What would you give to live forever?
Seventeen-year-old Elijah Brighton wants to become an ascender--a post-Singularity human/machine hybrid--after all, they're smarter, more enlightened, more compassionate, and above all, achingly beautiful. But Eli is a legacy human, preserved and cherished for his unaltered genetic code, just like the rainforest he paints. When a fugue state possesses him and creates great art, Eli miraculously lands a sponsor for the creative Olympics. If he could just master the fugue, he could take the gold and win the right to ascend, bringing everything he's yearned for within reach... including his beautiful ascender patron. But once Eli arrives at the Games, he finds the ascenders are playing games of their own. Everything he knows about the ascenders and the legacies they keep starts to unravel... until he's running for his life and wondering who he truly is.
The Legacy Human is the first in Susan Kaye Quinn's new young adult science fiction series that explores the intersection of mind, body, and soul in a post-Singularity world... and how technology will challenge us to remember what it means to be human.
©2015 Susan Kaye Quinn (P)2016 Susan Kaye Quinn
I like listening to voices; this is an outlet that I have only recently started exploring.
I was drawn to this audiobook because of the setting—a scifi, possibly dystopian future that touches on the Singularity—and stayed because of the narration. I wish Audible allowed you to put half stars because my journey through this audiobook was a very see-sawy one.
I enjoyed the book for what it was: a YA scifi story with the usual romance, drama, and conflict thrown in. Romance isn't the main focus thankfully (though Eli's monologues about his crushes certainly get quite the airtime), camaraderie and family is, along with questions that venture into philosophical and religious territory. The questions aren't new, but I could certainly see myself recommending this book for the younger YAs in my life. There are likeable supporting characters, and there's generally tight enough pacing that the story did not feel like a slogfest.
I am a newcomer to Nick Podehl, and I have to say, his variety impresses me. The first time he adopted the voice of Basha, a girl, I did a double-take wondering if I had remembered wrongly and it was a joint narration with a female narrator instead of a solo effort. That's how believable his voices are. Podehl changes seamlessly between different characters even during heated exchanges, and they are all distinct voices; I never had any trouble differentiating between characters, even Eli's internal and external voices.
But this is where the halves come in: I enjoyed it whenever a character spoke, but the choice made for Eli's internal voice (a whiny, almost nasal, sometimes condescending one) was grating for me, requiring that I break up the listening into chunks. It is a choice I question because I know Podehl can do other voices, smoother voices, better voices, because as a first-person YA novel, there is a lot of Eli's monologuing going on. And for that, I wish I could give Performance a 4.5 instead. In the end, I decided that 5 instead of a 4 was appropriate because I loved Cyrus' and Marcus' voices. Cyrus in particular was the deciding factor, he was hands down my favourite character in this book, his voice a warm balm to the long stints of Eli's whining. It's made even better when Cyrus is the only one to call Eli out on his wallowing and whining.
I give a 4 for Story because the story is fairly typical for the first half, with the side-characters carrying the weight of giving it individuality and life. I would've given a 4.5 for the first half as the introduction of new norms and information was well done, tiny chunks that did not feel like a lecture. And for all that Eli went on and on about Lenora, there was still a dry humour present in his internal monologue; just a couple of lines here and there that were so tongue-in-cheek that I'd burst out laughing, the friendly banter between Eli and Cyrus that just made me feel good for them. I didn't dislike him then. I thought he was a typical seventeen year old, but I didn't dislike him then.
But then the humour vanishes, and the second half left me with a 3.5 because despite having more action and giving Podehl more emotional material to work with, it became increasingly dreary whenever Eli was left to his own devices (which at least thanks to Cyrus, isn't too much). The same issues would be turned over and over, which while potentially realistic becomes boring when exact lines get repeated. If this was a book, these would be the parts that I would skim over, but add in Podehl's choice of internal voice for Eli and those portions just became tiresome for me. I did not enjoy Eli. There was nothing that I particularly liked about him, he was an angry boy, condescending at times, holier-than-thou at times, self-deprecating and pitying when it suited him, and entirely far too self-absorbed with his perceived self-sacrifice.
