The best way to listen to this series:
Primary Inversion (Unabridged)
The Radiant Seas (Unabridged)
The Last Hawk (Unabridged)
Ascendant Sun (Unabridged)
The Quantum Rose (Unabridged)
Catch the Lightning (Unabridged)
©1995 Catherine Asaro; (P)2000 Blackstone Audiobooks
"In an unusually masterful first novel, physicist Asaro combines hard speculative science and first-rate storytelling to look at the galaxy's distant future....This is one of the best sf first novels in years." (Booklist)
"Though Asaro, a physicist, provides more than enough esoteric detail on faster-than-light inversion drives, cybernetic enhancements, and computer networks, she manages to anchor her story with thoughtful, engaging characters and an intriguing vision of the future." (Publishers Weekly)
"This novel deserves a wide readership." (Library Journal)
I love science fiction and I love good science fiction. But this is the opposite of what good science fiction is supposed to be. It's basically a "telenovela" set in a futuristic environment. There is nothing creative about it and I don't think that Anna Fields is very good at doing different voices, either. I listened to the complete first part of this two part audio book and then gave up.
I thought I would like this book more. It wasn't bad, it wasn't great. I wanted to like the main character, Soz, but really just felt that she was a bit of a cougar. Her struggles with all that had happened to her in the past were valid, but it felt like her way of dealing with things was to jump in the sack with whomever caught her fancy. And everyone who caught her fancy was under 25. She is 48 - all of the male characters in the book she either hated or wanted to sleep with, except for her psychiatrist and her father. It was a bit 2 dimensional and flat - there are many other ways to relate to the opposite sex and she had none of them. I don't plan on reading any further in the series, but may try the next book to see if it gets any better.
I'm afraid this book was my first true disappointment in an audio book purchase. It droned on, never picking up in pace. And, never really went anywhere. Also, as stated by other reviewers, the author just doesn't understand the transition from the story line into the scientific background and back. The flow of this entire book is jerky and unpleasant at best.
I managed to finish it thru shear determination alone.
No Dragons or Magic, thank God! Both author and narator are down to earth. Even episodes of mental breakdown slide in so normally that one is with her all the way. The sci-fi sounds like science. Good narration compared to most I've listened to. Looking forward to reading the sequels.
This brief review is aimed not at the book itself but the recording.
While Anna Fields does an excellent job with the narration, there are places where the audio quality changes. If I had to guess, they were spots where the original recording wasn't quite right. But, something was different about these little bits and I found it jarring. Then, at about 4:42 into the first portion, there was a double sentence. Having purchased and listened to 5 or 6 audiobooks, this lower quality is surprising.
(The second book in the series, "The Radiant Seas" does not seem to have these issues.)
If you are one of those trekkies who is more interested in how intersellar warp drive works than how it moves the story forward, you might like this book. There are parts of it that dwell on arcane physics theory so as to cause interruption to the plot. No sooner are your characters escaping the clutches of evil when such a dissertation starts.
Then again, if you are such a sci fi fan, you might think this story is too much like a "chick flick." The basic setup is fine, even interesting and original; it's the digressions and the inane back story that are worth criticism. I can only hope for those of you who dare read the next installation that some of this rambling (about Rex, Jareth, Helda, etc.) serves a purpose later. I will never know since I am not interested enough in the lead characters to find out how they fared.
This book was okay. A little too many seemingly pointless scientific explanations that go on forever and a rather trite story, but the real problem is the narrator. Oh My GOD!! She's bad. Really stupid voices for different characters... Reading it straight would have been better. I will avoid this narrator in the future. Don't recommend paying for this one -- check it out from your local library instead.
What an amazing thing a book… to step out of our lives, if just for a moment, to a different world of fantastic new ideas and possibilities.
This story had so much potential. Great ideas, and plot, but it seamed to me that the whole story boiled down to a girl coming to grips with being terribly abused. This story may actually help someone who has gone through this, but for me I found it very depressing. I couldn’t even finish it, even with fast forwarding it.
This, so far, had to be the worst audiobook I've listened to, yet. Don't get me wrong the narrator does, indeed, do a good job and I would definitely hear another one recited by her. The story, however, is quite tedious and annoying. The author seems like she is trying to be another Michael Crichton with frequent discussions of scientific theory sometimes interrupting climactic points in the story. There will be tide-turning action and then, suddenly, a half-hour discussion on how a certain weapon or space fighter works. Crichton pulls it off nicely in his books; Catherine Asaro, sadly, does not. About a third of the book is a non-sensical psychological study of the main character which, also, gets old very fast. The writing style makes it obvious that it's a 'first novel'. The descriptive text is akin to a teenager desperately and clumsily trying win over the heart of his or her crush. The only thing this story was missing was the "It was a dark and stormy night" beginning. Perhaps Asaro's other books are better, but I will never know since I will be keeping a safe distance from them after listening to this one.
The story maintains interest mostly because the reader is so good. The story line is mostly SciFi with some magical thinking.
I could not identify nor empathasize with any of the characters the story line was not suspenseful nor satisfyingly complex.
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