Listening to the story over and over and sharing it with my son, who listened to it over and over etc. A great story.
So many to choose from. Perhaps the final scene of Floyd dropping the universal restorative. Interesting though self centered move.
Yes but I kept falling asleep and having to go back and start over!
Readers voice was great.
It has interesting concepts, and delivery of these concepts was pretty good. John Lee is a great narrator, and he does a pretty good job here. The reason i am giving three stars is due to the fact that approximately one quarter of the book deals with murder mystery investigation. I was hoping for more scifi and less of how Paris looked like in 1950 or so. Though last part of the book is pretty exciting, and has good nano technology based concepts.
Okay...I really don't want to write this review. This is probably one of biggest and dramatic turn around books that I've read. What do I mean by this? The first part of "Century Rain", had be pegged that it was going to be my "book of the year". The book opens with a society that you can tell, something is a skew. Alastair keeps the intro deliberately vague. (I admit the narration and French accents really pulled me in) The book begins, almost like a Casablanca novel. We're definitely in the mid 20th century, in France. But something doesn't feel right... Two characters, who we're introduced to, seem like actual characters, right off the bat. No outrageous flashy opening that many sci fi books have, no cliche explosive characters that set up bad guys, and gimmicky plot hooks. Here we have an alleged sci fi book, starting out, set with two characters who seem down on their luck, in the 1950's in an occupied France. Color me interested!
The book unfolds in this way, it opens up as a film noir. And later on a 'who dunit', mystery film noir. The book definitely gives you the sci fi element as a parallel storyline. Now what's funny is, I bought this book expecting a sci fi novel, but once the 1950's film noir storyline opened up, I was far...far more interested in seeing what was going on in that world.
The scifi storyline to me, just seemed like a distraction. It devolves into a very cliche scifi background, with names like Slashers and Threshers... I was so disappointed in discovering that the story would actually revolve around this. I'm all for sci fi political drama's, but this one lost itself by, again in my opinion, being overshadowed by the more interesting 'alternative Earth' story.
The mystery story is still there, but by the middle or 3/4's way through the book, all interest was lost. I found myself half listening, to these drone, cliche new characters. Our main hero, Wendell Floyd, was surrounded by a really cool cast of characters that would have made for a really interesting dynamic. His ex-wife...her dying mother... his partner, the landlord, I was really into these characters, but no, Alastair snatches our attention to the sci fi story line and completely ignores the rest of them, to the first alt. earth story. I mean Greta, Floyd's ex-wife was a really great setup! Having them team up to solve the crime, and interact throughout the novel would have been a really good dynamic, and cause of some awkward moments! But nothing becomes of it... So many wasted opportunities here.
Hell, I actually wanted to see other scientific differences between the two Earths. Alastair could have kept the murder mystery, but just just include more of the world building that seemed to be warranted. Instead most of the book is wasted on a sci fi story that, honestly is flat, and very very dull. Threshers...meh...moderate slashers, extremist slashers? I really didn't care at all.
Well, that all sounds dreadfully negative eh? There were good aspects of this book. Like I said, nearly the first half the book is just a joy to read. Truly, it felt as though I were reading a dystopian Casablanca. The dialouge was very very smooth and natural. I pay attention to character dialogue to see how 'natural' it feels, and Alastair nails it with this one.
Also I enjoyed a handful of references in the book... (Asimov compliant robots, and references to the Enigma machine, and one "beginning of a beautiful friendship"!) I can't say the entire scifi half of the book was horrible, but aside from Verity Auger, I really didn't feel any of the characters from that side...
Actually that reminds me...back to the negative... Another problem I have is the pacing of this book. It's actually a good thing, but I think Alastair takes it a bit *too* far. We're spoon fed the details of the universe here, slowly. It starts off with the perfect amount vagueness, but dispenses the information about what's going on, a bit too slowly for me. I found myself googling a summary actually, just to make sure I was correct or didn't miss something.
Something should be said about the narration of the audiobook. I won't spend too much time here, since not everyone listens to their books (plebs), but the narrator, (John Lee I believe his name is) does one hell of a great job with the accents and I think his narration is was really pulled me in to begin with.
The conclusion? A book I fell in love with and then slowly out of love with, when it devolved into generic sci fi... Sad..sad..sad...What could have been..don't worry though..."We'll always have Paris..."
Not Reynolds best. The characters were enjoyable but the hard boiled detective with every cliche phrase, including "at least we will have Paris" left this listener bored.
The Sci-fi was fun.
Alistair Reynolds just doesn't disappoint. Like most of his books, you need patience to figure out what's going on, but by the end you've fallen in love with his characters and expanded your mind via Big Thinking sci-fi.
Grows on you, When you start to listen it has many threads that you wonder how it all fits but soon you start to understand what is happening and get captivated with the story line. If you like a single audio book without having to listen to a series then this is for you
When the investigator realized that his earth was not alone it set the stage for fast action and rapid understanding of what needed to be done
The last 20 minutes is great but cannot say more
Great listen, would highly recommend to anyone who likes to become part of what they are listening to.
Story. Credible. Thrilling.
When they first entered E2.
He has a great voice. I don't speak French but he sounded like he have some knowledge. I never had any problem to hear which character he was reading.
I don't want to spoil anything. The end and the strawberries.
This was my first contact with Alastair Reynolds and it definitely won't be my last.
Character-driven, and suspense novels are for me. Not above a good beach read, but keep cheesy romances or poorly written books away.
I may try another by Reynolds and definitely would listen to another read by Lee if it was material I liked.
The story was relatively easy to follow, but I didn't feel there was much of a pay off in the end. This book was very highly rated so I was disappointed. Initially it grabbed me with the intrigue and antagonists in "Paris" but once the story moved away from Paris I felt it slowed considerably. I didn't find it credible that one of the main characters so easily swallowed the main premise of the plot with barely any shock or dismay. Sort of a SEMI -SPOILER (well, at least until you get a little ways into the book, I'm not giving away a major twist or anything) : I also had an issue with the female protagonist espousing views about the "humans" on earth not really being human so why should it matter if they are killed since they don't really "exist" anyway, and later in the book she has a problem with one of the antagonists stating the exact thing - ?? So I guess I would have heightened the suspense towards the ends and changed her views on what I just mentioned (totally contradictory). I really was interested through most of the book, but I just consider it light entertainment, not riveting (but did find it to be so for about the first 4 hours).
the story is gripping and exciting, and the breadth of the scope is Reynolds' trademark. i thoroughly enjoyed listening to the book. the narration was top-notch and the story kept at a speedy pace. the plot and its development is also great. the only two gaps i felt were character development (the characters weren't that deep - i mean you didn't connect to anyone in the book), and there was no "point" to the story. highly enjoyable though!
I would definetly listen to it again.
This is the first time.
When I discovered the twist of the book, I was facinated.
I found it very interesting and entertaining. It is worth listening.