This story is somewhat of a hybrid of Ready Player One and Midnight Riot, both of which I listened to recently and enjoyed immensely. The geeky in-jokes were fun and I got a lot of them; the numerous Firefly references warmed my heart.
However, I had to grit my teeth to finish this book because the narration was so awful. Perhaps it is this narrator's first attempt; still, it boggles my mind that a producer would let this out into the wild. The narration was monotone, the tempo and phrasing atrocious. Her attempt at different characters' voices, especially Eastwood's, was simply annoying. As other reviewers have noted, the sound balance wasn't very good and was painful to listen to at times. In addition, when a new character was introduced partway through the book, it sounded for all the world like someone else's voice had been looped in—someone who actually knows how to read; however, those looped passages had a hissy background.
It pains me to be so critical of someone who is perhaps just embarking on their career as a narrator. While I would consider reading or listening to more titles by this author, unless this narrator improves a lot, I'm not going to suffer through another of her productions.
The first two books in the series were refreshingly different, and time travel stories always appeal to me. But this one, in which our heroes are trudging across Africa not just once, but concurrently in two different times, undergoing mind-numbingly incessant privations, became a chore to finish. It was a big relief to make it to the end. And now I find that there is a fourth book! I will give it a fair chance, but I don't know if I can wade through another 15 hours if it's going to be another downer story. Good thing audible is reasonable about letting you return books you don't like.
I originally bought this book because I had just read Redshirts by John Scalzi and liked it a lot. I was familiar with Wil Wheaton from his Star Trek days, and his appearances on Big Bang Theory and The Guild. But I had no idea he would be such an awesome narrator. After this I searched out all the books he narrated and I'm working my way through them.
As for this story itself, it's a great science fiction yarn. Scalzi does a great job with plot, characterization and action. The philosophical underpinnings of the story are an added bonus and provide a lot of food for thought.
I also appreciated the inclusion of the original Fuzzy Nation for comparison. While each can stand on its own, I have to say I like Scalzi's version better.
Wheaton is my favorite audible narrator. I've been buying all the books that he reads. That's why I originally chose this one.
Yeah, I'm a 58-year-old girl geek. I read science fiction mostly, and work on computers for a living. But I don't play games, ever; that's why I was surprised to like this book so much. True, I got enough of the baby-boomer cultural references to draw me in. But the book's heavy emphasis on gaming was in no way a turn-off. As a matter of fact, I stayed up way too late several school nights in a row, because I couldn't put it down.
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