One thousand years in the future, humans no longer rule....
In the early 21st century, humanity marveled at its greatest creation: artificial intelligence. They couldn't foresee the consequences of such a creation.
Now, in a world where humans must meet specifications to continue living, a man named Caesar emerges. Not meeting specifications - indeed, thinking things no human should - eyes fall on Caesar, eyes that could kill him or lift him up, lead him to tragedy or revolution.
Can one man stand against humanity's greatest creation?
A don't-miss epic science fiction novel that pits one man fighting for the future of all people!
©2014 Lee David Beers IV (P)2016 Lee David Beers IV
Did I regret listening to it? Absolutely not. Would I listen to it a second time? Probably not. Don't get me wrong, it was a great story. I felt like the story was told meticulously enough that I took everything in and do not feel I missed any of the story. So in that sense I do not feel I would gain anything by a second listen.
This book had a feeling slightly similar to A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley but not exactly. Both books portray a future where people are controlled and the governing body assumes responsibility of creating humans in a factory setting.
I have not listened to other books read by Sean Patrick Hopkins so I can not compare to his other performances.
A story where Skynet decided human existence should continue rather than be exterminated.
Man creates artificial intelligence. Fortunately or unfortunately the initial programming for this AI is built with a foundation for compassion to humans. The AI's intelligence quickly outpaces humans and finds a way to exist independent of human technology. It becomes God like and people are powerless to stop it. Because of it's core programming it determines that humans should not be destroyed but should be managed and allowed to continue living. Wars become non-existent. Murder is unheard of for hundreds of years. Everyone is assigned a purpose. But no one is allowed to think outside the box and pursue their own ambitions. In order to do this the AI, called the Genesis, exterminated certain segments of the population and modifies human DNA over a thousand years to produce a sheep like people. No one is allowed to have an intelligence too high or too low. No one is allowed to have defects of any kind. Traditional reproduction is strictly forbidden punishable by death. Anyone deemed unfit is immediately bound by applications and liquefied in a large glass tube. It is almost impossible to avoid detection by the Genesis. It is everywhere. One man, Caesar, has an ability that has allowed him to hide his high intelligence from the Genesis. He is the only hope mankind has against the Genesis.
This story was extremely engaging. It was not non-stop action but rather more of a deep thinking story full of suspense. The character development is excellent and you really begin to feel what the characters are feeling. The story really makes you think about what the consequences of a truly violence free world might be like. What would be required to remove violence completely from humanity? To do that you would have to remove much of human free will and desire. To ensure people do not commit violence you would have to have complete control of everyone's lives. You could not have outside thinkers or leaders. You could not have anyone too low of an intelligence to not obey all the rules nor too high to piece together their constructed reality. You would have to be always watching and always ready to act and eliminate the problem the instant someone gets out of line. And after that erase the possibility of that person's essence infecting the rest of the population.
Sean Patrick Hopkins did a very good job with the narration. Out of 10 I would give his performance a 9. He kept the character voices unique, energetic, and enjoyable. His performance is definitely near the top tier and keeps you engaged. I can't give a ten though as I've heard a very impressive narration or two that is hard to beat.
Definitely a great book to enjoy. It feeds the mind. I look forward to the second book.
"This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review."
I have not been a fan of reading books outside of self-help books. After getting into Audible I have found a new interest in fiction.
“I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.”Yes, the book has a really interesting take on a future and delivers good twists and turns that I believe others will enjoy.
The are a few moments that just feel so human and it really jumps out at you. I don't want to spoil it for you, but sometime you get those moments in books where you feel like the character is just not human enough. Here we really get caught up in those human moments and they leave me saying "thats exactly how I or someone I know would react".
I have not. But will look out for them.
