New grandpa. Married 35 great years. Drink Batch 19,Tsing Tao, and Bohemia. Read Card, King, Hobb, Sawyer, Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction.
Some will rightly describe this as hard sci-fi, but if by hard you think that means hard to follow, don't worry. I am not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I was able to keep up with the story. There is a lot of tech in the story as it takes place way in the future, but it is all explained well and usually twice.
In the future there will be 10,000 man-made habitats orbiting a planet. In these habitats will be whatever a society wants. In one habitat over a million people live, but to save resources they are mostly heads living in a suitcase size box. In one state everyone is extremely wealthy, but too stay that way they have a lottery, in which the one chosen is slowly tortured. Movies of the torture are sold to other habitats. Some habitats want a totalitarian state. Most though live in some sort of virtual reality living out there fantasies. The habitats reminded me of an updated Philip Jose Farmer Terra Worlds (on steroids).
The Prefect's job is to keep any one habitat from interfering with any other habitats right to do there own thing. Even in a universe where you can chose from 10.000 different worlds to live in, someone always thinks they have better way to live and that their ways should be imposed on others.
The story kept my interest and there was certainly some interesting tech, but I was never really wowed and I thought 20 hours was too long. I have Revelation Space already in my queue, but after that I will probably not seek out this author.
John Lee has a very unique voice which always takes me a couple of hours to get used to. It distracts from the story. He has few voices. He gave the main character and the main bad guy the exact same voice and he does this with a few of the female characters, so at times there was a hesitation in my head on who was speaking, another distraction.
What can I say. Great story, great characters, great writer.What more could you want?Thanks Alastair. Your writing has hooked my 12 year old on sci fi. Nurds rule!
Elder Statesman Doctor
Only somewhat. There were a lot of good parts but there was also some significant weakness in some of the structure. Specifically there were multiple times when things went wrong for the 'good guys' in unrealistic ways. For example, a doctor going in to see a dangerous criminal patient with no guards to back him up, or when people are taken hostage by someone, but apparently the entire police authority does not have any automatic processes that would notice or detect this is happening in a much more technologically advanced society than ours. Or the lack of ability in a police operating theater for a surgeon to just speak up and immediately request security to rush to where he is for protection or to apprehend the criminal!
Multiple moments of anxiety and suspense.
Excellent voice control, captures differences in voice for different characters well.
Audible screwed up the placement of this as part of a series. They have it listed as #5 in the series. It SHOULD BE # 1, or listed as a prequel, as all the action in this occurs Before the action in Volumes 1 through 4 !
I have enjoyed all but one of Alastair Reynolds' books (Absolution Gap being the one exception). If you have liked any of his other books, you will enjoy this one, too. You almost always feel you're there in his stories, this is no exception -- you imagine you are on this not so alien world, along for the adventure.
John Lee does an excellent job, as always. One of my favorite narrators.
The concept of this book was great. The narrator was good as well.
I found the characters a bit simple ...... The lead character was overly right all the time ... it got a bit annoying ..... The ending was abrupt that left me asking myself what just happened..... it ended so quickly ...
Even with my negative comments i did enjoy the book .. I guess I enjoyed it enough that I wanted it to be just that much better
I found a lot of the solutions to THE PROBLEM they were dealing with had much better and obvious solutions than the courses of action they took. It took a little ignoring of dumb stuff. But, on the whole it was pretty good.
Yes. Just listening to some of the dialogues spoken make WAY more impact than if you just read them.
Clepsydra - she is an enigmatic person. Very much like the Oracle from the Matrix movies, but with an action element.
He had a good voice, and different characters were well portrayed in different voices.
No. This is a book, I wanted to take some breaks with. This novel does have horror elements to it, but very subtly portrayed. It was exhaustingly detailed - but well put together.
This novel has a lot of harsh events, which are subtly mentioned in passing. 2, 3 or a few one can stomach. But, almost all scenes have people dying or talk of people dying or dead people in them! I didn't notice until half way through the novel, why I was feeling sick in the stomach listening to this novel. In the end, I figured out it was all the bleak events - kids dying, people being experimented upon, innocent people being starved, innocent victims, killing of people in who've suffered enough already, mass murder, mass destruction, mass murderers going on loose and collateral damage. AND, this is just the tip of it!
Be warned if you are someone who gets affected by the novels you are listening to. The only positive is that all these horrors are well blended, and not graphic. So, it's not easy to pick it out.
John Lee continues to do an excellent job in his performance of the audio book. I'd rate the story about 3.5 stars. It's better than most and people interested in hard sci-fi should take a look at this story. That said, the ending is very unsatisfying and on the way, the author has far too many plot threads and it seemed to be unnecessarily complex, but my main complaint is the ending which is basically a deus ex machina.
I’m new to Alastair Reynolds and only a passing fan of sci fi literature but this is a great book that stands alone even though it is part of a larger series. One of the best aspects of the book is that the technology presented within the story is understandable and has a very familiar feel to it. In other words, most of the technical innovation is linear from our own time and place. Also, the hero is a classic tuff guy who doesn’t annoy by coming off as an all knowing, all power individual (a type that I can’t stand). He does come across as the right man at the right time for a world that is grown complacent and ceased any kind of introspection or self-improvement. Sound familiar? There are other contemporary issues addressed as well such as governmental role in private life, gun control, artificial intelligence, and the impact of supermen (people) on society.
This book is slow to start, but with perserverance finshes well. Worth a read if you like the subject matter.