Cyteen won multiple award when it came out because it explored the future of a humanity that could shape itself and how the limits of the universe, time, and distance would change humanity. It is a great and DEEP novel.
Having said this, I don't consider it her best work. The book lumbers through detail and the first third of the book has not real main character, until the woman who dies at the beginning starts to grow up. To me Cyteen is not as tightly written as Cherryh's later work. But Cyteen does a good job of exploring the effects of genetics, environmental control, and human evolutional limitations.
This book is not among my top 10 audio books, though it was an thought provoking book. I am glad I listened to it.
I love C. J. Cherryh books. I wish they had started with any of her other series like the Chanur and Foreigner series. I love her exploration of human/alien relations.
When you realize the Hindu religion may have been truly started with control of human genetics and rebuild of a life.
I liked the use of the male voice in a dry archivist manner. Those passages were a more academic exposure to the books underlying theme. However, the author and original editors should have shortened and tightened these passages. BUT Jonathan's voice acting went well with the material.
Gabra did better with the women's voices. The main male character sounded too whiney in the voice she gave him. It portrayed him more as a childish whiner than as a troubled "special". But I liked her voice very much and would love to here it in other strong female lead sci fi. I loved her portrayal of the main female older self.
No. It was too slow in the first third and too long at 36 hours.
If you are not one to explore deep subjects, then avoid this book. If you want to hear thoughts on a very deep subject we are just starting into, this is a good listen, not a great one, but solid.
Probably not, I think I have heard all the detail and nuance that exists in the book.
I can't say I learned enough about any character that I have a favorite. The main character the SEAL officer who later becomes a ship commander is annoyingly obtuse sometimes. Other characters don't get as much development as they need. In short he could have added at least 2 hours to shore up the lack of character development. HOWEVER, the characters were believable in most cases and likeable if they weren't acting stupid to bring about a problem too quickly.
He has most of the basics I like. When he is reading his timing seems natural and doesn't see too jerky or so smooth I don't know where the sentences go. He had good character separation, that slight tone change that stands out consistently for a character without too much jarring, with two notable exceptions, the rhino guys and Molly,"the Dad's got to have something to live for" daughter. Both parts he had a good handle on how he wanted to play the character but he overdid the effect. Sometimes he over did them to the point of annoyance. From my point of view a hint of a voice consistent voice change is enough. I am not looking for the different voices of cartoons. But overall I was pleased.
No extreme reactions.
The author will either mature in his storytelling in that he will give us the background we need to truly relate to the characters, or he will become unreadable. The SEAL officer who is the main character is reacting to a civil medical person from another planet. Okay, interesting, but after a while the relationship hasn't developed or changed and the off-worlder starts to become a whiner and the main character is in waaay too much denial about what is going on. Little things that could have added, when the now ship commander says he is going to meet with his whole staff of mostly aliens, we never learn much about that at all, the main stage setting. We need to know these representatives to finally care if the interplanetary good guys are worth hoping they will survive. Finally, author uses the commander's stupidity several time in both books and it gets old. One more than one occasion the commander Is out acting like a ground pounder instead of captain of the last hope of humanity, oh, like Captain "tear my shirt" Kirk. So he is out in some puzzling situation with a bunch of SEALs with him and they all get so interested in one single thing, none of them notice some evil this way comes, and the team is caught totally off guard. That's not going to happen in a professionally trained unit. Someone will always be monitoring their helmet HUDs, always!
I wouldn't pay full price, but the $7.95 was fine. I don't mind supporting beginning authors who have the basics to be decent writers.
The Concept. Most of the authors involved are well known and I like their other books. So they pick a first line of some other novel to base their short piece on. Sounded interesting with an interesting group of authors, and the narrators looked good, too. Only about half of the stories are SciFi. Well, written stories, but uninteresting to me. If I wanted to read about 1920's Chicago or prewar Germany, I would look in period fiction. I am not saying this is bad writing, just not Sci-Fi.
I won't be buying any more with this format, but these are great authors, so yes. BTW, the listen button just gave too little information on this book to make a decision.
Narration was fine, though it was WIL WHEATON that mislead me. ("WIL WHEATON!" shouted like Sheldon on TBBT.) I love his narration and I probably wouldn't have bought it if his name hadn't been on there with Resnick and several others. WIL WHEATON!
