I have rarely had such a wonderful time listening to a book. The science is funny and nearly believable but fantastic all at the same time. Very, very well written humor. The twists and turns are captivating and made for quite a few 'driveway moments', even when needing to go into work!
Emperor Mollusk is perfectly brilliant with smooth, snarky (but not barbed) comments that are trademark of someone who is highly intelligent who is used to speaking with "lesser mortals" and having to 'dumb' things down. Zala was the perfect anti-Mollusk in all ways moral and I loved hearing the descriptions of her body type as emotions changed. While I always remembered the Emperor was a mollusk, I didn't always remember her form as a Venusian.
Would I listen to this again? Yes, in a heartbeat. The voice changes were perfect, the intonations were delightful and I couldn't have asked for a better match up of reader and story. I've never heard Scott Aiello before but I'll go searching for more. A. Lee Martinez? Yes, I'll get more of his books as well.
The only downside is that, in the end, we never hear of another characters end, survival and returning to his island or...not, and, unless I missed it, I'm not sure who's Sinister Brain the brain turned out to be! I'll have to listen again, just in case I missed it. A personal sacrifice, let me tell you.
I really enjoyed this story, but it's not for everyone. If you like fun, quirky SCI-FI adventure tales then you'll probably like this one quite a lot. If you like deep, involved plots with heavy social overtones then Emperor Mollusk won't be to your taste.
I'm a Hard SF & Space Opera-loving, alien android from the future. I bring gifts of SciFi eBooks & accessories for your leader's Kindle. Take me to him/her/it.
The ex-conqueror of Earth, super genius Emperor Mollusk, comes out of retirement to defend his helpless subjects from the threat of villain just as brilliant and squishy as himself. Fans of John Scalzi or Douglas Adams will appreciate the genre-lampooning humor of this story, with it’s character archetypes, deus ex machina tropes, and send-ups of classic 1950’s pulp SF monster rouge’s gallery. In a truly brilliant twist, the narrating first-person protagonist is the ultimate villain, strangely relatable as a bored guy who just wants to move on to the next great challenge in life. While the narrative structure gets to be a little repetitive- basically a series of location-hopping quests designed to introduce odder and odder settings and characters, but without meaningfully advancing the plot, I still appreciated every word if only for the fantastic dialog. And although the pacing did become a bit predictable, the action was quite fun, and includes something for everyone: Lizard men aliens, time-travel, rock men aliens, mutated dinosaurs, city-ravaging monsters and robots, Atlantis, history re-interpreted, and more.
"Emperor Mollusk" is a typical A. Lee Martinez lighthearted comedy performed brilliantly. I understand this was Scott Aiello's rookie outing on Audible. And he made the book for me-- and I'm a tough critic of faux British accents (as much as an American who grew up listening to Monty Python and lived in England can claim to be). He nailed it.
This book was fun from start to finish! Martinez took our little solar system and jazzed it up, adding life to our neighboring planets/moons. The title character Lord Emperor Mollusk is a bit of an egotistical megalomaniac, but he’s got the brains to back it up. The world and characters are great fun. Scott Aiello did a perfect job with the narration of this tale. Aiello really brought Emperor Mollusk to life, overall his performance is brilliant!
People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.
You almost have to listen to this again to take in all the details and get all the jokes. A. Lee Martinez imagines Earth as part of a solar system where every planet and moon is inhabited by every imaginable type of creature, and most of them are smarter than us. In the middle of it all is our narrator, Emperor Mollusk, a hyper-genius squid-like creature from Neptune who has subdued Saturn and Venus (among other planets) as well conquering Terra (Earth), where he is revered as a benevolent god thanks to the various brainwashing techniques and drugs he has plied on the human population.
During the events recounted in this book, Emperor Mollusk, with the help of female warrior from Venus and a deadly ultrapede, as well as various and sundry others he meets along the way, has to visit a number of exotic locales, from the caves of the moon to a volcanic time portal to an ordinary lake in Wisconsin, where he employs an array of doomsday technologies, like planet killers and time radios and the Eiffel Tower, to fight and outsmart a variety of deadly foes from a hypnotic dinosaur to a mummy who commands giant scorpions to the disembodied brains of P.T. Barnum and Soupy Sales, et.al., and finally a giant radioactive Marie Curie -- no, this is not meant to be serious, it is meant to be fun, and it is.
But it is so fast-paced and so loaded with imaginative details about the creatures and monsters and locations and battles and technologies -- and jokes -- that it's hard to take it all in during one single listening. So why not listen to it again? It might be worth it.
I already listened to his latest book, Helen and Troy's Epic Road Quest, to which I had the same exact reaction: fun, funny, infectious, and perfectly conceived in terms of creating a world filled with magical or mythical or monstrous creatures that mirrors our contemporary world, imagined with remarkable consistency. If you like that sort of thing. And I do, so yes, I will definitely go back for more.
I looked up Scott Aiello after listening to this book, and he's had an interesting career as an actor of modest success, which is better than most, but not the ultimate success that theater people (like my daughter) crave. He has even written about it. One thing I found out about him (the reason why I looked him up) is that he is from Chicago, not England.
So the Downton Abbey voice he gives Emperor Mollusk, who narrates the story, is acted. And it's impeccable. I don't think I would have ascribed Mollusk that type of voice in my imagination had I read the book in print, but it is absolutely pitch perfect. The other voices are well done too, but Mollusk is so funny in his understated upper-crust English accent that he totally steals the show -- "I stand corrected," he deadpans, "Yours is the superior arbitrary system of government." Well done!
I'm just going to tweak the tag line from the cover of the print edition to be more consistent with the story line rather than the old Vini Vidi Vici construct:
He Came, He Conquered, He Squirmed.
As effusive as I am about the other elements of this book, the story itself is tepid. Without giving away any spoilers, it's pretty obvious early on how it's going to turn out. In the meantime, Mollusk goes with his Venusian warrior from one trap to another only to find a way out, no matter how invulnerable the various Godzilla- and Mecha-Godzilla-like foes are. He does it so often, she even scolds Mollusk for continuing to do it.
But I get it -- the story, such as it is, is only a structure on which to hang all of the detail about all of the fauna and locales and machines -- and all of Mollusk's humorous commentary. So overall, it works, but not necessarily as a story.
Zala, I loved how she was the perfect counterfoil for Mollusk. She was so sarcastic
Yes, this is a book that is a nice change of pace to the average Sci Fi book.
Crag Crushing his eggs .
He has brought the story to life .
This is a Great and funny Book it is so much like Megamind i think it works quite well .
This was a lot of fun to listen to, in large part because Scott Aiello's performance of Emperor Mollusk rang so true to the character as written. The story was entertaining and had some laughs. It did drag on a little in the middle, but writing comedy for everyone is a little hard, so YMMV. I may pick up another book by Martinez when I am looking for a light, entertaining listen.
One creature's dualism.
This wasn't a book about moments. It was a fascinatingly humorous story of a highly intelligent mollusk that was realizing the fall out of his brilliance. Lots of amusing one-liners and a whole host of improbable research with unexpected consequences.
I can totally see this as a Pixar film. I'd change the title to something shorter and more appealing and leave "Emporer Mollusk versus the Sinister Brain" as the tag line.