When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.
While the story is easy to follow, well-written and enjoyable, I found the storyline very straight forward, no real surprises. It is set in the same "universe" as the Miles Vorkosigan stories, but alas, it is not a Miles Vorkosigan novel.
I thought Grover Gardner did an excellent job of bringing the story to life. The main character is Leo, an engineer, who becomes a sort of freedom fighter for a new people that was genetically engineered to be the best engineers in zero gravity space. The problem is that the new people are legally not seen as people.
In Leo, Lois McMaster Bujold has created a sort of Sci-Fi Moses leading his adopted people from the proverbial "land of Egypt."
If you just want something to relax while driving on the road, this story might be just the the thing for you, but be warned, if you expect this to be a Miles Vorkosigan novel, you will be bitterly disappointed. (Audible might consider, removing it from the Vorkosigan saga.)
To summarise, a well narrated and written story, enjoyable despite a predictable storyline, playing off in the Vorkosigan universe but not a Vorkosigan novel.
To start, this book is part of the Vorkosigan Saga series, but does not have any direct relation to the other books as the story is set 200 years ahead of the other books. The story explains the origin of the Quaddies, a strange race of four-armed (extra arms for legs) humans which we encounter also in the Miles books, particularly in Diplomatic Immunity.
Events and places in that book can be better understood if you have read Falling Free, but it is absolutely not necessary to do so. This book can be read on its own without the others, or the others without this one.
I give this book 4 stars because - even though the story is more simple than later novels, and things go a bit too easy (comparatively) - Lois McMaster Bujold once again mixes SF with moral questions and dilemmas in a pleasant way. What to do with a bio engineered race that their creators own, but are conscious. Being humans, it might be easy, but what if they are stranger still? What if they potentially form a threat to the human race? These questions are not answered, but cause different reactions in the various actors in the story.
Particularly interesting it becomes if the morality shifts or people overstep a moral boundary. What would you do?
Grover Gardner is one of the best readers and shows it here once more.
The basic idea for this book is intriguing. This could have been a much more interesting story if it had been more convincingly written. I feel that a good editor could have done wonders. I bought this book on a promotion of series books. Hopefully the second book is a little better.
Near the top. It's a very engaging story. I like the topics covered in the story. Can synthetic life count as human? What if it doesn't look human? If you made it does that make it yours even if it's sentient? All of these questions encircle the story and Lois does a great job exploring all of them.
Leo Graf because he is confronted with several hard decisions and watching him come to the correct choice was very entertaining.
Leo again. Grover makes Leo sound as flustered as anyone would be, given the situation. His voice is kind of nasal which is also humorous.
When Leo asks himself what one man can do to create change, and decides that the answer is 'more'. Whatever you are doing to create change you can do more. It was very touching.
This book was masterful all the way around.
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.
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.