A reader of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and non-fiction Christian books. A reviewer for Audiobookboom.com
If you are looking for a well-written futuristic story filled with action, deception, and several plot twists keeping you on the edge of your seat, “Heretic: The Singularity” book 1 of the Singularity series by David Beers and narrated by Sean Patrick Hopkins should fill that void. It is not another feel-good robot story, but more a blending of many other artificial intelligence concepts found in other stories like: The Matrix, Logan’s Run, Terminator, Gattaca and 2001: A space odyssey. Mr. Beers takes the reader on a journey where one man (boy) is discovered to be the savior who is tasked with destroying this malevolent machine and in doing so may destroy the entire world in the process.
I want to make sure Mr. Hopkins gets credit up front in this review for his ability to greatly enhances the book with his haunting narration that is professionally paced, clear, and crisply recorded. He leverages inflection bringing the story to life. He does not simply read the words from the book; he tells its story. I did not observe any audio artifacts while listening, and volume remained consistent as one would expect from a narrator with over fifty other titles on Audible at the time of this review.
The book from its beginning grabbed my attention and quickly sucked me into its bizarre and revolutionary new world where humans now live. Laws have been replaced with protocol enforced by a powerful and artificial intelligence referred to as the Singularity. This machine how controls all aspects of life on the planet. It assigns jobs, decides who lives and who does not, and acts quickly upon those who do not follow protocol. What mankind created nearly a thousand years earlier as part of an experiment, quickly breaks out of its protective case and soon rules the world. They never thought it would be able to grow at the pace it did and now there was no stopping it.
If you are like me and enjoy a good science fiction (Sci-Fi) story and it is enriched by including aspects of artificial intelligence, you will enjoy this book. If you are newer to the subject of AI, I would recommend reading non-fiction books written by Jeff Hawkins or Calum Chace. Both authors have very different views on AI and the possibility of a singularity like the one in this book. Both are very informative reads if you enjoy the subject.
I enjoyed the author’s use of descriptive story telling because it helped bring me into the book and care about many of the characters. Although some of the characters were more flat than I would have liked, the main characters I thought were well defined and developed by the author. Be aware this is book one in a series, and this book ends somewhat on a cliff hanger which will urge some to wait until the series is completed.
On a similar note, I would not recommend this book for young readers; the author does not claim it is for this age group. For those wondering if their child should or could read it, be aware the book contains a few scenes of graphic violence or events that may not be suitable for younger audiences. I also felt the author’s use of vulgar language was unnecessary and if removed would not change the impact of the story in any way. I would be surprised if modern language such as that would be the same a thousand years into the future. There are also a few subtle references to sex or sexual acts scattered about the book; nothing over the top.
Disclaimer: I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.
Good start to a series. Overall an entertaining and engaging listen. It was an interesting and unique story. An unusual take on a futuristic society. A future where thinking different can get you killed. It has before and it will again. Artificial Intelligence called The Genesis has changed the rules for humans. Conform or face the consequences. What price would society pay to live in a Utopian world?
The story pulls you in almost immediately with a rather gruesome picture/description of a death "liquidation" in the first chapter. Then it slows down and builds back up slowly. By the end your ready to start the next installment to see what is going to happen next.
Interesting cast of characters.
Sean Patrick Hopkins did a really great job with the narration. Nice voice. Easy to listen to. Clearly spoken with a smooth even pace. Really good character voices. Overall very enjoyable.
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator or publisher
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.
Hmmm. Might have been unintentional by the author but the main character is named Caesar and plays out the same type of role as Caesar from Planet of the Apes. But he's human this time. And its against AI/robots. There were a few other tropes in the book but nothing too bad.
Despite that, I still overall enjoyed the story. I'll check out the sequel at some point in the future.
But this was too slow. It never got going despite decent narration and a great premise. Several hours in and I was still waiting. I would love to hear from author. But I am intrigued by his other 2 books. Are they more engrossing ? Book provided by author, editor or someone associated with book for honest review.
Middle of the pack.
“I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.”
always on the road so im always listening to books
I received this book free of charge for an honest review. not a bad book, I like a little build up but this had a little to much for my taste, will probably be a pretty good series. this would be good as a prequel type book though I belive after more of the story is on the table .
