I've read many Anne McCaffrey novels, most of them are truly excellent. This novel is a mixed bag because the premise is interesting and the story we..Show More »ll thought out, and the cast of characters is engaging and work well together. Unfortunately, the dialogue of the main character, Christine Bjornsen, especially her inner dialogue, is less than stellar, and occasionally, it even gets a little repetitive. For instance, for the first half or more of the story, every time she finds herself attracted to the Catteni character, Zeinal, we hear her inner voice telling herself "Down girl!" Every. Time. Another annoying distraction was that it seemed like 80% of all dialog was accompanied by grins. Yes, these characters are tough, can-do types - courageous and unsinkable in the horrible situation in which they'd been placed. But too much grinning. It's just unbelievable. I actually read this book a few years ago, and felt the same way about these and a few other things, but it was an interesting story and I liked it well enough to buy the audio version, thinking that perhaps it was just a mood phase I was in when I read the book the first time. But the same things popped out at me in the audio version. However, as I mentioned, the story is engaging, and I will undoubtedly listen to it more than once over time.
The part that's hardest to handle about this audio book is the actual performance. Susie has a great voice, and as long as she's reading in unaccented American, she's very good! But she has absolutely NO EAR or ability to perform accents, and she is called upon extensively to render Irish, American Southern, Norwegian, and most especially Australian characters. Her Irish accent is passable, her Southern American character, Sargeant Mitford, is not really southern, but - credit to her - she reads him with the right feeling. But her Australian accent is ABYSMAL! A horribly mangled, open-mouthed half-swallowed garble, that always sounds vaguely Irish . Actually, all of her human, non-American accents sound vaguely Irish. But mostly her rendering of Australians was a constant distraction from the story although I was able, eventually, to stop gritting my teeth and kind of push it into the background, thus enabling me to still enjoy the excellent plot and characters, which, incredibly, are strong enough to trump this linguistic travesty.
Overall, if you can ignore or get past Susie's terrible rendition of Aussie and other accents, I think you will find it both rewarding and well worth the effort.
If there is life on other Planets and they came to Earth, what would be their intentions? Would the be beneficent or have evil intentions. McCaffrey ..Show More »makes one case for a conquering Species that invades Earth and captures and enslaves millions while killing millions more. But there is more to this series than meets the eye. Are the invaders acting on their own, or is there an even more insidious species out there taking down planet after planet, galaxy after galaxy.
Susie Breck and Dick Hill make for a wonderfully full cast of voices and characters.
Although the story does further the plot left hanging in the previous novel, it is written in a very rough form. The lack of clarity in sentence stru..Show More »cture and the way the story jumps around almost make it seem as if McCaffrey's outline for the book was given to a very junior writer/editor team for completion. Details from the previous novels are incorrect or changed to suit the author, leaving little feel of continuity. One of the worst I've experienced from McCaffrey, it left me feeling unfulfilled rather than hungry for more.