Wil Wheaton's reading of this story was amazing. He brought life to every character and, specifically, to the Fuzzies (even though it's in the final few chapters).
I haven't read many books that made me laugh out loud, shout in triumph, and tear up all in the space of 7 hours. Wheaton's narration is top notch, and the characters are classic Scalzi fare: clever, witty, likeable, and relateable. Buy this book.
A really well written and read book. The book is timeless and is an excellent rewrite of an older book. Not a thriller or suspenseful, but just a really fun story of a planet and a prospector.
Avid reader all of my life! Favorite author: Stephen King. Favorite book: Hyperion.
Jack Holloway is a prospector/surveryor on a distant planet that is being mined for minerals, etc. by a larger interstellar corporation. He stumbles across an immensely rich mother-lode of "sunstones" that are extremely valuable. And so begins this "science-fictiony" tale of something along the same themes of Pocahontas or Avatar: that of the evil outsiders that are set on plundering an environment and destroying the habitats of the native peoples.
Jack Holloway befriends these native peoples whom he refers to as "cat-things". Through his interactions with the "cat-things" and other misadventures he has with his corporate employers, Jack eventually becomes the time-worn trope of "knight in shining armor" who helps to save the "cat-things" and their planet.
Is the story entertaining? Sure, but then so are the Three Stooges. Entertaining, but not very enlightening. Scalzi relies heavily on contrived "after-the-fact" legal situations and case law (fictional of course) for the plot that seems to be...well...contrived just for the particular situation that the protagonist is encountering at the given moment. Of course, the entire plot, the situations, the characters all seem highly contrived to re-tell the oft-told tale of the benevolent outsider who sees the evil his fellow outsiders are doing to a native people, and then helps those native peoples because they are unable to help themselves. I suppose it's a tale to make one feel warm and fuzzy.
Wil Wheaton, as ever, does a fantastic job in narration.
The novel's enjoyable enough.
If you know John Scalzi, you know what to expect from him. This will not disappoint. Get over whatever misgivings you may have about your time and schedule, just listen to Wil Wheaton deliver this potent story to you.
Even had a moral. I thought I was going to listen to a throwaway sf novel. I was wrong. I'll look for more by this author. That's the best recommendation I can give.
I first heard Wil narrate "Ready Player One," and after now finishing this audiobook, I will be looking for all books narrated by Wil! He is brilliant as a narrator with his different character voices and skill at speaking. Plus, Scalzi's reboot novel is spot-on. Great story and characters and not overwhelming dense. 5 stars all around.