The story was pretty much straight-up scifi. I kind of wish the details of the alien species was fleshed out a little more, but you learn enough about them to create a good mental image.
I think they should have taken another strategy when trying to emulate the alien voices. There's a multitude of digital voice changers that the narrator could of used, but instead he opted to slur his speech as if he just had all of his wisdom teeth pulled out. You got used to it, but it was still distracting.
Also, the ending was definitely sequel bait. It's been almost 26 years and no sequel.
As with all Niven/Pournelle's collaborations, a great read, but sadly I was unable to finish the audio version because of the irritating reader. Too much acting and silly voices. Not enough punctuation. My star rating refers only to the reading. For the book itself I would give five stars.
This is a great story. I read the book at least three times when I was younger. The story is still wonderful, it's the reader that made me not finish the audio version. The main problem is his voicing of the aliens. I assume the reader attempts to sound like what a talking elephant would sound like. The problem is you can't understand everything the characters are saying. More importantly, the readers pronunciations of the alien names are unintelligible. It was impossible for me to keep up with which alien was talking or which one was being referenced. I was very much looking forward. to an audible release of one of my favorite books and now that it's here it is un-listenable. Very sad. At least Lucifer's Hammer lived up to all my expectations.
I’m not sure who was imitating who but Footfall is a 1985 SciFi novel not unlike the Colonization series by Turtledove. Now these guys do not need praise or criticism from somebody three decades later but it is astounding how this work has stood the test of time...written as it was, a near term work.
Pachyderm-like aliens invade our solar system to try and take Earth from us. They bombard us with kinetic weapons, lasers and other crap they inherited from their predecessors. We on the other hand, are stimulated into innovations for fighting back. Can you hear the jingoistic species martial music in the background?
By the way, where else can a borderline alcoholic biker guy become a hero and then a space combatant ship do it all engineer? I liked this book back when I read the dead-tree version and I still like it in audio. Four stars for some hard SciFi.
If you give me something original I will probably like it, regardless of the genre. Stick to a formula and I want to hurl a book at your head.
I'm a sucker for alien books, especially alien invasion books but this...this isn't good. I don't know why creators think the audience wants to read hundreds of pages of hundreds of annoying, uninteresting people being boring. I want to read about the aliens, even if they are ridiculous. I found myself blanking out whenever one of the hundreds of pointless characters started doing something I didn't care about (which is everything). I'm honestly surprised I stuck with the book as long as I did 'cause I was bored out of my mind. Also, the author is about as good at writing women as I am at suddenly turning into Morgan Freeman at will (hint: I can't do that).
Kudos to the narrator, he was the only vaguely decent thing about this mess.
Awesome story though. I wish there was a sequel. I even tried to find one. Even with the anoint narration of alien and female voices, this is well worth a listen.
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I have read lots of the reviews here and other places that have this book and people seem to have a problem with the elephants caring guns and the whole elephant thing, but I don't really find that to be a problem its a new idea I have never read before.
This is a "First Contact" book and if you like those type of books then you should like this one, there are some strange things in here and it seems dated as it was written in 1986 but really its not that bad I have read worse.
I do have a problem with how the Aliens act like they don't understand the human ways and couldn't have predicted what happens but I assume that could be the case if these Aliens were just a small off shoot from a much larger clan as it sorta seems like it must be but not mentioned, however I would assume that they should have some concept of how other Aliens act or could act, I don't know maybe that's the "dated" part but for the most part the book was great.
The narrator does a great job but the Aliens sound stupid and there name sounds like the narrator was trying to say something but couldn't figure t out so just made a noise, and the Aliens don't have to sound like that in the beginning you here them first and I was worried I wouldn't be able to handle that but it turned out not to be a problem other than the names they use being strange.
This was a great book and if you like "First Contact" books you will like this one