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Barriers

A Dystopian Thriller
Narrated by: Anthony Lee
Length: 7 hrs and 31 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

For Nathan Gallagher, life on post-solar flare Earth just took a turn for the worse. 

In the near future, barrier domes shield Earth's wealthiest cities from catastrophic solar flares, but only the healthy elite are granted protection. Those who are unable to prove their ability to work are sent to live in the sanctuaries - camps outside the barrier domes where residents have little to no protection from flares. It’s brutal living there.

Nathan Gallagher is one of the lucky ones who lives inside a barrier. But his luck runs out when his adopted son suffers a paralyzing accident. He’s taken from his parents and sent to the sanctuaries where it’s only a matter of time before they kill him. 

With only days until another flare is due to strike Earth’s sanctuary cities, not only does his son’s life hang in the balance but also the fate of a quarter billion people.

©2019 Patrick Skelton (P)2019 Patrick Skelton

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting premises, felt a bit old fashioned

This is the year 2079, and most cities are under a dome to protect their inhabitants from the terrible solar flairs that have been active for the past 40 years. To be able to live in a dome each person needs to demonstrate that they are an active part of society. Nathan and Sarah’s child, Ian, became tetraplegic due to an accident some months before, and as he was adopted, he is cast out of the dome where the family lives and into a sanctuary with precarious living conditions. Nathan asks his father for help, and discovers that there is a conspiracy that goes beyond what they could imagine.

This was an interesting dystopian story with additional elements, and I got sucked in completely from the start. The characters were not fully developed, but the events were interesting enough to keep me engaged. There were several twists and the intrigue was well built up from the beginning. The first two-thirds made this book a page-turner for me. Somehow, I lost interest towards the end. It might have been due too many genres mixed up in this book, and that things seemed less and less plausible. There were minor issues that I felt were stronger towards the end, like the fact that the story has an old fashion feeling, like old pulp novels. I think this is due to the lack of character development and the fact that most characters in the story with more than a couple of lines are male. Women were useful mostly to pack their husband’s suitcases. Dialogues sounded forced, but again, I think this was more patent towards the end, probably to the change in events. There were also a couple of things defying the laws of physics like a transmission from a microphone placed on a person on another planet.

It was an interesting book, and it will definitely delight fans of old sci-fi novels.

The fact that the story grabbed me from the start was a key point for me to stick with the audiobook, as I found several issues with the narration and audio production. The first chapter, especially, has a disturbing beeping noise. I am not sure about the source but it sounded like interferences in the sound equipment. The quality of the recording is not great, but it felt worse at times. There is also a bit more reverberation than what we usually hear in general in audiobooks. The narration was okay, but it was a bit on the monotone side, and although the character’s interpretations were good, they often sounded quite similar, so it was difficult to follow some dialogues. I found the overall narration distracting from the story, but as the premises were interesting, I was able to stick with it.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Maybe This Review Will Protect You From This Book?

I'm not sure where to start with this book. Let's tackle the writing first. The premise of the book is good. Barriers are created to protect people from solar flares that decimate the earth pretty regularly, but only chosen people get to sit inside these barriers, while others live in places that aren't protected and have to tough it out.

Okay, good premise for a dystopian novel, right? Well, that's about as good as the book gets. After that premise gets laid down you get thrown into a mash up of various different stories following various different people. My finger hurts from having to rewind so many times to try to understand what was happening. Okay, so someone's child is set to be euthanized and there's a time traveler, also a robot and a female protagonist in there too. All in all, the whole book is based around trying to save a child and figuring out a way to hack some of these barriers and stop a plot to destroy a huge chunk of earth's population, but then there's a twist and it just gets even more convoluted and disorienting.

So the story is a little confusing and maybe someone smarter than me will easily be able to put all the characters into a cohesive timeline, right? The narration can't be too awful then, right? Something's gotta give with this. Nope! The narrator finishes sentences just like he starts them. It's absolutely distracting and his narration just isn't good. He's a rather new narrator and while I didn't expect R.C. Bray level narration, this narrator actually gave me anxiety. The book just doesn't feel right being read by him and maybe it would have been a better experience all around if a different narrator was chosen.

Overall, this isn't the worst book I've listened to, but the story and narration just isn't good enough to warrant continuing onto the next book in the series.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Interesting and Engaging



Barriers is an interesting and engaging Dystopian Thriller written by author Patrick Skelton. In this book, with the action set in the not too distant future, the Earth is dying as the Sun bombards it with solar flares for more than 50 years. With the majority of the population dead as a result of these catastrophic events, those left alive are hiding in man-made Barrier Cities, protected from the flares by huge domes that cover them. But, in these cities only the rich are welcomed and only those who can provide something for the community.

The story follows Nathan Gallagher and his family, as they try to save their impaired son from being sent away from the safe city to a relocation camp for those who can’t provide for themselves, but that could very well mean a death sentence for the young boy.

This is a dramatic, but uplifting story about love, about family, about the lengths a parent is willing to go to save the life of his adopted child. At the same time, this book touches on the human condition, on our humanity or the absence of it in some cases and, of course, on how power corrupts and how absolute power corrupts absolutely.

The audiobook version of Barriers is narrated by voiceover artist Anthony Lee. He does a great job bringing all the characters to life with different voices and accents. Mr. Lee is using his sting strong and clear voice to the best effect and infuses urgency and emotion into the story, delivering a great narrative experience for the listener.

If you like post-apocalyptic thrillers, you might want to give Barriers a try. Both author and narrator have given their best for your enjoyment.

If you liked this review please vote Helpful below and find more of them here or on theAudiobookBlog dot com.
I post reviews at the author / narrator / publisher’s request, so you can get in touch with me for more details if you are interested in a collaboration.

Thank you,
Victor

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good/different book

I liked where the book was originally going with the 1 world government and seemed like it could have been 100 years in the future. Personally I hate it when a character is a wuss and it just bothered me thru out the whole book. The barrier concept and the twist at the end of the book were really neat and i honestly didn’t see it coming. Well worth the listen.

I was given a copy by the author for an unbiased review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Sci-Fi Thriller

Not your conventional Post-Apocalyptic story more of sci-fi thriller. The story takes place in 2079 after earth keeps getting devastated by flares. The rich and privilege people live in cities under protective domes known as Barriers while the poor and unprivileged are in cities unprotected of the flare and potentially be wiped out called Sanctuaries. Nathan and Sally’s son Ian who is now paralyzed was sent to one of the Sanctuary as he was deemed unworthy and due to be euthanized. Nathan is out to save him and bring the culprits who caused these flares to justice; this is where a lot of action occurs sometimes a little confusing, did like the ending. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. Thank you