I liked the concept of aliens attacking Earth and ending up in a situation like the US in Vietnam at first, but the story soon got a bit monotonous, overly descriptive of each and every gun/weapon to the point of nausea, and then the ending was out of left field.
Spoilers ahead, the US in Vietnam analogy was soon lost because part of the reason the Earth was winning during actual fighting was because our technology for war was better than theirs. So at this I thought a real opportunity to comment on war being more than just who has the best toys was lost. Beyond that, so much was made in the beginning of the story of how abhorrently violent the Earthlings were, but then later we find out its common practice for the various creatures of the universe to enslave other sentient species as long as they haven't invented electronics??? Also the idea that they would invade our planet without doing a bit of research first? they took the time to get info, but after traveling millions of miles through space they don't take the time to evaluate the info???
Even though the story had it's share of lapses in common sense it was still a reasonably enjoyable story that I listened too on a long drive, and then... (big spoiler here) in the last two hours of the story, from out of nowhere, DRACULA himself makes an appearance to personally do his part to save humanity from alien enslavement...??? WTHeck...??? way to totally ruin it IMO. Before that the author seemed to do his best to make this a logical and pretty realistic portrayal of contact with an aggressive alien race, and oh buy the way Vampires are real too... :)
I liked the Prince Roger books, and this story started out pretty decent, but you don't just introduce a whole new belief system at the end of the book. I was waiting in the final minutes to hear that Jesus came down from heaven and brought everybody back to life too!
The best part was the intertwined story, the way it's told with flashbacks slowly explaining everything and that it kept me guessing and really the first half of the book was great. BUT, "yet another PFH story" with a women who's tougher than everyone else around her, but still has to sleep with everyone to make her way in the galaxy was tiresome. The last part of the story started to seem like PFH just wanted to get it over with or something. (sort of spoilers ahead) People are able to make huge leaps of logic early on, but then couldn't put 2 and 2 together near the end. Would iron man let an average guy go through the door first if he thought Iron Monger was behind the door waiting for them. Would Clark Kent go undercover and let weeks go by with people being randomly slaughtered because he didn't want to reveal he was Superman? Granted no one is this story was supposed to be a Superhero. But their "superpowers" which was way better technology; was given to them to do the job. Yet they didn't use that power to do that job until AFTER something really bad happens, over and over in one case. And this one really is a spoiler, why didn't the person just pull the fancy gun out and shoot as soon as there was someone else coming close enough to get injured by the bad guy? Using a gun was the whole reason she was there... When people have WiFi built into their heads why don't they get out warnings quicker, all it takes is a thought and done, and when you know the bad guy makes the WiFi drop out how come that isn't just as good of a warning??? After all the irrational behavior and bloodshed and then as soon as the bad guy gets stunned he suddenly becomes totally rational/peaceful/willing to communicate and cooperate...? How about just let your presence be known? If the Avatar became human and took on our bad traits, he would also get our good traits. Norths weren't murderers, sure they might have screwed over people for money. But they didn't just go around slaughtering people. So why did the bad guy do that? And most of all, what was it that was so bad about the bioil was doing to the planet??? I don't recall ANYTHING being mentioned about pollutants, leaks, or any environmental impact. I guess there must have been a fair amount of clear cutting to make room for the operation and the human settlers? But it sounds to me like bioil would be a heck of a lot cleaner way to make Oil than drilling for it!!! The book is still worth reading. But I definitely got more and more disappointed in some of the details. Definitely not his best work. "IF" his other books had so many plot holes in them I was so enthralled and entertained nothing ever really occurred to me. But this book was like a Hollywood blockbuster where it's normal for a person to have to "suspend disbelief" just to enjoy the story.
Of course, my favorite author and have read everything he's put out.
Really great ability to change voices and characters. He can sound just like Micheal Ironside. It was a little weird at first because Sid sounded just like Greg Mandel at first. But as the character was built it became Sid to me. (a few other voices he did were the same ones from other PFH books)
The never giving up/being open to going forward and dealing with whatever life throws your way.
It would have been nice if he didn't use a super sexed blonde bombshell using sex to make her way across the universe. (spoiler) what if the princes of new Monaco had bankrupted Angela in part because she DIDN'T sleep with them? That would have been a nice change. Even would have made her further exploits an even more difficult personal decision/sacrifice than when you consider sex had already been nothing to her. Plus it didn't seem true to character that she never got revenge against the Middle Eastern guy as well as the Norths.
Everything "ELSE" Hamilton has written has been brilliant, (my favorite author by far), and so it's hard to believe that he could have written something so lame...
Production is the worst, cheesy sound effects trying to add dramatic effect or something, and some of the voices are are truly laughable, SO many lines given with a slow meaningful tense it gets redundant, even the story is not very good and the ending was a complete disappointment.
Audible should be ashamed of selling something so bad, and I'd really like a refund of my credit. And as another reviewer stated Hamilton should pay someone to get rid of this embarrassment ASAP!!!
Don't buy this audiobook!!! I don't think I'd even recommend reading the story either...
The first 3-4 books were great, but at this point I just want to get it over with. I was pretty much done with these at the last book, but finding that this would be the final book I thought I should at least finish the series.
But YIKES, slowly but surely the characters and plot became ridiculous. Some of the dialogue and interaction became just silly...
Still was a cool story, especially considering the scope of it all. Just wish it could have had a more realistic touch.
Amazing book, (can't wait to get part 2), love that their is so much continuity with his previous work's; but in new ways that leaves the story fresh and exciting.
I can understand a "little bit" of the other reviewers frustration, Hamilton's stories can be complex and are not always obviously cohesive. (This isn't the kind of book you can partially listen to while grading papers or something)But these are also the qualities that keep you riveted and intrigued and impatient for more! One needs to do a bit of critical thinking on their own to put things together, but the brilliance of this is that the immersion into the story is intense. The reader isn't constantly jolted out of the story by some monotonous explanation. It has some of the qualities that make up a really good mystery or thriller. That the readers conclusions and interpretations, right or wrong, are part of the experience. Plus the connections and overall continuity in the end are always surprising and satisfying!
I highly recommend any of his books and look forward to the continuation of this story...
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