This is the least professional audiobook i've ever listened to. It's also the funniest. I might have been inspired if I wasn't choking on my laughter.
As is the previous 2 books, Ferrone's performance has no emotion or enthusiasm. The only real problem with this book is when it jumps forward in time, it doesn't tell you the date. It covers over a century, jumping decades at a time, without tell the reader/listener where you are.
Richard Ferrone returns w/ another performance almost devoid of emotion and conviction. But the book makes up for it. Great story, believable predictions of the future of economics, and a Terran disaster actually considered one of the worst case scenarios governments worry about. Although there is a lot of hippy-dippy stuff, and some fuzzy ancient history, which bug me, but those are short lived irritations that don't detract from the story. My on;y real issue is all my favorite characters were killed off in the first book.
After reading several series focusing on sci fi war, it's nice to listen of a more mellow book heavy on science. There are only 3 issues with the series: (1) Richard Ferrone's performance is completely w/out emotion or conviction, it's like listening to someone reading the phone book; (2) the books show their age in outdated science; and (3) the Mars colony is founded in 2026, we won't land on Mars before 2050 at the rate we're going, and that really depresses me. Robinson never clearly never foresaw the bush years.
I wasn't sure about this book from the first few chapters, but it turned out pretty good. Although it's described as such, it isn't very firm science fiction. And it gets softer the further into the series you go. The characters are believable and organic, although some of their stories are excessively boring and sappy, but don't last too long. The later books in the series become annoyingly sentimental, and suggest Simmons has a New Age fixation of some kind.
About a month ago I was comparing search results on Google and the evil upstart known as Bing, searching "Project Orion". On image search Bing turned up a schematic drawing of an Orion powered warship called Michael, from a book called "Footfall". I'm an astronautics engineering student, scifi junkie, and proponent of nuclear pulse propulsion, so was intrigued. I've heard of the book from time to time, so figured I'd give it a listen. I'm frankly blown away. This is one of the best books I've ever "read". The story is told from multiple view points, engaging and believable. And the science is excellent. I've spent the last year listening to the Dune saga; I love the books, but you can tell the authors didn't know much advanced science. I'm a stickler for accuracy, and the dune dreamers took too many artistic licenses for my taste; and some of them are absurd.
There are a lot of complaints in these reviews about the ending; which I can understand. But I also understand why the authors ended the book where they did: the plot was finished evolving. After the snouts surrender, there's only one way the story can go. The last passage brings total clarity. Given what is known about the characters and situation, the reader's mind can fill in the rest. So ending the book there wasn't a cliff hanger, it's an artistic flourish. I approve, although an epilogue set a few years or decades later would have been nice.
This is by far my favorite book from the Dune universe. Mass pandemic, galactic scale nuclear holocaust, political stagnation, mutiny, technological revolution, religious strife; so exiting. It makes up for how boring the first book in the trilogy is.
The great purge was the only way the jihad could've really ended. You can't destroy an empire one piece at a time; you either decapitate its government and take over, or burn it to the ground. That would have been my plan from the beginning. The only way to save the enslaved populations of synchronized worlds would have been to liberate the entire empire all at once.
I'm massive lore nut: I love the background information in the Dune universe. The machine crusade is loaded with political intrigue, horrible crimes, and unremitting war. The best part is the multiple story lines. The original 6 dune books have a very narrow scope, just one or two interlocking stories.
There's a moment in that last few chapters that really resonates with me. After Sabrina Butler throws away her life, Xavier Harkonnen burns up with Iblis Ginjo, Zufa Cenva needlessly gives her life to kill Hecate' (and her ex-husband in collateral), and Hecate's asteroid wipes out the Ginaz archipelago, that several characters find they are all that's left of their associates and dearest friends. Chirox was the most striking. The image of him standing on the island stripped bare, holding the broken body of his long time student and friend; contemplating how the core of the mercenary order happen been exterminated, and that he'd rebuild it. That's a powerful image, and I'm moved by the horror and desolation of that moment.
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