Paradigms Shift, Worlds Collide!
A daring and resourceful paleontologist uncovers something at the infamous K-T boundary marking the end of dinosaurs in the fossil record - something big, dangerous, and absolutely, categorically impossible. It's a find that will catapult her to the Martian moon Phobos, then down to the crater-pocked desert of the Red Planet itself. For this mild-mannered fossil hunter may just have become Earth's first practicing xenobiologist!
A new hard SF thriller from best-selling alternate history master Eric Flint and ace game designer Ryk E. Spoor.
©2006 Eric Flint and Ryk Spoor (P)2014 Audible Inc.
This book is about the trials and tribulations of space travel to Mars, with aliens thrown in to motivate and mystify. The evidence of alien presence, a fossil, is 65 million years old so none are alive at the time of the book. There is a mystery about how/why the aliens happened to be on Earth at exactly the time of the K-T boundary (when the asteroid impact killed the dinosaurs).
So, sorry, the book does not send the reader back to directly witness an alien/dinosaur battle, even though the cover implies it. No time travel here.
The book does follow the uncovering of the alien fossil. Coincidentally, an unmanned probe sent to a moon of Mars discovers the remains of an alien base. So an expedition is put together to see what can be learned about them.
The plot evolves from the circumstances and challenges of space travel. The book is rather similar to "The Martian" by Andy Weir, where science provides the method and natural forces provide the drama, with less time pressure. People are motivated by mundane needs and desires; there are no monstrous villains or super heroes, no nefarious foreign governments. However, everybody is superlative at their professions. The science used for travel and remote sensing is current, with a minimum of stretching to make it sound futuristic. I take it back, the remote sensing guy is a bit too geniusy.
The main characters are more than cardboard cutouts but only about as fleshed out as you expect from a tv mini-series where everybody is above average. Couples are paired off. Birth control isn't mentioned but maybe it should be considered.
I compared it to "The Martian" to give you an idea of the genre this book falls into. "Boundary" is not as well written but it does survive the comparison. The dialog in "The Martian" sounds more authentic then The "Boundary" dialog. "Boundary" has a subplot provided by the security officer (a la "Hunt for Red October") that is contrived. If you have worked with security people you will be squirming.
About the recording, it seems slowed down. I listened at 1.5 speed because it just plods at regular speed. The reader does a serviceable job.
I am a 67 yo disabled Vet who lives in N. Texas. I was a medic in the Army during the Viet Nam war, got an MS in ecology and just retired.
When a funny looking fossil 65 million years old is saddled with a scientific name which is tongue in cheek based on the initials B.E.M. for Bug Eyed Monster, everyone thinks the lady who found it and named it is a little wacko. Until...
Suddenly, there's evidence there's actually been others of it's kind here in our solar system, based on Mars, and the race to get to the base where the blasted things were is on. There is danger, romance, and adventure aplenty along with politics and international relations just to spice things up in this space opera. It's a fun romp through the solar system with some unusual characters and John Ringo's inimitable style. It's fun.
Jonathan Walker, unfortunately has some pronunciation problems and puts emphasis habitually on certain phrases that does detract a bit. It's not fatal, and he does keep the characters separated with distinct voices. It's only a bit annoying at times, so four stars instead of five... sorry Jonathan.
All in all, I recommend it to those who like John Ringo and sci-fi.
It grabs you right at the beginning
The characters development from the start
Buying book two now
The narrator read the entire book like a politician reading a speech.. he paused, at all, of, the, wron, g, places. it was, disappointing, and, diffi, cult, to listen to.
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