There are many issues with this book and while it is not the worst of the his solos novels (that would be Blasphemy) it is right down at the bottom of the barrel.
First off, if you work with engineering or developing software your suspension of disbelief is going to have to do some heavy lifting. The AI is pretty much a fanciful creation. He does attempt explain why such an AI is impossible but he can't deliver on how the AI is able to over come these intractable issues to be conscious. Oh, he does give a reason ("one simple trick") but it is super super silly.
Daemon and Freedom by Daniel Suarez handle the concept much better.
Second, the antagonists in the story was super weak. In this case, all readers' suspension of disbelief will have to do some heavy lifting. (again spoilers). I found it hard to believe that the Wall Street banker was so smart to make a billion dollars but also so stupid to kill people he had meet and other people new he had met. They left so much evidence behind it was just absurd. This is just an example of some week writing. It would be much more interesting for the bad guys to figure out ways of killing people that would draw less attention to themselves. Plotting is import.
I like Wyman but it seams with each book we get less of him. He wasn't necessary for this story at all. He seemed like a tourist.
Preston attempted to give the other characters some depth but I never bought it. Most of his characters were pretty unlikable or annoying or worse just plain boring.
I did like seeing Tom Broadbent back again. Also I thought reader was pretty good. And thankfully it was short; speed listened to it a day.
I like stories with crazy plots like James Rollins or Preston & Child. They fall into the pulp tradition and no one would confuse them with great literature. Dan Brown falls in that category too but I draw the line at reading Dan Brown because to me his stuff is just boring.
This books aims for something more literary. In some ways it is a character study. Sadly the main character is a bit boring. The plot often moves at glacial speeds and in fact I stopped listening for months before recently finishing it up. I am glad I did because the payoff was quite satisfying.
One pleasant surprise was when the Nazi's show up (common for these types of stories) it is done in a most original way.
The audio book has two parts (you know, "to make the download faster"). The first third of the first download is good. It gets then gets real slow for awhile only to finally pick up again in the second download. My listening to it at 1.5x speed might have added to it moving along better in the second part, If I was doing the faster speed when I listened to the first download I might have liked it better. Not all readers sound good at increased speed but this reader was quite good.
I think if you like thrillers with mixed in "unearthed arcana" and don't mind listening to higher speeds I would say it is worth a listen.
He was good reader.
No extreme reaction but it did help with focusing my ideas and thoughts on how politics works today.
This is a worth a read by anyone interested in learning about why our political system is so screwed up. Spolier Alert: one party is more to blame than the other and yes that would be the Republican party.
I liked Mieville's deft use of humor and absurdity. The story, while completely original, was assembled from tropes of multiple genre's. From sci-fi to fantasy and from whodunit to horror, he kept the listener wondering what literary DNA he would splice in next. The story and plot were top notch, never slowing and very tight, the characters had a surprising depth, and most importantly it all held together for something very rare indeed: the satisfying ending.
Anything by Douglas Adams or Neil Gaiman but that's pretty much expected. More violent than either of them but certainly of their ilk.
John Lee was perfect. His range of characters was impressive and his voice was incredible.
No spoilers here but there is a bit about Star Trek matter transportation technology that was quite poignant.
I have to say I looked forward to this one. I like these type of mysteries and I thought this one might be good. Saddly, I realized too late that Fasman never really had a story to tell. On the face of it, it sort of tells the story of a library's contents, which are good little vignettes. However, there are only the most superficial connections with the characters in the present day. I was not a fan of the Da Vinic Code but at least it had a plot; I really couldn't find one here. The descriptions of the items from the library seem to come out of nowhere. Also, the significance of the artifacts is not clear. Fasman had some interesting characters but I found myself feeling nothing for the "narrator" and couldn't have cared less if he died. When I read, or in this case listen, to a story, I want to be changed by the story and this story left me unaffected. In closing a real waste of time.
Not Cricton's best outing. I have to say I was somewhat disappointed with this listen. I know that when you are reading Cricton you are not reading him for his character development. Still his plots are very good and his science is always interesting. This time around his plot was bad. By far the weakest one I can remember. That left just very unlikeable characters. I think I may have read that he doesn't care much what his characters think but in this book he seemed to spend a lot time in his characters' minds and yet we know almost nothing about their motivations and desires. Add that to an unusual weak plot and you have quite possibly Crichton's worst effort. Still some of the 'factual'information is interesting and I will be looking up his sources when I see a hard copy of the book.
As for the production, this was by far the worst I ever listen to. One should not be hearing the readers stomach noises. If I had bought it in the store I would have returned it and next time it happens on Audible, I will demand a restored credit or a least a verison that is acceptable to listen to.
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