BENEATH THE ICE
Something is alive inside Jupiter's ice moon Europa. Robot probes find an ancient tunnel beneath the surface, its walls carved with strange hieroglyphics. Led by elite engineer Alexis Vonderach, a team of scientists descends into the dark... where they confront a savage race older than mankind....
Based on the award-winning short story, The Frozen Sky is a new full-length sci-fi thriller novel from the international best-selling author of Plague Year.
©2012 Jeff Carlson (P)2012 Jeff Carlson
"I'm hooked." (Larry Niven)
"A first-rate adventure." (Allen Steele)
"Pulse pounding." (Publishers Weekly)
Did you know you can put in a set of Ear-Buds, slap your Hearing Protectors over them, and Mow the lawn, Weed-Eat, etc, without your book being drowned out by engine noise? I recently listened to "Augustus" while wandering through the Roman Forum. I'm on my third set of "Sleep-Phones". I've been addicted to audible since 2004... I think my friends are starting to suspect I have a problem ;)
This is one of those stories that are FULL of FANTASTIC twists and turns! It's also NOT one of the types of books that has a slow beginning and eventually builds up into a good book; Jeff Carlson tosses you directly into the action of a good book right from the start! I dislike books that I have to suffer through a very slow first half to get to a great second half (I always feel like I'm buying "half a book" when I see a review that says, "Slow start, but hang with it and it get's better"), so this book was especially REFRESHING!
The skill that was put into the story is evident in many ways, very early on... despite the very fast start in the action, I never once felt confused about "Who was who". Also, being an Engineer, I always seem to notice technical flaws in a book when they pop up from time to time... but Carlson did his research so well, and seems to be so knowledgeable about the subject matter, that I never once got yanked out of "Book Trance" by a bad technical detail!
Knowing that this was a "First contact book" early into the story, I (as everyone does) started thinking of all the tiny bone-headed things *I* might do wrong during contact with a new civilization that thinks TOTALLY differently from how we think (while hoping the new hypothetical civilization has "patience" for my mistakes)... Carlson takes that whole idea MUCH further!!! What if WE have to make first contact, and we do it on a world that is so TOTALLY different from ours, that our most natural gestures are WRONG in their view? And what THEY naturally do seems to be WRONG in OUR view? And of course, while worrying about the above, throw in that you're doing it "while contacting a species that has almost NO patience with mistakes, and who have no way of understanding US, or that we may even be from another world"... Forget the old common routine of: "don't smile because showing your teeth might be taken as aggression"... And while going far beyond something simple like that, be sure to write the book from the point of view of a sex opposite from your own, and get the details of how THEY think correct also!
I love books that make you THINK along with the author, learn new things, and give you even more mental tools to help you think "out of the proverbial box" (Tools we usually promptly put INTO our mental tool-BOX ;)
The only down-side to this book was the audio quality... I usually download the "Enhanced" Audio Quality of each book and let it auto-download into my iPhone. The Audio quality of this selection was scratchy and slightly distorted at times, HOWEVER the Story and Narration were AWESOME! I don't know if the Audio quality was from the recording, or if I just noticed it so badly because the Enhanced Format allows you to hear every flaw... Kinda like listening to a song of a favorite older music group that has been transferred onto digital media from the original (old) Studio Tapes (even though this is a newer book)... Or maybe I just somehow got a bad download (I guess it could happen)...
Whatever the reason for the bad sound quality, it's gets a bit better, and "The STORY" is what's important! I got so wrapped up in the story that I didn't notice the sound quality any more.
As is always the case when finishing a great book, "I wish there was a second book"!
Good science fiction does not bend the laws of the universe to make stories work (except of course for that pesky light speed barrier, which does not bear on the book). This is a solid work of fiction that dealt with the ethical dilemma facing the main character in regard to a newly discovered species. Interplanetary travel, aliens, nano-tech - who could ask for more? Recommended.
Definitely, but with the caveat that the story would need to be tightened up . Amy does great work here, owning the wide array of characters that populate this sprawling book.
