Meanwhile, India and Pakistan go to war. Pakistan deploys a nuclear device high in the upper atmosphere, putting the crew of the orbiting International Space Station in imminent danger of death by radiation exposure. Only a few weeks remain to rescue the crew and there's no known way to do it, except, perhaps, for a secret project of Scott's brother, Nick.
©2000 Buzz Aldrin and John Barnes; (P)2000 Books on Tape, Inc.
"Fiction-lovers will marvel at Aldrin's ability to tell a great sci-fi tale." (AudioFile)
There are very few books (audio or otherwise) that fall into the category of 'can't put down' for me. This was one. It moves quickly, is believable, has entertaining and likeable characters, and is just plain a great story. Aldrin and Barnes have created a contemporary United States that I wish I lived in.
I felt compelled to write a review opposing this book's high rating, because I rely heavily on reader ratings to choose my audiobooks, and the average rating on this book really mislead me this time.
I am a big fan of John Barnes, and for those who aren't familiar wtih his solo work I would strongly recommend his novels, especially "Mother of Storms" and "Candle". When I saw that he had collaberated with Buzz Aldrin, I thought that this book could be a real winner, combining Aldrin's familiarity with real space exploration and Barnes' imagination and style.
Unfortunately, this book is a mess. I would call the book one giant cliche. The plot is unoriginal and predictable. Conflicts are only sketchily created and resolved without any tension or suspense. The characters that you suspect turn out to be the villians, all right. The entire first half of the book revolves around a lawsuit, and the whole plot involves the characters' legal plotting, PR maneuvers, and spin manipulation. It was mind numbing! If I wanted that, I would just get a book about the OJ trial. When some action *FINALLY* begins (only after about 5 hours), it apparently has nothing to do with the events of the first part of the book and it gives the feeling of two separate plots. They are woven together eventually, but in a cursory "wrap up" manner that is just too pat. At the end of the book, the image I had in my mind was that of the villain at the end of the Scooby Doo cartoons saying "the world could have been mine if it weren't for you meddling kids!"
Then there is the dialogue. It uses every trite phrase I can think of, and reminds me of the way people write when they send out letters in their holiday cards. I started to laugh trying to count them.
I couldn't help thinking that this book was written by a complete novice to wordcraft(Aldrin) and minimally "cleaned up" by Barnes. If you ever read Barnes on his own, you will see what I mean.
I was skeptical when I purchased this book because there was only one review written, albeit a positive one. Now, having heard the book, I know why the praise (and five star rating) was there. The characters are well developed, the scientific basis upon which the book is written is both factual (as to current technology) and forseeable (as to future technology) and the story is very well written. The book takes hold quickly and doesn't let you go until the end. I hope more people find this gem and give it a chance, you won't be disappointed.
This was my first Audible "book". I have to say that I really enjoyed the experience. I listened to this story while driving home each day from work. What a way to travel... nice and relaxing. I enjoyed everything about this story. The plot lines was well developed and the characters were likable. If I had one complaint to this story it would be that the ending was far too predictable. However, overall I would recommend this book.
The story was well conceived and had great potential but the whole idea of multiple points of view is really a risk the authors shouldn't have taken. It doesn't work well on the page and it really doesn't work well when narrated. There is a reason our literature teachers made a stink about POV in english classes. It is confusing to the reader/listener. This book is a great example of why they say choose ONE POV and stick to it. Bouncing from Scott to Thalia to Nick just got too annoying for me.
The second disappointment was the narration. I can't be sure this is the fault of the narrator or the director (or a casualty of the mulitiple POV problem). I just found his narration so "overproduced" and strained. It just seemed to me that either the narrator or the director were trying way too hard to make the narration work in the face of the POV problem. A straight- forward narration would have worked just fine, I think. I listen to a lot of audiobooks. I listen to a lot of them more than once, but not this one. I stuck with it to the end only out of a hope it would get better, and of course, I wanted to see how the authors chose to resolve the story.
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