This book has some great world building, interesting aliens, and interesting idea about different zones in the galaxy. But in the end I felt it was too long and too crowded. There are two main story lines in this book. The main story about the blight and the zones of the galaxy, and a side story about the dog-like group-mind creatures called Tines.
Both stories are interesting and would have made nice books. Together, they were just too much and nothing was gained, IMO, by having them together. The main story about the blight could have functioned just fine without the Tines sub-plot. As it is, I felt the Tines story was distracting.
Venor Vinge gets bonus points for the exploration of the idea that the galaxy has different zone where intelligence and physics differ. This was fascinating. He explores this in detail and does it well.
The genius of the novel is self-evident in any format.
I really loved the scrode-riders.
His characters are filled with life. Peter Kenny and he have a lot in common in this respect.
Yes. It's too long to listen to in one sitting, obviously, but I finished it in a few days.
The story and premise are really good, but god that narration. The cartoonish voices have been frequently mentioned but what really got me was how congested the narrator sounded. It's like he had a really bad cold or flu and they decided to record anyway. I couldn't finish i'll have to get a hard copy of the book.
Interested in futurism and hard science fiction.
A fascinating story at the beginning of the book took a wrong turn and never recovered. The narrator didn't help either with oddly shrill, comic voice which didn't belong to any of the characters in the book. I've asked for a refund.
I'm the most boring person on the planet.
I enjoyed the space opera side of this story, but not the medieval side. I found myself dreading when the story would come back to the Tine world thread. Many novel thoughts within this story, but not enough to carry it for me. I give one more star to the ideas than I would otherwise to the story proper.
More space opera and less Tine story line. And to be honest, not a lot of excitement in the journey. I wanted to like this story more, but just couldn't. Still, the ideas and the narrator took me to the end, which is further than they would have without Peter Larkin.
I had never listened to Peter Larkin before, but will wholeheartedly do so again. He was great. Had this story been by a narrator I thought less of, I probably would have given up about halfway through...
Sci-fi, detective, cozy. Only give 5s to those books I think stand above the rest. 4 is a good solid book. 3 is average, nothing special.
The story is a bit hard to get a handle on for the first quarter of the book. After that it gets a bit smoother. The end is OK but is a bit too convenient.
Fantastic book filled with many new sci-fi ideas that add flavor and discovery to every page. Vinge's obvious interest and personal depth in science and math clearly come out in the book - and yet it is his character's complex and often endearing personas that make the book so engaging. The story must have been something crafted in Vinge's mind long before he ever wrote it - the way he pulled all the pieces together to a final climactic ending that was overwhelming, elating, and yet bittersweet.
A Sci Fi junkie who occasionally goes slumming to read other literature.
Solid novel with interesting physics, characters, and aliens. A number of new and cool concepts. Decent plot. About the writing: while VV is not likely to win an award for his literary prowess, I commend him for his straightforward style. The one negative I have is that the middle of the book seems to be much longer than necessary (Pham, Ravna, and the Skrodriders traveling through space; and the intricate details of the Tine world), but maybe that's just a pet peeve of mine, because I have made this comment on several other thick novels. Peter Larkin does a great job with the variety and quantity of voices.