Out of the ashes of the Syndicate, a new, more powerful threat has emerged. Resurrected members of this fallen group - now shadows of their former selves - seemingly bend to the will of someone, or something, with unmatched abilities and an unknown purpose. As those believed to be enemies become unlikely allies and trusted friends turn into terrifying foes, FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully become unknowing participants in a deadly game of deception and retribution.
It was ok. Not as good as first set. Everyone in this except Skinner & Cig Man sounded like they were reading it for the first time as they recorded. Mulder especially sounded bored with it. No emotion at all. Actually all of the “extras” sounded good, far more enthused than “stars”. Last story with the mind control & clones was probably best. Too much alien conspiracy which started to be a total mess on TV & they always seem to be trying to fix. I think they all might have been good with better scripts & more emotion. Might all have made for decent TV episodes to see visually the drug dream one & the clones.
1 of 4 people found this review helpful
Half a century after the Doomsday Battle, the uneasy balance of Dark Forest Deterrence keeps the Trisolaran invaders at bay. Earth enjoys unprecedented prosperity due to the infusion of Trisolaran knowledge. With human science advancing daily and the Trisolarans adopting Earth culture, it seems that the two civilizations will soon be able to coexist peacefully as equals, without the terrible threat of mutually assured annihilation. But the peace has also made humanity complacent.
You may gather from my title that the novel is divided into parts referred to variously as "....Era: year one," etc, as in "Galactic Era". Sorry but for me it was Boring Era. I forced myself to finish this trilogy since it is all the rage and someone even said this 3rd one is the best of them all. Sorry, I think not.
Overall this trilogy clocks in at about 75 hours and I should have bailed out after the first one's 13. These last 2 (Dark Forest and Death's End) should have been edited, trimmed, condensed, into 2 shorter works if not into 1. Some territory is rehashed but not horribly, I simply got tired of it finding new ways to go off on tangents, belabor certain issues, invent new situations and scientific scenarios simply to drag out the story.
Again the science is fascinating at times, in a text bookish way, but the people just never captured my imagination; I never cared what happened to any of them as they were all clearly pawns of the plot. Not to say that isn't true to an extent of all literary characters, but these never had life for me. And all the episodes, though they do relate for the most part, just kept feeling like one more story element to stick in to relate yet another scientific idea. OK, fine, it's science fiction. But most of the time it reads like an amped up version of Hawking's Brief History or Greene's Elegant Universe, both of which I enjoyed.
There are aspects I like, but too much that bored me. And I became less tolerant of the writing style as I went, noting more often clunky lines or attempts to include as many metaphors as possible which started to smell like desperation (for the most egregious overuse of metaphors check out Dean Koontz). Writing I liked in the 1st one, was far less apparent as we progressed through 2 & 3; at least he was trying harder early on. And I really got tired of the accumulated lucky coincidences, give me a break.
Was I curious to see where it all went? Yes. Was it worth it? No. And again, Clarke is all over the place in this series. And ending is a variation on Poul Anderson's Tau Zero. Also a big cheat to go to all the effort in #1 to outline the Trisolaran world and make them the main alien antagonists and then never show them; I want to see them: if you're going to all that effort, then devise a physiology for them that fits your parameters in some logical way. Clarke gets a pass with his monolith builders because they're "energy" based and it's all symbolic anyway. These guys are not, they need starships to cross space and are subject to time so they have physical bodies, you need to show them.
I did like that the author is well read and alludes to many other works. And for me the best part of the novel is the small stretch near the end where they deal with the fairytale and trying to decipher hidden meanings in it; that small stretch was by far the best writing in the whole novel and the most intriguing.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This near-future trilogy is the first chance for English-speaking listeners to experience this multiple-award-winning phenomenon from Cixin Liu, China's most beloved science fiction author. In The Dark Forest, Earth is reeling from the revelation of a coming alien invasion - in just four centuries' time. The aliens' human collaborators may have been defeated, but the presence of the sophons, the subatomic particles that allow Trisolaris instant access to all human information, means that Earth's defense plans are totally exposed to the enemy.
Really liked the 1st one for it's big ideas and there are more here, but beginning to feel stretched out to fill the required trilogy aspect.
Again like the first one, there is some nice writing and imagery, but characters get a little lost. Not so much as first one since we follow one main guy through most all of the book as he is a "Wall Facer", part of a cadre of people trying to figure out how to deal with the Tri-Solarins. I liked this element of the book the best as it's a bit like 4 separate murder mysteries, not murders, but the secret planning of each and then the revelation of how each person designed their "defense". This kept things interesting for me though as I say, it begins to stretch a little and perhaps could have been trimmed/condensed carefully. It began to feel lengthy, which it is, and again I found myself more interested in the ideas and plot than in the people.
