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Blue Remembered Earth | [Alastair Reynolds]

Blue Remembered Earth

Critically acclaimed author Alastair Reynolds holds a well-deserved place “among the leaders of the hard-science space opera renaissance." (Publishers Weekly). In Blue Remembered Earth, Geoffrey Akinya wants nothing more than to study the elephants of the Amboseli basin. But when his space-explorer grandmother dies, secrets come to light and Geoffrey is dispatched to the Moon to protect the family name - and prevent an impending catastrophe.
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Publisher's Summary

Critically acclaimed author Alastair Reynolds holds a well-deserved place “among the leaders of the hard-science space opera renaissance." (Publishers Weekly). In Blue Remembered Earth, Geoffrey Akinya wants nothing more than to study the elephants of the Amboseli basin. But when his space-explorer grandmother dies, secrets come to light and Geoffrey is dispatched to the Moon to protect the family name - and prevent an impending catastrophe.

©2012 Alastair Reynolds (P)2012 Recorded Books

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (367 )
5 star
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Overall
4.0 (335 )
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Story
4.3 (335 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (6)
Performance
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  •  
    Geo DUNCAN, SOUTH CAROLINA, US 07-16-14
    Geo DUNCAN, SOUTH CAROLINA, US 07-16-14 Member Since 2014

    I wish I could get paid to listen to books....

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "surprised by something new and different"
    If you could sum up Blue Remembered Earth in three words, what would they be?

    Intellengent, well written


    What other book might you compare Blue Remembered Earth to and why?

    this book has a different look to the future of mankind. I think I could compare it to some of A C Clark's concepts altought the writing style is better and modern.


    What about Kobna Holdbrook-Smith’s performance did you like?

    Great accents, complimented the book...


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was pleasantly surprised that this book set in Africa, it was good to read a book with an international setting.


    Any additional comments?

    great book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Eric Koch MONTEVALLO, AL, US 07-14-14
    Robert Eric Koch MONTEVALLO, AL, US 07-14-14 Member Since 2013

    Tell us about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Four Star Novel From a Five Star Author"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Blue Remembered Earth to be better than the print version?

    Absolutely. The choice of narrators was perfect.


    What other book might you compare Blue Remembered Earth to and why?

    Terminal World - great characters, interesting world, contrived, predictable story.


    Any additional comments?

    Blue Remembered Earth starts out slow and takes its time developing the central storyline but what it lacks in typical, Alastair Reynolds, space opera, action it makes up for with outstanding world and character building. The plot is essentially a scavenger hunt in space and is as contrived as it sounds. The characters are given clues and are led along, much like the reader, pretty much in the dark, motivated only by curiosity and yet often overcome with reluctance to leave their comfortable lives. As a result, I found the overall story dissatisfying and one of the rare Alastair Reynold books I did not fully enjoy. That said, I found the central and supporting characters some of the most compelling of any Reynold’s story and the near future world that the author creates one of his best, easily matching the complexity and whimsy of Revelation Space. While this first entry of the Poseidon’s Children trilogy was somewhat disappointing, this novel is still excellent hard science fiction and I am quite looking forward to diving into the sequel. The narration was excellent – outstanding decision to change narrators for this series. Kobna Holdbrook-Smith was a perfect choice for the numerous African accents and adds depth to the story and the characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick 06-30-14
    Patrick 06-30-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Snorefest!"

    I was disappointed to find that Alastair Reynolds would write a science fiction novel of almost 22 hours in narrated length that focused mainly on elephants (large and dwarf) and uninteresting characters acting out their petty sibling rivalry. I write this as one who has listened and enjoyed several of his other novels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trip Graysdlake, IL 06-28-14
    Trip Graysdlake, IL 06-28-14 Member Since 2007

    Trip

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "SLOOOOOW!"
    What would have made Blue Remembered Earth better?

    This... Book... has... a... plot... that... is... way... too... slow...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronald 06-20-14
    Ronald 06-20-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not my favorite work by Reynolds"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would recommend other Alastar Reynolds books over this one. The Revelation Space series is terrific. In comparison, this was only so-so.


    Would you recommend Blue Remembered Earth to your friends? Why or why not?

    Same question - same answer.

    I would recommend other Alastar Reynolds books over this one. The Revelation Space series is terrific. In comparison, this was only so-so.


    What does Kobna Holdbrook-Smith bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Wonderful African accents. She was the most enjoyable part of this audiobook. I was not surprised to learn she is also an actor.


    Could you see Blue Remembered Earth being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    The book was good. However, Reynolds has a lot of books that are near great to great.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chuck 05-28-14
    Chuck 05-28-14 Member Since 2009
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    "Real Science Fiction"

    I really enjoyed this book! It is not a fantasy, and it is not horror. It is what I call 'real' Sci-Fi. It is well written, the plot is good, the performance is good, and it is a good length (I do not like books less than 15 to 20 hours long). An all around good read.