It's sad because I enjoyed the rest of the story, almost the entire rest of the cast, the setting and the situation that it posits, and the varied accents that Podehl pulls for the different characters. I want to find out more about the backstory, more about the ascenders and how things must be like for them, how things happened for them from their point of view. I want to find out if Cyrus is okay, how he deals with the new circumstances that is being thrown at him by sheer virtue of being Eli's first and best friend. I enjoyed this world, but I'm not sure that I can take another novel of Eli's internal whining and wallowing. I'm still undecided if I want to take that plunge. But that's me, maybe you can?
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author.
Yes. This was a great listen that offered a glimpse into our possible future. Any friend that enjoys post apocalyptic distopian/ utopian books would enjoy this read.
I enjoyed the aspect of human and robot interaction and the idea of the eventual population of AI ruling the world. I also liked the Olympic games surrounding the arts; painting, singing, spoken word and dancing. This offered a great artistic element to the book whereas other similar books (Hunger Games) were brute strength and force.
The narrator did a great job with the various voices, especially the females. Most male narrators have trouble with the female voices but Nick did a great job.
I would not listen to this in one setting. I listened to this over the course of a few days, mainly while driving. The similarities to other books necessitated the need to stop listening a bit. However, after a while the book took on its own form and finished very well.
I am eager to listen to the next book in this series. I would like to find out how characters deal with the various curve-balls they were thrown towards the ending of this book.
I was gifted this audio book by the author in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
I am an avid reader and listener of all types of books. I am always willing to try any book or audiobook.
I was gifted this audio ARC from the author for a honest and unbiased review
This is my first Susan Kaye Quinn book but it won't be the last.
I'm in Awe of Ms Quinn. She is an very creative and Imaginative writer.
The Legacy Human makes you sit back and think. I highly recommend this book.
What to say, I am an avid reader who loves audiobooks because I can listen wherever and whenever!!!
Yes!!!! A million times YES!!!!!
I loved it, as an artist this was especially intriguing to me as the descriptions of the art and techniques were so well done, but also because it just appealed to me.
The story is so fun, the idea of humans being transferred to machines is not an old one but I so enjoy the take on the science and technology behind it. The author doesn't try to act like it just happens, she takes the time to come up with a HOW.
I am soooo mad that it left me wanting more... I WILL be buying the sequel next month.
Ohhhh....that's a hard one.....
Sirus.... he has such a way to looking at things from all angles. He can tell both the negative and positive and be able to tell what will be the most beneficial to support.
And he cares so much about what will happen...
I have not, to my surprise because the name seemed familiar.
But I did really enjoy his performance and hope he also did the sequel.
I laughed... a LOT... I was very drawn in and came to care about the characters and what would happen to them.
I loved this book. It is all I have been able to talk about the last few days.
As I got to the last two hours I started to realize that there was going to be a sequel and looked around to make sure I would have access to it.
I truly loved this book and am so glad that I found it.
I was provided a copy of this book for free in exchange for my unbiased opinion/review.
I really enjoyed this book. The opening scene just blew me away, and that emotion carried through for its entirety. Pair that with the amazing voice-over talents of Nick Podehl, and you have the recipe for an outstanding audio book.
The entire concept of the Singularity is fascinating. Humans have evolved into "Ascenders" - computerized artificial bodies that humans have upload their consciousness into. Those that chose to remain human are now considered lower caste, and are treated like pets or worse.
An Ascender may choose to be a "backer" to a lowly human if that Ascender sees artistic potential in that human. We see that's where the flaw in Ascending lies: that creative aspect of humanity is lost. The protagonist Elijah is backed by female Ascender Lenora, who sees great potential in him as a painter. Elijah is head-over-heels in love with Lenora - infatuated almost. And he wants to be an Ascender. This book is about that journey.
As a fellow narrator, I'm always interested in how others handle transition states in books. In this case, Elijah enters fugue states at different times. Mr. Podehl handles this transition by speaking in a slower, deeper voice. I found this worked very well and was a great idea. Kudos, sir!
Susan Kaye Quinn is an extremely talented writer. This whole package was a joy to read. This first book sets up so much material that many sequels could and should be written by Ms. Quinn.
This audio book was gifted to me by the author at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.
This is a fantastic audiobook! It's at at the upper end of all the books I've listened to.
I don't know of a good book to compare this to. The story is fairly unique and well written.
I really like how he performed Eli, the main character. He captured the young, unsure voice perfectly.
The moment when the veil is lifted was very powerful. Finding out what the question was and who the answer is...