Had it moved quicker I would be more inclined to go on to 3rd one, but it is even longer (early bit of it seems totally unrelated, ok, I'm sure it will all tie together somehow) but actually Dark Forest felt like an end to 1 & 2 so I don't feel urge to continue except for curiosity sake. & to top that off, I felt end to Dark Forest fizzled and cheated in many aspects.
The different aspects and story elements create a sort of mosaic structure whereby separate stories provide insight into overall theme and if not directly connected at least inform each other.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Set against the backdrop of China’s Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion.
I dip now and then into the supposed SF masterpieces of the new writers, and often I'm disappointed. This is all the rage at the moment, and while it was good and had some interesting ideas and is no doubt well researched, I found myself listening just for the plot and ideas; I didn't connect with any of the characters really. I think again this shows a fundamental problem with current writers of SF and other genres, but especially SF, where the science and ideas are the story, and the writing is at times atrocious (not here) and the characters and human-ness and individuality are at best secondary. Maybe much is lost in translation, I'm willing to concede that possibility. There are some nice moments and writing and imagery here, but over shadowed by plot. There are many references to SF writers (Clarke Asimov) and novels (Fountains of Paradise, Foundation) along the way which was fun in an easter egg type of way.
I'm probably not that helpful here as I don't want to spoil it for anyone. Basically there is a bit of a 1984 style opening; there is a Contact type of plot; there is a Gibson-esque virtual reality game element (which normally leaves me cold but worked along with the story to reveal important ideas); there is a bit of a Crichton use of science element which I liked very much. In all there are enough story elements to keep you interested as it shuttles about, I just wish I had been able to attach to the characters better. It may be that part of the trouble for me was that many names sound similar (not being racist here) and our unfamiliarity with Chinese names hinders english speakers a bit. A couple of times a name is given and someone mentions what the name means in Chinese; it may be that all of the names mean something we're unaware of and for Chinese speakers this helps to delineate who is who.
I did go on to the 2nd one, Dark Forest, but may not 3rd.
Again, I like very much the ideas and science and plot and the logical thought processes and the philosophical and buddhist pondering; if I could have really gotten attached to a character I might have given it 5 stars.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Perhaps it wasn't from our time, perhaps it wasn't even from our universe, but the arrival of the 300-kilometer long stone was the answer to humanity's desperate plea to end the threat of nuclear war. Inside the deep recesses of the stone lies Thistledown: the remnants of a human society, versed in English, Russian and Chinese. The artifacts of this familiar people foretell a great Death caused by the ravages of war, but the government and scientists are unable to decide how to use this knowledge.
Sorry but I just don't see what's so great about this one. We'll ignore for the moment the blatant Clarke Rama ripoff. It starts "well", though the Rama aspect is foremost in my mind as it starts, but I would say that after the halfway point, when the obligatory "Hollywood" shootemup military assault happens, too much of interest is shunted aside in favor of dealing with that, and boring political crap.
Were I editor, I would have told Bear, and all writers currently, take the military and political crap out, take the guns out and do something creative and different, and use the time better developing and explaining the really wondrous aspects of the ideas. I'm bored with unnecessary explosions etc. Do something imaginative. So much of import, i.e., Who built it, How, Why, How does it all work, etc., is passed over briefly if at all. Not to mention elements that start to verge on magic. Scrap that crap. I guess we can learn (maybe) some of these answers in next book. NOT Interested.
So many SF writers have great ideas, but they're terrible writers; they need editors not to mention learning some craft. Here's a good example from Eon: "What happened next, happened so fast Patricia could hardly follow it." Don't tell me something is going to happen, just show it, I'll know it happens next, because it happens next. Don't dilute surprise, destroy suspense, let it happen. This is a simple quick fix that so many authors need to learn. This is just one of a plethora of bad writing examples. Describe visually, explain with similes and metaphors. So much of this novel is lacking stylistically. No poetry here. I will be first to admit Clarke's Rama isn't well written stylistically, but at least he keeps revealing wonders.
And the characters in this are just cardboard. And of course there's the obligatory "we have to shut it down immediately" race against time so overused by everyone. And the also obligatory "throw some sex scenes in" are laughable, thankfully there are only a couple.
Just bored with this type of stuff. Could have been mind bending. I'm sure many others will love this one, I wanted more.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
When Suyana, Face of the United Amazonia Rainforest Confederation, secretly meets Ethan of the United States for a date that can solidify a relationship for the struggling UARC, the last thing she expects is an assassination attempt. Daniel, a teen runaway turned paparazzi out for his big break, witnesses the first shot hit Suyana, and before he can think about it he jumps into the fray, telling himself it's not altruism, it's the scoop. Just like that,Suyana and Daniel are now in the game of Faces.
