Robert J. Sawyer, the author of such "revelatory and thought-provoking" novels as Triggers and The WWW Trilogy, presents a noir mystery expanded from his Hugo and Nebula Award-nominated novella "Identity Theft” and his Aurora Award-winning short story “Biding Time”, and set on a lawless Mars in a future where everything is cheap, and life is even cheaper....
Alex Lomax is the one and only private eye working the mean streets of New Klondike, the Martian frontier town that sprang up 40 years ago after Simon Weingarten and Denny O’Reilly discovered fossils on the Red Planet. Back on Earth, where anything can be synthesized, the remains of alien life are the most valuable of all collectibles, so shiploads of desperate treasure hunters stampeded to Mars in the Great Martian Fossil Rush.
Trying to make an honest buck in a dishonest world, Lomax tracks down killers and kidnappers among the failed prospectors, corrupt cops, and a growing population of transfers - lucky stiffs who, after striking paleontological gold, upload their minds into immortal android bodies. But when he uncovers clues to solving the decades-old murders of Weingarten and O’Reilly, along with a journal that may lead to their legendary mother lode of Martian fossils, God only knows what he’ll dig up....
©2013 Robert J. Sawyer (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
Cook, Steelworker, Sailor in Viet Nam. Retired after 4 decades as an RN. Share a birthday with Mark Twain and his love of "spinnin' a yarn"
OK so we're on Mars, the planet. Once you believe this here's your likeable flawed charming babe chasing guy trying to do right for his clients. The writing is classic light noir, so prepare to chuckle a bit. Easy reading
The narration was clear and entertaining. Very good character voice and emotion.
It ain't Tolstoy but it isn't trashy either. A good romp on Mars in a good guys (gum) shoes.
Yes. I've read other Sawyer work and he isn't shabby. Just not excited about this one.
Very shaky science; the fi part is OK if a bit outdated. I've read and re-read most of the 20s to 60s detective stories, good at the time but better left where they lie.
I have no issues with Christian Rummel's work
Not really. It's pretty much of a stretch already.
Despite my less than stellar appraisal, I did kinda enjoy it, though.
A 50-something who loves sci-fi, cozy mysteries, thrillers, an occasional romance, and any genre if it is a good story. And especially if it makes me laugh! No vampires or zombies though - these are NOT sci-fi!
Despite what some other reviewers said, I enjoyed this book! It has humor, it has interesting subplots, and kept me interested. The science was plausible, for the most part, but that isn't a huge thing for me - after all Star Trek science isn't plausible, but I still enjoy it! The blending of sci-fi and detective story was appealing.
I mainly read mysteries, and sci-fi, sometimes with a dose of humor, and I love the BBC. I enjoy the hidden gems more than the best-sellers.
I enjoy sci-fi, and I like detective novels, so this novel was right up my alley. To top it off, I enjoy Robert Sawyer's writing, and this novel did not disappoint. The ideas in this book were very interesting. I don't want to give too much away, but the idea of consciousness transference is really well-explored in this novel. The mystery is also interesting and the suspense kept me listening when I needed to be doing other things.
This is the kind of styles I like: good pace, cerebral, well-documented, meaty, mind-bending.
I'm a fan of Sawyer's books and I love how he is able to mix modern sci-fi and detective stories, as the true successor to Asimov. Sawyer's new novel has a lot going for it, Mars, a tight intrigue, and immortality. It's a great homage to the Robots of Asimov, to film noir, to Bradbury as well to standard Sawyer novels.
Unfortunately, the book is fine but not great. The environment is well-done and the story flows but there are a few problems that break with typical Sawyer's greatness. First, the characters are cartoonish, in a bad way. It is very difficult to stick to a stereotype that not only lacks substance but seems to have been pulled out of from a different author (i.e., Casablanca); other characters come and go with style but nothing behind it. Second, the intrigue is broken in two pieces, as if there wasn't enough material for one book and Sawyer added No.2 to this one. Not a great manner to create a rich enthralling intrigue. Third, the denouement is just not that surprising or great and there are few mysteries to discover.
It's still entertaining enough and the narrator is amazing at voice-acting. But nothing memorable.
It was really hard to get through. The only reason I went all the way it was a Robert J Sawyer book, who is one of my favorite authors. It felt like a poor clone of the stainless steel rat. When I finally got done I vowed to never push through a bad book again. There were some interesting parts but it felt forced.
I am a big John scalzi fan. But I have read all of his books. This book was recommended to me by audibleaudible because of the Scalzi books I've listened to . I think I may have found a new favorite author. is I like how it was actually two different cases that detective was working. After he solved the first I kept thinking this is a very short book hehe
I listen to a bit of everything. Mostly Fantasy and paranormal romance with my wife. Along with mysteries/thrillers, even some sci-fi.
First and foremost, this is not a science fiction novel. There are science fiction elements, but they serve as plot devices to advance the story. This is a noire detective novel. Science fiction serves as the backdrop to tell this unique story.
Our hero Alex Lomax is the only private detective on in New Klondike and Mars. The story begins with Alex being hired to find a missing transfer. Transfers are humans who transfer their conciseness to an artificial body. New Klondike is a gritty town that has sprung up on Mars to handle the influx of fossil hunters searching for the mother load of Martian fossils. New Klondike is a classic frontier town with lot's of seedy people and areas. It works as a setting. Outside the dome is Mars and it's near vacuum atmosphere.
Characters other than Alex Lomax include Rory Pickover the paleontologist recent transfer looking for fossils to study for science. Mac, the Scottish police officer who has a working relationship with Mr. Lomax. Diana, the bartender who Alex pines after, and Lakschmi Chattergi, the writer in residence, penning a book on who started the fossil rush. There's some other characters who flow in and out of the story, but that's most of the cast.
What I liked most about this book is that it's a no apologies noir detective novel wrapped around a unique setting. I've never read anything like this before and it was different and enjoyable.
I thought the cast was serviceable, and were OK, but they all did some really dumb things and that was a bit infuriating. I think the ensemble was better than the individual characters.
Christian Rummel did a good job with the performance. He brought the characters to life, but his female voices are weak. I think I've said that about him before. His narration is good, but his females need work.
Overall, this is an interesting book. It has a really unique setting for a noire novel, and I will give it props for that. It's unique and the setting is a lot of fun. The whole mystery/crime/whodunit was interesting, but it didn't grab me like I wanted it to. It wasn't the performance, that was adequate as well. Can I recommend this? Yes, but it's not a 5-star book. I think the unique setting and modern take on noire makes it worth a listen.
Absolutely loved this story, which is really more a collection of connected ministories. Highly recommended.
Feels like something Mars could realistically be in 50 - 100 years from now. Excellent science fiction story beautifully narrated.
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