When the Ventura enters the orbit of the planet Baytirus it is immediately destroyed by the planet's defense systems. The sole survivor (that we know ..Show More »of) is Barcus, and together with EM (his modified Emergency Module and the most creepy human-like AI ever with its own agenda) he must survive on a planet that mostly resembles the middle ages. He also discovers that many villages are being attacked with no one spared and he decides to intervene while trying to survive on the planet (since he has some pretty strong robotic AI controlled 'friends' along with him which prove very useful).
The story started off great and was very interesting but then its pacing slowed down considerably and I felt that I was showered with details that really don't impact the greater story much (or at all) and while these details do allow for a better imagining of the scenario I found them to be mostly distracting (since not much is going on during these rather tedious descriptions). Halfway through the novel, the story picks up again and proper pacing returns. Every chapter is preceded by a short investigation report of the historical events that occurred during the story, I really loved those little tidbits of information and I hope these will be kept for the subsequent novels.
The narration of Andrew Tell is excellent, his performance is spot on and I felt I was listening to more of an Audio Drama at times. His voice and words are crystal clear (even when using various accents for the various characters) and it was a joy to listen to.
This audiobook was provided by the narrator at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.
Blood of the Scarecrow is Martin Wilsey's 3rd installment in the Solstice 31 Saga trilogy. As with Book 2, the story opens with a focus on another sur..Show More »vivor of the Ventura destruction, Wes Hagen and begins concurrent with Books 1 & 2. More quickly however, all the survivors hook up, along with Wex who saved Barcus' life, but transformed him into something else. The plot shifts back to the Earth system where the mystery of the Ventura destruction is revealed as part of a larger political move to cement power, thus explaining the basis for the chapter intros regarding a subsequent investigation into events that resulted in millions of deaths.
The sci-fi elements are mostly in line with earlier installments, especially with AI sophistication. One new intriguing element is the concept of a "scarecrow", an alternate lifeform, that human can become that have "wolverine" (X-Men) like recuperative powers, and can perceive time as human perceive space allowing for limited precognition. The geopolitical machinations that created the basis for the story are well crafted, but devilishly complex, equal to the planet on which the story began.
The narration continues to be above average with a solid range of voices. Tone and mood are well suited to the plot. Of particular note is the pacing which allows for absorption of a complex web of motives and interactions. If possible, listening to all three books in succession will help in the flow as the character count is on the high side.