Lansing, MI, United States | Member Since 2013
It is a good premise and there is a lot going on to keep you interested. There was always the sense of wanting to know what was going to happen next making this a fast read/listen.
He's not the best narrator I've listened to but he did a very good job. Character voices were okay.
I've seen a lot of reviews that say it's geared for Teen or YA, but being in my mid forties I enjoyed it. It seems that if a story isn't "Gritty" or "Dark" then some people think it must be for teenagers. I don't agree. I guess I'm more of the Star Trek mindset where a Sci-Fi story can have fun and include happy people. While at times the story is a bit Juvenal (it does center around teenagers,) there are other times where the story involves killing with some blood and gore described. There's talk of kidnapping, rape, and torture but without details - which was fine with me.
There was a lot of stuff going on that I think the author wove together pretty well and the action / fighting scenes were well done I thought. It was a little hard to keep track of all of the characters and I found myself reviewing some chapters to make sure I knew who-was-who.
If you want a light fare sci-fi read where you don't have to think too hard, with a clever story that has a lot of suspense, mystery, and action, then is may be a good story for you. If you're looking for a dark and gritty story then you should probably pass. But you may be missing a good thing...
This wasn't exactly up my alley, I'll admit. A crazy beginning with farting to communicate - come on now! Needing a certain kind of sheep for a ceremony?? A lot of it was a bit over the top, but I guess that's what a lot of people liked about it too. Once I willed myself to just go-with-it, it did keep my interest and was well told. Although to be 100% honest, I thought it was going to be about androids, given the name and the android on the cover. It is not - silly me!
Sometimes the author would mention something about a character (and then take 5 - 10 minutes filling in a silly back story that wasn't always necessary - imho.) To me that was just a bunch of unnecessary detail.
But overall, wow, it ended up being an elaborate and clever story as long as you aren't looking for realistic. The ending is mind blowing (in all the detailed events that fall into place) and Kudos to Scalzi for keeping it all straight. While it wasn't exactly "up my alley" I have to admit it was some good story telling and thus give it 4 stars.
Will Wheaten did a great job narrating - 5 stars!!
I both love and hate time travel stories. I usually hate the ones that allow the protagonist to bop around at will. Especially ones that try to make a suspenseful (race against the clock) story to save the day - when all they have to do is use their stupid time machine and go back... say 12 hours more, etc.... i.e. Heros (TV show).
The time travel stories I love are ones where there are restrictions. This is one of those stories. This grad student, Matt, discovers that a simple device seems to be able to jump forward in time. The restrictions are that the amount of time it moves forward is exponential each time; so a few seconds turn into a few minutes, to days, months, years, etc. There is no going backwards.
So the story turns out to be him moving forward in time, further and further each time. It's a bit light heated but clever. A warning - if you can't handle a story that discusses and rebukes religion then steer clear.
When I first started listening to the narrator I was a little turned off - he seemed young and amateurish. But he actually ended up doing a pretty good job actually and since the story was completely centered around Matt (who is young and a bit immature) , the narrator's voice became totally appropriate and fit perfectly.
In all, this is a quick, witty, funny, and overall fun story. It was not at all what I expected and I was presently surprised.
Probably 60 percentile.
Book 2 fell a little flat for me; I rated this one a little higher but it too had some plot elements that you had to say "whatever" and just continue. There are just some elements that are totally unbelievable and unrealistic.
I don't want to throw out any spoilers so I will just say that if you are looking for hard core scifi, realistic scifi, etc., you should keep looking. It has some very cool elements and it will probably make a good movie (which I believe may be on the table - I would watch it) It was enjoyable story telling, I just wished the plot was a bit tighter. I guess there was just some of those "common sense" issues. So when you are reading (or listening) you are thinking to yourself, "okay... but couldn't they have just done this?" Or, "that would never happen that way... etc."
So again, a good story in all actuality, but if you are very nitpickey on plot issues you may want to pass. If you just want an enjoyable story with pretty good character interaction then give it a whirl, you'll probably like it!
I would... with a few disclaimers. It is a fun story if you are more into characters interacting with each other vs. action and/or realism.
Probably. The writing was pretty good for the most part.
No - just from book 1.
Well, all-in-all I guess I liked it. I liked it good enough to finish and continue onto the third book. There are some plot elements you just have to say "whatever"... get past those and just enjoy the characters and it's a fun story.
