This book is well above average as an audiobook. Most of the bugs stories presented are interesting. Remember, though, that this book is more a reference than a tale.
It is similar to The Poisoner's Handbook as both cover many topics. The authors make efforts to include entertaining anecdotes throughout the books.
Coleen Marlo also narrates The Poisoner's Handbook. Her narration is remarkably expressive considering that she could just drone out descriptions. She did a really good job.
No one moment, but I did appreciate descriptions that included medical comments.
I want to encourage those who wish the narrator were better. Todd McLaren has more than his share of missteps, but he manages the voices and accents well. I've appreciated his narration more and more as I've read subsequent volumes. The number of characters mount up, and Mr. McLaren keeps them all identifiable. Keep listening--this is a complex and fun series.
This novel is told with the cleverness of the best short stories. The dialog implies so much plot and feeling, fleshing out the story. On first listen, the tale tumbles by--a futuristic setting when sentient robots can become citizens, but the environment is so poisonous that illness and mutations are commonplace. In fact, weirdness has become normal to the point that aliens just blend in. The result? Aliens with advanced technology are taking power before the humans realize it. It took a second listen to piece together all the clues explaining how a destructive alien robot becomes mankind's best hope.
Mack, the huge robot, is given a set of clothes made by a tech genius. The suit has a jaw-dropping array of weapons and camouflage.
Marc Vietor puts a little Mickey Spillane stiffness in the narration. This tone is perfect for our robotic tough guy who doesn't understand the subtleties of being human.
Mack has such a moral core. He can be violent, but only to protect the vulerable. Us sentimental types can get a little choked up watching him choose the right path.
This is an excellent audio book. The dual plot lines are told well, with individual voices and points of view. The characters are described to make their actions believable and interesting.
The main character, Lew Fonesca, is a former investigator crippled by depression. He only gets pulled into other people's problems out of loyalty. The author has a good understanding of depression, so Lew's pessimistic introspection is authentic.
Scott Brick is a consistently excellent narrator. He gives the different voices life and distinction.
I listened to this book in several sittings, but it would have been excellent all at once. The only benefit of taking breaks is a chance to think about the several layers of the story.
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