I am a pretty hard core Sci-Fi reader. So these shorts that had fantasy, period fiction, with a touch of real science fiction just didn't do it for me. I can tell you that most of the writing was good, though I didn't make it all the way through the book. So take my rating stars based on your leanings.
The main character didn't just run around acting silly in a very bad situation. He thought. He wasn't perfect, but he thought. He added a crew that you grew to like.
When he decides he has to share the information he has with the rest of the solar system.
Jim Holden is the main character. If you don't like him you won't like the book.
No extremes. Just good solid story telling with a great performance to boot
The narrator has the ability to separate his narration from the characters. He has a sense of timing and import. He does not over act. He does not make me aware of him. I can instantly tell the different characters apart and they don't all sound the same. Twenty year olds sound twenty and forty year olds sound forty.
First, let me say, I have read about everything Ringo has written and I will try his next book. BUT having said that, if you wanted to read a SciFi and not a treatise on how Red states are better than Blue states, don't bother. It's not really SciFi anyway, but I can get into a decent apocalypse/survival book from time-to-time, but the book doesn't really start until Book 2 / chapter 7, up until then it's Ringo's political rantings.
About 60% of it is political ramblings. All media is anti army, except Fox. Red States are gooder and Blue states can't find their own asses. (Of course, he ignores the fact that Blue states economically outperform Red states hands down. But hey, why let reality get into an apocalypse/survival book.)
Ringo has the ability to bring a soldier's life and risks alive and he does this in a scene where two scout strykers hit a pre-battle rant by a local leader. The whole chapter is classic Ringo and one of the reasons I listened to the whole thing even though I kept flipping forward as he started a rant. I was hoping to find more, and there were more small little bits of writing, but not much.
If they left out his ranting scenes, I could appreciate the main character and the men who followed him.
I also listened to the whole thing, minus the ranty parts, was the narrator. I am looking for more of his books. I have done this with three other narrators. This would have been a solid one or two if it hadn't been for the narrator!
I would try another Dietz book, but no fiction by Quinn ever again.
Dietz's writing in this resembles his other books sometimes, but most times you get the idea that he wrote this when he was in 8th grade. The descriptions of the main characters are stereotyped shells as opposed to his characters in the Legion of the Damned series. It was almost as if this book was written as a satire of his other books or novice author wrote it in Dietz's "style" and they slapped the Dietz name on it.I have read or listened to almost all of William C. Dietz books and I had to stop listening to this on about half way through. I bought this on the strength of his name alone. I wish I had read the Amazon book reviews on the written version first.I am as disappointed as a long term reader can be.
Almost anyone else, but Donald Coren was fine in Dietz's other books. I least I could track the plot and not have to stop and start the player all the time.
It completed my library of Dietz books. I just wish he hadn't wrote it, or if he was going to in any case, had written it with his normal care.It also taught me to read other site's reviews of the written form of the book even if the author is one of your favorites.
If you enjoy William C. Dietz, don't buy this book.
Yes, because hearing the narrator pronounce the names of the alien language is helpful. I also find that Cherryh can bog down just a bit in detail in the written word, but for some reason it isn't as distracting in the audio edition. Mind you, this is somewhat necessary during the first book since she is introducing a whole new world with the idea of what a alien-on-alien translation would be like.
When Bren realizes he has to split from his humankind in order to protect those same people. Sometimes he gets a bit pedantic or monotonous when Cherryh is getting just a bit lost in detail. This can be distracting. I get the feeling he want to get on to the next bit.
Sometimes he leaves me breathless running through passages, especially near the beginning when we are hearing new Atevi words for the first time.
Shortly after an attempted assassination of Bren, the main human character through out the series, realizes how alone he is and starts to hold on to Banachi and Jago. You can feel the building, well Bren and Cherryh would say NOT, trust-thing.
You have to listen carefully to the beginning of the book. There is a lot of history that is used later in this book and the following books. If you can keep it all balanced, it is a rich environment with building, believable relationships.
FIRST, make sure you don't already have this one with Boehmer as the narrator. Apparently they have decided to confuse us all. They will even let you repurchase this one as if you don't have it. I almost did.
