I can't believe this book hasn't been made into a movie. It is a wonderful story, well told, and beautifully read. It is really science fiction--having a story written by an astrophysicist, makes for great science along with the fiction. The characters were believable and story huge in scope and time. It was fantastic listening all the way.
Did you know you can put in a set of Ear-Buds, slap your Hearing Protectors over them, and Mow the lawn, Weed-Eat, etc, without your book being drowned out by engine noise? OR, you can just let the horses in the yard, and THEY'LL mow and weedeat (literally) FOR YOU!
I have come to like Alastair Reynolds more with each book I finish, and Reynolds' in-depth stories and characters are complimented very nicely by John Lee!
"Pushing Ice" is kind of a "Stand Alone" book, which is a little surprising since I've gotten used to Reynolds' books being part of a LONG series. It's not his best book in my opinion, but every one of his books so far have been good enough that me saying, "It wasn't his best book" is like saying, "That wasn't Babe Ruth's best home run"... if it's over the fence, everything else is just details ;)
I didn't think Mr. Reynolds would be able to tie in the beginning of the book, and then pull off how the characters were "saved" toward the end of the book once I figured out what was about to happen, but like the true master story-teller he is, he did it!
As usual, Reynolds made me care about his characters and become emotionally invested in them. Mr. Reynolds has the gift of allowing you to know the characters so well that you can pretty much tell how each character will react to any given situation. Several times I found myself smiling and thinking "Oh man! She is NOT going to like this!" When you find that you've reached that kind of connection with the characters in a book, you've gotten your money's worth!
I also found it very easy to reach that illusive "Story Trance" state each time I started the book again after having to take a brief pause from it (Haven't figured out how to listen and still pay total attention while in the shower yet ;)
While I'm at it, I'd like to mention that I am amazed how similar I find Alastair Reynold's books, and Peter F. Hamilton's books! Maybe it's because John Lee typically does the narration for both authors, but I actually looked online to see if maybe they were the same author using two different names to write similar, yet distinctly different, stories. I was kind of relieved to find they were very different authors, since that means we have twice the amount of great books to listen to!
Nothing quite like tucking into some Reynolds when narrated by John Lee. They are both excellent! I was easily drawn into this really great story. Many thanks to those who made this treat possible.
Alastair Reynolds tells a tale that is much larger in scope than it first appears to be. It all starts innocently enough with the crew of the Rockhopper doing what they do best, mining comets in our solar system, also known as "pushing ice." Then something unexplainable happens. One of Saturn's moons, Janus, breaks out of orbit and assumes a trajectory toward Spica, a star 240 light years away. Not only that, it is accelerating as it heads out of the solar system.
This brings an abrupt end to the existing mission for the Rockhopper crew as they are the only ship capable of intercepting Janus for a few days before it leaves our solar system for good. They are a crew of miners, not explorers, but they are the only ones who can study Janus up close before it is gone so all of mankind turns its attention onto them.
Reynolds' characters are human to a fault and Janus becomes a polarizing event that pits the crew of the Rockhopper against each other. Captain Bella Lind finds herself trying to carefully balance her own desires with those of her crew and those of the company that owns the Rockhopper. When it is discovered that their employer might be lying to them about their chances of success Bella finds herself having to make monumental decisions with untrustworthy data which puts the entire mission is at risk before it even gets started.
The characters are consistently bickering throughout the book and they are not nearly as interesting as the plot itself. This is an epic story that does justice to the genre of science fiction although it does plod along at times. John Lee's narration is decent but it does little to spice up the predictable characters. If you are intrigued by what might be out there among the stars and want to bear witness as mankind uncovers some of the universe's secrets then this book offers up a unique take on that storyline. If you want interesting characters that you will remember forever then this is not the book you are looking for.
have heard just about every alastair reynolds book. thought i might be getting bored with them, but no, pushing ice was great. lots of cool new ideas for me to savor even tho i thought i'd heard them all. no annoying characters or recording gaffs. exceeded expectations. thank you.
The artist voices have no separation. Cannot tell when switching between narration and dialog, it all sounds the same. I will not buy another book read by this “talent”
Yes, listen to a different book.
I listen to a bit of everything. Mostly Fantasy and paranormal romance with my wife. Along with mysteries/thrillers, even some sci-fi.
3.5 stars. It took a whole to get into, but it did kick in. The story has a lot of interesting ideas and some play out. It just feels like it asks more questions than it answers. Maybe it was because it was my first hard sci-fi book, how come the fountain heads didn't know about the cube when they had knowledge post-cutoff.
Second it felt like some of the characters weren't fully developed. Several a felt one dimensional and one felt the only purpose was to counter Bella at every corner. Jim Chisim seemed the most fully fleshed out. The narrator took a little getting used to, but he does a fine job of bringing life to the cast of characters.
It took a few tries and lots of rewinding to get through this book. If you don't stay thoroughly engaged with the story you'll find yourself saying what happened and when did that happen? I found it hard to stay engaged because of the narration which I found bland enough to send my mind wandering.The story dragged on and then often jumped between scenes and characters making it had to keep track of what was going on... of course that might be due to my inability to keep my mind from wandering. In the end, this will be one book I'll not read twice. I really wanted to like this book and it took a real effort to make my way to the end. Overall I feel like I wasted a credit and maybe might have found more enjoyment from the story in written word.
I'm only about an hour into this story. So far, though I'm enjoying the plot, I am having trouble focusing on it due to the narration by John Lee. I would recommend it, but with a caveat about the narrator.
I am not far enough into the book to have a favorite character.
This is truly what I wanted to review. I have found John Lee's performance to be stilted and stiff. At this point, I'm having trouble differentiation between the characters and trouble focusing on the story due to the stiffness of his delivery. Inevitably, after a few minutes I find myself drifting away from the story because the sound of his voice and lack of relevant pauses and voices is tending to turn it into white noise. I am hoping I'll get used to his inappropriate pauses and droning delivery so I can concentrate on the story line. I have to admit, as well, his British accent makes it a little hard on my American ear to pick the words out. He doesn't have just a light British accents. He's British. REALLY British. I'll be coming back to review again when I get through the rest of the book. Mostly, I wanted to give people a head's up about the narrator, because the sample didn't quite let me know what I was getting into.
Not sure at this point.