"Shared pain is diminished, shared joy is increased." That was the motto of "Callahan's Chronicles," the first of the Spider Robinson's Callahan books available via Audible. That first audio book (actually a compilation of three Callahan story collections) dealt with crazy, wild, innovative personal problems of individuals and the crazy, wild, and innovative solutions they found.
All of that is lost by the time we get to "Callahan's Key." I listened for 1 1/2 chapters, then I couldn't stand it anymore: It was just plot, plot, plot. The layers of super-powers, special abilities, and strange circumstances established in the earlier books were just feeding off each other. Where was the shared joy? Where was the diminshed pain? I heard none of that.
It doesn't help that apparently there are two intervening books between "Callahan's Chronicles" and "Callahan's Key": "Callagan's Legacy" and "Callahan's Touch." These are not available from Audible at the time I write this review. Plot elements from these earlier books are constantly refered to in "Key"; it makes things hard to follow.
About the only good thing I can say about this one is that the reader, Barret Whitener, is still excellent. But he can't turn dross into gold.
If you loved the characters from "Callahans Chronicles," you'll get more of them here. But if you listened to the stories for that central motto, "Shared pain is diminished, shared joy is increased," you'll be disappointed in "Callahans Key."
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