I haven't read or listened to the earlier Sheva-book by Greg Bear (Darwin's Radio), so bear that in mind when reading my review.
Although raising interesting questions about genetic development of the human species this book was extremely annoying in its righteous atmosphere and in its portrayal of the characters with such one sided empathy that seemed at times pathetic. The characters were surprisingly one dimensional and although one might assume that the main characters were supposed to be touching to the listener, they left, at least me, pretty much cold. I felt like the writer tried to force the idea of human evolvement with these Sheva Children to be right, without leaving room for any other thoughts. I felt underestimated by the writer for not giving me the option for wider speculation.
I'm not too sure whether Scott Brick was the right choice to voice this book. I really do like him, and sometimes even buy a book here because he is the reader, but in this production his usually quite rich voice acting felt rather melodramatic and carried with it mainly the tired and tiring message of how sad is it that the Sheva Children are treated so badly. Throughout the book Brick used his voice to sound like it's almost breaking of emotion, which might of course be good if the action in the book would justify that, but he used this effect ALL THE TIME with the main characters, and made them sound like such a sorrowful bunch, which actually made me hate them.
I'm sure that many people find this book to be very interesting and thought provoking. It's too bad that the rather splendid idea is, in my opinion, carried out so poorly and flatly. But to the book's credit I have to say that in a good science fiction fashion it raised interesting questions, and anyway kept me entertained. Although I expected more from Greg Bear and Scott Brick.
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