Barcus is a working stiff looking for a good paycheck. When the Ventura and its crew enter orbit for a scheduled planet survey, the ship activates an automated defense system protecting the planet. Although the Ventura is destroyed in the attack, Barcus alone survives the harrowing fall to the remote planet surface. He struggles to remain alive and sane, and to discover why everyone he knew and loved on the Ventura was deliberately murdered.
Swinging between despair and fury, Barcus discovers that for every answer he obtains, there are more questions raised. Barcus is assisted by the Emergency Module, Em, his most useful tool. It is an artificial intelligence system contained in an all-terrain vehicle specifically designed to help him survive. Barcus soon finds himself in the middle of a planetary genocide of the local native population. He is unable to stand passively by as more people die, even if they are long lost colonists who fear "the Man from Earth" like children fear the monster under their bed.
Will Barcus ever find his way home? Will he find out who is responsible? Will his rage just burn this world down? Or will he find his soul in the eyes of a starving, frightened woman?
©2015 Martin Wilsey (P)2015 Martin Wilsey
When the Ventura enters the orbit of the planet Baytirus it is immediately destroyed by the planet's defense systems. The sole survivor (that we know of) is Barcus, and together with EM (his modified Emergency Module and the most creepy human-like AI ever with its own agenda) he must survive on a planet that mostly resembles the middle ages. He also discovers that many villages are being attacked with no one spared and he decides to intervene while trying to survive on the planet (since he has some pretty strong robotic AI controlled 'friends' along with him which prove very useful).
The story started off great and was very interesting but then its pacing slowed down considerably and I felt that I was showered with details that really don't impact the greater story much (or at all) and while these details do allow for a better imagining of the scenario I found them to be mostly distracting (since not much is going on during these rather tedious descriptions).
Halfway through the novel, the story picks up again and proper pacing returns.
Every chapter is preceded by a short investigation report of the historical events that occurred during the story, I really loved those little tidbits of information and I hope these will be kept for the subsequent novels.
The narration of Andrew Tell is excellent, his performance is spot on and I felt I was listening to more of an Audio Drama at times. His voice and words are crystal clear (even when using various accents for the various characters) and it was a joy to listen to.
This audiobook was provided by the narrator at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.
I would recommend this book, It kept me on edge the whole time.
The characters where strong
He propelled you into the story with his voice and and all the different voices he brought to the characters.
If I could rate the book higher than a five I would. I am listening to again and can't wait till Broken Cage comes out on audible.
Martin Wilsey's Still Falling: Solstice 31 Saga is a sci-fi variant of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, although by medieval standards, the Middle Ages were somewhat enlightened. A survey ship, on an undescribed mission to an inhabited planet is destroyed immediately upon entering orbit. The lone survivor, Barkus with the aid of an advanced, and heavily modified shuttle AI must survive and unravel the mystery of the planet where the culture is based around a high priesthood of "keepers" who control all the technology, which the rest of the population regards as magic and women are regarded as property, while most men are regarded as slaves.
The sci-fi elements are mostly confined to the AI variety. Spaceflight is feasible, but plays a minimal role. Implants and sophisticated medical technology is also on prominent display. A unique angle for the tale is that each chapter opens with a brief excerpt from a future investigation report that alludes to a judicial proceeding and sheds some insight into the current action. Something bad has subsequently occurred, but whether this involves a planet colonization gone wrong or some other event is unclear. Exactly what the survey ship was supposed to be doing is never outlined. Watching Barkus deliberately attempt to reset the planet's civilization is the main draw for the tale.
The narration is quite good, especially with the transition from human to AI.
Enjoy the adventure
If my space ship is shot down over a planet where life is similar to medieval Earth, I will find this book invaluable as a survival guide. Having an almost omniscient AI and some trusty high tech weapons would also prove handy.
I think I might put the purchase of this book on my expense Report since I worked late several days because I couldn't stop listening.
well worth the credit and I'm wanting another book.
This was a long and enjoyable listen with lots of action. There was quite a bit of graphic violence and descriptions of the atrocities done to dissidents and women so if that sort of thing bothers you, then you should probably pass on this one. The main character is driven to end the atrocities and is assisted by his AI unit who takes on a life of her own and appears to have her own hidden agenda. There is a narrative overlay that I didn't understand at first. It is snippets of a report done sometime in the distant future pertaining to the happenings on the planet and the main characters actions. . Something really bad is coming and he apparently was blamed for it. The story ends abruptly in a cliff hanger.
"This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com."
This would rank in the top portion of what I have read. I finish all books I start, but this is in the area where I was saddened it had finished. The world building and reality checks and balances are very well done.
As I say, I do not compare books. I will say it is one of the better books I have read.
This is the first time I have listened to Andrew, but he does a very good job and at no time was I distracted from the story. Only good readers can do that.
Reading is my passion and when a book allows me to enjoy its characters without hesitation I will share the title. This is well worth the read, but if you are expecting exploding aliens and high-tech mumbo-jumbo, then it ain't here. This is far better than that.
The narrative of this book unfolds in a manner that quickly takes a surprisingly engaging turn for the rest of the story.
Interesting and just barely short on couldn't put it down. Good new author ( for me). Bet the second book will keep me up all night......hope the third one is at least in the works...
Narrator is excellent, I have placed him on my favroite list.....
No - I don't like rereading things
I liked it's originality. The AI component, the unfolding of all the characters and how their motivations intersect, and the 3rd person commentary, all combine to make for an entertaining and different experience - one that will suck you in and make you keep listening when you should be hitting the sack! Very well written characters, not your ordinary ones either.
Not particularly...but I'm not too sentimental
At almost 15 hrs, I was afraid I'd get restless, but it never occured. The story just keeps going and going, and you can't stop listening. And, the ending completely surprised me! But, in a good way. Way to leave you wanting more!
Everything. It was put together so well.
My favorite character was Poe because you can see her growth throughout the book. She keeps Barkus from going over the edge.
The scene where Poe is talking to Stu and describing Barkus's anger.
See comment above.
This audiobook was provided by the producer at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast
"I didn't predict that ending."
Although I enjoyed this story and it was well written and involving it so suddenly.
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