Normally I like my books to progress in a very normal predictable fashion. Mostly because most authors can't pull off something clever. I think this one did. About half way through the book you reach a "What??" moment which for me is usually a big red flag but this book manages to keep your interest all the way to the end. I really enjoyed this book. Wil Wheaton is quickly becoming one of my favorite readers. He is so good at reading that it really enhances the story.
The end of the story was amazing, the beginning seemed rushed. I had to keep checking to make sure I had the unabridged version. Then it ends, or I thought it did and I thought it was a 3 star until the end, which is another 2 hours of story. It all comes together and you go "oh I get it now"
Narrator was to fast I needed to slow it down but could never find a good medium for it. Also, you can't tell if it's a make it female all voices are the same. However his voice was not annoying as others I've listened to.
Just another twenty-something who listens to books instead of interacting with the outside world.
This book was so weird, but really great at the same time. This was my second John Scalzi book (I read Lock In first and liked it so much I got this), and I have got to say that he is such an interesting storyteller. You really don't even need to be a fan of science fiction to enjoy this book.
Fun read, clever, and actually brain twisting at times. I listen while driving, and had to rewind at times to follow some of the space-time and alternate universe themes towards the end. Another reviewer mentioned the "he said" "she said" sophomoric writing, and yes, it was quite annoying. A better writer can clearly communicate who is speaking without a gazillion "he saids". Aside from the humor, there are a few contemplative and heartfelt moments in this book that are delightfully unexpected. If you're a trekkie, this book is bound to elicit a few chuckles.
Having read several reviews critical of the “he said, she said” dialogue, I was alert for the issue. After the first chapter or so I was ready to return the book, thinking it reads more like a bad screenplay than a book. Lamenting the poor writing, I wondered whether deficient editing results from e-publication. Without giving away too much, the dialogue is the whole point! Suspend judgement, read on, with closer attention to the narrative.
The narrative evolves and changes with the nature of reality. Kudos to Scalzi for getting me to swallow it (shallow screenplay narrative) hook line and sinker, only to appreciate the existential evolution later in the book. And shame on the reviewers critical of the narrative for completely missing the boat.
um well, he's will wheaton
Surprisingly moving scenes surrounding love/life lost/wasted.
Film and Livestream Producer/Director
Maybe it's the audiobook format, but those codas after the main story ends - two hours worth - fell fairly flat. The main story is a rollicking ride, it's easy to imagine this becoming a successful movie... But man, those codas were a slog, mostly coming off as a writer's indulgence. He clearly didn't want to leave the universe he created, but he probably should've just gathered enough threads for a sequel, rather than flail about wandering through additional content and second/third-person changes in narrative. These kinds of things are normally the untied threads that let the reader IMAGINE what happens next. Scalzi kinda steals that from us, and for that I had to grab a star off the score across the board. Also, I'm getting a little Wheaton fatigue, to be honest. He seems to only perform good books, but in exchange, a whole bunch of good books now all have that same voice and rhythm. Not his fault, but he should work on his range a bit.
I bought this after listening to Fuzzy Nation. After receiving it and listening to a few minutes, I thought it was kind of silly and put it down for quite a while. When I tried it again and listened past the prologue, I started to love it. I laughed out loud many times and found it very thoughtful and touching at other times, especially the codas at the end. Give this book a chance, it is wonderful.
As others noted, the "...she said" and "...he said" ending nearly every sentence in the book was taxing and hurt the story, but the disjointed last several chapters were horrible. I am literally debating about asking Audible for a refund, as it is not clear the chapters in this recording are in the right order (or from the same book). I have enjoyed Scalzi and Wil Wheaton in the past, but the last one third of this book was enough to make me look for another author instead of Scalzi.
What if the characters playing the redshirted were alive? What if they realized that one or more of them were being killed off every week, especially during away missions with certain senior officers?
Now have Wil Wheton narrate it.
This is exactly as much fun as you would expect it to be.
Host of CraftLit and Just-the-Books podcasts, editor of What Would Madame Defarge Knit? series, mother of boys, knitter of things, teacher of stuff...
I understand there are other books similar to this (what if/sci fi/tv/etc). I wouldn't know. This is my first.
I loved it. Fun. Smart. Heartbreaking. Funny. All the good stuff.
The first Wil Wheaton book I listened to was "Ready Player One"—he was great.
He's even better here.
Thank you John and Wil!