The largest known meteorite has been discovered, entombed in the earth for millions of years on a frigid, desolate island off the southern tip of Chile. At 4,000 tons, this treasure seems impossible to move.
New York billionaire Palmer Lloyd is determined to have this incredible find for his new museum. Stocking a cargo ship with the finest scientists and engineers, he builds a flawless expedition. But from the first approach to the meteorite, people begin to die. A frightening truth is about to unfold: The men and women of the Rolvaag are not taking this ancient, enigmatic object anywhere. It is taking them.
©2001 Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (P)2010 Hachette
"This is a big-boned thriller, one that will make a terrific summer movie as well as a memorable hot-day read." (Publishers Weekly)
These authors certainly did their research! Prompted me to Google certain topics mentioned in book for more information because the items were fascinating: Roaring 60's in Southern Ocean; Panspermia Theory; South Georgia Islands; and some mechanical engineering.
This book is extremely well written and Scott Brick does a wonderful job reading. The characters well developed with plot moving smoothly. It is the best AudioBook I have listened to.
The story is about a billionaire, Palmer Lloyd, who hires a crew of scientists, engineers, and others to retrieve an extremely heavy object from an island off the southern tip of Chile. Lloyd has an oil tanker converted and disguised to sail to Chile to accomplish this task. The object is the scientific find of the 21st century and puts the entire crew who sail in peril...and more.
I have a serious weakness when it comes to Audible book sales. I tend to browse and, often, buy. Sometimes I find a gem this way, but often the result is a book that falls into what I consider to be the "Who cares?" category. This book is one of those.
It is well written, and Scott Brick, as normal, does an excellent job. But the plot seems very, very thin. Yes, there is a meteorite. Yes, people want it. Yes, there is an individual who cares about nothing but getting the meteor and has too much power for this to end well (I do not believe I am giving anything away to say that). And, yes, this is the story about how they go about trying to get it. But nowhere in the story did I feel that this was an important thing to be doing or that the subsequent loss of life was worth the result.
It was clear to me about 20% into the book how it would end and, about 50% into the story, why their pursuer was so dogged about this chase. For me it was an effort to finish the book and even the ending did very little to redeem the effort.
If I had it to do over again I would have skipped this sale item.
I've listened to 435 books from Audible so far and I would have to put this one in my top 10 list. Preston & Child are favorites of mine to begin with but they have scored big time with this one. Like one of the other reviewers I found myself googling locations and topics mentioned in the story as well as following the course of the ship on Google earth. Interesting and exciting from beginning to end. I also liked the addition of the news reports at the end of the book but it just reinforced my feelings that this book must have a sequel.
In respect to the narration by Scott Brick I must disagree with Sandra's review. One of the things I search for on a regular basis are books read by Scott. No ridiculous accents or over blown dramatics or pretending to do female voices, just solid steady narration. His inflections and timing are subtle but effective and the tone of his voice is pleasant whether on earphones or speakers.
I highly recommend this book.
The plot on the description sounds pretty exciting...but I found that it was taking way to long to get to anything in the description! I want to get to know some interesting characters pretty quickly and get to the dang alien substance or whatever! I don't care about political and military threats in a book that's supposed to be about a dangerous, life threatening unknown substance! Seriously, i hate to not finish a book when i use a credit for it, but I found myself skipping hours ahead just to hear something about the dang rock! Do NOT get this book. It might be interesting to someone with nautical knowledge, but didn't work for me.
Great pace, well written and very enjoyable. The plot and characters are well developed and all in all it was mostly believable.
I really enjoyed this book up to the end, although I was a bit frustrated by the ending. I had to knock off a star from my rating because the authors went way beyond their expertise when it came to superconductivity and electrophysics; there were a few really big groaners in this area speaking as an electrical engineer. The story and narration were so good, any small plot holes were entirely forgivable and I ended up staying up way into the night listening. Well worth a listen!
I don't know how the other readers could consider this book "exciting." Let me sum up the book for you. There is a very large, very heavy meteorite that is going to be moved by ship. Moving something of that size and weight is complicated. They remind us of this fact in every sentence for the entirety of the story. Some people think moving the rock is a bad idea. Fast forward to the end and they actually try to move the meteorite and have more problems. A few people die because of the rock but that doesn't really add any excitement to the story. The End.
I just saved you a credit and many hours of your life that you will never get back. The publisher's summary makes the story sound more like a thriller than it actually is. If you decide that you DO want to hear the story, do yourself a favor and listen to it at 2x normal speed. The narrator is the slowest reader ever and makes everyone sound the exact same- imagine William Shatner's speech pattern if he was also dozing off. 2x puts it at about normal human speech pacing.
If you want an exciting read about a strange rock that also involves a lot of ocean, just read Sphere by Michael Crichton. Trust me.
I think they phoned this one in , maybe with the help of a tech writer. Scott Brick sounded like he was channeling Capt Kirk. After that, it seemed like a recipe book: "start with this, add that, stir in a little XYZ . . ." and the dialogue was cartoon-like and redundant ; the whole story was clich?? riddled and predictable.
Preston and Child can do a lot better
I didn't find the rock and the quest for it nearly as exciting as the characters did. I got through the book, but I wouldn't say it was fabulous. Scott Brick is a good reader during exciting, tense scenes. But his directors should encourage him to lighten up when introducing characters, getting through small talk, etc.
I really enjoy Scott Brick when he narrates Nelson Demille's books, that was actually the biggest reason for buying this one. I couldn't believe this was the same Scott Brick. It is like he felt that this needed a more intellectual sounding reading, but the result is dull to say the least. The characters in this book are one dimensional and you don't really feel very strongly about any of them, a fact that the reading makes even worse. Save yourself 14 hours and skip this one. Only impressive piece about this one is the research that has gone into it. The writers, however, seem more comfortable with research and science than they do with writing.
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