One hundred and fifty years from now, in a world where Africa is the dominant technological and economic power, and where crime, war, disease, and poverty have been banished to history, Geoffrey Akinya wants only one thing: to be left in peace, so that he can continue his studies into the elephants of the Amboseli basin.
But Geoffrey's family, the vast Akinya business empire, has other plans. After the death of Eunice, Geoffrey's grandmother, erstwhile space explorer and entrepreneur, something awkward has come to light on the Moon, and Geoffrey is tasked - well, blackmailed, really - to go up there and make sure the family's name stays suitably unblemished.
But little does Geoffrey realise - or anyone else in the family, for that matter - what he's about to unravel. Eunice's ashes have already have been scattered in sight of Kilimanjaro. But the secrets she died with are about to come back out into the open, and they could change everything. Or shatter this near-utopia into shards....
©2012 Alastair Reynolds (P)2012 Orion Publishing Group Limited
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This is a very thoughtful novel, and it encourages me to read more of Reynolds work.
It is set in a solar system in which Africa has become a dominant force. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith's superb narration does full justive to the book with a wide range of accents ...from Nigerian to a Whale who started life as a Chinese girl!
Please do not listen to other reviewers who have criticised the narration ...I honestly don't know what planet they are on !
"Great story, great narrator"
I've steared clear of Mr. Reynold's audiobooks so far, mostly because of his usual narrator (John Lee), who's diction I find rather unnatural and who's range of voices (about 2) is distinctly subpar in my opinion.
Holdbrook-Smith's excellent work on Rivers of London has convinced me to finally give this Reynolds book a try, and I haven't been disappointed. It's a thrilling, intelligent scifi story in a setting quite unusual for the genre with a superb narrator.
"Sci Fi in an African voice - can't be bad!"
I hope I'm right that I've read (or listened to) all of Reynold's work by now - I've certainly tried. This is a bit different to his usual fare, and may work as a prequel to the Revelation novels - or could be entirely new. It's slower than much of his other work, and at times feels like a road movie across the solar system. Reynold's philosophy is generally carefully measured and he shows concern for the motivations of all his characters, though here there are a couple of passages about religion that could have been phoned in by Richard Dawkins. The characterisation is rich and the author quickly gets into one of his trademark themes - what are the limits of humanity and sentience in a universe in which personality can be uploaded to a machine or an animal, and where machines can run bodies.
I was delighted that Africa features so prominently and note in passing that recent economic and political reviews do indeed predict a meteoric rise in the continent's fortunes in the next 50 years. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith does an amazing job picking out the differences between Nigerian, Tanzanian, Asian and European accents. I'm afraid some reviewers have been spoiled by John Lee, Reynold's normal reader on Audible - Lee is a real phenomenon, and I rate him highly, but Holdbrook-Smith does a perfectly fine job and added to my enjoyment of the text.
"A great foundation, when's the next part due?"
A great start, well read with consistently good (non-South Africa) African accents rather than the often dull parodies we generally get..
The diction clear and is perfect for playing at faster speeds which I like to do when I'm running.
What I like about Alastair Reynolds is that he can switch between moods. His work has the confidence to develop relationships and adapt them as the characters experiences change them.
Looking forward to the next part!
Ah! Alastair this one is a real disappointment. I have listened to all your other books with real enjoyment. The right amount of story, tecno stuff and suspense for great sci-fi. Good luck with the next one! I know you can't be bang on all the time.
the narrator takes a little getting used to and the little bits of music are off putting, but once you get past that it's a good read I really enjoyed it
A very good book. Plenty of twists and turns, with interesting characters and ideas. Well worth a listen
"Mesmerising and absorbing tale"
I have just finished listening to Blue Remembered Earth and feel that small empty feeling that you get when a really good and enthralling tale is finished. The main characters were three dimensional and believable. This was a really enjoyable experience and I am so glad that I was not put off by the reviewers who said that Kobna Holdbrook-Smith's narration and voices were irritating. I found his voice pleasant and the voices of the characters with their regional accents seemed entirely appropriate.
I would recommend this listen to all who enjoy this genre of fiction.
Brilliant story very well read. Having read all the Revelation space series I wasn't sure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. Looking forward to more of the same.
"A small step....."
Wonderful, and fully justified the new narrator, I have listened to 7 other of his books and am familiar with how they sound, but 'Tanzanian accent', 'Senegalese', etc could he have coped?
A new beginning, I will have to wait, but I do so in confident expectation, thank you Alastair.
P.S. Don't some people whinge? oops, guilty of it myself, mea culpa !
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