I first read Stainless Steel Rat decades ago, and bought the audiobook to refresh my memory. I'm pleased to say that the story carries the same magic I remember from my youth. The narration carries the book very well.
I bought this book on a whim because of the subject matter. My domestic partner once served as Nursing Supervisor at a state-operated residential school for the adult deaf and blind. That school was located on the campus of another larger state-operated residential school for deaf and blind children. During that period, she and I both became sensitized to the issues faced by deaf and blind people of all ages. I was curious how the author would handle those issues.
The author has done a superior job of communicating Caitlin's experiences of gaining sight as a teenager, and blending them with the issues of an emerging artificial intelligence, into a fascinating tale of growth and development. He has merged, as it were, the story of Helen Keller with Heinlein's story of a sentient computer ("The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress") into a tale with all the adventure of both.
I had not read author Sawyer's work before, but I have now added the two sequels to this book into my wish list and consider them both Must Buy books.
I bought this audiobook not knowing about Connie Willis, but hey, it's one of my favorite topics -- time travel, right? It's one of my favorite narrators, Jenny Sterlin, Right? What I didn't expect or care much for was a long dissertation on the social and procedural complications of an infectious disease in a techno-academic environment.
I've set the book aside a couple of times, but I haven't given up. Not yet. I started it again a few minutes ago, and maybe this time I'll figure out how to read this thing. Maybe I'll pretend that it's a complicated Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes adventure and just listen to Jenny Sterlin's hypnotic voice.
Not a bad book, but I miss Black Jack and the exquisite tension between the man and the legend. This book has the political and military content, but struggles to separate principal characters from the general background.
... but not up to the standard of the main series. These are side- and back-stories, and don't have the depth and richness of Briggs' principal work.
I bought this out of curiosity. Standard teenager level pornography. Spend your credits on actual literature like Fifty Shades of Grey.
... an endurance test. I should have quit this series after the first volume! But I muddled through. All my comments in the review of Pandora's Planet apply, except the narrator lost some of his annoying sing-song cadence. I believe that was mostly the author's writing style.
I made two efforts to follow the story of Pandora's Planet but was put to sleep both times by the hypnotic sing-song narration. I finally got enough of the basic content to follow the story, but the narrator doesn't really help the book. When the book changes location or characters, the narration goes forward without a sufficient pause or change of tone to give a useful hint.
On the other hand, after forcing myself to listen to the first segment twice, I finally got the gist of the story and was able to follow the character/location/resurrection issues without losing my place.
The story itself is interesting enough, so I have now purchased the next volume.
The first book in this series was interesting, a bit "campy", with bits and pieces that reminded me of the old space operas. This 2nd book is incoherent, repetitive, poorly researched -- two sailboats racing on the same leg of a "race track", one close-hauled, the other running before the wind -- and generally nonsensical. I think I'll pass on the rest of the series.
Campbell continues to develop the saga of the lost fleet as "Black Jack" Geary struggles to maintain command of the fleet that views him as some sort of larger than life hero. His main tool is to retrain the fleet in the more sophisticated battle knowledge of an earlier time -- techniques and strategies that have been lost with the deaths of so many space navy commanders over a century of conflict. This creates opponents among the fleet captains who prefer their own glory-seeking methods, even while his continuing success against enemy fleets reinforces the hero worship of his crews - a hero worship he wants to reject.
A good book to listen to in a comfortable chair by the fireside with a bottle of your favorite beverage ready at hand. Kris Longknife turns out to be an interesting protagonist and the book has some of the characteristics of the old Doc Smith space operas. I've ordered the second book in the series and looking forward to another pleasant evening of the Longknife saga.
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