Set in a lethal pro football league 700 years in the future, is a story that combines the intense gridiron action of Any Given Sunday with the space opera style of Star Wars and the criminal underworld of The Godfather. Aliens and humans alike play positions based on physiology, creating receivers that jump 25 feet into the air, linemen that bench-press 1,200 pounds, and linebackers that literally want to eat you. Organized crime runs every franchise, games are fixed and rival players are assassinated. Follow the story of Quentin Barnes, a 19-year-old quarterback prodigy who has been raised all his life to hate, and kill, those aliens. Quentin must deal with his racism and learn to lead, or he'll wind up just another stat in the column marked "killed on the field"
©2009 Empty Set Entertainment (P)2014 Empty Set Entertainment
Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres.
Someone I know who is an internet fan of Scott Sigler suggested I read this so I checked it out and have now listened to all 5 books currently available in the series. This is not the best writing in the world and I am not a football fan, but this is so entertaining, that I was really sorry to get to the end. (More, please ASAP Audible!)
I grew up in West Texas (Friday Night Lights) and was in high school marching band. I then went off to Texas A&M (home of the Fighting Texas Aggies - Gig Em'!) so of course I was a complete football fanatic in my younger years. However, as age and a little wisdom crept into my life I was more and more disturbed by the level of violence in football on and off the field (Michael Vick) and the serious injuries that resulted and have lost my taste for the game. However, I have to admit, that if I had a chance to see a Galactic Football game (can you imagine seeing a player leap 20 feet in the air to catch a pass?), I would be there with bells on!
The basic premise is simple if a bit silly - far in the future an alien race has conquered most of colonized space which includes 5 different sentient beings (including humans). They want to find a way to unite these varied groups of sentients, many of whom hate each other, and they do it through a Galactic Football League. The story is about the League, these many types of "people", a coming threat to all the sentients, and most especially it is a great coming of age story of one boy, Quentin Barnes.
If you only like "hard" science fiction, if your religious/political views tend to be fundamentalist, or you can't handle any violence in your books, you won't like this series. If you like soft sci-fi with some great aliens, lots of action, and some great characters, you're probably going to really enjoy The Rookie. Kind of goes without saying that if you love football, you will probably get a kick out of this book, but you really don't have to be a fan to enjoy the story. (It does help a little if you know the basics of football, but that probably isn't really necessary to enjoy the story.)
I had only two problems with the series:
1. Quentin Barnes is presented with many opportunities to expand his mind and make choices. He doesn't always make the right choices, but he eventually grows in ways that make him easy to like and understand. However, I draw the line at having to accept that other people's cultures are always OK. One group of aliens in the book eats live animals - not because their biology requires that just because that's what they like. I'm NEVER going to say that it is OK to inflict pain and agony on another living being just because that's what you like to do. I think the book takes accepting other cultures maybe a step too far - some cultures include child slavery, no education for girls, caste systems and that's just not OK in my book. Our own culture encourages eating and drinking to excess along with a lot of other ugly things and that's not OK either. I just don't think open-mindedness means you have to turn a blind eye to cruelty or stupidity or discrimination.
2. The books start out saying that they are "suitable for readers 10 and up" and I TOTALLY disagree. While the value systems portrayed are mostly quite positive and most parents would be happy with "moral messages" woven into the narrative, there is a LOT of violence both on and off the field in these books. Players are maimed (a guy has his leg bit off!) and killed during the games and there are murders, torture, and executions that take place off the field. I would never recommend the books for someone as young as 10 - I think older teens would be OK.
With those two issues said, the series is extremely entertaining, really funny (some great satire on sports journalism), and the audio presentation is wonderful - totally pulls you into the story. I was surprised how much I enjoyed The Rookie and all of its sequels.
If you love football and enjoy futurist fiction then this book is for you. The author really knows football and explains it well. He makes it easy to read and understand even if you are not a football fan. This book is action packed taking you through a roller coaster ride. I suggest this book to anyone!!!
The Rookie is one of the best audiobooks I have listened to period.
There are too many highlights to list. Basically I am a Sigler junkie and love this series. As someone who isn't from the US it also has me hooked on the NFL now too.
This sci-fi novel is "Even Given Sunday" meets "The Godfather" meets "Aliens". It's a fabulous romp which I first listened to as a podcast. Since then I have bought the hardcover and the audiobook.
Hopelessly addicted to science fiction.
This GFL series clearly has a loyal following, and overall I can confidently say I enjoyed the first book. But I can't say I'm hooked. As of this writing, I'm debating on wether or not to get the next in the series.
