I am not a huge Sci-Fi fan. While I have (thanks to some recommendations from my brothers) read a few Sci-Fi stories in the past, it's never been an ..Show More »area I was that comfortable in or drawn to.
When I received notification that my pre-order for Atopia was in my library and ready for download, I was a little stumped; when had I ordered this? Why would I have? I read the synopsis and could see why I may have been drawn to it; dystopian undercurrents, with multiple narrators and points of view... The current senile me thanked the previous, unremembered me for having pre-ordered the story, and I began the book immediately.
As mentioned above, the story is told by multiple points of view with jumping and/or overlapping timelines. You may at times find yourself in the same conversation you've read before, but now from the other character's point of view. Each new section begins with a clear announcement of which character you are about to hear from. In the firsts half of the book, these sections are larger chunks and it takes a while to catch on to the intricate cobweb of shared history that connects all of these people (or perhaps I should instead say sentient beings) together. Then, as you become more comfortable with the format and players, these sections become shorter and faster as the narrative speeds up to it's final conclusion; or at the very least, the conclusion for now.
One of my favorite authors, Michael J. Sullivan, was discussing recently that one of the accepted, identifying qualities of the Science Fiction genre is that it provides us with a forum in which to look at, consider, and discuss moral and ethical ramifications of different choices and ideologies as they are extended into the future. I'd never considered that before, but between his recent Sci-Fi book (Hollow World) and this novel Atopia, I really see what he's talking about. This book gave us a great deal to consider regarding what we call "progress" and "technology" today, asking how far these ideas can be taken before they become something that controls us, rather than something we control.
I believe that for the great majority of people, this is a book that will greatly benefit a second reading; and I am greatly looking forward to mine. Now that I'm more comfortable with the players and the landscape, I believe I'll pick up on a lot of great stuff in the second read that I missed in the first one.
I recommend this book, regardless of what "genres" you typically listen to.
I loved Atopia and could not wait to get my hands onto this one! Matthew Mayer just has a way of bringing the reader into this fantastical world that ..Show More »he has imagined. But the scary thing? Not only can I imagine it for fiction, I can actually see this happening in our future!
I recommend reading the Atopia Chronicles before delving into this one. He brings back quite a few of the people that we met in Atopia and their background stories are important to what happens to the plot in this one.
In Atopia Chronicles the narration jumps from one character to another and you’re not sure where you’re standing with each character until close to the end of the stories. This one is much more stream lined and due to that I think it was a better read. Instead of being a little choppy it flowed quite well. This does start RIGHT where Atopia Chronicles left off too, leaving the questions that were left at the end to be answered! I love when an author does not skip portions. It has been a little while since I read the first but I was able to immediately fall into this story. There are just enough reminders to help that transition be very smooth.
The only thing I question is how the story progresses. Even without being as choppy as the first with narration at times I had to move backward to be able to figure out where I was. Or re-listen to a portion to ensure I got the entire story right. This also may have something to do with the fact that this is getting into some serious science fiction, which is definitely not my normal genre!
Over all I thought the narration by Nick Poedhl was done very well. The audio was very clean and easy to stay with, minus the few story portions where I got lost! I absolutely love when a narrator takes time to really tell the story. This includes adding pauses. I can get lost when the pauses are not done correctly but Nick Poedhl did a fantastic job reading this and the voices were pretty easy to tell apart.
In short: A few downsides but all in all it was a good read. I loved listening to this one even with the few times I had to look back.
Audiobook purchased for review by ABR.
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