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Ancestral Night

Narrated by: Nneka Okoye
Series: White Space, Book 1
Length: 16 hrs and 48 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A space salvager and her partner make the discovery of a lifetime that just might change the universe in this wild, big-ideas space opera from multi-award-winning author Elizabeth Bear. 

Haimey Dz thinks she knows what she wants. 

She thinks she knows who she is. 

She is wrong. 

A routine salvage mission uncovers evidence of a terrible crime and relics of a powerful ancient technology, just as Haimey and her small crew run afoul of pirates at the outer limits of the Milky Way and find themselves both on the run and in possession of ancient, universe-changing technology. 

When the authorities prove corrupt, it becomes clear that Haimey is the only one who can protect her galaxy-spanning civilisation from its potential power - and from the revolutionaries who want to use it to seed terror and war. But doing so will take her from the event horizon of the super-massive black hole at the galaxy's core to the infinite, empty spaces at its edge. Along the way, she'll have to uncover the secrets of ancient intelligences lost to time as well as her own lost secrets, which she will wish had remained hidden from her forever.... 

Energetic and electrifying, Ancestral Night is a dazzling new space opera, sure to delight fans of Alastair Reynolds, Iain M. Banks and Peter F. Hamilton. 

©2019 Elizabeth Bear (P)2019 Orion Publishing Group

Critic Reviews

Praise for Elizabeth Bear: "Gripping, perfectly balanced, and highly recommended." (Kirkus)

"Like the best of speculative fiction, Bear has created a fascinating and complete universe that blends high-tech gadgetry with Old World adventure and political collusion." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for stephen carrigg
  • stephen carrigg
  • 03-18-19

Great space ideas , internalizing main character

I really wanted to like this book alot , some of the sci fi ideas are great and I couldnt wait for them to be expanded on ...... it didnt happen .

The narrator did a decent job , although I thought the first few hours she just sounded like she was reading a book to me . I just couldnt get into the characters she was doing because of that .

Some of it felt like being sat in a ethics class , or some sort of self help group talking about your feelings and it was more that than sci fi which in the end left me with a bad taste .

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Paul Cudmore
  • Paul Cudmore
  • 04-02-19

Good sci fi, great vision and story telling.

Really enjoyed this. I was invested in the characters. It had a good story arc and lots of interesting novel sci if ideas.
If you like Alastair Reynolds I would recommend a listen.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for S R  Stennett Author  of Architect
  • S R Stennett Author of Architect
  • 07-06-19

Slow and steady.

This book at no stage raised my heart beat above a gentle stroll. Well written, it just never got into the realm of I can't put this down. Like I said, slow and steady.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for P. G. Tite
  • P. G. Tite
  • 07-01-19

a bit shaky buy gets there, in the end...

Once completed I found I liked the characters and their quirks, but there is a lot of internal navel gazing, while looking for the big dumb (smart) object. Very well read with a great range of voices and direction.

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Profile Image for R. Maines
  • R. Maines
  • 06-08-19

Not what I was expecting

I was expecting an exploration of the classic Big Dumb Object trope that I like. However the mystery of the found ship is soon dispelled and even the mystery of the aliens behind the second ship is quickly explained. So it’s more of redemption journey for the main protagonist, dealing with a traumatic past. Still Haimey and the shipboard AI are compelling characters, although some parts of the book made me want to
Shout out “just shoot the pirate FFS”, looking forward to future stories set in the same universe.

Narration was good.

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Profile Image for mazzz
  • mazzz
  • 05-03-19

NOT for fans of Hamilton, Reynolds or Banks!<br />

I really didn't enjoy this book. The narrator simply read the words. Mind you she didn't have much to work with. There was too much conjecture and speculation about unnecessary things that didn't move the plot forward but hardly any description of the alien ship and hence no clues about the culture itself. The best thing about writers of future and alien contact fiction is their imaging of their subjects and chosen era . This book had none of the expected depth I expected from a book this long. Sorry

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Andrew B.
  • Andrew B.
  • 05-03-19

Strong but not stellar

Nneka gives a great performance, with life to each and every character. Unfortunately, her skill only promotes just how few characters there are in this supposedly galaxy-spanning flick. Much of what happens in this novel serves no purpose, or its consequences are undone... still, despite being placid, the story avoids being boring, and there is a lot of beauty. Philosophical concepts are introduced and well argued. A bold sci-fi flick with plenty of action that just, unfortunately, lacked enough scope to fill out its potential.

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Profile Image for paul sparks
  • paul sparks
  • 03-12-19

Potential unrealised

I tried hard and on multiple occasions to engage with this book but in the end gave up as the narrative just didn’t pique my interest or curiosity, the narrator does a fine job and I have no complaints there, I found this to be almost like a diet version of Banks Culture or Neal Ashers Polity books, I am sure many will enjoy but I won’t be continuing with this book or any more the author may write

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Profile Image for mr e
  • mr e
  • 03-10-19

lovely stuff

full of invention, action and ideas. interesting central character. really liked the narrator also. thoroughly enjoyed it.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful