The overall story is interesting, with intriguing alien concepts. But I found the story progressed far too slowly for me; I remember my disappointment when I finally got to the end, only to discover "You have only come to the end of a part, but not the end of the entire book" What? Oh no...
Towards the end, I was definitely tiring of the frustrating tendency for the characters to decide on a course of action and then spend time debating the merits of that course. But wait, they already committed to this action, so why discuss it? I also read "Ship of Magic" recently which is even more detailed but doesn't feel slow because it is constantly progressing the plot.
The Dr. Zachary Smith type of character is often a required foil for the smart people to play against, but I've never been a fan of annoying people who can misunderstand any given situation.
Many of the side-plot narrations seemed to have little purpose in the overall story arc, other than to show other things that were going on.
The narration was generally fine but I found the frequent and rushed "I'm sorry" grew tedious.
Overall, I guess I'm glad that I read it.
Once you get past a bit of setup, the story captivates and delivers. I have learned to be a bit patient with science fiction novels since they often need to spend time painting a picture of a world and situation so unfamiliar to our current reality. This one really got going and held my attention. I am very much looking forward to the next book in the series.
Don't even think about it. This has to be the single worst audiobook narrator I've ever experienced by FAR (after 40 or so audiobooks listened to over the past 10 years).
The story is, in a word, awful. The ending is absolutely stupid. The characters are terrible. The plot is maddeningly dumb. And the narration will have you stabbing your ears repeatedly with butter knives to stop the torture.
This story really did start off with a great plot. Then it just took a left turn,and then a right turn,then it just ran into a wall at 100 mph. Hey a moon is a ship! We crashed on it ! Now we have been living on it for like 30000 years and didnt know it! Aliens! Prison! Black cubes! Dog aliens that piss all over stuff! Lame!!!
This was just a horrible book. Skip it and save the credit that ill never get back.
Make no mistake: We're all mammals here.
The introduction to this book seemed interesting, but then the chapters themselves seemed quite tedious. As it reached its conclusion, however, it proved to be quite good and very surprising. I highly recommend this as a sci-fi read.
The Story! and the narration, Thanks John Lee!
Everything, the setting, the characters, the drama, and the suspense! I loved it all, although the constant quibbles between Bella and Svetlana became a bit "Childish." I did not like the way Bella gave in so often, especially during times of duress.
No, a bit long for one sitting.
Alastair Reynolds, You are the best! Please please please write a sequal to this book! Thanks
The story is good even though it took a totally unexpected path. I'm not sure the bit about the Lindblad Confederation that bookends the story actually added anything to it.
It wasn't an unstoppable page-turner (I read two other books at the same time) and the "dogs" and their gristle-ship were difficult to accept even within the book's universe.
The story needs less about the grudge between the 2 leading female characters and more on all the other difficulties they had to over come living on a mechanical moon-ship and later rebuilding it on the wall of the alien structure.
I would like to see a sequel.
It kept me in a good pace with the story. But as always I wish there would be at least one female reader to read for the female characters' voice. It always strike me a bit strange to listen to the opposite gender try to sound like the other gender in a book.
It has a very unique scenario to other alien encounter stories. The thoughts on why the disguised moon was built that it being a lure to attract different intelligent beings across the vase universe to travel to a central structure, a region in the universe so that they could mingle and interact is intriguing.
Please consider hiring a 2nd reader always for books which have lots of dialogs between opposite gender leading characters.
Smart Science Fiction
I thought this story was unique in its approach to humanities expansion into the universe. If I were to make a parallel I would point to Arthur C Clark. It is a smart kind of science fiction.
Lee is a competent narrator and pleasant to listen to.
I found it made me consider some of the sciences involved how relativity works and some of the possibilities in the realm of longevity.
Being an astrophysicist comes through in Reynolds writing, hence the smart fiction.
This was my first audio book and I am hooked. The thought provoking storyline was well versed and kept my interest through the 20 hours of performance. As a lifelong reader of Sci-fi with a penchant for space opera and harder sci-fi this audiobook had it all in spades.
The performance took a while to appreciate by by the middle of the book I was impressed with the narration as much as the content.
Bela Lind - because the depth of her character was explored so deeply
Sevetlana (the russian protaginist)
When the "cube" was unlocked by Bela