This book follows smoothly on from another of Robert Harris' books: Imperium, which is also an excellent work. A wonderful historical story from the point of view of the dedicated slave/secretary of Cicero. Bill Willis is an amazing narrator, bringing extra life to an already enthralling story.
The average review rating should say it all. Please do not look at other reviews as what they point out will begin to weigh heavily on your perception and may diminish the experience of the story, which is outstanding, as is the narration. I highly recommend listening to this audio book first, then coming back and reading the comments.
I somewhat disagree with complaints about Dotrice; pacing and vocal range are more reasonable than most, although his rhythm is too pronounced sometimes. My sad tale would be that I think Martin is doing a "Jordan", as in Robert Jordan who would be too busy describing a scene rather than actually getting on with the plot. I started to get this feeling in the previous book and it seems to be spelled here pretty strongly. Things need to move along! However it feels like another two books minimum at this pace before a conclusion can be reached. The twists are starting to feel a little contrived. I hate writing this, I have been a huge fan of this series since it was first published.
While the story flowed reasonably, and was somewhat interesting, the overall plot was simplistic and a little too flawed for my tastes. I did listen to the end and appreciate what Bova was trying to say, and I do like the message and philosophical questions. Probably aimed at a younger audience.
The story feels somewhat simplistic, clichéd and quite contrived, particularly as key plot devices regularly arrive without warning. However, once the games start the story becomes much more compelling. I can understand how some people may have issues with the narrator, but if you can get over it, McCormick does quite a reasonable job. I think Collins shows her roots as this would definitely gain more stars for younger readers.
This book concludes the Void trilogy: (1) Dreaming Void (2) Temporal Void (3) Evolutionary Void.
If you are new to the series then you have to start with Dreaming Void, if you can get it : "The Dreaming Void" seems to have disappeared from the Australian store but there it sits in my audible library.
I would raise some issues with Kolbert's over attribution of global warming to various climatic events and regional changes. The increase in global average temperatures due to human produced greenhouse gasses (and other actions like deforestation), is in the order of 0.2C per decade. This will produce changes in the climate outside our standard experience. While the overall trend of weather patterns and changes in regional variations should be detectable over a good chunk of time, the attribution of singular events such as Katrina to global warming is a large stretch. People spreading the call to action should walk the rigid scientific line otherwise you open yourself up to attacks of denial from the various sources of disinformation. So while Kolbert's message may be valid, many of her facts are quite fuzzy. I love the quote "Climate is an angry beast and we are poking it with a stick."
This audiobook has been an eye opener for me. I have read some of the negative reviews but went ahead with the purchase. I found the story to be absolutely brilliant and the characterisations are outstanding. The alternating readers was simply wonderful and the story wasn't difficult to follow at all, although the flow isn't the usual linear path. What I learned from this is that you will always get some listeners who are not satisfied due to some reason or other that may not affect you at all, so take reviews as a very rough guide only, each listener will get something different from every story, and the reviewers are only offering opinions.
Interesting characters and plot, however the story became quite repetitive in parts and plodded along a little too slowly for my liking. There is definite potential.
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