Nine brilliant scientists travel light-years on a one-way trip to an Earthlike planet. Their mission is to study from orbit the two species of intelligent lifeforms on the surface. The first: an isolated people embarking on civilization and building their world's first city. The second: a brutal race of massive predators, spread thick and still growing across the dominant landmass - destined to breed and eat their way to extinction within a few centuries.
After eight years of observation, disaster strikes the orbiting station, and only two crewmembers eject successfully. Drifting down through a dark, alien sky, the pair realizes their escape pod launched not toward the safety of the city but to the other side of the planet, touching down deep inside a land no human could possibly survive.
©2014 Michael Siemsen (P)2015 Podium Publishing
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The dictionary.com definition of the word exigency is as follows:
[ek-si-juh n-see, ig-zij-uh n-]
noun, plural exigencies.
1. exigent state or character; urgency.
2.Usually, exigencies. the need, demand, or requirement intrinsic to a circumstance, condition, etc.:
the exigencies of city life.
3. a case or situation that demands prompt action or remedy; emergency:
He promised help in any exigency.
The title of this book by Michael Siemsen immediately made me interested in listening to it. It’s catchy, feels fast paced and lured me in. Narrated by Julia Whelan Exigency is the story of a team of scientists in the far future who are in orbit studying a developing planet. They observe flora and most… urgently the fauna. There are two species of note on the planet, the Hyanka and the Threck. Both species are intelligent and are developing societies, science and such.
Calamity of course strikes the space station they are on and they must evacuate. Their escape pod lands in a dangerous region of the planet and the exigency begins. They can’t survive for long on their own, and they now must enlist the aid of the aliens.
The main character in the book is a neurotic, ill scientist named Minnie(Minerva) I found her to very well developed and deep as a unique character but ultimately unlikable. The remainder of the book’s human characters are fairly shallow and don’t add much other than skill sets or dialogue partners for Minnie. The aliens in the book are very alien and are well done. They don’t feel anthropomorphized in the least and they’re spoke in such a way by Julia that they feel like they’re not just ‘other humans.’
In audio the book suffered from the back and forth written communication style. There’s a messaging system the humans use that’s essentially like modern day texting and on paper I can imagine that it’s far easier to read. In audio however I felt irritated by the prefacing of initials, abbreviations and the ‘l33t sp33k’ feel of it. It didn’t register as entertaining or particularly clever to me, though I can see how it would be much better in the written book.
Despite its anything but urgent start, and lower level of the action I expected out of a book about scientists stranded on a dangerous alien planet Exigency is entertaining. It seemed far more about cultural clashes and the language barrier of meeting new civilizations, and I found that element well written and interesting. If you’re into hard science fiction and the future of space exploration Exigency has something to offer you.
Julia Whelan’s performance of the title is entertaining and well done. Her fluid dance between character voices and species becomes easy to follow very quickly and makes the book a pleasure to listen to.
Audiobook was provided for review by the publisher.
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I've read this book 3 times and was dying for the audiobook because Julia Whalen was narrating. Such an outstanding job.
Lisa Davidson is a poet, author, and devoted bibliophile (myopic from age four). Listening to audiobooks is pure bliss. Thank you, Audible!
Interesting concepts and characters (human and alien). The author relied a bit too heavily on shifting POV and overlapping episodes as a technique to maintain suspense, but the original content was a true artistic pleasure--even with painful death scenes. Definitely not your same-old, same-old!
The general story is quite interesting. The performance is excellent. But it gets extremely boring for long passages. There was literally a 30 min description about peeing...
The story is mainly about the emotions of the characters and the anatomy / society / history of the indigenous species. Some parts are quite constructed, too long, not really flowing. While the basic universe is quite interesting and especially very realistic (which I really like) the story is be too realistic / random for my taste. And it definitely did not help that I could not fore myself to really care for the characters...
Apparently, this author sees future human deep space missions and colonization composed of a crew of emasculated weak men led by strong lesbian women. If you find this works for you, then you'll really enjoy this book, but unfortunately I just couldn't get into the emtional interactions.
Probably not, particularly if the interpersonal themes stay the same ....
Julia is the only thing that got me through this book. She's one of the best readers in audio books and honestly, she could make reading the dictionary exciting. In fact, one of the primary reasons I picked this book was because she was listed as the reader....
I don't know; I guess I grew up on great science fiction/fantasy; Jules Verne, Ray Bradbury, Heinlein, whatever - with fascinating new technologies, great stories; things that filled you with wonder; and generally all plausible. Hard to find these days. This story is none of those; folks text and phone; learn complex alien languages in a matter of days; supposedly skilled astronauts freak out at first encounters; there's a certain fascination with elimination..... I don't know. I guess I
just didn't find the story interesting
or Imaginative enough for this genre.
overall it was a good book but unfortunately I listen to audio books when driving so I feel like I missed some parts cause of distractions
Blind listener reading everything, especially sf&f & mystery/thrillers, restricted to audio so picky where credits are spent #BooksRule
A very good read... Some really intriguing ideas and mindsets explored... The aliens are very well done, and not only do you get inter species conflict, but intra species as well... Nicely done writing showing differences in ideology within cultures and societies, but also those differences as viewed from w/o by differing beings... I love truly love when aliens are done as something other than odd looking humanoids;). The author does a nice job of changing perspective, and showing the evolution of thought within dispirit groups as well... Minerva is a great character w/ fascinating flaws... John and Ether are good in supporting roles, but Minnie steals this show... Excellent worlld building, evocative settings, and a book that makes ya' think... The narration was good, but this reader needs to quit trying to do male voices and just stick w/ her normal speaking one... Not as big a deal as there is a limited amount of male dialogue... It's worth the credit and some cogitation;). I find myself hoping the story continues...
My first experience of Michael Siemsen story-telling and will definitely not be my last. Fascinating, exciting and richly detailed, I have nothing but praise for Exigency. Julia Whelan was a wonderful narrator and I could not imagine anyone more accomplished in bringing the diverse characters to life.
"entertaining space opera"
good storytelling including skilful internal dialogue of main character! Descriptions of aliens slightly less convincing. Lively narrator, would read another
"I can see this being a film"
Loved the idea of the story.... I wish that the forward and backwards was more sectioned so it's not as confusing.
descriptions of the creatures were confusing and I couldn't picture any of them.
I wish I'd loved this more. I found myself getting distracted and realised I'd missed a chunk of the story! Maybe I'll try it again one day.
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