©2003 Jack McDevitt; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
"Chindi is an ambitious, exciting, big-idea hard-SF novel that ventures successfully into Rendezvous with Rama territory, and beyond." (Amazon.com review)
Comparing the audio version to the printed word is comparing apple to oranges, but the advantage to the audio version is the ability to continue to story while on the go. The written version is better curled up in bed with book in hand and a cup of tea on the night-stand.
Chindi follows in the tradition of Deepsix and Engines of the Gods, but only better. Jack McDevitt really hits his stride with this one.
Having two readers enhances the reading experience by breaking up the monotony and bringing the novel to life. Wyman's role is primarily delivering quotes during the chapter divisions and Hvan narrates the story..
The excitement is sprinkled throughout the novel but reaches a major crescento as the expedition explores the Chindi vessel.
Chindi length is slightly greater than many of the Sci-fi novels and so the listener will invest extra time reaching the end, but the end is worth it.
First - I really enjoyed Khristine Hvam's reading of the book. She does a very good job.
Second - yes, there is far too much time spent on one of the plot points (the rescue operation, as noted by others) - but getting to the plot device is fun adventure with some decent suspense along the way.
Third - if you can get past #2, Chindi is a pretty good adventure novel w/ some pretty interesting personalities in the characters, believable physics, a great heroine character with a catchy name (really, who names people "Hutch" these days? that's a hoot!)
Fourth - I'm about 85% through, and really looking forward to the culmination of the books' namesake - what is the purpose of the Chindi?
This was both my first audio book and the first Jack McDevitt book I have encountered. I have a 2 hour commute each day and thought an audio book would make a change to the technology podcasts I usually listen to. Thanks to the character formation, pace of the story and narration, I looked forward to the drive to and from work - and even listened to the book when I got home (something I never did with the podcasts!)
The story is exciting and very well developed, at times you are literally on the edge of your seat (I found I was gripping the steering wheel very hard at times). I also found I became very emotionally connected to the characters, partly because of the wonderful narration by Khristine Hvam, and partly because of the skilful way McDevitt introduced and developed the characters.
I can recommend this audio book to anyone interested in the Sci Fi genre, and to anyone who enjoys an exciting story. I will definitely be buying other Jack McDevitt audio books.
I don't usually comment on titles I listen to but must do it on this. It was one of the best that I have listen to in a long while. Khristine Hvam was outstanding in the reading of the book. Would reccmmend this book to all.
I've grown to love Jack McDevitt's visual detail writing, especially his character Hutch.. The Chindi I enjoyed reading and all that I enjoyed of can't wait to get to the next page was just as fun hearing it on audio.. Good twist and turns through out. Enjoyed a story line that I didn't know where it was going even after when we got there, he found a way to slip one more suprise in there through out... Always a good story to return to again and again.
Almost listen to it in one rush. This is the second audiobook where I was IN the story (next to RAMA). Well plotted storyline, original ideas! Where is the sequel!
Fantasy and Romance Author
I bought this book during one of Audible's $4.95 sales, and I'm happy I didn't pay more.
The blurb for the book sounded interesting, so I decided to take a chance on an unknown author. Sadly, this author's "tell, don't show" writing style did not appeal to me at all, and made for a plodding narrative pace. This is the kind of book where every character is introduced with a mini-bio, and you're told what kind of person he or she is. Which is necessary, I suppose, because their dialogue is pretty interchangable and doesn't serve to characterize the speakers, as better writers are wont to do.
I listened to the first hour, and decided to give up.
The time spent was probably worth it, but it, like Deepsix, became tedious in that the major subtext is everything will go wrong, people will die from bad decisions, but nobody in the group will learn anything from that and will repeat the cycle.
This book is cry much like Deepsix. The characters refuse to learn anything no matter how many of them are killed. When the same thing happens time after time after time, then the need for the big rescue at the end because nobody every learned anything, becomes tedious.
Oliver Wyman is used only to read interstitial passages between chapter, so in this book he can't bring any of his characteristic reading to the book. Khristine Hvam is a solid reader, but she assigns pseudo-British accents to some characters of no discernible reason. Especially since at least one of them (if not both) are pretty well identified as American.
I enjoy the settings and basic story line, and the details of discoveries, I have problems with characters that seem intelligent but are just repletion engines used to cause disaster. It seems the McDevitt becomes lazy in his plotting and can't do anything besides write a disaster short story 5-6 times in a single novel. He forces the reader to go beyond simple suspension of disbelief into the realm of saying "Oh, come on. Again?"
This is one of my favorite sci-fi books of all time. I read it (print version) many years ago and it blew me away.
I was very exited to find this available on Audible, so I got it, but I was less than thrilled with the audio version because of the narrator. She sounds too young and ... well, kind of valley-girl-ish. I don't know if that's an apt description -- she did not sound like I expected Priscilla Hutchins to sound. Not enough gravitas. Too teeny-bopper-ish, or something.
I did not get the same vibe from "Deepsix", yet I see that it's narrated by the same person. "The Engines of God" has a different narrator, and it is far and away the best of the series so far, in audiobook form.
This a very good book with a delightful narration. The story goes from crisis to crisis. We had a difficult time stopping each evening as my wife and I listened, in fact we spent the time we'd plan to read our current printed library book listening to this one, to the point I had to renew it. The character development made us feel like we knew them.
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