From the international best-selling author Saxon Andrew comes his newest audiobook, Running From Fate.
Living in the Fellowship meant fighting one space battle after another. Every civilization was aggressive, hostile, and impossible to live with in peace. A Welken task force stumbles upon a massive Myot ship building complex and every Welken warship is destroyed in the ensuing battle before they can warn the home world of the Myot's location. One escape pod manages to escape the battle and the Myot know it must be prevented from making it back to Welken territory. Every Myot warship is called in to block the escape pod from going home while thousands of trackers move in on the skip trace the pod has left in its wake. It must be found and destroyed before the locations of the Myot construction planets are revealed.
The escape pod's computer knows the chances of escape are growing smaller with each passing moment and it's forced to make a hard decision. Landing on a primitive planet is forbidden by the most powerful species in the Milky Way but the computer knows there's no other choice available to save its occupant and its programming dictates it must do all it can to save him. The only possible salvation is to escape to Earth and try to hide.
However, no one has ever survived the fate awaiting those that violate the Sentinels' Covenant, and the Stalkers have always found their quarry. Escaping to Earth was the simple part, running from the fate stalking them was quite another. What made the task even more impossible was a rogue Sentinel, who was working an agenda that would lead to Earth's ultimate destruction. All the pieces were coming together and the arrival of the escape pod and its occupant started it moving toward completion.
©2015 Saxon Andrew Publishing llc (P)2015 Saxon Andrew Publishing LLC
This is the first book I've ever had to put down half way through (I managed three hours, 15 minutes) because I got fed up with it. To be honest, I'm amazed I got through the 3rd hour. This has a lot of literary problems. The Sci-Fi doesn't make sense, the characters aren't interesting, drama is force-fed, explanations are overdone and yet somehow still don't create a universe that makes sense. This is just not fun to listen to.
Here's some examples of the book's issues:
1) The Escape Pod has the capability to do nearly everything yet has some questionable silly in capability. It can create gold, download information from the Internet/TV/Radio/etc, can completely change the appearance of the main protagonist right down to the DNA (I think?), change its own appearance like some sort of Transformer, is clearly intelligent and so on. Yet when things are mentioned, it's completely confused as if it had never heard that before. And somehow we build a shield for it that protects it from all of the 10,000s of ships in space. What?! Speaking of which, I call BS on the thousands of ships. There is absolutely no way we wouldn't detect at least one of those ships. To say nothing about the logistics of this setup.
2) Ships can detect the lifesigns of people but somehow can't detect that our main protagonist isn't human. Yet for some reason can figure out that his kid is abnormal. I.....can't....even...what?! There are some really confusing powers/technological capabilities at play in this book.
3) Advanced Alien Guardian race who seem to be one step away from leaving our plane of existence are completely confused by the actions of our main protagonist (in that he acts like a Good Human Being) and the AI of the escape pod (who acts like a friend). I'm sorry, this doesn't make any sense given how they're built up and how we're introduced to the various alien species. It makes this guardian race look extremely stupid. Yet they aren't supposed to be.
4) Main protagonist has a computer in his head. I think. It's not very well explained but it seems like he can access any and all information on Earth from his head. How this was managed is not explained and he has some really odd gaps in knowledge. Like, he knows about our culture, yet doesn't understand our culture's idioms. I don't know how that's possible when you download the entire Internet to your brain.
5) Conveniences galore. It's awfully convenient how our protagonist just happens to get to Earth, just happens to land in Boston, just happens to land in the right neighborhood, just happens to get work at a restaurant where a College Professor is working on a new math algorithm for a new shield technology that he just happens to be ready to go that just happens to give the invading alien races the legal excuse to invade the planet and just happens and happens....I could go on at long length how many conveniences this book has. It's not even just this main plot thread but there are a ton of them, mostly tied into the problems I have up above.
6) There's way too much hammering on Humans being both Really Awesome and Really Awful. We get it. We're humans and we're great/awful. You do not need to inform us about over 20x in a single book. This is pedantic and pandering to the nth degree.
The narrator Al Kessel does a pretty good job of voicing the characters but I think it's entirely weighed down by the material he's reading. There's so many problems that I'm not even sure where to begin working on them. Look, if you're not going to explain the Sci-Fi and that's a completely reasonable thing to do: don't try even remotely explaining it. Furthermore, establish the rules of what can and can't be done from the outset. Far too many times it felt like things were magically solved because X technology exists or Y person just happens to be in the area. It never felt like the character's own wits or capabilities were why he succeeded for as long as he did, it just happened. Finally: you cannot kill off side-characters like you did and expect an emotional response. The killing of one of the restaurant workers felt forced, that we were supposed to sympathize with the main character's feelings. Except it backfires because we know very little about him. Except where he works.
I can't recommend this book.
the babys name was not willow it was elana danion willow wafgood was warick davis. but still a great book i highly recommend this book
I was offered a copy of this book in audio format from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.
During of the multiple battles between Welken and Myot, a Welken space ship is destroyed, but one of the Welken soldiers gets to escape in one of the escape pods. He knows the secret location of a planet where the Myot build their weapons and ships and the Myot will try to give hunt to the escaped Welken and prevent him from returning home. The pod has some kind of AI and its main mission is protecting its occupant, so it will seek refuge on Earth and change his DNA to help him mingle with the Boston population.
I had great expectations for this book. The premises were great and, despite not being a very original setup, it had great potential. An alien recently arrived on Earth with changed appearance to seem human just can create a lot of unexpected situations. In this case, Andrew did not exploit this too much and we just see a bit of it at the beginning.
I found some drawbacks though. There is little science-fiction in this book since it is all pure fantasy. The pod converter was more magical than real science, and many of the technological aspects were not explained and sounded really far fetched. It felt strange that the fact that Earth is rich in petroleum was a rare thing in the universe. And the sentence about global warming? Was Andrew serious?
Also, in this book fate has an important role, but the fact that Lucas lands in Boston, and meets in the bar where he works the most brilliant minds that will change the course of human history is just too coincidental.
I missed some more depth in the characters, and at points I had troubles identifying each one. I also had issues with Andrew's writing style, being a bit clanky at times. I found a bit annoying the reiteration about all the good and bad in humanity, like we are a special race.
And, was not Elora the baby's name in 'Willow'? I was a bit surprised by this mistake that would have taken a minute to check on Wikipedia. There were a couple more of details that bothered me, like Lucas' wrist monitor, never explained, or the fact that there was a little too much romance for my liking, but I understand that many people would have enjoyed this.
Al Kessel's narration was very well done. My only complain was that at some points he did not make a clear distinction between characters in some scenes, especially the first ones where the pod and Lucas talk, I had troubles following the conversations because the voices sounded the same to me. For the rest he transmitted very well the characters' emotions and I really enjoyed his narration.
I am not sure I would recommend this book to science-fiction lovers, unless they do not mind some inaccuracies and made up elements. What I recommend is Al Kessel's narration, and I am looking forward to listening to other books narrated by him.
3 stars for the book, 4 for the narration.
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