I am an avid eclectic reader.
This is my first Lois McMaster Bujold book. One of the people I follow recommended it. I am always willing to try an author I have not read before. This book touches on some interesting problems in sociology and genetic modification that are current issues in today's world. In this book Leo Graf and engineer is assigned to teach advance welding and its inspection at Cay habitat. When he arrives he finds that the Habitat contains 1000 genetic modified people designed to live in negative gravity. Their bones do not demineralize and they have four arms and no legs. The discovery of a way to produce gravity now makes them obsolete and as they are owned by the corporation that created them they were ordered to be eliminated. Leo sets off to save them and so begins an interesting story. There is really no battle scenes or even much violence in the story but it is a story of how they have to set about to modify the Habitat to travel in space and how to escape the corporation. There is some humor, a love story and lots of suspense. The story will keep you reading and leave you with some things to think about. Grover Gardner did and excellent job narrating the story. He is becoming one of my favorite narrators. I understand this is book one of a series.
I was a little surprised to discover, post-reading, that Falling Free was published in 1988 because it had the feel of a work much earlier in the SciFi genre (the tone reminded me a bit of the Lensman series, or maybe Heinlen). That said, I like early SciFi so it was all good!
The plot isn't particularly complex and it goes exactly where you think it's going to, nary a twist in sight. The characters are not really three-dimensional, although they're very nicely painted 2D. Basically it's a fun read about an engineer who runs into a moral dilemma and engineers his way around the evil bureaucrats and their perilously binding, emotionless red-tape and into a brave new world.
I was fresh out of listening to the Ender series and the Area 51 series, both of which I loved. But with this book, the characters were not interesting, the villain was not believable and I struggled to get through it.
An hour into it and I just can's stand the narrator. He sounds a bit like Troy McClure from the Simpsons.
Entertaining but made me think outside the box. Lots of ideas that stretch the boundaries of "acceptable" vs "atrocity "
He is a great reader. The book flowed along very well.
The thought of what makes us human and worthy of civil rights or not.
Entertaining and thought provoking. I would recommend this book highly.
This author was unknown to me but I was delightfully surprised. I'll hazard a guess that the author or someone very close to her was a life long engineer / project manager. The story does a good job of handling a problem we as humans are sure to face sometime in the near future: what status will genetically modified organisms hold? Are they property? Slaves? A new race or species? While exploring the moral consequences of advanced genetic engineering, the author takes a tongue in cheek stab at project management, the Peter Principle, parenting and even the gravity we take for granted every day.
A fun listen with lots of points to giggle about. Won't change the world and wouldn't even make my 'must read' list but one of life's unexpected little treats!
Very enjoyable book. The author creates a detailed sci-fi scenario that is totaly believable. I was very quickly emotionally invested in the characters. I'm so glad to have discovered this author as there is a wealth of other books to enjoy.
Genre: Hard Sci-Fi (realistically unreal)
Rated: PG13: some sex but it's almost innocent sounding
Static or Dynamic: STATIC; even though the story is moving from crisis to crisis, it's not very... fast paced?
1st or 3rd Person: 3rd person: 5+ people to follow
Abstract or Concrete: Concrete; there doesn't seem to be a lasting moral that the story was trying to impart to the reader, nor a concept that needed to be addressed. It was very mechanical and descriptive; this happened and then this happened and then he said this and then she said that. Some people like that kind of Sci-Fi but I like mine a little more thought provoking.
Linear or Non-Linear: Linear, painfully so.
Narrator: The narrator's voice was rich like a warm cup of Colombian coffee! I really enjoyed listening to him but I didn't really care for whatever it was he was saying. Kind of reminds me of a sharp grand-pa.
Plot Outline: There is a space station with articial lifeforms with 2 arms where they should have legs. Sense they are in 0G in space, that is particularly useful. Sense they are company property, they are extorted and grow up in a zaibatsu where the company owns their destiny. Our protagonist is an engineer who is hired to train them and doesn't like that the poor people are being treated like slaves. Sense they are artificially manufactured, even though the are biological, they had to be raised and pretty much all of them, even the adults act like adolescents because of it. The plot ends up putting their lives at risk and so our protagonist is faced with a dilemma. Its abhorrently predictable and too easy to follow BUT if you are a slow paced kind of person and don't like all the flashy and hard to follow stories that seem to appeal to younger crowds, you might like this pleasant little book. I get the feeling this was a stage setting book for the rest of the series which, unfortunately, I won't be advancing through.
I enjoyed "Falling Free" because of its interesting concept of a group of humans genetically engineered as workers. This brings up ethics issues, and the characters have different views of the issues. So far, so good.
There are some general ethics issues. For example, debates on the merits of transparency versus cover-up.
And, I believe the Sci-Fi elements of the book are a strength. Clever and feasible technology.
However, the book had a few shortcomings as a novel. I did not find myself becoming particularly attached to any of the characters.
This book is a finalist for the Prometheus Awards "Hall of Fame" to be announced at Worldcon in September 2012.
John Christmas, author of "Democracy Society"
I have all the books in this series and highly recommend them all. Each book adds to your knowledge of the characters and, by the end of the story I found myself throughly at home with all the characters. I particularly enjoyed watching Miles develop from a young boy to a secure mature adult. Excellent naration. Worth every credit.