I am living proof that the universe has a sense of humor.
This book makes some hilarious observations and interpretations of the original Star Trek show. At first I thought the story was a parody of all the little idiosyncrasies of the original Start Trek show from the view point of the little people. Not so, the book quickly deteriorated into the weird by having the story try to include parallel universes and time jumping into the current. The worst however was saved for last when the story, why I will never know, ends but then launches into over an hour of just plain garbage. I am being somewhat cryptic as to not ruin it for anyone who still decides to waste their credits on this book. This is the first audiobook in over 120 purchases that I truly regret buying.
For such a bad story, Wil Wheaton was about the only positive in the audiobook. He successfully breathed life into a story which was pretty much already dead about half way through.
I had high hopes for this book - being a lifelong fan of Star Trek and a long-time fan of Mr. Wheaton (both in Star Trek: TNG and his frequent media appearances in many formats).
However, this book lost me in the first five minutes. This is in no way a criticism of Mr. Wheaton's reading as much as it is the publisher of this novel. In this day and age, any editor and publisher that allows a book to go out where the author ends EVERY sentence of dialog with "he said" should not be in business. This might be tolerable in written form - your brain can kind of gloss over the 100 repetitions of the phrase per chapter, but in audible form it is excruciating. I turned it off and won't be returning to it.
Language is my second language
The book was quite funny and interesting to begin with - I kept picturing certain other sci-fi characters in the places of the command team ;) - but it got weirdly serious about half way through and there were about two hours in which I lost interest almost completely. Considering it's only 7.5 hours long (6 discounting the codas) this is a serious flaw. It does pick up again towards the end of the main story though.
The characters are a bit one-dimensional. I know they're supposed to be Redshirts, and one of the main characteristics of Redshirts is their lack of character, but it makes it difficult to care too much about any of them.
Wil Wheaton is an interesting person and I understand why he was used for this book given his history, but he is only an average narrator.
X said, Y said, X asked, Y said, Z said, it said. God, I don't know if it's the way Wheaton said "said" in exactly the same tone every single time, or if Mr Scalzi just really overused the word, but I found it to be very invasive.
Don't give up on the third coda, if you make it that far. It's overly dramatic and soppy, but there's a payoff at the end.
I didn't get immersed in this book and felt irritated often, and yet I stuck with it and I have to admit it had many good moments. Scalzi is competent in his style, it's just not a style I warm to in general. I'd say his approach is to go for the humour and clever cultural reference rather build characters of any particular depth. I find his writing rather ho-hum but it may also be that I don't "get" all of the humour.
Scalzi's plot device is out in the open from the beginning, so there's not a lot of suspense in the narrative, merely a question of how he will resolve it. In general the Codas improved the novel considerably. I especially enjoyed the internet coda, the back and forth of the blogger and the commenters.
The moral (don't kill us off without a good reason) seemed, well. Trite.
Sometimes it's hard to tease out whether the features that detract from a book are the fault of the writer or the narrator, and this is no exception. I'm not convinced Wil Wheaton is an especially good reader as all the voices sounded the same to me - except for the K character when he was drunk. Wheaton did a great job of that scene. I suspect that Wheaton had some issues to deal with in terms of making parts of the book sound interesting. There were what seemed to be pages of "he said" "he said" "she said" dialogue towards the beginning of the book that must have been difficult to render well.
I did think several times that I wouldn't bother finishing this one, and there have been plenty of audiobooks that I've abandoned after a few chapters. However I never quite abandoned this one, so it's got to be worth at least 3 stars.
I took a chance when listening to this book because I liked the author and knew his background in SciFi, but there hasn't been another story I heard like this and I was pleasantly entertained. The codas after the main body of the story helped to sum up what happens to the main characters afterwards.
Although he was not able to make some of the characters voices to distinguishable from one another, he did capture the emotion and to keep the story flowing till the very end. He did a very good job.
Every death of a Red shirt was unique to each person and the way they accepted the inevitable was admirable played well throughout the entire story.
Very entertaining and engaging story and solid vocal performance.
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Close to the Top of my List.
I liked the way I felt comfortable with the very likeable main characters who were very well written. They felt very realistic. Also, the humor felt natural and not forced or artificial.
Loved the entire third coda, especially.
Lots of laughing and smiling but a few sad notes as well.
Management consultant, video game player, avid reader of all types of books, and happily married father of four. I'll read just about anything, from Fantasy and SciFi, to mysteries and ChickLit.
An interesting premise - finally an explanation for why the anonymous "Red shirts" from the famous TV series keep dying off. I felt though, that most of the characters lacked depth (or was that intentional?), and it was a bit "meta". However, it was a good, enjoyable comedy along the lines of many Christopher Moore books with some dry humor and a break-neck plot pacing.
A good light-hearted diversion.
Autor do blog Virtualidade Latente; Jornalista e construtor de sites.
Esse livro tem um humor bastante ácido e lida com a interessante ideia de uma narrativa que brinca com a realidade e a ficção. Tem personagens interessantes e bem construídos, mesmo quando eles não são - por motivos da própria história - o que me leva a crer que nada foi colocado sem motivo na história, um ponto muito positivo.
Mais do que isso, existem hilárias situações semelhantes aos acontecimentos de diversos episódios de qualquer uma de suas séries de ficção científica favoritas, apesar de Star Trek ser o mais homenageado. Esse é um livro com um conceito muito sólido que é bem aproveitado, apesar do final ser um pouco esperado.
Poderia comparar ao Guia do Mochileiro das Galáxias, visto que tem certa inspiração, especialmente pela temática e pela presença do humor, mas a escrita de Scalzi está muito aquém da de Adams.
Logo no início do livro, quando um personagem percebe que sua morte iminente vai trazer uma quantidade enorme de drama à vida do capitão da nave. Estabelece bem o clima pelo qual o livro vai percorrer, introduzindo um conceito chave de forma sutil.
O grande problema desse livro é o fato da escrita de Scalzi não ter nada de especial. É o tipo de livro que poderia, facilmente, virar um filme sem qualquer perda. Isso, na minha opinião, é um problema sério, pois o livro perde muitos momentos em que poderia se entregar à poética e acabou apenas se atendo aos processos de contar uma história, o que se torna bastante repetitivo. Uma pena, pois a história é muito interessante, imagino que o autor pode refinar seu texto nas próximas obras.
Não posso reclamar da performance do Wil Wheaton, mas eu gostaria de algumas vozes diferentes, aconteceu algumas vezes de me perder em quem estava falando. No entato, em defesa do intérprete, o texto não ajudou tanto assim.
I have liked almost everything else Scalzi has written. This book however is self indulgent in the extreme. In essence, it postulates that the writers of things create their own worlds. In other words, Scalzi is God of the Story about little Gods that write a story in which the poor Red Shirts have little freedom. Blech.
Furthermore, the book jst sort of wanders around after the great truth is revealed. It's a fairly short story that has filler tacked on the end.
At least Wil Wheaton does his usual excellent job.
Written another space opera.