Corey creates a marvelously rich societal structure that spans the entire solar system with multiple competing discreet entities that allow for a complex and unpredictable evolution when an unanticipated development take everyone by surprise. Earth and Mars lumber about as the two superpowers with a delicate detente in place. The rest of the system consists of Mars and Earth aligned outposts as well as autonomous "belters" some of which display a don't tread on me attitude. When attacks begin, eventually leading to a station involvement, a freighter captain and a contract cop step in to connect the dots while system wide conflagration is in the offing. The feel is a Cold War era tension where each side is posturing for position and worried about pressing the button.
The science elements are low keyed with mostly a blue collar type rendition of standard extrapolated capabilities except for the twist mid way into the tale. The appeal of the story are the two points of view that overlap throughout as the story unfolds. Holden is a freighter captain thrust into command by the destruction of his parent vessel that starts all the events, while Miler is a contract cop on a belter station that stumbles into a missing person case he's not supposed to solve. While they eventually collide with each other, their distinct styles and skill sets offer an engaging unraveling of a confusing mystery.
The narration is excellent with a solid rendition of the various characters. The pace and tone are perfect for the tale.
3/4's of the way through this book, I was in awe of it. I was thinking about how i was going to give it 5 stars and be happy to do so.
I wont give anything away, this book is still very much worth reading. It just got very forced, to self important, and maybe 100 pages too long.
New grandpa. Married 35 great years. Drink Batch 19,Tsing Tao, and Bohemia. Read Card, King, Hobb, Sawyer, Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction.
Actually, that would be 10:00 Central Time where I live. All my life I have listened to the news (local and National). Even when I was a kid. I like to know what is going on in the world. Since it is a real world that I live in.
This book is not terrible, it is not even that badly written. To me it reads like a news cast. I find that I am not that interested in a news cast of a made up future universe. I also find that this is the sort of thing that happens when you have two authors. It seems to take the personal touch out of it. As you probably know, James S.A. Corey is Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck.
This is not as hard as most Alastair Reynolds books, and not as simple as B.V. Larson. It is sort of in the middle. Many have given it a good review and most ratings are four or five stars, but for me to be honest, I have to say I could not get in to it.
Narrator sounds like any average newscaster.
Very good Science fiction set about 100 years in the future of our solar system. There are three main political groups. Earth, Mars and the Belt. When the story starts it looks like Earth and Mars are united against the belt (inner plants versus outer planets and moons).
All that changes quickly when everyone finds out they have a common problem.
The story focus is on people and their relationships, the science and technology is just the background for the story. I usually like the hard science fiction stories, but I really did enjoy this book. I think it was mostly due to the fact that although the technology was not the most important part of the story, the authors made sure to keep the technology consistent and realistic.
Overall, the pacing was excellent, the story was original, the characters felt like real people and the plot was complex enough to keep the reader guessing for most of the book.
What more do you need?
There is a lots going on and it seemed to jump around a bit so it can be a bit hard to follow if you are multitasking. But generally it was pretty entertaining. It didn't feel like enough of a departure from other intelligent-virus causes mutations novels though. And I never felt as connected with the character as maybe with a Heinlein or Scalzi sci-fi novel.
Not really, too slow
This is the first book that has made me decide to review any books I've listened to. Its not really that great. I felt like it was a story that could have been really great but it never amounted to much.
I'm a voracious audiobibliophile, mainly interested in speculative fiction, with the occasional mimetic fiction or non-fiction title sneaking in.
I read the first chapter of this in print last summer, and had a good idea I wanted to get to it sooner or later. Well, sale-priced and on the heels of being recommended by George R.R. Martin on his blog, I decided that now was the time. I'm of quite a few minds on this one, but space opera just isn't my bag, really. Some clever ideas in and around a solidly built world, but not quite enough backstory of how we get to THERE from HERE for it to feel fully realized and solid; the alternating storylines of gritty Belter detective Miller and ice hauler CO Jim Holden advanced things pretty well, but I never felt much of a connection with either under Mays's narration here. I am a bit more interested in the side-short The Butcher of Anderson Station than in picking up forthcoming sequel Caliban's War (June 26) but neither really that much. Again: space opera really isn't my bag. 3.5 stars.
I am about half way through this one. I find the plot line confusing, the characters have little depth, and I've thought of stopping this book a few times. I am still at it though, as I don't like to leave things unfinished.
The reader does not convey much emotion or inflection. Kind of bland.
Its been my experience that most books over 9 hours are only long because of a mountain of filler material. I broke my rule and bought this book despite it's length and I'm glad I did.
The story keeps moving without any social commentary or soap opera drama that so many authors throw in unnecessarily. Wherever there's not action, there is still a compelling mystery. The characters are well developed and that development occurs as the story goes, rather than dedicating long boring chapters to their development.
I'll definitely be buying the next book in the series.
I value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important.
The quality of the writing was very good; dialog was realistic and natural and the descriptions were thorough without being overwhelming. The author generated suspense nicely (though not what I would call masterfully), and the plot was engaging throughout- with only a couple of dry spots towards the beginning.
Corey (the author) has created a universe and backstory that suggest an epic scope- but unfortunately his relatively small cast of characters are not enough to populate the a story of the size he wants to fill. So rather than SHOWING us the various aspects of life in his futuristic solar system, he TELLS us about the back story in an encyclopedic fashion that feels like a dry history lesson. I suggest that he examine George R.R. Martin's Game of Thrones to see how a vast and rich backstory can be doled out at appropriate times, by making sure that all the history shared is relevant to the story and in such a way that the readers have a vested interest in knowing that backstory at the time it is being shared.
One writing device which bothered me a lot was the detective constantly seeing/talking to a girl who wasn't there. This is not an uncommon device, and a cringe whenever I read it, because I wonder if the author is implying that the character is literally hallucinating or if we're just getting a weird view of their imagination. It is a weak crutch to show us the inner thoughts of one of the main characters, and I wish the author had made a different choice.
Lack of scientific progress was also a major problem in this novel. We are set in the distant future, but Corey doesn't dazzle us with any time-appropriate technology outside of the genre cliches.
[mild spoiler in this paragraph:]
The plot itself is interesting, but suffers from a common problem: The bad guys are too evil. They're also too stupid for words. It's the same old sci-fi cliche where a powerful organization tries to harness a weapon that OBVIOUSLY defies human control. We've seen this in the Alien movies, in the Fifth Element, the Fly II, etc, etc.
I am left with mixed feelings about this book. I don't feel that it was a waste of time... but I also don't feel terribly compelled to continue with the rest of the series as it comes out.