The Alastair Reynolds/John Lee combination is rapidly becoming my favorite. Even after nearly 200 audio books, I haven't found anything comparable to this series.
Alastair Reynolds creates an incredibly realistic, hard sci-fi universe. His characters and antagonists (which are totally unlike anything you've ever seen) work in plots that often span centuries or even millennia.
John Lee, of course, continually delivers fantastic performances of dozens of characters that stretch across the books.
My only small quibble is that you can occasionally pick up where recording sessions start or stop when the audio quality changes. Although this is usually fairly subtle, it still enough to attract attention away from the story.
If you're a fan of hard sci-fi, from Peter F Hamilton to Michael McCollum, do yourself a favor and give this series a try.
Dune easily stands as one of the great works in Sci-Fi, with good reason. Frank Herbert had a unique ability to tell stories, and an even more unique view into the human psyche.
Much to my surprise, I saw that many reviews complained about the audio. My experience was just the opposite - I have found this recording to be one of the best on Audible. With a full cast of characters I though the voice work was all very well done. The one valid complaint that I have seen is that character voices are sometimes read by the narrator rather than the actor who has been portraying the character - this is somewhat jarring at first, but I ultimately found it forgivable.
As for the story itself, many dozens of reviews and reviewers have done a far better job than I ever could of explaining why Dune is such a classic. If you've never experienced Dune (and no, none of the movies or mini-series even get close), do yourself a favor and get this book.
Like several of the other reviewers, I found the first quarter of the story a bit slow. In addition, the early (but usually short) episodes of BDSM sex scenes really weren't doing it for me. However, the story soon picks up and becomes an excellent "read."
I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention the *fantastic* narrator. One of my few complaints with most audio books is that having a single narrator often jars me out of the story, particularly when a male narrator tries to do a female voice, or vice-versa. Anne Flosnik has no such trouble. She easily covers multiple characters of every sex believably and flawlessly.
Overall, this book was real treat. I'm looking forward to the second book in the series to see where our heroes end up next.
I decided to pick this book up based on several of the reviews and the of some great Sci-Fi. With billion-year old science, I figured there were some fantastic possibilities here.
Although the lack of any real exploration of the advanced science was disappointing, the characters were the true let down. Virtually every character is one-dimensional, often making decisions purely for the benefit of the story. For example, the main antagonist's actions lack any real sense of explanation and the "highly skilled and in control" female lead also crumbles into the protagonist's arms in a totally unbelievable fashion.
The worst offender is the protagonist himself. The author tries to style him as a n almost James Bond-like lead, capable of almost any feat and always a step ahead of those who surround him. However, the effort falls flat, leaving an ultimately unbelievable character that I disliked more and more as story progressed.
Spin is an audio-book that ascends the rarely traveled path to greatness. The "page-turning" story begins early on, building to a riveting two-hour finale; only to lay bare one of the most clever and ingenious ideas I've ever read in Sci-Fi.
My only complaint is that the narrator tends to do fairly poor job with the female characters. All female characters tend to come across as wistful and almost completely weak, rather than the dynamic and strong characters that several of them should have been.
This would have been much better as a full production. Don't get me wrong, the narrator is excellent overall, especially as Tyler and Jayce; but a female voice actor would have added volumes to this.
As my first audio book(s) The Golden Compass has completely spoiled me. From the full cast to the great writing I'm thoroughly pleased.
His Dark Materials fully deserves to sit aside works such as Harry Potter, the original Dragonlance novels, or classic Asmiov.
With an engaging story and page-turning (pardon the expression) pace, this novel had me wanting more from the beginning.
This is a true classic, don't miss it!
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