Exoarchaeologist Evan McElroy has made a discovery about a long-extinct alien race. But his sponsors realize they can make huge gains if the new findings are kept completely secret. Step one of their plan is to kill the entire research team - starting with Evan.
As Evan flees for his life, his trajectory awakens a long-buried struggle. The Infoterrorists, who believe all ideas are screaming to be free, have waited years for the right moment to take on the seven great families that control all of civilization. This could be their opportunity. Or it could be time for millions to die.
©2015 James R. Wells (P)2015 James Wells
I'd definitely read another book by either the author or narrator. The author had believable characters and a moved the story along at a nice clip. The narrator did well. He kept it varied without venturing into voices that get irritating.
I have not listened to one of his books before.
The narrator's tone matched the tone of the book well. He could convey a decent set of characters without resorting to screechy voices or etc.
It could go either way. You could trim a few things and have something better than 'Jupiter Ascending', but maybe not as good as '5th element' or leave everything and do it as a 6 part BBC series. Ending lends itself to TV show more, I suppose.
I'd just be interested to hear more about lead to the middle section in the tunnels. It turned survivalist for a few chapters when the rest of the book was so scifi. And can we please get a different unit of distance than 'Parsec', so unoriginal, not meta as others would have you believe.
SERIES INFO: This is Book #1 of what is currently planned as a trilogy with a prequel. According to the author, Volume II “will be released late in 2016. The audio book will follow shortly afterward.&rdquo
“You can’t stop the signal.” (Mr. Universe, Serenity), but these corporate madmen with their out of control “spin” and willingness to reach for the nukes are sure going to try.
There are too many characters to discuss them all here (although I didn’t have any problem keeping track of them). Our central trio of Evan, Mira, and Kate are well balanced and each bring something different to the table. I am looking forward to seeing what’s next for them.
In this universe, the 7 major “families” (i.e. corporations) that run everything control the media by inventing and disseminating the “True Story.” And if you don’t fall in line they will “zero” you, leaving you homeless and outcast. And all you people who don’t read every word of the Terms when you sign up for something (does anybody) had better beware. Something as innocuous as signing up for a grocery discount card can ruin your life.
My favorite piece of tech was Evan’s spacesuit. In most SF novels, the suit has a limited computer with basic readouts or maybe a battle HUD. This one was fully interactive. And it had removable gauntlets (with an inner glove), which allowed for manipulation of small objects. (Kip from Have Spacesuit, Will Travel would be extremely envious.)
I appreciated the linear storytelling and felt that the backstory was presented at a good pace. I did think that Evan’s story about what started all this was more than a bit anti-climatic considering how long it was held back. I think it would have played better if it had come earlier.
NARRATION: I liked it. Good pacing and production. / His deep voice prevented him from doing natural sounding female voices. I appreciate that he didn’t try, but just went a bit higher. / A bit slow in the non-action scenes, I occasionally listened on 1.5 speed (instead of my usual 1.25) / The one negative was that his very low voice challenged my $5 earbuds. It was much better on the external speaker.
"Those, my friend, are carrots. Never seen one before?" Mira grabbed the tongs and snagged a few for herself.
"Of course I have! But those are not carrots. Carrots are straight, are twenty centimeters long, and deep orange. And smooth. These are pale yellow, and lumpy. With purple splotches. Look, this one splits in two! And what is that white fibrous stuff?"
"They're actual carrots, the kind that grow in the ground." She held up a pair of the roots in the serving tongs and offered them to Evan.
"In the ground? As in, dirt? Worms? Oh, that is so unnatural. Mira, this mutant food isn't going to work for me. Is there any Certified Safe food here?"
The sense of anticipation during the climactic scene where the crazy general is preparing to unleash destruction and several people are working independently to stop him
I COULD HAVE DONE WITHOUT: a new name for wormholes / mild infrequent swearing / Evan & Kate’s “unmarried” state
OTHER WARNINGS: one of the major female side characters has a wife & kids
Narrator Impact: AVERAGE
I received this book free in return for an honest review, courtesy of Audiobook Blast dot com.
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I really enjoyed this classic sci-fi story. It's got everything to love - great characters, strong female characters, humor, adventure, archeological artifacts, and enough world-building to let you know about this universe without being boring. The narrator, Mitchell Lucas was very good.
I received a copy of this audiobook from the author/narrator via Audiobookblast for an honest review.
This was a great first effort for the author. It made me very excited for things to come. I loved the way that he took current issues and incorporated them into the main threads of the novel. I have recommended this book to all my sci fi. Loving friends. I will definitely follow this former corn Husker!
A Cognitive Science Master's student who loves learning more about his field, but has a great love for literature and science fiction.
Implications of Information
Lobek. Even though he was the antagonist, he was a very well portrayed character.
Good change of voices. His way of speaking as Axiom was much appreciated and fit the character well.
The parable of the tree that Axiom told was very well done. Very poetic and thematic for the whole story and a great microcosm of capitalism and exploitation of natural resources.
OK so why did I like the book?
One of my favorite parts of SciFi is how the authors can project the possible evolution of mankind. In The Great Symmetry, the author projects a time when seven large companies rule/governor the various worlds to which humankind has moved. The greatest crime of the time is the distribution of information….Info Terrorism. Any person can be cut off from society by one of the seven companies, by a process known as “zeroing”. Think of zeroing as having all of your bank accounts and credit cards cut off because you are on a terrorist watch list.
Another item that I believe is required for a good SciFi book is that it sticks with the laws of physics as we know them. The author does a good job with this by discussing space travel in terms of acceleration. Also, he addresses the faster than light speed travel need to reach other stars by a system of connection points between stars called glomes. These are points around a star that have to be entered by a given direction and essentially act as wormholes to other stars. If you have read “The Forever War” by Joe Haldeman it has a similar concept.
The sections that detailed the trip though the cave were very good. I grew up and live near Mammoth Cave and caved quite a bit back in the 80’s and 90’s and the cave sections were well written. I also liked that the author addressed how humans might react in a lower gravity planet.
As with any book there has be development of the characters. The author does a good job for the length of the book. I would have liked to seen a little more development, in regard to a larger variation in the personality of the characters. A few more “bad” characteristics in the good folks and a little misguided good in the bad folks.
All in all, the book left me wanting more and I’m looking forward to reading more from the author.
Hard question. The faster than light travel is similar to "The Forever War" by Joe Haldeman. The ideal of a network of star systems being linked together is similar to "The Expanse" series by James S. A. Corey. The info terrorism is similar to "Snow Crash" by Neal Stephenso
He does a good job of changing voice for different characters and tones for situations.
Poorly edited books bug me.
Story okay, though I didn't ever get a strong feeling for any of the characters. It's "volume 1", so be prepared for a story that sets up a new universe.
I hated the narration. Although Mitchell Lucas has a fine voice and clear pronunciation, sentences and paragraphs run together without pause, reducing understanding. I kept thinking, is this just poor writing or poor narration? Maybe both, but I think more the narration. This may be a production problem rather than one generated by the reader.
The most interesting aspects of the book are economic and social. Otherwise, the story is an uninspired SF adventure mashup. Highly doubtful I would pick up volume 2, but if so, it would be in paperback or ebook form.
Not try to pass off Fiction as Science Fiction.
None. Monotonous and boring.
This is mostly politics, not Science Fiction. Boring.
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