Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. It’s a prestige posting, and Andrew is thrilled all the more to be assigned to the ship’s Xenobiology laboratory. Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the facts that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces; (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations; and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.
Not surprisingly, a great deal of energy below decks is expended on avoiding, at all costs, being assigned to an Away Mission. Then Andrew stumbles on information that completely transforms his and his colleagues’ understanding of what the starship Intrepid really is…and offers them a crazy, high-risk chance to save their own lives.
©2012 John Scalzi (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
I want to make clear that I had no issue with the book itself, nor with the voice acting. Wil Wheaton has a perfect voice to provide for Scalzi's biting wit. The story itself was well-paced and fun, throwing things together in ways that caused me to chuckle several times at unexpected turns. So... voice acting is top notch, story is top notch... loved it.
My main point of criticism comes from... I suppose, Scalzi's writing style. For most audio books, I've been able to train myself out of hearing a lot of the "he intoned... she stated... he exclaimed" phrases that are necessary in a book without voices, but not necessary when it's being read to you. But this book... There are numerous times that I just about gave up due to the number of conversations that utilize "he said" and "she said".
Enjoyed the heck out of this novel. Loved the idea/concept, and I suppose the execution could have had another level of depth, but I enjoyed it greatly all the same. I suppose the lack of depth might have bothered me if this was a 500 page book, and not half that. I listened to the audiobook, which Wil Wheaton did an excellent job with.
As for the 3 codas, they were all excellent, and I agree with a remark from an Amazon reviewer: not only are the 3 codas better than the novel itself, but they get progressively better, with the 3rd the best, and most touching. If, like me, you are ignorant of what a "coda" is outside of the music world, it is most easily described as a side story or short story that didn't fit into the main novel. Each of these is also from the point-of-view of a non-main character. If you are a Dresden Files fan, think "Side Jobs".
Insert something snarky here.
There are so many people who don't care for this book and I can understand. The book is largely fun and silly. The actual plot of the book does a fabulous job of lovingly sending up Star Trek (especially TOS). I love Star Trek and have loved it ever since I was a small child. Some of the in-jokes had me laughing out loud, which is not something I often do. When it comes to the codas, that is where a lot of the dissent starts. People who liked the tone of the first part of the book are put off by the nature of the the three codas (first, second and third person respectively). They might think that they are unnecessary. But I don't think the story works as well without them.
One thing that was a little annoying about the book was, well, all the dialog attributions. "She said,", "he said", "Dahl said", etc. After a while it became a little tedious, especially when there were a lot of different characters talking at the same time.
Scalzi has such a fresh voice and his humor is both witty and timely. He pulls you in to the story and demands your attention.
Wil is just THE best reader around. He is like listening to a favorite friend spin yarns.
A fun story whether you are a Trekker or not.
ROFL funny for all space-opera addicts, particularly Star Trek fans. The guy in the red shirts dies horribly on away missions, does he?
A wonderful spoof, but with a rollicking plot.
He has outdone himself, clearly enjoyed the material.
Grinned contantly, laughed out loud frequently. Really brightened up a bad day I was having.
Between the rigid "he said" dialog, and the narrator's unwillingness to differentiate character voices (I had no idea one of the characters was female until the book used a gender pronoun) it was just grating to listen to.
Redshirts has just won the 2013 Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. It is also nominated for the Hugo Award which will be announced at the World Science Fiction Convention at the end of August.
Does that mean the story is good? Probably.
Yes, it made me think of some of the inconsistency that many Sci-fi & Fantasy book have and was somewhat humorous in point these things out.
It inspired me to examine the stories I listen to, so I don't get suck in the problem that this book points out.
Had trouble keeping my attention on this the whole time I was listening to it.
If you're a fan of Star Trek, Babylon 5, Firefely, etc., this is a great book for you.
Anything in the Star Trek series, but it's closer in kind to Galaxy Quest.
Krazinsky. You can hear what a jerk the guy is from Wheaton's performance, and you really get the personality of the character.
I laughed quite a bit, and there were some very poignant moments that had me tearing up for sure.
Wil Wheaton has become my favourite performer for audiobooks. He led me to Ready Player One, and now to Redshirts. I'm twice as likely to pick up a book he is the reader on than any other audiobook.
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