Crossover is the first novel in a series which follows the adventures of Cassandra Kresnov, an artificial person, or android, created by the League, one side of an interstellar war against the more powerful, conservative Federation. Cassandra is an experimental design - more intelligent, more creative, and far more dangerous than any that have preceded her. But with her intellect come questions, and a moral awakening. She deserts the League and heads incognito into the space of her former enemy, the Federation, in search of a new life.
Her chosen world is Callay, and its enormous, decadent capital metropolis of Tanusha, where the concerns of the war are literally and figuratively so many light years away. But the war between the League and the Federation was ideological as much as political, with much of that ideological dispute regarding the very existence of artificial sentience and the rules that govern its creation. Cassandra discovers that even in Tanusha, the powerful entities of this bloody conflict have wound their tentacles. Many in the League and the Federation have cause to want her dead, and Cassandra?s history, inevitably, catches up with her. Cassandra finds herself at the mercy of a society whose values preclude her own right even to exist. But her presence in Tanusha reveals other fault lines, and when Federal agents attempt to assassinate the Callayan president, she finds herself thrust into the service of her former enemies, using her lethal skills to attempt to protect her former enemies from forces beyond their ability to control.
As she struggles for her place and survival in a new world, Cassandra must forge new friendships with old enemies, while attempting to confront the most disturbing and deadly realities of her own existence.
©2006 Joel Shepherd (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
Interesting Exciting Fun
Cassandra Kresnov is the main, and my favorite character. I just find her journey fascinating as she progresses through the story as an artificial person trying to fit into a society whose first reaction to her is most often fear.
I definitely spent a lot of time laughing, there is plenty of humor in the book in addition to the action. As for the action there is plenty of that too.
I read this book several years ago and picked up the audio book as soon as I saw it on new releases. I already really enjoyed the story and the narration of the audio book definitely did not disappoint. Definitely happy about spending a credit on this and cannot wait for the sequels to be released.
I'd read this trilogy when it was originally published a few years ago. I generally don't read science fiction, being more of a fantasy geek, but the plot seemed interesting, so I bought it and loved it. Joel Shepherd is a great author: the plot, pacing, and characterizations are all quite good. So, my only question before buying this in audio, though I was very excited to see it available, was the narration.
My previous experience with Ms. Pearlman's narration was with "Polgara the Sorceress", which was a good book. I did not, however, care for the narration at all. She has a pleasant enough voice, she just mauled some of the pronunciations of some key places and/or people from the Belgariad series, one of my all time favorites. I couldn't finish it.
So I was nervous about buying this, but having enjoyed the print version so much, and wanting to experience it in audio, I bought it anyway.
She is better in this book, though at first I didn't think I'd be able to finish (which I haven't, but I'm halfway there). Chapter One was rough, she came across as emotionless and bland, and her descriptions were quite boring, not to mention rushed. She got better during Chapter Two, and really hit her stride in Chapter Three and beyond. She differentiates the characters quite well so you always know who's talking, and seems to be good at affecting different accents. She conveys the emotions of the characters very well, and picks up the pace of the narration during the action scenes effectively conveying the urgency of these scenes. It's not perfect, but all in all, I'm impressed, and plan on finishing this trilogy.
IT Project Manager in CA. I would say I am a Audio Book Addict...
This a great story that has action a plenty along with a imaginative dissection of the human condition and what being human means. The setting and characters are well imagined and developed using very descriptive prose.
After listening to the story I quickly purchased the second book in the series.
Dina Pearlman is also one of my favorite narrators....
Love speculative fiction so I am always watching for great sci-fi or fantasy. But since I'm a book addict, any good writing works for me - mystery, historical fiction, classics, even great kids' books. Tend to steer clear of YA and romance, but sample some here and there since you never know where great stories or authors may be hiding :)
Crossover starts with a very interesting premise and begins with some real promise as Cassandra, an android, assumes a new identity and tries to start a new life as a civilian in a new society rather than as the soldier she has been. However, just as the story starts to roll out this idea of an android created to be a warrior who has philosophical problems with the war and wants to pursue normal human relationships, work a civilian job, and visit art museums, that whole story abruptly ends. Cassandra is captured and co-opted by her enemy and the entire remaining book (all but the first chapter) is unnatural dialog, incoherent political ruminations, and ridiculous sexual discussions/thoughts (although very little actual sex), and a few good fight scenes that Cassandra inevitably wins. The book would have put me to sleep if it weren't for how very aggravating Joel Shepherd's depiction of adult women is. Cassandra is an engineered humanoid designed to be the ultimate of the HK series (hunter-killer) so my assumption would have been that an android designed to be a warrior wouldn't have any inclination for sex. However, I could buy into Shepherd giving his androids a sex drive (his world after all), but for the fact that Cassandra's model type is imprinted with actual human brain patterns. In that case, Cassandra should think about sex the way a real woman does, not like a 15 yr. old boy does. Think I'm exaggerating? Here's a sample, you decide. This is Cassandra's internal monologue at one point (verbatim), "Damn, give her good food, nice surroundings, and a decent hard shag at least 5 times a week and she was happy. Let the universe rot, she just wanted to get nailed." The actual human women in the book aren't much better and certainly don't ring true as believable characters. Cassandra has a great deal of angst over the politics in her world and how much she loves art although she's a soldier, but in truth, the android doesn't actually seem to care a fig about anything but sex and fighting so the moral/ethical conflict of a thinking/feeling android used for fighting doesn't come off at all. And, I didn't give a flip about Cassandra either. She's a male fantasy - beautiful, smart, strong, and can't get enough sex (oh and of course, very skilled at sex) - she's not a real character. She's supposedly made of some super bio synthetic material, but to me she seemed to be made of cardboard. Her human compatriots aren't any more fleshed out either. You don't really see much political action, just characters thinking about it and talking about it and it's a bit simplistic and convoluted. And, the internal monologues are long, frequent and tiresome.
Dina Pearlman is OK as the narrator. As a previous reviewer noted, she does get better as the book goes on. But this is just not a good book, so it's hard to get too excited about the performance of it.
Thumbs down on this one - don't waste a credit!
She did the best with what she was given, I hope they paid her well.
The book was frustrating to get through. This is what it felt like listening to it: little bit of plot – protagonist explains sex life – little bit of plot – protagonist is questioned about sex life – little bit of plot – protagonist has fond remembrance of sex life – little bit of plot – protagonist has sex and explains about sex life to sex partner – little bit of plot – protagonist calls co-worker and jokes about sex life before telling vital information strangely connected to sex life. While I have never been a teenage boy, it felt like I was being pulled into the mind of one at times and it was difficult not to stop rolling my eyes over and over or at one point bash my head on my desk. It was soooo tiresome, so boring, and so repetitive.Another point of irritation about this book is that it takes place on a plant in the far future, however all the architecture on the planet is exactly like present day earth. There are districts that divide the place the protagonist lives in and they are labelled something like (not kidding here) “Old earth Chinatown”, “Old earth Spanish District”, “Old Earth India”, “Old Earth Whatever with that old earth architecture, music, food, language”. The rest of the place is made up of glass and cement. Seriously. I wanted to like this book. Some of the ideas have already been done, but they were still interesting. The plot had potential. If 90% of the sexual thoughts were cut out of the protagonists head and it was filled with a bit of depth she would be far more interesting and relatable. The only reason I have not asked for my money back was because I wanted to write a review to warn others who have similar tastes in SciFi, against buying this. However if you do ignore me (like I did with the other reviewers) it will really make you appreciate the genuine talents of other Scifi writers out there.
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