I couldn't make it through the first 15 minutes. The reader was fine.
But ... Oh, golly.
Plot ... Totally and completely different from the summary. "The Summary Says," it's about the first 100 on Mars, building a colony.
Nope. Maybe, eventually there may be a flashback, but... as the story opens the population is 1,000 with - oh horrors!! - MINORITIES!!! How dare anyone bring those vile foreign folk anyway? (Never mind that I find the representation of that group as offensive.)
But, let's talk about the 100. Those 100 were - at least it doesn't seem unreasonable to suppose and I believe may have been stated - 'the best and brightest' that COULD be selected. Which didn't hear to me very much like the case...
Of the first 100; presented as 'leaders', one I hear as pretty much a nut case. One more time! This is one of the first 100 ... Maybe they selected folk (never mind what the text says) for instability?
The book allegedly received raves for scientific accuracy. Like building on the surface with a see-through dome where meteors are pretty common?
Text didn't grab me. Plot seemed to me stupid, childish and not very believable.
Dialogue to me dragged.
I couldn't stay with it.
It's I think! first of a series. (e-sources vary on which he wrote first). Stay with Jack Reacher!- it may be an insult (for which I apologize) but - way "Better than Bond," is appropriate. Better telling of violence, thinking and (but of curse) sex.The reader - wow, it's a hail of a thing to say of any pro, but ugh! Pacing 'strange', emphasis 'monotone'. OK, a reader must keep him/her self out of the book, but not to the extent of reciting - in monotone - a grocery list. (Listen, please! to a great reader - Kate Redding, a sex apparently 'not allowed' to read Masculine Male violent books... which is unfair since she's a girl, but still great.)
First Novel: BUT! Good sense of the man over all; 'his' description of 'back when' he first encountered the accursed is very good indeed.
Me. A dog with whooping cough. OK, I'm being mean. But, geesh... Dunno why a guy has got to read a 'guy' (garbage, but that's how 'they' are marketing it) has to read a 'guy' (see previous paren) novel.
Let's see ... The Bad Guys kill 4+ innocents and JR (oh! sorry about that! pun) kills at least that many. NOT an inspiration which inspires me.
On an airport impulse I picked up a (much, I think) later Reacher book than this and it this 'this' was wonderful. Good enough that (a) I gave it to a friend (a 'not often' - twice in 15 years event) and (b) I'm now reading/listening to the series in order.* Author is that good.*Order! appears to be dependent on what e-source one uses. Sigh...
OK, not fair, I couldn't get through it. Our Glorious Hero spends LOTS of time being 'nice'. The vicious, rotten, no good, stinking evil villain has enough faults to tire a wrist, arm, shoulder and other body parts shaking a stick at. Worse neither 'reads' well. And, oh, the gloriously beautiful, insanely talented, spectacularly insipid heroine. 'Nuf said?
In the small part I could bear, everybody is dancing - not merrily - to a totally unnecessarily complicated plot.
Heaven help a spy agency as incompetent as those described.
If 'tedious' is you, listen to this book.
Mr. Clines writes beautifully, wonderfully, compellingly. I love! his characters. You see these people. Those that are to be liked I loved, and that's almost all of them. How good are they? Wail, even the ones one is supposed not to like are believable; you've met them and know them and I was rooting - hard - against them. The 'good guys'? Wonderful; people you'd like to have for your friends. That's some terrific writing.
Oh, dear. The plot. Ignore it. Has more holes than a paper target after 20 rounds from a 12 gauge at 6". Or more.
The audible reader is excellent.
But, oh that plot.... To list the plot idiocies is to give the book away and the man writes much beter than that. Ignore the plot, love the people.
Kate Reading is one World Class Wonderful Reader. (Yes, I do think she's that good. Thank you for asking.)
Try her reading "Revenge of the Blood Lilly."
Here she's held prisoner by an overwhelmingly repetitious, repetitive story that also keeps saying the same things nearly endlessly.
Oh. yes. by the way. It repeats a lot.
I started it on audio, gave up. On an extended trip I took it along as a sleeping pill and it was too dull - being annoyed with a book does not put this reader to sleep.
"It's not your fault, Kate!" Even the best reader may be a victim to a l - o - n - g and boring novel.
OK, someone! will complain about the sex parts; "Is it really necessary to have one of the central characters BE that sexual?" (Or if you like, "Suffer such explicit sexual humiliation?")
This is a future with Genetic Engineering Run Wild. This is a future in a time and place you can see, smell, hear and darn near touch. This is a location that is precisely today and absolutely in a distorted and warped future.
Reader read it well. Writer nailed the locus - and the characters.
Let's do the good first:
The reader is terrific. She nails - pitch and accent perfect - every character. It's a delight to hear her.
Time Travel as a concept is 'well-used' but absolutely viable and is executed near perfectly.
The author's done superb research and has marvelously accurate historic details. Her use of language is excellent.
I wanted to like this book. A friend recommended it - and the novels that follow it - with total approbation.
The plot rips make a sieve look solid.
The Heroine's actions are consistently stupid and thoughtless.
To buy into this book you must purchase:
A 20th century woman can speak - immediately clearly enough to be understood by 14th century fighting men.
A 20th century trained nurse can display her skill in the 1400's and have no one notice.
A woman of 14xx can be literate and have no one think anything of it.
"She's a lady," and no one thinks to see that her clothes are far superior to anything available anywhere at the time.
Worst of all .... IS IT
A Romance - Heroine has (at least) two husbands. (There's a 'w' word for her or at least some of her actions.... Witless - what were you thinking...?)
An Adventure - British Vs. Scots! England Vs. France. France Vs. Everybody. And So?
A Bodice Ripper - Heroine spends a LOT of time having sex or being in positions where she might get sexed.
A History - some of it is spot on accurate; but Nothing Really Happens in the time and place for World History.
Time and again, the Heroine does stunningly 20th century things - and no one notices. Ouch.
How stupid is she? In the Villain's clutches, she has time to search his office. (Don't ask, I didn't find it very believable either.) And uses some of that time to pour sand on one of the Villain's wigs. Oh, bother.
Repetitive, repetitive, repetitive; then it begins to repeat itself. There was such a queen. She may have been a believer in Astrology.
For this reader's taste, far too many visions/dreams, too many times the same thing happens -
There's some great historic fiction out there. This isn't one of them.
Ms. Reading is a superior reader and made a truly awful book almost bearable.
Far too often the Queen (dare I call her Catherine?) has visions. Yuck. She's written as a wily and brilliant negotiator - doing incredibly short-sighted things.
One foreshadowing of her husband's death was plenty. Ditto the rest.
Not applicable; my first book.
Characters! Doc is the 'protagonist' but the story isn't 'about' him, it's about the place, the time, the joys of living and learning to love.
I liked him; didn't love him; it's very tough not to let one's interpretation of a story get too far into the reading. He does an over-all very good job.I would listen to him again.
Steinbeck in joy; lovely to read and to hear.
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