Given that some jokes were PC/Mac related, having the book even read by John Hodgeman is something of a brilliant move. But John's performance did add much to the book beyond that. I couldn't stop listening...
I found the main character, Nick, the most enjoyable. He's a lawyer at the firm, at a critical point in his career, mistaken for someone else, and catapulted into a wild chain of events, You really feel his confusion, and begin to follow him as he begins to fathom his situation bit by bit.
Ozzie -- the Metalacam "vacuum cleaner". Trust me- - You'll have to read the book.
I'd have to compare this to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as well. It has that absurdity based comedy. However it is not based in unreality as much as the Hitchhiker books were. You COULD see the situation presented by the book occurring, absurd as it is.
That being said, there are enough wild aliens to keep people happy -- talking parrots, the Decapusses, etc. And it pokes fun at copyright laws, seventies fashions, computer software, even reality TV.
I'd rate the book 5 stars across the board, except that I did see a few KEY plot points coming, especially part of the ending of the book. I still liked the execution however.
Yes I would reread this -- This has a complicated plot as it shifts from kids to agents to scientist viewpoints. There are some plot points & technical points that are easy to miss.
Its hard make comparisons -- At times it tries to be a teen book. At times it tries to be a spy book. At times it is trying to be a scientific thriller. It makes for a very odd genre mix that sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. I can see elements here that remind me of movies like Flight of the Navigator or The Explorers, but only vaguely. This is done far more seriously with much brighter kids than either of those movies. But they are still kids, mixing teen crushes, snobby teachers and basketball with Cold fusion and Quantum Switches. Not many other modern day books deal with alien technology quite in this way either. But I do find some familiar concepts brought up along with some new ones -- done in some innovative ways.
"The news said the alien ship the U.S. found would change the world... What would YOU do if you found another one?....And it warned you OF the first ship?"
A grand mix of comic history, trivia, and science. Using the superheroes by nature or origin, they jump on subjects like black holes, relativity, genetics, evolution, probability of alien life, and more. As a follower of comics for decades, I was surprised at the detailed stories that were referenced and compared, some only a few years old. Whether a lover of DC or Marvel, you'll find something to interest you here. Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Xmen -they're all here to some level or not.
I must admit that I found this book good overall, certain parts more than others. I enjoyed the sequences involving the first Wormrider -- something that HAD to have occurred sometime. However there were many parts that were a little bit premature for this era, at least how I would tend to interpret it. But in the end, the flaws are excusable as the Dune universe returns for one more pass.
The narrator does a good job, although not as well versed in multiple voices as Tim Curry who did the other 3 prequel House books. In some depicted conversations one must listen closely to maintain character seperation. But as a lot of this book is solitary characters, conversations don't happen as often as one might think.
Certain tech is focused on - glow globes, suspensor fields, personal shields, etc. Ususally in the development thereof. I would have liked to hear more about the pre-Guild space ships. It was unclear if they were using just near light speed travel or some other variation of FTL. Whatever, it was slow buy comparison.
Certain character placement is weird -- a Harkonnen as a hero? An Attreides as a villian? Unexpected and added to the enjoyment of the book in a most unusual manner.
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