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Island in the Sea of Time | [S. M. Stirling]

Island in the Sea of Time

During a perfect spring evening on Nantucket, a violent storm erupts and a dome of crawling, colored fire blankets the island. When the howling winds subside and the night skies clear, the stars appear to have shifted. The mainland has become a wilderness of unbroken forest, where tools of bronze and stone litter the beaches, and primitive natives scatter in terror.
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Publisher's Summary

During a perfect spring evening on Nantucket, a violent storm erupts and a dome of crawling, colored fire blankets the island. When the howling winds subside and the night skies clear, the stars appear to have shifted. The mainland has become a wilderness of unbroken forest, where tools of bronze and stone litter the beaches, and primitive natives scatter in terror.

A startling phenomenon has occurred: The island of Nantucket has been swept into the long-ago past. With its inhabitants adrift in the year 1250 BC, there is only one question to be answered: Can they survive?

©1998 S. M. Stirling; (P)2008 Tantor

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (702 )
5 star
 (279)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Overall
4.1 (388 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (377 )
5 star
 (180)
4 star
 (140)
3 star
 (42)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (7)
Performance
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  •  
    Kevin Dominion, Nova Scotia, Canada 11-26-08
    Kevin Dominion, Nova Scotia, Canada 11-26-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    162
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    181
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
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    Overall
    "Listen to this before "Dies the fire""

    I got this after i had listened to the "Dies the fire" series, and was slightly disappointed. Not that the book is bad, it isn't. Its quite good. But many of the same ideas, themes and plot devices are used in his later books (only natural, as they are all tied together). However, Island in a Sea of Time feels far less polished then the later books. Again, not surprising, but for maximum enjoyment and to try ro follow the proper timeline, this one first.

    Great narration, and regardless of the order they are read, i enjoy SM Sterlings' writing, and this was no exception.

    33 of 35 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K Cornwinkle Forestville, CA USA 03-08-13
    K Cornwinkle Forestville, CA USA 03-08-13 Member Since 2008

    Say something about Yusef. Uh...he was a great horn player?

    HELPFUL VOTES
    223
    ratings
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    118
    38
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    FOLLOWING
    21
    10
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "After 1632, this seems real."

    The writing is much better; less cliches (although dawn comes up like thunder -how does this metaphor even work, I've always wondered).
    Bonus points for strong female characters without all of them being over the top.
    Alas, like 1632, the book is so long (not that I mind) that one tends to start wondering about the plausibility of the rapid adaptations of what remains of 20th century technology to the times -steam engines and the like. Not as quickly in this series but still.
    Also, the bad guy, while evil to the core is not a cartoon and needs to be the sociopath he is for what he does to work.
    Unlike 1632, one can't Wiki the history (what on earth was the 30 years war -ah, there it is-MY GOD!) along with the plot. Many of the civilizations exist only in speculative and sometimes somewhat arcane archaeology.I kind of wonder if this is a cult book on Nantucket and at the USCG Academy.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Santee, CA, USA 05-21-09
    Lisa Santee, CA, USA 05-21-09 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    89
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    84
    38
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    FOLLOWING
    3
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    Overall
    "Loved this first book in the series...BUT:"

    I was totally hooked into this one, 25 hours of pure bliss, I couldn't get enough. Absolutely great writing, great narration, loved the plot lines, etc. BUT - of course I bought the rest of the series, "Against the Tide of Years" and "On the Oceans of Eternity" - and they were a lot harder for me to finish. This story did not need to be spread out as long as this, and the plot lines got very threadbare and bedraggled by the last 20 hours or so. The characters I originally met in "Island.." starting taking back seats or disappearing altogether. The bad guy from the island (Walker) is not around much in the 2nd book and disposed of in a very unsatifying way in the 3rd, and really most of the 2nd and the entire 3rd is just a waste of time, IMHO. Consider yourself warned - if you get bored in the middle of #2, you can just quit and you won't miss anything.

    18 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Irvine, CA, USA 01-23-10
    Mike Irvine, CA, USA 01-23-10 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Great Listen"

    This is my first review of any audible "book" in the 4 years that I've been a member. This book held my interest and was so interesting that upon finishing this book I downloaded the other two books in this specific series. It's also my first foray into science fiction from mysteries and adventuer novels and I'm glad I downloaded it. It sure held my interest and made me want to listen to more books that the author has done. For me, it was a wonderful choice.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peggy Somerville, MA, United States 07-18-11
    Peggy Somerville, MA, United States 07-18-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
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    2
    2
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Moderately Interesting"

    I wanted to see if other readers felt the same as me and came across Charles' rant:

    "This is sick trash!!
    By Charles (Lumberton, Texas, United States) Jun 11, 2011
    "I cannot believe all the 5 star ratings that this book received. The main character is a black, gay, women , who is a captain in the coast guard. She seduces a teenage girl, can outfight any man in the known world, great military tactician, and somewhat a minor politician. Ridiculous!! There is numerous lesbian sex scenes, S&M sex scenes, rape, and one character who teaches two 12 year old girls to use S&M sexual torture on a male prisoner. This is the worst trash I have ever listened to and be assured I'm not a prude or bible thump-er. Makes me wonder what kind of sicko this author is."

