February 1, 2344 - The Galileo's shuttle returns to Earth carrying three surviving expedition members, who still appear to be the same age they were when they departed. They report that they have, indeed, made contact with an extraterrestrial race - and become enmeshed in a conflict that brought them face to face with the most apocalyptic force in the galaxy. It is up to Director General John Shillinglaw to piece together the puzzle created by these events - for the survivors tell their stories from their own conflicting perspectives. And the truth is more difficult to glean than it appears.
BONUS AUDIO: Includes an exclusive introduction written and recorded by author Allen Steele.
©2008 Allen Steele; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
I have never before agreed when others have whined about bad readers. Usually I manage to get used to the reader after a while. This time it was a lot harder than usual though. The narrator's rhythm is "unusual" and the voice acting leaves something to be desired.
I did eventually get used to it and listen through the entire story. It is not bad. I liked it. I suspect I would have liked it even better if I was familiar with the Coyote Universe.
Ideally I would have liked more exploration (of the unknown) and less preparation. The ending was not the best either, but all in all I enjoyed it.
I've loved Steele's other Coyote universe books, but I couldn't finish Spindrift. The voice talent was just awful. The narrator and main characters were unimpressive at best, and some of the supporting voices - the main scientist in particular - were so whiny, overwrought, and just plain annoying that it was unlistenable. I hate to downvote what is probably a good book based solely on the reading, but do NOT purchase this audiobook. Get Steele's Coyote books in audio, but get this one in print instead.
I have been listening to audible books for more than 20 years - since you had to get them on cassette tapes (and they were called books-on-tape). In that 20 years, I've listened to over 400 books and have enjoyed nearly all of them.
I really like Allen Steele's books. I enjoyed the Coyote series very much. To be sure, there are readers I have really liked and readers I did not like so much. But Andy Caploe is the worst I listened to in those 20 years. Though I like Spindrift so far (I'm about half through it), I'm not sure I can finish it because of the terrible reading. Many times, I'm not sure Mr. Caploe is listening to what he's reading or is even aware that the individual words are part of a sentence. The emphasis is frequently overly dramatic and even more frequently misplaced. The voices are also terrible. His English and Russian accents are laughable. Why he would chose to cast Ramirez - a highly educated, if somewhat flawed character - as a Southern California surfer boy is entirely beyond me.
I have never stopped listening to a book because of the reader. Yet. I may be just interested enough in learning how the story turns out to push through, but I'm not sure I'll make it. I will be sure to never again get a book where Mr. Caploe is the reader.
I disagree with some of the other comments about the narrator. I liked his reading quite a bit, and thought it went very well with this kind of "hard science fiction." He only fell down on the voice of one character which is done as a bad Tommy Chong / 70's stoner impression--that just didn't work. (I think it's usually better when a narrator doesn't push "voices" and accents too hard).
The book itself is a nicely paced space exploration story, very traditional and well worked out. Nothing innovative, but satisfying, until the final chapter or two when the story just kind of fades away. It might be because important revelations are being saved for other "Coyote" novels.
The over the top voices ruined this book. The stoner scientist voice was so annoying it was a fight to continue to listen. Save your credit. Get Chindi instead if you want the same story but written 10x better.
I like the premise but the execution of the whole audio book was a huge letdown.
I think the narrator was the biggest draw back for me. His voices were not far from his own and after 6 hours his voice became very grating.
The writing style of this story is reminiscent of 60s pulp sci-fi. Characters are two dimensional and the "bad guys" act like cartoonish villains. The story itself is simplistic and there were a lot of times where I thought that it didn't make sense.
Overall I would not recommend this book.
While the narration is not first rate, I did not find that it detracted from an excellent story. The plot is well-constructed, the character development good and the story moves along well. I finished the novel in a few days, staying up late to listen to it. I got caught up in Allen Steele's universe, finding it quite believable. Since the reader of the Coyote series knows something about the end of this story already, that's quite an accomplishment. I'm looking forward to the next novel.
As my first SciFi outing on Audible, I really wanted to enjoy this much more than I did.
Personally, I found the whole premise to be very similar to so many Sci Fi novels before it, Spindrift seemed very predictable and therefor was a bit of a letdown for me. I know this comes off like a cheap review, but the problem is there are so many comparisons to make to other re-hashed plotlines in the genre, I don't know where to begin.
The most interesting part of the story came in the last two hours as our 'survivors' learn the secrets of Spindrift and must return feom whence they came, and even then, it seemed a repetition of many tales I've seen or read before. Even the epilogue was anti-climatic.
I didn't much care for the narrator, Andy Caploe, at times either. Some of his characters sounded exactly the same, and his take on female voice and Russian accents was comically exaggerated. The worst was his portrayal of Cruz, who sounded more like a Southern Californian wasted surfer dude than a hispanic scientist he actually was.
Anyone who enjoys sf novels about the exploration of huge and mysterious artifacts from the vastness of deep space, should avoid "Spindrift" and listen to Arthur C. Clarke's "Rendezvous with Rama", which is a classic of the genre, instead.
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