Second, The whole Chase and Alex figure out a mystery 15000 years if the future thing works well because McDevitt is consistent (Well, Chase seems to be getting whinier, bad Jack.), creates a consistent world we get familiar with and we see changing, and makes an interesting mystery.
Unlike Firebird, you can read this one mostly as a standalone, though there will be a few references that don't make sense, but otherwise it is just fine standalone. THOUGH I RECOMMEND starting from the first one "Talent for War" The whole series clicks for me, and the first book will tell you if it clicks for you.
I also like this who academy series also, and I would tell you to start with "The Engines of God" It is set far in the future several thousand years before Benedict.
Like previous Alex Benedict novels this is fast moving, thoughtful, and uses characters well. Like the rest he takes us through a mystery in the far future of humanity. In this case he covers something that has been happening since the first novel in the series, infrequent disappearances of intersellar space craft. It is a mixture of learning what humans are and what we will do for each other.
If you have loved the previous in this series you will like this one, too. If you aren't familiar, I would suggest you read earlier ones to get the full effect of the series.
The narrator has done several of these novels and has a good style developed that makes identifying character changes and specific characters fluid. She does overplay Chase, the female lead, a bit hysterically. It is noticable but not a huge blemish. Otherwise her voice carries you through to the end.
I like Rusch's books as sci fi detective novels. She creates a consistent world in which we get to know characters across books. She then kills some of those characters and you get personally involved because you want these mysteries solved. Flint or Nyquist or/and DeRicci, with Flint's help, solves the major mystery while other subplots get moved along also. At the end, your "mystery solved" fix and are ready for the next novel.
If you read them out of sequence there is enough embedded history that you get through with no sense of vital missing information, but then if you get in sequence, then all the better. BUT she always ends the mystery. There is a solution. You get your "ahhh". You may not really like it, but it is solved and it is consistent and you know there will be more later. The world of Armstrong, Flint, and everyone else awaits your next adventure.
Some of the people claim that this story is unusual because it centers on Nyquist, but DeRicci was the center in "Extreme", so this is not a major departure. In fact it intrigued me because Rusch was willing to say Armstrong was bigger than Flint early in the series. You know the Retrieval Artist series is going to be a rich environment. But I would also say that there is no central character here. This is a Moon wide, maybe wider, crisis. There are at least 6 main characters in it and Nyquist gets more room to setup a former partner who is germane to the central mystery. So, I don't agree that there is a central character in this novel. BUT Rusch has done a great job developing them and they flow together naturally.
Now for all the praise, she violates a major rule SHE set up, there is no mystery solved. This is just a freakin' two-parter. She has mentioned the lack of a solution in an earlier subplot where Armstrong Dome almost got blowed up real good, but the other major plot was solved in that book. Interesting look into an future book, so Anniversary Day was not a surprise to me.
So we go through the crises in the Domes, centered on DeRicci. We go through an investigation with Nyquist WHO shares the spot light with another detective, Marona(?), and we find out that Nyquist and Marona(?) like working together. We find Flint thinking he is second best to Talia, his clone daughter and this duo pulls out info that saves the Moon's Domes from Millions of death. We find out a big bad boogie man may be attacking not just the Domes of the Moon, but the Whole Earth Alliance, END OF STORY... WHAT???? What did we solve? Who got caught really. A former partner of Nyquist's is a brainwashed lackey, but come on!! No, the boogie man/woman bomber and/or the Twenty WHO are the real instigators and movers are not understood. They were the case to be solved, and we got a TV type end of the season cliff hanger.
I am thinking Rusch might have been hanging out with R.R. Martin. God help us all if she has.
In the end the situation with Nyquist and DeRicci seems like it will either explode or come together, NO. Just like the major mystery of the book, it just drags on to the next novel.
This is completely counter to Rusch's normal fix to the reader of a decisive interesting end with characters that have a lot more mileage on them. Come on Rusch, solve the Major mystery of the novel and then go on.
However, if you like the series so far, unlike in her other earlier novels, you will HAVE to read this if you want to continue on, but it will be an interesting read and decent continuation of the all the major characters.
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