I made it to the end and still cannot tell you what of importance happened. It ends as if there's a great revelation to be announced, but I don't see how that's possible. Poor writing actually. No grounding in whatever the parameters of the world of the story are so you have no idea what's really going on: in some amorphous Rollerball-ish way there is a sense that news hawks and paparazzi and "snaps" (photogs) are a major force in some global politics but that's about it. There is little or no delineation of the relationships of the characters, whether to each other nor to the organizations they work for. A friend listens to same books as I do and we discuss them but neither of us followed this story well, (what story there is) and neither of us cared to finish, though I did.
In the interest of trying some of the new authors and current "respected" novels I've looked at various reviews and sites. This is another that was on some list of best SF books of last year or year before and so far from that list we've listened to at least 3 and none of them have been great. I do not understand how some of these things get published for one thing, but then to have someone tout them as best of a year does not speak well of reviewer/listmaker nor does it speak well of the reading public that thinks mediocre writing is phenomenal. Will probably return for refund though it isn't really Audible's fault that it got put out there. To think of all the actual well written, thought provoking SF and lit that I keep hoping will get narrated, and then to come across this dreck.
And I read the other review of this here and don't agree with the Clockwork Orange bit as I had no trouble following that, nor some other far more challenging writing like Stand on Zanzibar or Sometimes A Great Notion, and I could go on.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
In Seth Dickinson's highly anticipated debut The Traitor Baru Cormorant, a richly imagined geopolitical fantasy, a young woman from a conquered people tries to transform an empire. Baru Cormorant believes any price is worth paying to liberate her people - even her soul.
This was on some list of best SF from last year. Why? Not only is it more of an extremely watered down fantasy world, but up to the half way point if there was anything SF oriented (perhaps some vague societal genetic reproductive restrictions and control) I missed it; and to top it off, little or nothing of interest had nor was happening. Bored and I didn't care about anyone or anything in it. There are a lot of characters with little to differentiate them in your mind so it all blends together. Surely by the halfway point of any novel you should be able to keep some characters straight in your mind, have an inkling of interactions of importance and implications for future of the story, and something, something of interest should have happened. A friend was listening too and he lost interest. Told him I was pulling the plug on it and he didn't care to finish it either. Maybe all the excitement is in last half, but I don't care, not worth my time when there are so many good things to get to. Will return it.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful
Best-selling author, superstar physicist, and cofounder of the World Science Festival Brian Greene (The Elegant Universe, The Fabric of the Cosmos) and an ensemble cast led by award-winning actor Paul Rudd (Ant-Man) perform this dramatic story tracing Albert Einstein's discovery of the general theory of relativity.
This short biographical piece is a bit history plus a bit Brief History of Time in that it shows Einstein's personal development and tries to make his ideas and their implications accessible to the average person. Some examples you've probably heard before, but these are ideas that only benefit from another view. Very good. Will listen again sometime soon. And occasionally Greene has a nice poetic turn of phrase that I like. These are enormous ideas and he's trying to educate us entertainingly.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful
Great jumping on point! Bram Stoker Award winner and NY Times best-selling author Nancy Holder tells of bad love gone bad in the comic novella D.O.A.: Steamy white hot passion, the business of violent crime, and a girl who should know better!
Putting NOIR in the title doesn't make it noir if the story and writing are so poor as to be not only cliche but boring. Simply a poor attempt, unless the author is a highschooler. And the narrator is not very good either.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
When you haven’t had sex in a long time, it feels like the worst thing that could ever happen. If you’re living in Germany in the 1930s, it probably isn’t. But that’s no consolation to Egon Loeser, whose carnal misfortunes will push him from the experimental theaters of Berlin to the absinthe bars of Paris to the physics laboratories of Los Angeles, trying all the while to solve two mysteries: Was it really a deal with Satan that claimed the life of his hero, Renaissance set designer Adriano Lavicini, creator of the so-called Teleportation Device? And why is it that a guy like him can’t get himself laid?
I got this a bit by accident, thinking it was going to be a whimsical SF novel. It took me a bit to "warm" up to it, simply because it was not as I expected. But then I started to pick up on some allusions and references pretty soon I was enjoying it's brand of lunacy. It is a rather well constructed novel, but more than that I enjoyed it's attitude and play with language. By the end I was tallying up not only references within it (Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Hitler, Lovecraft, Lucretius, physics ) but also all the authors it reminded me of: I thought--it's a little like The Prestige written by Nabokov + Christopher Moore (Fool) + Stephen Fry (Hippopotamus) + O'Toole (Confederacy of Dunces) + Pynchon (Crying of Lot 49) + Douglas Adams (Dirk Gently). And throughout there are SF type phrases or language sprinkled in.
I enjoy this type of smart-ass attitude as I frequently find in British authors like Fry and Moore and in novels like the Old Limey and I laughed out loud at several points.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful