometimes takes several minutes of reading before you can realize that you're now following some other character in some other storyline in some other part of the universe
3. The "Universe" & Storyline create moments of interest, but there is also plenty of overly-detailed fiction that just isn't thought-provoking IMO. Obviously, others feel quite different and the author (and this series) seems to have earned the respect of critics, so I'll just have to believe this just "isn't for me."
For one credit, a very long book. It is decent, but I would much rather listen to John Scalzi's Old Man's War Saga.
It might have been better with a different narrator. This books narrator was very bland and monotone. Several time my mind started wandering because of the monotone. I mean, it is pretty bad when they completely change scenes and which character they are following and I don't even realize till about 5 minutes later. He didn't even pause to break up the story at those junctions.