WHAT IT'S ABOUT
Seventeen-year-old Elijah Brighton wants to become an ascender—a post-Singularity human/machine hybrid—after all, they’re smarter, more enlightened, more compassionate, and above all, achingly beautiful. But Eli is a legacy human, preserved and cherished for his unaltered genetic code, just like the rainforest he paints. When a fugue state possesses him and creates great art, Eli miraculously lands a sponsor for the creative Olympics. If he could just master the fugue, he could take the gold and win the right to ascend, bringing everything he’s yearned for within reach… including his beautiful ascender patron. But once Eli arrives at the Games, he finds the ascenders are playing games of their own. Everything he knows about the ascenders and the legacies they keep starts to unravel… until he’s running for his life and wondering who he truly is.
Loved it! I was intrigued by the storyline anyway, and the book itself didn't disappoint. I listened to the audiobook, and Nick Podehl did a fabulous job. I love when the audiobook enriches the reading experience.
It does take a definite religious bend, so if that kind of thing bugs you then this is not the read for you. But I didn't find it preachy at all. Heck, Eli's not a believer either.
I really felt for Eli. He's such a great kid with a wonderful heart. Everything he goes for in this story is to help save his mother's life. The worldbuilding was great, showing a very dystopian future after some people "ascended" and then decided to preserve the genes of the "legacy" humans left behind. First, making sure that only a very limited few would have to option to ascend but also setting up a world where to preserve the DNA of those "legacy" humans lifesaving healthcare might be denied, as in the case of Eli's mother.
But, hard as life has been for him, there's a lot more going on. Not just in the ascender world that he hopes to join to save his mother, but within himself, in his very DNA.
The romance with Kamali is sweet, and I loved how they each wanted to help the other achieve their goals.
The ending is kind of cliffhangerish, but only mildly so. The pressing danger in the first book is mostly resolved at the end, but you know there's way more to the story. I'm looking forward to the second book.
An entertaining, interesting and enjoyable story. An interesting and creative twist/take on a dystopian future. While the story overall was entertaining it did take me a while to really get into it , it just wasn't holding my attention. Once the story pulled me in it had my complete attention. Looking forward to the next book in the series.
Great cast of interesting characters. Creative use of the Olympics.
What is a legacy human really? Something special? Or just a human pet? All Eli wants is a chance to Ascend and help his dying mother. Given the chance will he take it, after he realizes that everything is not as it seems. Whichever path Eli chooses his life will be changed forever.
Nick Podehl did a great job with narration. As usual. Pleasant voice. Clearly Spoken. Smooth even pace. Really good character voices. He made the characters and story come to life through his narration. Very enjoyable
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator or publisher.
Canadian | Lover of gruesome horror/depravity/anything medically related/urban fantasy/non-fiction/and YA.
Okay, I have to be honest, I picked this book because I saw that it’s narrated by Nick Podehl. How does that saying go? ”Nick Podehl could read me furniture assembly instructions” ? I’ve listened to a few books read by him already, so I had no doubts that the performance for this book would be phenomenal, and it is.
As for the book itself, I was so pleasantly surprised by how great it is! I love YA, but I can’t stand romance. The Legacy Human is perfect because it focuses on the story line without any sappy and annoying romance. What drew me to this book was the idea of a “creative Olympics” where artists compete for a prize, and in this case it’s to “ascend.” I’m really, really picky about first person narration, but this book nails the first person perspective; there are no long winded and unnecessary internal dialogues, yet the protagonist Eli is developed expertly. Eli is so real and so caring that I instantly liked him. He does everything and anything he can to help his very ill mother in his dystopian world. If you’re considering getting this book, stop debating and get it, it’s well worth the listen and a great start to a new series.
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.
Yes. The premise of the story is interesting. There are many dystopian type books out there where the advancement of technology reached an asymptotic point and the world that we know it ceases to exist. Where as most of those books take civilization back to the dark ages, this one further advances society. Humanity reaches for eternal life from a technological path instead of a spiritual (or so it seems).
Delfina, who doesn't like a chick that kicks butt and stands up for everyone!
Nick's performance was fantastic. He truly embodies each of the character and brings them to life. There are some narrators out there that are very animated when it comes to dialogue, but then is very dry when it comes to the narratives, but Nick keeps the listener engaged at all times.
Not quite, but very close! :)
"This review copy audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost."
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