I wasn't all that keen on their "first day" activities. You get abducted and plopped into a huge NEO with no welcoming committee (no guards, no one) what do you do? You decided you need to elect a mayor - day one???? Strange. How about explore the place?? That would have made more sense to me. Then to make it worse, DAY 1 was examined over-and-over again from different characters perspectives. This actually could have been cooler if there was more interesting stuff going on...
Once you get past DAY 1 (almost the 1st half of the book it seemed) then it got much better.
The character development and dialog was good I thought. The narrator's spin on the various voices helped personify them as well.
Harley - because he just seemed like one of those guys that act all bad-ass but is really a big softie.
The plot had a few holes in terms of being realistic and believable. If these creatures are so advanced why can't they directly communicate with us? Why do they even need our help?
Maybe that will be explained more in the next two books. But, in terms of a character based story it was very entertaining. The astronauts seemed to say the F-word a bit more than I would imagine they would, being professionals; it didn't really bother me (except I always had to have headphones on so the kids couldn't hear.)
The actual science wasn't bad either. I like how they addressed the fact that there was an 8 second delay in communications back to Earth for example.
If you can suspend disbelief and roll with the story, it was well written and entertaining. There were many characters but they were all well defined and all entertaining with their own unique personalities (if you can keep track of them all.) Joe J. Thomas did a spectacular job with the narration and added a whole new element to the story that wouldn't have been there if I simply read it myself. I loved his Harley voice.
The narration was good and the story kept my interest, but it seemed to be too much of a stretch. Bug like aliens that have to walk around with spray cans? Seems they would have developed a better delivery method. Then all the subordination of the troops - driven to fight the creatures against orders, because, of course, no-one-else on Earth can. I also thought it was a bit too early for Mazer Rackham. I thought he was the hero of the 2nd Formic war, not the 1st also.
Don't get me wrong, the story is well told, the characters (as always with OSC) are well developed; it just became too far-fetched I thought. If you can suspend disbelief then it actually is a very good story.
Orson Scott Card is a master of detail. I'm not sure how much he wrote vs. Aaron Johnston but it had a full OSC feel for sure. Like all OSC books, the details of the story are delivered in painstaking precision. Sometimes too much, sometimes just enough. You definitely get to know the characters.
This book is just a build up to the Formic invasion but we do get to see a little action. The narration was good and the various narrators were good at their respective parts. The weird part was when you were used to a certain character voiced by a certain narrator, then all-of-a-sudden, a different narrator is voicing them.
A good story. It will keep your interest even though (as with most OSC books) it is drawn out a tad too much IMO.
At first I was a little hesitant of listening to an author read his own book. Authors can usually write a great story, but not many can speak a great story (myself included.) But Gaiman made it work! One benefit of the author reading their own story is that they know exactly HOW the dialog was intended to be delivered. They know where they want inflection, where it should be whispered, or exasperated, etc.
I like Science Fiction, good straight-up realistic SciFi! This is not SciFi, it is fantasy. But... I liked it. I liked it a lot. Gaiman tells a great story (both in his writing and in his narration). Half the time I thought the boy in the story was me at that age. I can't think of anything I didn't like about the story and the ending was perfect.
I really only grabbed this because my 9th grader was going to read it as part of his Honors English class (it was on the list.) Unfortunately, he found the 19th century Kings English a bit too daunting and didn't know what they were talking about half the time. He ended up reading something else. However, I thought it was fun and stuck with it. I of course have known of the book "forever," and I think I saw a movie base on it, way-back-when; but I never read the book.
So now I have read (or listened to) the book and I am glad I did. They story still holds up and was fun. It was also fun comparing it to Treasure Planet. It actually perked my interest enough that I watched a few different movie versions that I could find.
Mr. Rudnicki is one of the best - hands down! He could probably make almost any story enjoyable.
This was my first Ben Bova book. The style reminded me a lot of Orson Scott Card (or maybe OSC takes after Bova??) Anyway, between the similar style plus Rudnicki (who narrates most of OSC's books) I would often think I was listening to an OSC book. If you like OSC then you will probably like this book. If you don't like OSC, you probably won't.
Like OSC books, It seemed a bit longer than it needed to be but it did keep my interest. I learned a lot about the moon in the process, as well, which was cool. You are thrown for an unexpected little loop at the end of Part 1, and then jumps ahead in time to wrap up the story.
You will spend a lot of time on the moon and Bova does a good job building the future world of Moon Base, a space station, and various spots on Earth. The technology he describes is solid well thought out.
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