I am late to the Retrieval Artist banquet, but happily pigging out now! There are many deserved good reviews for The Disappeared so I'd be tempted not..Show More » to take the time, but I enjoyed this book so much that I just have to add my plaudits to both Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Jay Snyder, the narrator, as well as my thanks to Audible for bringing this to me.
If I rated this book as a police procedural/detective mystery, I'd probably rate it 4.5 stars - police procedural believable and fairly interesting, mystery nicely plotted, very clever, and a little twisty, but not as sophisticated as some. If I rated this book as strictly science fiction, I would probably rate it as 4.5 stars also - terrific detailed world building, no big science blunders, but little hard science. However, The Disappeared is much more than a Sci-Fi Detective Mystery; it is a book that has all the elements for seriously great fiction. When you combine that with top-notch narration from Jay Snyder, you have an audio book that I could hardly stand to it turn off - truly stellar!
* Engaging, believable characters. Men and women who have unique personalities that extend beyond body type or looks; varying levels of intelligence, talents,and flaws; complex emotional and psychological make-ups; diverse backgrounds, ages, and socio-economic levels. It's tough to write good fiction in any genre without good characters and yet it is especially difficult to find good characterizations in science fiction - particularly for female characters.
* Interesting plot - science fiction lends itself to good plots which is one of the reasons I like the genre, but much of it is about colonization and/or battles. I have enjoyed many space exploration type plots, but Rusch's plotting is more about the challenges of life after the initial survival hurdles have been made in space and it was a nice change of pace.
* Setting - The Disappeared takes place primarily in the domed city of Armstrong on the Moon, but Rusch also lines out the politics and the aliens across known colonized space. Her descriptions of Armstrong made me feel like I was there.
* Prose - evocative, but not effusive; truly readable and keeps the story moving.
* Themes - I think all good fiction has to be entertaining, but not all fiction has to give "food for thought". But, if a fictional story makes you think that's a big bonus and there's plenty to ruminate on in The Disappeared. We already know that human societies enact and enforce laws differently. (There are Americans imprisoned in various places around the world for doing things that would not be illegal in the USA.) In Rusch's universe with multiple alien peoples, there is a group that finds death so abhorrent that a person who comes in contact with a dead body is subjected to a cleansing ritual that includes evisceration; a group that takes retribution not on the offender but on his/her loved ones; and a group that subjects even minor offenders to hard labor. You could just avoid contact with those groups to stay out of trouble, but what if they have something really marketable (what if North Korean sat on all the world's diamonds or oil)? The capitalism that lives in most human hearts will find a way to trade for something they want even if there is a great risk in doing so. What if what you believe is moral is illegal - and, you are a cop? What if your style works to make you effective at your job, but keeps getting you into political trouble - can you/should you change?
I listened to two more in The Retrieval Artist series before I could make myself stop to write a review and I am still totally taken with Rusch's writing and her universe. "Retrieverse" keeps expanding in interesting and unusual ways and Flint and DeRicci continue to evolve and grow. As a great topper, Jay Snyder, nice narration/good characterizations, continues as the narrator throughout the series. Most sci-fi enthusiasts will enjoy The Retrieval Artist and most readers who appreciate finely crafted fiction independent of genre should be entertained.
STORY (sci-fi) - This is Book 2 of the Retrieval Artist series. It occurs sometime in the future when humans live on the moon in a city under the Arm..Show More »strong Dome...in a time when humans accidentally violate alien laws and are supposed to be surrendered for alien punishment. These humans often make arrangements to become "Disappeareds" to escape cruel alien punishment or death, and occasionally their families try to find them by using "Retrieval Artists" such as Miles Flint, the main character of the series.
The story begins as a female athlete's body is found curled up in the fetal position during an extreme marathon taking place outside Armstrong Dome. Did her survival suit fail causing her to die from lack of oxygen, or was it murder? And who is she...a frequent competitor with plenty of enemies, a brilliant scientist/murderess who has disappeared, or someone else? And why is there a mysterious virus which seems to be infecting people associated with the marathon? Flint and others are in a race against time to solve the crime and find the virus antidote before it's too late for everyone in Armstrong Dome.
PERFORMANCE - Jay Snyder has a sexy male voice and what I'd call an American accent. Some reviewers have criticized his attempts at female characters as sounding nasally. Bottom line...I knew when it was a female talking, so I appreciated the distinction.
OVERALL - Very "clean" book with no sex, cursing and only a small amount of violence. I'd recommend this book/series to anyone who likes sci-fi and might enjoy trying to solve a pretty intricate murder scenario.
First off let me say read the books in order, don't start here. While the author does give a lot of background and set up you really do yourself a dis..Show More »service if you start here.
With that said I believe in many ways this is the best books of the series (at least through the first 5 or so). Many of the characters really hit their stride. This book in many ways is the basis for major plot events of the books to come.
While it does set the stage it never wastes your time or bores you. As with the past books there is action, and drama with tons of politics and universe building.
As has been the case all along Snyder continues with his A game and helps bring the story to life.
Overall a really enjoyable story, one well worth listening to.
Since the first book in the retrieval artist series (The Disappeared), I was impressed by the thoroughness of the plot line. The technical aspects of ..Show More »a moon based dome life, as well as on other planets are very well thought out. Then there are the aliens, of which the author has done well to go outside the cliche format of humanoids only, and provided serious thought to the impact of how these would behave based on her predetermined definitions. I applaud the thoroughness of the series as a whole.
I've listened to all 6 books in the Retrieval Artist series and enjoyed them all. The characters are interesting and easy to come to care about, despi..Show More »te their flaws. The futuristic story line is interesting, but still believable. The narrator does a great job, too. I hope there will be more in this series.
This is another exciting novel in the Retrieval Artist series, and I was definite in my 5-star rating. This novel is, however, quite different from th..Show More »e others. First, this one reads much more like a typical detective/thriller novel than a sci-fi novel. Advanced technology definitely plays a role, but I did enjoy Rusch's characterization of alien races in the other books. That is absent in this one. Of course, that this book is even more character-driven than the others can certainly not be considered a fault. But there are no aliens, and Miles does not take a single case as a Retrieval Artist; in fact the concept of the retrieval artist is almost absent from this book.
This book focuses entirely on Miles and Talia and WSX. You really need to have read Recovery Man to have any idea of what is going on in this book. I'd even recommend that you make sure you've read Paloma as well. This is almost just a continuation of the previous book. At the end of the 6th novel, it was clear that some loose ends would have to be tied up, and this novel does that-- and very well.
Jay Snyder again does a fantastic job of characterizing the voices and creating just the right mood for each scene. I started out reading these books to myself, but after I heard Snyder read one, I have only wanted the Audiobook version. His narration heightens the excitement in this already very exciting book.
My only concern is that the ending left me wondering if Rusch is planning on this being the last book in the Retrieval Artist series. I certainly hope not!
I love this story. It's an amplified examination of what is broken in any legal system, particularly Western (US, UK, AU, CA, etc) law. There's nothin..Show More »g in this story that addresses the types of crime we're all too familiar with: domestic violence; rape; embezzlement; and yet the "crimes" that bring defendants to 'court' are just as frustratingly mismanaged by Rusch's Inter-species Court.
Rusch is able to imagine an entire legal system based on the Earth Alliance treaties with other species in the universe. For anyone who has experienced the nonsensical bureaucracy of traffic court, it is easy to identify with the frustrations Kerrie experiences with her workplace.
I am a big fan of how Rusch has inter-connected series with the Retrieval Artist and the Anniversary Day Saga. I believe the Impossibles could be the start of another branch of stories from the Retrieval Artist universe.