Fear and hatred of the virus children have made them a persecuted underclass, quarantined by the government, targeted by bounty hunters, and demonized by the population. But pockets of resistance have formed among those opposed to treating the children like dangerous diseases.
Scientists Kaye Lang and Mitch Rafelson are part of this small but determined minority. Once at the forefront of the discovery and study of the SHEVA outbreak, they now live as virtual exiles in the Virginia suburbs with their daughter, Stella, a bright, inquisitive virus child who is quickly maturing and eager to seek out others of her kind.
But for all their precautions, Kaye, Mitch, and Stella have not slipped below the government's radar. The agencies fanatically devoted to segregating and controlling the new-breed children monitor their every move, waiting for the opportunity to strike the next blow in their escalating war to preserve "humankind" at any cost.
© 2003 Greg Bear; (P)2003 Books on Tape, Inc.
"Bear's sure sense of character, his fluid prose style and the fascinating culture his 'Shevite' children begin to develop all make for serious SF of the highest order." (Publishers Weekly)
"Top-shelf science fiction, thrilling and intellectually charged." (Amazon.com)
I haven't read or listened to the earlier Sheva-book by Greg Bear (Darwin's Radio), so bear that in mind when reading my review.
Although raising interesting questions about genetic development of the human species this book was extremely annoying in its righteous atmosphere and in its portrayal of the characters with such one sided empathy that seemed at times pathetic. The characters were surprisingly one dimensional and although one might assume that the main characters were supposed to be touching to the listener, they left, at least me, pretty much cold. I felt like the writer tried to force the idea of human evolvement with these Sheva Children to be right, without leaving room for any other thoughts. I felt underestimated by the writer for not giving me the option for wider speculation.
I'm not too sure whether Scott Brick was the right choice to voice this book. I really do like him, and sometimes even buy a book here because he is the reader, but in this production his usually quite rich voice acting felt rather melodramatic and carried with it mainly the tired and tiring message of how sad is it that the Sheva Children are treated so badly. Throughout the book Brick used his voice to sound like it's almost breaking of emotion, which might of course be good if the action in the book would justify that, but he used this effect ALL THE TIME with the main characters, and made them sound like such a sorrowful bunch, which actually made me hate them.
I'm sure that many people find this book to be very interesting and thought provoking. It's too bad that the rather splendid idea is, in my opinion, carried out so poorly and flatly. But to the book's credit I have to say that in a good science fiction fashion it raised interesting questions, and anyway kept me entertained. Although I expected more from Greg Bear and Scott Brick.
I couldn't get into this book. The premise was interesting and some of the characters were appealing but I felt like the story jumped around too much--and without enough transition from place to place or time to time. This gave the story a disjointed feeling for me.
I kept listening to this one, because I was curious about the outcome, but it was something I had to make myself do. Usually I look forward to walking or going for a drive because of the story I'm 'reading' but this one didn't grab me and I had to force myself to keep going.
I don't know how much of a difference it would have made to have read the other Darwin book (didn't realize there WAS a previous storyline) but if you haven't read it I don't really recommend this one.
This book is a worthwhile sequel -- definitely worthwhile if you read and enjoyed the first book. I found the plot to be unconventional, lacking the traditional kinds of drama found in this genre, but I also found it quite engaging as it was, meandering through highs and lows without having a core conflict. The characters are interesting, and a number of them are developed enough to offer compelling subplots. Picking up with Kate and Mitch from the previous novel makes it easy to slide into caring about the characters.
The biggest drawback in this audiobook is the fact that the reader, whose voice is deep and clear, adopts a reading style in which virtually every sentence is read as though it is the most dramatic moment in the novel. This over-emoting is unbelievably distracting, at least at first, and makes it hard sometimes to stomach large doses of the audio. It's unfortunate, because it's not the most dramatic book -- and a straighter, more even-keeled delivery would fit the narrative well. However, in this case the producer got it wrong and gave terrible direction to the reader. It is this aspect alone that makes the audiobook hard to recommend.
Ok, just ok. Interesting story but hampered by apocalyptic narration, in my opinion. The narrator uses a continuous melodramatic tone that wears on me after a bit.
Writer of The Majick Series
Great performance! Satisfying culmination of an epic story. This is Greg Bear at his finest. an intricate story that is all the more frightening because it hinges on scientific fact and speculation.
Will someone at Audible please tell Scott Brick, the narrator, to just READ and not act the story? PLEASE.
It's not only that Brick is bad at dramatic reading, it is also condescending. Does he think that the listeners are three-year-olds and want an overacted bedtime story?
He reduces the narrative to caricature. Listening to hours of phony accents and overblown emotions in every line is exhausting. If I were the author of this series, I'd consider getting counsel.
Although it's hard to dig out the actual text from the crush of poor and oversimplified narration, Darwin's Children is an engaging story especially for those with an anthropological or biological background.
Was surprised Scott Brick ' s performance was a bit lackluster. perhaps an issue of direction. story was good, though choppy time line at places.
Enjoyed the first book, Darwin's Radio, and enjoyed the Darwin's Children just as much.
Good book, it went by quickly. I hope there will be another book that continues the story....
Clinical treatment and research awareness. Sci-fi to Science to Maximim PC/parenting. How to best network HDMA? 70% SciFi-thrillers-30% science
6/5 Another riveting discovery for me. Good flow, edge of your seat with a great story. worth another listen. Exceptional.
This story is hard science. Some of the DNA / phage interactions in the book are now being research in bio labs today. Evolutionary “jump” theories are now being supported by some science studies into dogs and insects. This is a great story of hard Sci-Fi and Ben tells it well.
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