A marooned outpost of humanity struggles to survive on a startlingly alien world. John Redlantern, one of the 532 degenerating descendants of two marooned space explorers, will break the laws of Eden, shatter the Family, and change history. He will be the first to abandon hope, the first to abandon the old ways, the first to kill another, the first to venture into the Dark, and the first to discover the truth about Eden....
Chris Beckett is a university lecturer living in Cambridge. He has written over 20 short stories, many of them originally published in Interzone and Asimov's. In 2009 he won the Edge Hill Short Story competition for his collection of stories, The Turing Test.
©2013 Chris Beckett (P)2013 Audible Ltd
The book starts a bit slow and it's a very unusual kind of story, but you get into it fairly quickly. The bulk of the book is a great character study, with very real young people in it, but the end fell apart. Even without changing the plot, the end could have been written better.
Much of the subject matter is too adult for the rest of the book. That's not to say it didn't belong there. I think it was well treated and necessary for the story. The problem is that in every other respect it would be a great bit of young adult science fiction -- the adolescent exploration of a new environment, the rebellion against the enforced status quo, etc. are all staples of good YASF; but there's just too much content that I'd say most parents would want to wait for late teens (at least) before being comfortable with the kids getting to deep into.
The story was well read, and the subject matter well treated for all that.
"There's nothing like it."
It takes a fairly straight forward idea but the way it is told and written takes my breathe away. There is so much to it and yet it is simply told. The style of writing is unique but chosen with a reason that slowly emerges. I needed 30 minutes to 'tune in' to this book (I don't usually need that) but then I was hooked.
I have absolutely nothing to compare this book to.
It is like a 21st Century Rudyard Kipling except he didn't write Sci Fi.
John. The world does have a few people like this.
It's a deep book and yes, pretty dark!
The portrayal of the dark world really works on audio book. There is so much this book gets right, everyone should read it (though not young children).
"It just ended ..... what?"
I liked the idea and concepts in the book, the narration was good and painted the story well. But as it reached its climax .... it just ended, literally mid sentence. I was so disappointed! I even re-downloaded the chapters to make sure I'd not been mistaken, nope that was it.
It had good promise, but ended up being a waste of time and money. Real Shame.
"A differently told tale that held my interest"
I found this story to be very much a look at the different characters of people in a group. From that perspective I found it quite interesting. The story itself was a believable mixture of things which happened to give the characters something to react to and things that logically follow from the actions of the characters.
The narrative is from the first person perspective of members of the groups and that really helps with bringing out their inner thoughts. Often the same event is seen from multiple perspectives. I found that this device worked quite well and never felt the need to "get on with the story".
I liked this book in a large part because of it's novelty value, it's always nice to read something a little different if it's well done.
The story is narrated by two people and I found both very easy to listen to.
"Compelling characters on a rogue planet"
This story has a great stage. A rogue planet: A planet without a sun where the majority of life on the planet has evolved bioluminescence to survive. There are some good compelling character arches and the plot continues to move throughout.
Performances from both narrators are great. Their voices clearly define different characters and have the range from young to old making both sound comfortable. One little thing that did annoy me is that the characters in the book repeat words to emphasise (saying "cold cold" rather than "really cold") and each narrator delivers this in different ways. Would've been nice to have consistency (I prefer the man's delivery) but this is a very little niggle.
A great read (listen).
"Very well put together and enjoyable!"
I think the readers performances added an extra dimension to an already good experience!
The story flowed very well and held my interest constantly. Definitely a book I could listen to in one sitting.
This story is an excellent example of a well balanced book. It combines an interesting concept and situation in a not to unlikely future with excellent characters, well paced storyline and good plot.
I was very pleasantly surprise with this book!
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