I've seen a lot of bad reviews for this book, and frankly I don't understand why. Perhaps some readers are not used to hard-core, traditional sci-fi writing. So much of today's contemporary sci-fi writers are more into action and less into the classic philosophical aspects that began with epic writers like Herbert and Asimov.
Having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and feel it is a masterpiece in classic sci-fi form. David Brin knows how to sink the hook in and keep you guessing until the very end. He is a master at storybuilding from various alien perspectives, which may throw some people off because of the change in thought process/focus from one alien race to another, but I found it captivating and ingenious.
I recommend this series to anyone who enjoys Frank Herbert, Peter F. Hamilton, Larry Niven, Orson Scott Card and other masters.
However, one caution to casual sci-fi readers that prefer straight forward stories full of action and special effects: you will get action, you will be thrilled, you will be surprised, but you will not be satisfied unless you are a fan of classic sci-fi writing techniques. This is not a shallow, no-brainer entertainment for the masses. This is a thought provoking work with complex plots/sub-plots that provide surprising twists and turns that are hard to predict compared to a lot of other literature in the genre these days.
I hope you enjoy!
Most people like certain NARRATORS and certain AUTHORS but they never think about the Directors or Sound Engineers. This audiobook is an example of a GREAT AUTHOR with fantastic characters, a TERRIFIC NARRATOR who can distinquish alien creature voices and make them so believable and a crappy Director and/or Sound Engineer. Apparently she thought her job was just to press the record button and go home. I have a recording studio and I was saddened by the lack of professionalism. You can hear Mr. Wilson gulping after readng difficult passages as an alien voice and even getting some words incorrect "Revered Mother" and "windy road". This is not his fault but should have been caught by the Director, Abigal McCue and the sound engineer. Despite that, it is a WONDERFUL story and amazingly told. GEORGE K. WILSON NEEDS AN OSCAR for these cast of characters he is able to bring to life. It definately left me with a desire to read the rest of the trilogy and to read some of the prequel books.
This whole series could have been done in one book.
The story is filled with meaningless filler.
I don't think any narrator could have made this better
I am very disappointed
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This is another good story like the last one but I like it much better and it sorta introduces who will be in the next 2 books.
The beginning is a little strange and you will understand it in alter books, but it was strange at the time because you don't know who he is or where he came from but find out later that you should know who he is and I am still unclear is I should have known or if it was something to be figured out later.
There are some alien kids that are going to do things that kids do and they are on there planet of birth but all are different races, there ancestors were illegally settling on the planet Jijo which was declared fallow, i.e. to be left uncolonized so that the ecosystem will recover and native intelligences may have a chance to develop - The eight races are: g'Keks, Traeki (similar to Jophur), Glavers, Qheuen, Hoon, Tytlal (AKA noor beast), Urs, and Human. By the beginning of the novel, the Glavers have (partly) regressed to pre-sentient animals and the Tytlal have successfully disguised themselves as wildlife.
this has parts in it that are like excerpts from the journal of Alvin and his adventures with his friends, problem I have is I have trouble figuring out who is who and what race they are, its described and the voices are different enough I can tell its just I don't see them as aliens, or better yet I don't see them as different aliens I think of them all as the same race.
not sure if this is a good thing or not, probably not intended to be that way but for the most part it works for me, there are some things I don't like but for the most part I liked this book.
They go on an adventure and find something from the days of old and hope it can help them but without giving anything away it doesn't do much for them other than make them wanted by everyone.
This book and the story in it are a little more connected in the later 2 books than the other ones before it which are like prequels to these 3, if you had not read the first 3 you could just get the story by skimming the wiki on the book and these ones would follow nicely - I would however suggest you do read the first ones they aren't great but they are a good adventure to go on - the first book is a little strange and is more of a pre-prequel of sorts.
**** SPOILERS ****
OK. Maybe I just don't get "adult" sci-fi. But this book kinds just drug on with no read direction. There were so many mini stories in the book that I had a hard time keeping up with all of them.
There is so lottle to go off of for the first few chapters that I had no clue that we were talking about so many different races and trying to keep up with which race was which was a pain.
Then to get to the end and find out that we were not going to get ANY resolution was a massive letdown. No resolution on anything. What is going on under water? Who is this mystery man and what's up with his head? Who are the visitors and then the newer visitors?
The story got more interesting about half way through the book, but I doubt the series is worth getting the next two just to find some form of closure.
I loved Brin's second & third Uplift books, but this one was just too long and slow to finish. As other reviewers have mentioned, the narrator tries, but this book is just too slow in getting anywhere.
I love David Brin and both his Uplift Trilogies. But, the narration on this is awful. The many different "alien" voices make it impossible to follow and are annoying. Much better to buy the book and read it than try to listen through what can only be described as a mish-mash of characterizations. Too bad, really.
Mainly a Sci-Fi, Fantasy guy, but also classic fiction, and detective books.
Sifi at it's best. Love Brin's treatment of the human condition. Aliens are are humanity from a different perspective. This is a review of Brin's whole Earth Clan series. Start with "Sun Tide" and go to the end of this universe. Well worth the ride.
5-year Sci-fi/Fantasy Unabridged Audiophile
Only once in that five years have I found a more awful book. As with other reviewers, I concur that the narrator should be commended for making the attempt.
Summary: Poorly written and a story poorly told.
The planet, context (time & place), and characters are poorly developed. From the first paragraph David fails to connect with the reader on an intellectual or emotional level -- 4 hours later it is mere background noise.
The topics and conflicts aim at an impressionable 8th grade level reader in an American/Western European society that feels guilt for their very existence. e.g. We should not be on this pristine ecological planet, lets see if we can get the enlightened galactics to come down and punish us. When David adds in,
1) evil lying humans that arrive to disrupt the otherwise peaceful planet, and
2) multiple alien races Polyanishly united theologically by homage paid to a stone
the result is a perfect handbook for John Muir followers. If this appeals to you, then this may be your book.
Though poorly executed, the story concept is brilliant. Stowaways on a planetary level -- unique. Ecological restoration through planetary level crop rotation-like resting cycles - insightful.
Looking for epics that work? Try Robert Jordan (Eye of the World), Terry Goodkind (Sword of Truth - first 3-4 books before they get tedious) and Brandon Sanderson (Way of Kings) for Fantasy and Mike Resnick (Any), Lois McMaster Bujold (Vorkosigan
Saga) and John Ringo (Any)
I wanted to like this. I could not. It may well be that it gets better after 4-hours. I could not make myself trudge through to find out.