Sigler is a very good storyteller. I found myself silently rooting for the Krakens. But I have an issue with far-future stories that squeeze in too many current day references. For example, think back 600 years into our past. That would be during medieval days of the fifteenth century. Can you think of any expressions, foods, name brands, or companies from those times that still exist today? Me neither.
So why 600 years in the future would we have Beefeater Gin and Miller beer as major sponsors many light years from earth on alien planets? Those are some of the things that caused constant eye roll for me. I can suspend reality with the best of them, but there has to be some common sense when trying to connect the future with the past. I'm all about humor in a story, but those references didn't make it funny for me. It was distracting.
As for the author, I will say he did a great job reading his own work, and the audio production was fantastic. The extra sound effects only added to the story.
Like I said, the story is good and even original, but I need more science in my sci-fi. Yes, ther were spaceships, orbital stations, aliens, and advanced med tech, but it didn't permeate enough to be memorable.
At the end of the day, my impression of the book wasn't science fiction at all, but more like the movie Any Given Sunday or North Dallas Forty. I forgot about the future part and just enjoyed it as a football book.
OEF Veteran Wife and Desert Storm Veteran
Narrated by the author, who could better know how he wants his characters to come alive than the person who wrote them - I thought he voiced the book well. Love football so this was a neat take into a sci-fi future, kinda rollerball and yet not.
Terrific fun! listened to it in just two sittings. If you love fantasy SciFi and still loved sports you will like this. It's a fun serial story that follow a character through growth, adventure and Struggle. Not sure about it bring for ten year olds but surely middle school to adult. Great coexistence , team, competition and cooperation themes for younger readers and not in any boring saccharine way. Just a good reality break for adults.
Ok I'm not going to lie here. I'm not entirely sure how I ended up with this book, suffice to say after a late night with my friends Jose and jack I woke up with a few new books. I usually stick to sci-fi or fantasy and maybe I didn't realize I was getting a football book. That said I can say without a doubt that I made the right choice to give this book a chance. The story is told well with plenty of interesting twists, you really end up caring about the characters and the games. The narrator as well dose an amazing job using just enough added sounds to really draw you into the book but never so many it seems silly.
Or to put it shortly.
Excellent book, great reading performance, outstanding story, and best of all it draws you in weather or not you know anything about football(something I was surprised about the most). If recomend this book to pretty much anyone who likes sci-fi and maybe the football crowd too.
All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I got offered to review The Rookie for Audiobookreviewer dot com. I have only heard one other story by him, HIPPO from V-Wars: Blood and Fire, and I can honestly say that I’ve never read anything like it. I’m a huge fan of football and Sci-Fi both. Galactic Football? During off season? Yes please!
Scott Sigler tells the story of Quentin Barnes, a rookie from the PNFL, a Tier 3 team…There is a really cool set up for Sigler’s 3-Tier Galactic Football League, but I think it would be better left discovered on your own… At 19 years of age he is a prodigy who can throw the ball over 80 yards, and is faster and stronger than any other human QB. He was raised in the Purist Nation, a radical religious group of humans known for their racism and fear of all other races. Quentin’s dreams start to become reality when his contract is bought out by a Tier 2 Team, the Ionath Krakens. In a league where players death is a regular occurrence, he must battle his ingrown prejudice with his need to win. In a league filled with races that can jump 3 times as high as humans and bench press over 1000 pounds, Barnes may find it better to stop thinking himself infallible, sooner rather than later, if he hopes to make it to Tier 1.
In a story self-described as “…a story that combines the intense gridiron action of Any Given Sunday with the space opera style of Star Wars and the criminal underworld of The Godfather.”, Quentin goes up against threats on his life, personal strife, and crime lords. There is so much more than great football here, and there is a lot of great football. It’s packed full of story, from death threats on the field, to crime lords running the GFL, and a trip through personal discovery that was brought to life by Scott Sigler himself.
The quality of the audio book was fantastic. I had never heard Mr. Sigler’s narration and was a little surprised, and extremely pleased. Complete with fantastic character voices, all identifiable, and sounds effects that fit the story perfectly, this is a must listen.
Audiobook provided for review by the publisher.
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The real life audience background noise and fun sports centre type promos were a nice touch but a lot of the voices seemed very Saturday morning cartoon.
A basic sports story about a Rookie finding a true home in football with space and Gleep Glorps thrown in.
"not for me"
I can watch american football (that's right they don't play football ;) but listening is very hard. at the beginning was very hard to get to this book especially that in background there was fans cheering during the game (that is so annoying and the sound between scenes why why why )
with Unabridged Audiobook why they do all the sounds that are mostly annoying
we hear buzzer and then narrator read that we hear buzzer background noise is very irritating
funny thing the best thing from book was american football and i don't like american football
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