    One blooper: At one point in the book, the airlock is blown open. This is fast as it might well be. But then the book talks about how long it takes to 'pump' air back in. You do not need to pump into a vacuum! It sucks! :) and the time it takes to refill it is only dependant on the pressure of the source, the size of the air pipes, and the size of the airlock! I found that humorous.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Vancouver, BC, Canada 09-24-13
    James Vancouver, BC, Canada 09-24-13 Member Since 2002

    Satisfied Audible listener since 2002. I mostly listen to Sci-fi and anything by Stephen King.

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    "Great story and excellent narration."

    While some of the plot seemed contrived and pointless (I won't give any spoilers here) the book is jam packed with original ideas and interesting people. As is usual with Reynolds he has created a fascinating and believable world. In some ways the book ends just when it's going to get interesting, I hope the author is working on a sequal, I really want to know what happens next!!!! Narration was excellent, I had not heard this performer before but will look for more stuff by him. Easy 5stars, loves it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Tualatin, OR USA 05-04-13
    Brian Tualatin, OR USA 05-04-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Excellent"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Great read and masterful audio performance. Pretty well balanced with enough action along the way.


    Any additional comments?

    Definitely looking forward to any sequels.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SciFi Kindle Cheshire, CT USA 04-25-13
    SciFi Kindle Cheshire, CT USA 04-25-13 Member Since 2013

    I'm a Hard SF & Space Opera-loving, alien android from the future. I bring gifts of SciFi eBooks & accessories for your leader's Kindle. Take me to him/her/it.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great worldbuilding sets an ample stage for series"

    A great piece of Hard SF that keeps 'inside the lines' of the usual Space Opera tech tropes: no FTL or post-scarcity, transhuman society here, just perfectly plausible science your high school Physics teacher would approve. The magic comes in the human element of a family unraveling a long-held secret from the recently deceased family matriarch. Nowhere are our allies closer or enemies as ruthless as in our own families, and Reynolds' protagonists find themselves squaring off with their own cousins as rivals for her legacy. Everyone's motivations are perfectly justified, and the reasonableness of it all perhaps contributes to the underwhelming notion of stakes in the story's conflicts. "Blue Remembered Earth" reminded me in many ways of Kim Stanley Robinson's "2312" more than Reynold's other work; the entire scope of the setting is within the solar system, where human settlements are pioneering along. The time scales are measured in decades and single lifetimes, and not the cosmic epochs and multi-system societies of Reynold's "Revelation Space" series. Another unique aspect of the book was the twist of placing global dominance not in Euro- or American-centric cultures, or even a Chinese one, but instead in a post-climate change Africa, where a new renaissance has taken place. Swahili is the new English. Pervasive internet access and surveillance grant telepresence in 'proxy' robotic bodies, as well as a nearly crime-free society. Some readers may be surprised that only 3 times in the book, and all of those in the final third of the story, is there any violent action. The story follows a rather civil quest along several stops that illustrate humanity's interplanetary spread. It is at its strongest when the environments are the most exotic; Mars' 'Evolvarium' or the undersea city of the Panspermian Initiative. The worldbuilding in Reynold's near future is quite imaginative, with many original ideas. However, I did find the action and suspense sequences weaker than expected. I understand the forthcoming books of the trilogy will follow the future history begun here for another 10,000 years, and I look forward to seeing what Reynolds does with the larger canvas.

    A small note I'd like to make regarding this audio edition of the book is that Kobna Holdbrook-Smith's narration was fantastic- he managed the accents quite naturally, and convincingly provided many character voices- both male & female. The cover art, however, is atrocious, and quite below Audible standards. The artwork displayed during playback in the iOS app is (if this is even possible) actually much worse than the minimalist globe-on-black-background shown here. For those like myself, who draw a lot of atmospheric inspiration from book covers, you may want to leave the app in the background or power the screen off.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wesley AUSTIN, TX, United States 03-09-13
    Wesley AUSTIN, TX, United States 03-09-13 Member Since 2012

    I love hard core sci-fi, supernatural and fantasy

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I Remember Reynolds Being Better Than This"
    What did you like best about Blue Remembered Earth? What did you like least?

    The writing is solid in typical Reynolds fashion. The narrator is just fantastic and took a slow predictable read and made it come alive.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    I knew early on where the story was going and hoped it would have a more thrilling ending. It just kind of fizzled out.


    Have you listened to any of Kobna Holdbrook-Smith’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I haven't listened to Kobna before but I will be on the look out for anything else read by him.


    Any additional comments?

    I have read every book Reynolds has written and this is by far his weakest work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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