Scattered across the planet are floating silver orbs impervious to all weapons and impossible to communicate with. Are these technologically advanced devices responsible for creating and sustaining the rifts in time? Are they cameras through which inscrutable alien eyes are watching? Or are they something stranger and more terrifying still?
The answer may lie in the ancient city of Babylon, where two groups of refugees from 2037 - three cosmonauts returning to Earth from the International Space Station, and three United Nations peacekeepers on a mission in Afghanistan - have detected radio signals: the only such signals on the planet, apart from their own. The peacekeepers find allies in nineteenth-century British troops and in the armies of Alexander the Great. The astronauts, crash-landed in the steppes of Asia, join forces with the Mongol horde led by Genghis Khan. The two sides set out for Babylon, each determined to win the race for knowledge...and the power that lies within.
Yet the real power is beyond human control, perhaps even human understanding. As two great armies face off before the gates of Babylon, it watches, waiting.
©2005 Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"An exciting tale full of high-tech physics, military tactics and larger-than-life characters in the first of two novels related to the bestselling senior author's Space Odyssey series." (Publishers Weekly)
I enjoyed listening to this book. I knew where it was going, but it was still fun listening to how the authors made it happen.
I enjoyed the story and a excellent job was done on the reading. It is my understanding that this is going to be a series. book one started things off good. Buuuut! The sex and the act of bestiality really detracted from the listen. That kind of stuff should be left out. Listener be warned.
The concept behind this book was interesting. But I found the story's characters to be flat. The characters seemed to fall into common archetypes, and this is worsened by the narration. Mr Lee does very well with English accent variations (at least to my untrained ear), but his American accents are abysmal. Driving me well beyond the point of distraction, I had to stop listening several times. Then I had to steel myself, bracing for the impending onslaught of his "Southern US female" before I could return to the story.
I'm a great fan of the work of Arthur C. Clarke, but this story felt a bit directionless, with a plodding plot, and left far too many questions unanswered for me to recommend it. I know it is part of a series, but it feels incomplete as a separate book, and likely should have been combined with the next book.
The story was middle-ish interesting. The crude references to bodily functions, snot, etc. seemed completely unnecessary or added solely to wake you up. And the narrator's performance was completely off-putting with his terrible accents, particularly the American. I cringed each time he did any accent, actually. I'm now more empathetic for the pain British people must feel each time they hear an American who acts/performs with a terrible British accent.
Don't do accents badly. Change the pitch, pace, power of the vocal performance, but allow the listener to fill in the accents, as we do -- or not -- when we read.
Quite a few.
The story was a bit intriguing but not quite my style. I like a story to be based in reality and be believable. This was a bit outside that for me.
Combines history, concepts from quantum physics and philosophy onto a very readable story to create a great work of intelligent science fiction.
While some elements seem a bit eye rolling and predictable, overall it's a fun story with an interesting mystery at the heart of it.
John Lee is probably my least favorite Audible narrator. His voice is very monotone and I have trouble paying attention to what he says. Also he recycles the same character voices for everyone of his books, which is quite annoying. I'm now looking for books that he does not narrate and will get books he narrates in actual book form and read them that way so that I don't end up hating the story just because he's the one reading it.
First, a warning! If you are the kind of person who, like me, won't start a series until the ending has been published, be aware: one of the authors was inconsiderate enough to die before completing the odyssey. What Clarke and Baxter set out to write was, at very least, a tetralogy. What you _get_ is a trilogy with a multitude of loose-threads and a cliffhanger ending!
Time's Eye was...OK. At it's core is an interesting hard-science-fiction/alternate-history tale but when all's said and done, it didn't really seem to be more than an elaborate set piece, looking for a more cogent and complete story to be a part of. I guess that the remaining books in the series are that story but I didn't feel that there was enough left over to warrant having this part of the story be a separate book.
Having now read all three of the books I would advise that they're a little like the curate's egg, parts of it are excellent and it won't be a terrible waste of time to plough through them all.
John Lee who, as usual, did a great job.
A nice combination of science fiction and history. As ususal with Clarke's books, he does not develop a compelling central character but the other factors more than make up for it.
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