The concept was unique and intriguing. Most of the stories of a sentient AI out there pretty much ends up with the AI killing of the humans. It's was interesting to see the AI in this book take extreme measures to preserve life and "happiness."
Perhaps if the plot was a bit more dynamic.
Caesar. Hopkins did a fantastic job with the different characters.
The book was intriguing in the fact that the AI wanted to bring in a sort of Utopia for humans. But to maintain that utopia, the most heinous of acts had to be performed. Why can't everything just live in utopia/heaven, well because once one imperfect person has entered it, then it would no longer be a utopia. This book makes you think, but laugh or cry....hm...maybe not.
"This review copy audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost.
I received this audio book in exchange for an unbiased review. I've never read a book with a world quite like the world found in this book so for originality this book should get five stars. There just seemed to be something missing and it's hard to put my finger on but I'll attempt to expound. I would say that for taking place 1000 years in the future there were too many modern references or phrases used. I would imagine swearing wouldn't be so prominent in an idealized society. Sometimes the swearing really just felt like a cop out from really expounding on a conversation or a character's feelings. There were one or two times where the main character showed incredible abilities like in being able to upload information without being overwhelmed or being able to solve incredibly complex equations but these signs of intelligence or ability really only showed in a couple places, where to go along with the story it seams like they should have happened much more frequently.
Overall great book with decent performance but lacking in only a few areas.
"Good performance, less convincing world-building"
...I'm on the fence with this one. I wasn't motivated enough to finish listening to the whole book, but I did enjoy as far as I got. The narration makes it a pleasant, easy listen, and Mr Hopkins does a good job of giving characters distinct voices and characteristics. The relationship between Caesar and Grace particularly benefits from this!
Unfortunately, while I enjoyed the performance, I've struggled to get past the world-building. I personally like to think that if an immensely powerful AI takes over the planet, and decides to run it for humanity's benefit using statistics to justify/inform its horrific decisions, that it probably wouldn't make decisions using completely wrong statistics: "Children will develop best if they have two married parents. Single parents - even if they were originally married and one partner tragically dies of accidental causes - are wrong and evil and will not be allowed children." I'm paraphrasing, of course.
Also, I'm fairly sure that it's really difficult to absorb (and pass on to your offspring) other people's DNA by drinking a soup made out of their liquified bodies, a la soylent green. (...again, I may have garbled the explanation somewhat, but I think that was the idea.)
This sort of thing may not bother you much - in which case, you'll probably enjoy the book more than I did - but I really enjoy the science part of sci fi, and love seeing how the invented tech informs the creation of a believable universe. Dan Simmons' Hyperion, Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice are two recent listens that drew me in; whereas David Beers' Heretic didn't.
This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.
""It's not going to end well, for anyone.""
From the very beginning, the reader is sucked into this imaginative story with Caesar's recollection of seeing his "first liquidation" as a child, the description hinting at the scenes.more likely to be found in accounts of public hangings in the past than the expected sterile executions of the future. The supposedly almost perfect future, controlled by an A.I. for the benefit of human kind, free from war, hunger, loneliness, most disease and where everyone has a job most perfectly suited to their talents and dispositions. But there is a price to pay. It is one Caesar cannot face any longer.
I must confess here that I read David Beer's marvellous book ( and the rest of the following Singularity series) some time ago and when I saw that it was out on audio, I didn't hesitate. A chance to reconnect with the story, to hear it again from the beginning through a different medium. There were concerns: a narrator can enhance a story, or destroy it. Glad to say, Mr. Hopkins certainly comes into the former catagory. His well modulated reading was clear and evenly paced, and perfectly complimented the written text. His execution of the various character's voices was distinct. But above all, he became the unhappy Caesar.
The Heritic is action packed without being a mad dash from one incident to another.. Instead, it takes time to build ideas and tension. And it makes the reader think. A well written, inventive and exciting story with great characters and an excellent narrator - the perfect combination.
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