Here's the basics. The story is OK, formulaic and nothing that really holds interest. The story itself is short, the length they show includes almost an hour at the end of descriptions of the factions, something that could have been put in the beginning or better portrayed through the story. It also includes another two plus hours of the first three chapters of the second book. At no point do you feel anything for any character, and the author struggles with foreshadowing, relying on the ever so subtle "later I would find out..." multiple times. The battle scenes are vague and don't draw you in at all. It sounds more like a monologue description of events hitting only on the key points.
The narrator: Honestly Jeff Bower should do ANYTHING but narrate these books. If you want to be put to sleep, these might be your answer. Monotonous doesn't even describe the voices he uses and the use of electronic synthesis for the first half of the book is arguably one of the most infuriating things to listen to ever. Females sound like some sort of deranged minnie mouse noise, while the males all sound like a bored knockoff of Mr. Rogers.
I think the only reason I finished this book was to make sure it didn't somehow improve, but it might have been sheer stubborn mindedness. If the narrator wasn't horrible and the story was a bit better written I might have though of giving the rest of the series a chance, as it is though I'm going to do my first ever return with Audible.
Instead of this try something by B.V. Larson, his books aren't perfect by any means but they are 3-4 times better than this and essentially cover the same genre without being overly irritating (and without Bower as narrator). Alternately try Lost Fleet for a bit more fleet action and a bit less ground troops.
Let me begin by saying I waited a very long time for this book to come out. I downloaded it the morning it came out and had finished it by the end of the day so it's fair to say I was looking forward to it.
The good: The book continues the series nicely and takes some interesting turns and twists that you really won't expect (nothing more about that here). The writing style has matured or at least settled into a good rhythm.
The bad: Christian Rummel is a good narrator but I think this book was narrated as quickly as possible then not proofed at all. He will change pronunciations of the same words during the book (and words he has never mispronounced before), also there are a couple of spots where he just seems to plow through the material without really giving it any thought which is very unlike him.
The bottom line: I listened to this book twice before writing this review and overall it's a darn good book. It's a real shame about the cliffhanger at the end because you'll want the time to be put into the next book to solve the issues we have here but at the same time you'll want it out NOW.
I wasn't sure what to expect when I got this book, but it was better than anything I could try and explain to you here. Geek nostalgia, trivia, random shout-outs and references, it's all here.
Fair warning, you're going to end up with a bunch of 80's songs stuck in your head during and after listening to this, and you'll listen to it more than once. FACT. You just want more and more. If you liked Snow Crash don't even think about skipping over this one. Douglas Adams fan? This is for you. Still have an Atari sitting around? Dust it off because you'll be fiending to play it after.
Wil Wheaton nails the narration and brings quite a bit of geek cred to the table. The only downside of the book is that it ends. I can safely say that this book has secured a site in my top ten favorites. Give it a go and you won't be disappointed.
The best part of this book in my mind is that anyone can appreciate it. You don't have to be a fan of sci-fi, hell you don't even have to like it. The story is exceptionally well written and narration is as perfect as it could be without going full radio-show. This book is good enough to warrant a second or even third listen.
If you are like me you had this on your wishlist because you were curious but you weren't sure you'd enjoy it, sort of like saving a movie for a rainy day when you have nothing better to do. I wish I had purchased this immediately and not waited a few months because this is hands down one of the best audiobooks I've heard. This book had every opportunity to be a boring timeline-esque list of events and it never once feels like that. The plot moves along much better than any of the Martian days it describes ever could. I could go on all day like this but the bottom line is it's funny, quirky, and you will actually find yourself laughing out loud while you listen to it. After this, I'll give anything else Andy Weir puts out a chance without question or reservation. So quit reading this review and get started on this awesome book!
Scalzi doesn't always do it for me, but he nailed this one. The premise is something any sci-fi fan will relate to and the story is not only well written but oh-so-fresh. The storyline does the job of setting up everything you need for the three codas, and they finish the book perfectly. The characters are well rounded and thought out, the story is unique and entertaining, and the plot carries everything cleanly all the way through. My only gripe is the amount of "he said, she said" but in rapid-fire dialogue that is bound to occur and only becomes noticeable a few times.
Wil Wheaton just takes this thing and runs with it. He nails the characters across the board, and with his narration you could almost do away with those "he said, she said" because he makes it so easy to follow. I've always enjoyed his narration and this is no exception.
The bottom line:
If you grew up with the Trek universe there is simply no way you can miss this book. You'll find yourself actually (not metaphorically) laughing out loud at times so bear that in mind when listening to this masterpiece. I get some hints of Douglas Adams style humor and banter, but this story isn't trying too hard to be something it isn't. Overall this was one of the more enjoyable stories I've listened to in some time, and my favorite from Scalzi. Just one last thing, don't expect to enjoy other books as much after hearing this one, because it sets the bar a bit high for fun, light, interesting and absorbing sci-fi.
The guy obviously has talent, and I get his desire to broaden his horizons, but personally you couldn't pay me to listen to this again. I'd give his actual novels a try, but this short story is about as devoid of entertainment as a bus tour of the Serengeti with 50 of your least favorite people.
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