(Spoilers) The captain of the ship is a 55 year old woman who has to defend her captaincy from a sycophant, but folds like a wet paper towel from the same sycophant when he tells her to ignore her top engineer. Said engineer has an incredibly serious issue that may lead to the death of all 150 people on the ship. Yet the captain fails to act on the issue, aside from calling home to ask her CEO. Instead of acting with urgency equal to the possible danger, she does nothing. Furthermore, she lets the sycophant run the show, ignoring her own intuition and the command structure. Then later in the story, the captain ignores her lead engineer again regarding the maximum capabilities of the ship. It is like the command structure is incompetent. That incompetence may be believable, but is disagreeable to listen to. As a result, it feels like the author could not come up with a more engaging plot to fill the time.
The sci-fi is interesting enough. It is almost hard sci-fi, rather technically minded. I really like hearing the engineers try to solve problems, that aspect is extremely realistic.
The narrator's speech pattern reminds me of William Shatner. Every sentence has pauses...between...various words, and has the emphasis on odd words in the *sentence*. I found it extremely distracting and it continually pulled me out of the story. Further, the speech pattern prevents the narrator from providing extra emphasis except through increased volume. The narrator did provide different voices for the different characters, but his (British?) accent is thick enough that I had a hard time separating the characters purely by voice.
No, the primary tension is drama.
As usual with this author, you can never be sure whether the main characters are going to survive the book. He also pays attention to factions form and interact with each other. Plus, there's so much that never gets explained to the reader/listener, since the characters never figure it out.
It brings to mind what I think of as the "arbitrary quest" books of Simak (such as Destiny Doll), but is far superior to them. I can't think of anything that's similar in both quality and ideas.
No. I was interested, but not emotionally invested in it.
A supremely well-crafted story which is slow to build but pulls you in quickly. I found the performance to be superb; each character is voiced well and sounds distinct. The story often meanders when you want the pace to be quicker, which is a good sign that you're invested in the title. If you are a fan of Robert Forward or other intelligent sci-fi, this is a must buy. It is a bit abstract and intellectual for a fan of less intricate storytelling, but immensely satisfying and stimulating.
Too long gone, two wrongs right, to a brighter day and Tupelo night . . .
The best, so far, of all the Alastair Reynolds books I’ve experienced. Specific to the writing, this is truly epic Sci-Fi: best in breed. Couple Reynolds’ writing with John Lee’s outstanding narration and this book really delivers.
Pushing Ice takes place outside Reynolds’ Revelation-Space universe, in which so many of his stories are based. There are no tie-ins to the Rev-Space series. That fact caused me to delay this book until I’d finished all his Rev-Space books – thinking this book wouldn’t be as good as those. My mistake.
If you enjoy depth to a story, this book will not disappoint. Reynolds delivers both intrigue of plot and inter-character drama as he explores the tapestry of this multi-millennia-spanning voyage of hardship and discovery.
My only complaint is this: it ended too soon . . .
The only issue with Alastair Reynolds books is that it sets the bar too high for other sic-fi books to follow.
Pushing Ice is no exception. It is a space opera at its best all in one book, great character buildings and full of tension and adventures. The two main characters are best friends who fall out going into two different directions and it all happens in space, aboard a mining spaceship that eventually comes to to rest on an alien moon trapped in a gigantic alien structure. It doesn't get better than this. Absolute joy from beginning to end.
If you are sic-fi fan and wondering where to spend your credit, Alastair Reynolds book are no brainer. Enjoy.
I must admit that I am tempted to order any audiobook in which John Lee is the narrator. I find his dramatic readings to be among the best of the audiobook performances. And, I was searching for a science fiction novel that was not a multi-book series. Pushing Ice met my criteria and I was intrigued by the vision of the ways in which intelligent life would search out other intelligent life (and the problems of having intelligent life occupy the same time frames as each other). The major conflict in the story was a bit over-played or drawn out for my tastes, but it served as a vehicle for exploring the challenges of human life dealing with radically different environments. I appreciated the seeming scientific accuracy and working within the possibilities of time and space and potential new technology. I became quite involved in the book and appreciated the effort to keep the book in one book (rather than continuing on into a series).
Helpless in CyberSpace
I really ejoyrd this book. The narrator did good job with the character voices. The charactor development was excellant. The only thing I found I didn't like was the increase of bad language as the book went along. I realize that this is a personal choice, I would have liked to know before I bought it.
His accent did not fit the characters and narration was dry.
No, too complex
This story is bland. It was not well written. There are so many ways that Reynolds could have gone but in the end it didn't go anywhere.
I have not listen to any other books so far. I hope the others are better than this.
Not at all
Save your money and time, many other better stories you could listen too.
I'm a technician that does a lot of driving for his job. I use the "windshield" time to listen to audiobooks.
I must say I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed this book. I think as far a performance goes, although he did the accents well, I think a woman would have done a better job, as two of main characters are female. Trust me when I tell you that the more of this book you listen to, the more you will enjoy it. The story I give 95/100, the performance about 85/100, which evens out to a 90, or 4.5 stars. It's a long book, and very enjoyable.