For fans of The Martian, an extraordinary new thriller of the future from number-one New York Times best-selling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Sandford and internationally known photo-artist and science fiction aficionado Ctein.
Over the course of 37 books, John Sandford has proven time and again his unmatchable talents for electrifying plots, rich characters, sly wit, and razor-sharp dialogue. Now, in collaboration with Ctein, he proves it all once more in a stunning new thriller, a story as audacious as it is deeply satisfying.
The year is 2066. A Caltech intern inadvertently notices an anomaly from a space telescope - something is approaching Saturn and decelerating. Space objects don't decelerate. Spaceships do.
A flurry of top-level government meetings produces the inescapable conclusion: Whatever built that ship is at least 100 years ahead in hard and soft technology, and whoever can get their hands on it exclusively and bring it back will have an advantage so large, no other nation can compete. A conclusion the Chinese definitely agree with when they find out.
The race is on, and a remarkable adventure begins - an epic tale of courage, treachery, resourcefulness, secrets, surprises, and astonishing human and technological discovery, as the members of a hastily thrown-together crew find their strength and wits tested against adversaries both of this Earth and beyond. What happens is nothing like you expect - and everything you could want from one of the world's greatest masters of suspense.
©2015 John Sandford (P)2015 Penguin Audio
I took a chance on a new book with an author I've never read because I liked the concept of investigating a mysterious spaceship like at the start of Event Horizon or Sphere. The problem with those movies is that everything leading up to the reveal is interesting at which point the story falls apart. Saturn Run is the opposite, the payoff is compelling and much more so than the rest of the book. There's almost no tension in the "Space race" and it's a long way to Saturn with dull characters. As a one-off book it's unfortunate that the reveal won't be expanded upon, because that was the story that should have been told instead.
A great action author crossing into hard SF successfully. Win. Win. Win. I really enjoyed the story and the attempt to keep the science as close to realistic as possible. This was well thought out, well timed, and the characters well considered. The only trouble I had was hearing Eric Conger and having this not be a Virgil Flowers story. That took a bit. Conger can be a little dry when switching voices. His very clear and direct speaking style makes for a good listen, but it can make distinguishing the characters a bit less easy. Still, this is a great space race story with lots of believable science and a deliberately simplified by plausible first contact scenario that doesn't try to answer all the big philosophical questions of the universe.
As a kid I was a huge fan of “Hard Sci-Fi” which by my definition is future fiction which focuses on technology which feels like it might be really real someday. This book is exactly that…and I loved most of it. Sandford tells a story like nobody else and his driving narrative is at the core of this tale. His partnership with Ctein who provided the very credible tech components worked really well. The characters are typical Sandford. Our hero is a 2065 version of Lucas Davenport and I’m OK with that. If there was anything not to love in the book it was its revival of a cold war conflict between the Americans and the ascendant Chinese. I realize that having bad guys is a typically a narrative requirement but there was so much fascinating and fun stuff going on already did we really to add such a transparent boogie man? That aside, the ‘First Contact’ component of the story is really well done and I would have enjoyed much more of it. Not since rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C Clarke has such a credible and compelling first contact story been told.
The book moves along at a nice pace and is packed with interesting characters. If you are a fan of the Prey novels or good old fashioned Sci-Fi give this book a listen.
I like John Sandford as an author. He can write. His stories are often enjoyable.
However, Saturn Run doesn't quite make it as a decent sci-fi story.
What I think were the biggest misses here were 3 fold.
- One, Saturn Run was written using many many 1st persons. Because of this no single character is developed past a rudimentary two dimensions. You just don't care about these guys.
- Two, As a lover of sci-fi, this is a very limited 1st encounter take. The first half of the story is a helter skelter race to get to this alien space station before China. They want to see what new tech is available. The middle, is an encounter with this alien presence. Its about as uninspiring as any sci-fi I have ever come across.
- Three, and kind of a spoiler... The Chinese are up against the Americans here. The last part of this story is just so dull. Its intended to be a suspenseful climax, but at this point its just goofy.
"20000 Leagues Under the Sea" meets "A Brief History of Time" meets Virgil Flowers. It sounds like a mess, but the authors actually pull it off.
Yes. This is his best work to date.
Highly satisfying story and master-level narration.
Avid audible listener for over 10 years.
There is a lot of science in this science fiction book, but also a decent story. It does get sort of weird near the end, bur you should expect that from any book in the genre, you always need some aliens. The more "other worldly, the better.
Better known for his Lucas Davenport (Prey Series), this a a new genre for John Sanford. You probably need to like science fiction to enjoy this, and if you are a woman who likes science fiction maybe even more so; many of the major characters are women. The book's major theme is a race between the US and China to explore an alien sighting in the rings of Saturn. This leads to some good tension-filled moments.
If you are really into the science part of Science Fiction make sure to listen to the addendum after the book.It has some really interesting discussions on different approaches to interplanetary rocket propulsion systems.
Very descriptive and a super fun story. I literally would find a reason to drive in my car so I could listen to this book.
If you love Sci fi and love stories that are placed slightly into the future then this is for you. It's a lot of fun to see if we will make first contact or not. Just pick this book up. Why are you still reading this. Just stop. Ok but seriously buy this book.
I thought this book was going to be one of my favorite books this year for the first 90% of the book and then it just fell apart with an ending that really doesn't match the rest of the book. I could barely finish it and was so disappointed. So sad, but my final reaction was just sort of meh. Wish I hadn't wasted the credit.
Yes. John Sanford was already one of my favorite authors. The Virgil Flowers series stands alone among detective novels. Saturn Run is one of the best researched science fiction stories I have ever read.
This scenario could easily happen tomorrow. The science is available now.
I listened straight though. Great voice that did the story justice.
Enjoyment. Somethings can not be increased.
This book ranks with Alas Babylon, and One Second After.
Yes! I found the characters and situations interesting, believable, and memorable. I wanted to continue on other space travels with these individuals!
There are many engaging moments. I cared about what happened next to these characters and I found the plot developments believable and enticing throughout. I would have liked to learn a bit more about certain aspects, but that just speaks to the engaging nature of the story itself. I found myself wanting to know what else happened to these individuals afterward, so for me, that's the sign of a well-drawn tale.
I liked the narration and found he made the characters come to life and the story feel like a movie I was watching in my head.
Yes. I wasn't able to, but I was thoroughly engaged throughout.
I hope this author (co-authors?) write other sci fi together--I would look forward to reading their new works!
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