    Now, I didn't care for the book for a couple of reasons, but I completely disagree with Sir Charles. Dude, saying you aren't a Bible thumper (or a bigot) doesn't make it any less true. Some of what Charles mentions is actually what made me stick with the book to the end. Well, different strokes I guess. That being said, I wouldn't recommend the book. I recognize that a lot of people did/will enjoy it, but the book was a mixed bag for me. It started out well...time travel and the struggle to adapt to a novel environment, but then it gets a little bogged down in agricultural/fishing/division of labor details, which reminded me a little of Moby Dick. I'm of the opinion that Melville could have told the story of Moby Dick in about fifty pages and the same could be said of Island. Again, different strokes. The second half of the book is mostly military strategy and battle sequences. It was too much an amalgam of stories I've read before. I considered getting the entire Nantucket series, but I think I'll go in a different direction this time.

    12 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Bai 03-31-09
    Bill Bai 03-31-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    147
    6
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    2
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    Overall
    "Great Alternate History Series"

    This is one of my favorite alternate history series of books, and was one of the first I read that got me into this genre.
    The storyline and pacing moves along very well in my opinion. There are plenty of characters and plotlines to keep it interesting, but not too many to get cluttered and confused (as I've discovered in many of Turtledove's series).
    The narration of this audiobook is also excellent, the accents of all the characters feel spot on. Once I heard the characters in "their voice" it fit perfectly with what I had imagined when I read the book a while ago.
    Highly recommend this series of books and the parallel series that starts with "Dies the Fire".


    12 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Etna, NH, United States 01-18-09
    Daniel Etna, NH, United States 01-18-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
    ratings
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    93
    3
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    0
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    Overall
    "Trite, cliched, 1-dimensional characters and story"

    A run-of-the-mill adventure story with a fair amount of gratuitous violence and soft-ball sex thrown in for spice. The overall premise and the explanation of historical devices, cultures, etc. are interesting, but not nearly interesting enough to wade through the rest of this story.

    19 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    06-02-10
    06-02-10 Member Since 2008

    mkeough

    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
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    18
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    "I Enjoyed This Book"

    I love time travel and this is well done. There are some strange plot contrivances (the hero is a female, black, gay ninja coast guard officer)but the battle scenes are gripping and fast and the adaptation of the moderns to bronze age realities is also realistic and interesting, though in my opinion, a bit optimistic. The main plot mechanism is a mutiny by a thoroughly evil subordinate so it is also a tale of good versus evil. We good; he bad. But for entertainment, the book is fast, interesting and plausible event though the precipitating "event" is never explained. The people have to live with the situation they are placed in. Hope this helps.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Burke 10-14-14
    J. Burke 10-14-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    40
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "sophmoric"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    interesting idea, poorly executed.


    What could S. M. Stirling have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    so many of the dynamics and conflicts were just unbelievable. The politics of the book made it difficult to listen to, even though I agree with most of the ideas..


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Todd McLaren?

    probably


    Did Island in the Sea of Time inspire you to do anything?

    It inspired me to go back in time and prevent the author from writing such awful dialog.


    Any additional comments?

    returned it to get my credit back.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Payneham, Australia 06-16-14
    Andrew Payneham, Australia 06-16-14 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    95
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A good yarn but not for the squeamish"
    What other book might you compare Island in the Sea of Time to and why?

    This story is the first of a 3 book series but stands alone. Featuring the trails and tribulations of a community transplanted back from the current time to the Bronze age. Think connecticut yankee expanded to a whole community with the good, the bad and the downright nasty.


    Any additional comments?

    There are several scenes featuring sadomachochism, lesbian sex and detailed torture that could be quite disturbing to some listeners. I would not recommend this for teenage listeners.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 34 results PREVIOUS124NEXT
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  • Linda
    bristol, United Kingdom
    12/13/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Island in the sea of time"
    If you could sum up Island in the Sea of Time in three words, what would they be?

    Informative, interesting,


    What did you like best about this story?

    Was a good back story to the other books


    Which character – as performed by Todd McLaren – was your favourite?

    All of them very well characterised


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Made me laugh


    Any additional comments?

    Enjoyed listening to the book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • George
    United Kingdom
    4/8/13
    Overall
    "Gripping"

    I loved this series - and the much longer one that followed it.



    I listen to my audio-books whilst driving and this series had me looking forward to long car journeys. The initial plot mechanism is interesting and, apart from the initial series of coincidences necessary to get the ball rolling, the story develops well and the author generally adheres well to the rules of his universe.



    Reccomended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • BP1
    Leicestershire, UK
    3/30/13
    Overall
    "A good story well told"

    A good story well told (not a great story excellently read) with an interesting central idea and interesting characters. People have said that it lacks the depth of greys between the good and bad and yes, I think that is fair comment. Others have said it is very feminist and I can't honestly agree personally though others obviously do and yes, the female characters are strong.

    Whilst it was well read, it was sometimes hard to discern a new paragraph or section in the story though otherwise it was solidly done.

    Overall, this was an enjoyable story, my first alternate history book (if you don't count 1984) and it will be a genre and author I will return to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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