It's hard to believe this was ever publish. It sounded like a great story idea, but in the hands of these two authors, it has weak 1-dimensional characters that are like bad cliches of themselves the plot is non-existant, and this seems to be written with zero knowledge of the subject.
As a caveat, I half way through the first file (of three) before I had to stop listening in disgust. Up until that point it was like hearing a train wreck in the sense I couldn't beleive anything this bad had been published.
I've never read the print version of this book, and I found it impossible to follow this version. They cycle through the voice actors seemingly at random with all the characters being read by all the actors. It's jarring and disorienting. I just learned by reading other reviews they're trying to do each characters perspective, but it fails utterly and this recording is a mess that is painful to listen to.
Aside from that several of the voice actors (I don't know which) are so inappropriate, they make the characters just sound wrong for the role the character is supposed to fill and the inflections seem to change the nature of each of the characters each time they change readers.
I'm a huge Heinlein fan, and I think I hate this book, but I really can't tell if it's a good book or not after this reading.
The book/story itself is a good example of 60's sci-fi, a bit campy by modern standards but well worth reading. Compared to the movie, the book is a much more expansive world that tells a richer story.
The narrator was absolutely horrible, he reads it in a tedious monotone that makes it impossible to enjoy the story. I just gave up after about an hour, and only finished it a month later when I ran out of books on my device but still had this one. It doesn't improve.
I would have been better off getting a text version and having the computer read it to me in its monotone, I think that would still have more expression than Mr. Wyman.
I've read most of Card's book starting with Ender's Game when I was in high school, and usually find his work hard to put down.
Seventh son though feels like a lower class of book. Card usually writes very deep, compelling characters you can't help but care about. Everyone in this book was flat, 2-dimensional and I felt like I couldn't care less about them.
The story is painfully long with no flow, it jumps around with long tedious passages that don't mesh, don't form a story, and don't make sense. I know I wouldn't be continuing the series because I'm left just not caring what comes next.
Card is an excellent writer and his skill shines in this book. The problem is it's so derivative I felt like I'd already read it a few times.
Danny is on the surface a somewhat naïve kid, but he's got special skills and the insight of a very smart adult. He is interchangeable with Ender, Lanik Mueller from OSC's book Treason, and Rigg from pathfinder. He has to flee home on a mission that should be far beyond a small child, meets adults that become his loyal followers, builds his clique.
Even the plot had a lot 'borrowed' from Jumper by Steven Gould mixed in with a little Oliver Twist.
I wanted to like the book and on its own it would deserve the 4-star rating, but it's just too much a cut and paste job. I'd suggest skipping this and reading Pathfinder, and if you liked pathfinder, you've already read this.
This book reads like it's from the golden age of sci, aliens vs humans with cold war style politics. It's very much in the style of Robert Heinlein, a very technical writing style with a lot of explaination of the physics of what's going on. It seems like it should be tedious with so much technical writing, but in Ringo's skilled hands, the story just flows.
The main charactrer, Tyler Vernon, reminded me of Heinlein's Lazarus Long. The same cranky angry attitude and drive to suceeed completely. The narrator captured the feel of the book perfectly.
Other reviewers talk about latent racism/sexism, but it's far tamer in that regard than the sci-fi classics that clearly inspired this book.
I liked The Relic, the characters, writing style, and overall flow were excellent. I just thought the almost supernatural element of the creature and the drug was extremely poorly done. It was painfully long-winded explainations of painfully bad and wrong science and tech that destroyed anotherwise excellent book.
For Reliquary, I was expecting everything Iliked from The Relic but a new and better story. What I got was more of the same, the creatures that ruined The Relic are back with far worse pseudo-science and longer painfully stupid explainations than ever.
The book really is very well written it grabs you from the first chapter and keeps the action going, I just really wish the authors would have put 1/10th the effort into actual research that they put into making up silly fake science.
The Narration is okay for the most part, nothing great, nothing too bad, but the special effects efforts kill it. For example, the pathologist walks away from the autopsy recorder microphone, so the audiobook gets faint and muffled. Well, we're not listening to the Pathologist's recording, we're listen to the audio book, we're supposed to be right there in the action. The faint echo effect when we're hearing people's thoughts is also quite annoying.
The book is a horrible cliche of the genre with 1-dimension characters that have no personality or reader appeal. They're stilted puppets going through unrealistic motions. The plot was weak and obvious. The moment the author started describing the facillity, it was clear how things would end.
The author goes on long tedious explainations of how things work that only show how ignorant he is and that he's too lazy to research. He tries to use math and computer science and his long winded proofs are just wrong. You can't represent divide by zero with subtration (and if you don't care about that you'll find the book more boring than this review). His details on assembly languge are equally wrong. I've read in other reviews his explainations of military protocol and medical science are just as ignorant, but those aren't my field. I can suspend my disbelief to enjoy sci-fi, but when it's just ignorant ramblings, what's the point?
Scott Brick is one of my favourite narrators, and he did a great job, but couldn't make up for the horrible writing.
These short stories have some elements of the full length novels, but the short story format drastically changes the feel of them. It's almost more like reading the 5 minute mysteries in magazines from a past era. They are quite simple and have one little "trick" that Bosch pulls out at the end.
Basically they're well written stories by a talented authour and well worth the listen but not at all Bosch style.
This book is Card at his finest writing, it's full of interesting ideas and situations and a very hard book to put down. You always have to know what happens next and it's easily the best book I've read this year. All the characters are powerful and deep in their own ways and have their own unique styles.
The only real downside is I felt like I was rereading Treason by the same author. The story outline is identical. A protagonist with special genetic traits goes from realm to realm on a divided human planet seeing all the different ways humans have modified their genes while Earth is the unseen enemy. It made things far to familiar and predictable. This is too good a series and deserves better than a recycled outline.
I'd also note that I thought Pathfinder was a self contained book until it ended with an opening for Ruins, and then going into this, I thought this was the conclusion. Ruins was just as incomplete and open ended, so I can only assume their will be a book three. I certainly like Sci-Fi series but doing it this misleading way is kind of annoying. I was hoping to see a lot more resolve or at least I'd have rather known I'm reading an open-ended series.
They used 3 capable narrators for the book, but the way it was structured every little while at random points they'd jump to the next narrator for no real reason. It was jarring and really hurt the flow of the story. Any one of the three could have done a fine job with this book, but the combination done that way really ruined the performance. I'm a Stefan Rudnicki fan, so had he done the whole book it would have easily been a 5 star performance.
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