I can't say that this ranks right up there at the top but somewhere in the middle. But its a good listen. A fast moving story with so many of my own thoughts expressed in word form. Especially in context of bending physics to your will when you're a Sci-Fi writer.
Believe it or not I liked Kerensky the best. The guy that is always getting beat up but never getting dead.
Let's just say that I wouldn't pick a book because he narrated it. I think he could use more inflection when speaking a female role. It was not as dynamic as I would have liked.
The book itself was a lot of first person communication with tons of "he said" and "she said". That gets old really fast.
No. The voice acting on this book was non-existent. I like Wil Wheaton but he doesn't use any voices. Compounding this problem is that whoever wrote Wil's script kept in all of the "he said", "she said", "they said" after every line of dialog which gets to be as distracting as someone who has a vocal tic.
I would compare this story to something like the movies "Galaxy Quest" and "Stranger Than Fiction".
I found that the book had some interesting metaphysical questions that were addressed in writing a sci-fi series or story. However, I found the reading of the book annoyed me.
I think that the book is a good idea but it would have been performed better.
Scalzi frustrates me. His stories are fun and enjoyable. Wil Wheaton is always great. BUT I fear he is beginning to either a) believe his own publicity or b) is suffering from a near-fatal case of hubris.
Redshirts rolls along quite nicely and then along come the 3 codas. They are absolute nonsense and an example of Scalzi wasting a good story by trying too hard to be clever. You're becoming smug John. Please stop.
P.S. the constant criticism of "he said" ... "he said" ... "he said" is fair. It is lame writing and I feel sorry for Wil having to read it.
Better characters. Better plot.
It wasn't his fault, the characters all had the same voice.
Narration was so bad for this book that I stopped reading after about an hour. Too bad, had high hopes for it. Narrator kept saying "he said" "she said" over and over and over and over and.... Well you get the picture.
“The Truman Show” meets “Star Trek”. The most ridiculous, stupid, book... Who paid who to get it published?
The Narrator was a minus 1. No change in voice between characters, let alone men and woman.
The only reason I might gave the story two stars is because my other half laughed BUT we BOTH thought it was STUPID!!!!!!!!!! I changed my mind. Even Forest Gump would have given it a MINUS ONE STAR.
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.