Therein lies the issue I have...it sprawls. Carlson clearly has done his research, and his books are historically detailed and plausible. This classic "first contact" offering is no exception, but it does tend to get mired down in minutae.
That said, it's not a bad listen, if nothing else for Amy's fine work.
As above. Would have to be to the right ( read Sci Fi first contact fans) but yes, it is worth the recommendation.
She owns the proantagonist role. Solid.
Explore more Carlson works. Already an AS fan.
Try it...you likely will like it, with the caveats above.
I sense a pretty fine premise for a meeting with the aliens novel, but the reading has for me undone the whole project. Sorry Jeff.
Amy's performance as a reader gave me the sense that she was reading for school children - elementary school children.
At times it has been simply excruciating. I cannot go on listening to her. The main character is made to sound and have the characteristics and personality of a young adolescent! Who was responsible in the Audible organisation for allowing this to go through?
Give me science, or give me death!
Developed and realistic exobiology and alien society. The mystery and tension were satisfactorily resolve in the end. This resolution was consistent with the science of the premise. The characters were clear and likable, even the artificial intelligence. There were exciting and fun action scenes, too.
The scene from the beginning, where the protagonist is running for her life.
There were a few unjustified similarities shared by Europa and Earth life, such as hemoglobin, an endocrine system, etc.
Yes. It is very enjoyable of a story to share with others and to recall.
"Pushing Ice" is another first contact story I read recently. Both of these books deal with human sociology in addition to order to compare and contrast our culture with that of the alien specie in the story.
Probably when they were finally communicating with the intelligent members of the Sun Fish.
I found myself struggling to like the alien, Sun Fish at first. It was tough to see pass their aggressive, animal like behavior and consider them as intelligent being. But Vonnie's perseverance paid off in the end to prove her point.
I wish they'd make a movie based on this book. The visuals would be very fascinating to see on big screen. At times, it's hard to keep up with all the description of all the actions in relation to the physical world on Europa. The politics within the scientist/explore team as well as their relations with other competing teams and their constant updates to and from the earth media and gov'ts are also well thought through and believable.
I am a big fan of Jeff Carlson Plague Year series. Unlike most of the other Audio Books I've bought I got this one without much research. I would give him another shot but not with this reader. Yeah, The Plague Year series was that good I didn't even notice the reader.
Yes I would
It's hard to say it gut thing I just didn't like her.
irritation I hated the main character
Don't judge Jeff Carlson work by this book, everybody has a off day. I am a big horror and Science Fiction Fan, get the first book in his Plague Year Series and you'll be hooked . I don't listen to a lot of it because I've been burned in the past. If I hear good things on a pod cast or the author is somebody I've read or listen to before and liked I normally go for it. This is just bad on so many levels.
I'm a fan of Sci-fi, fantasy and suspense. I like books that keep me guessing till the end.
I'm 8 hours in to the book, when I just had to bump the narration speed to 2X. To be fair, I generally listen to books at 1.25 to 1.50 the standard narration speed, finding the slow pace to be just too much. This book has some odd characters in it, and the main character seems to be mercurially unstable, I hope that it gets better, but otherwise it's just a B-movie in book form.
The sound quality is a bit odd, and the narrator often sounds like she's in a tin box.
It will pass the time, but I would not recommend it unless you just have nothing else in your queue and need some sci-fi.
This story starts out well, but after about two hours it goes off track and never really recovers. It becomes more of a soap opera with politics and pseudo science. Maybe it gets better in the end, but I just didn't have the motivation to make it there.
Long haul trucker, nerd, and scifi fan.
Whuh? This can't be how the book was written. Imagine a book made up of hundreds of files played in sequence... now imagine setting the device to shuffle. And listening to the files in random order. Hearing major plot developments. And character details in the first 5 minutes has totally ruined the "what happens next?" Allure ....
I'll resserve judgement in case a twist comes up and clears the confusiin..... but so far im very disappointed in what s seemed like a really good story.
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