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Cage of Souls

Narrated by: David Thorpe
Length: 23 hrs and 10 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The sun is bloated, diseased, dying perhaps. Beneath its baneful light, Shadrapar, last of all cities, harbours fewer than 100,000 human souls. Built on the ruins of countless civilisations, Shadrapar is a museum, an asylum, a prison on a world that is ever more alien to humanity. Bearing witness to the desperate struggle for existence between life old and new is Stefan Advani: rebel, outlaw, survivor. This is his testament, an account of the journey that took him into the blazing desolation of the western deserts and into the labyrinths and caverns of the underworld. He will meet with monsters and mutants. The question is, which one of them will inherit this Earth?

Humanity clings to life on a dying Earth. 

Epic, far-future science fiction from an award-winning author.

©2019 Adrian Tchaikovsky (P)2019 W. F. Howes Ltd

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  • Matt
  • 06-22-19

Surprised by a good book

judging this book on the one review it had, I was expecting a boring tale. instead I found something of a hidden gem. it loved it, the story and the narration. the upbeat and chirpy voice of the narrator annoyed me at first and then I came to understand the he was perfect and that his characterizations were also spot on. Adrian Tchaikovsky is quickly becoming a favourite author of mine as I have yet to listen or read a book of his that I didn't like or enjoy.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • mr
  • 10-23-19

Satisfying far future tale.

Stylistically similar to Rosny and Mieville, a decadent setting richly detailed. Hopeful, desperate. Wryly humorous.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Thomas Rosin
  • 09-28-19

An amazing world to visit again and again.

If a character from a Jack Vance novel wrote a first person account of weird prison economics, it may read something like this. Thorpe perfectly evokes narrator, Stefan Advarny, as a pompous academy boy stuck in a vile and dangerous prison at the end of the world. The other characters like rogue, Peter, and the chilling underworld characters/creatures are equally on point.
I loved Tchaikovsky’s Children series so took a chance on this. They could be in the same universe, but they are very different in tone. I think I liked this more, as there is as much humour as weird, unsettling horror, and I will carry these characters with me for some time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Bob
  • 06-24-19

After a slow start a real engrossing tale

David Thorpe did a good job of performing this book. A decent narrator can really make a book. The story itself is set in the last city of humanity and a prison island up river in the vicious jungle.

As befits the last city on Earth it is a bit run down. Old technology is scavenged and held together by mechanics who don't know what they are doing. The last days are evocative and atmospheric.

Surrounded by deadlock desert and poisoned seas, this is no Jack Vance fantasy future. Yet the author still creates a functioning society with nobility and politics worthy of the Medicis.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • AReader
  • 11-07-19

Excellent listen

This audiobook creates a whole world which is coherent and full of incident. The fantasy somehow has enough resonance to make it feel real. The behaviour of the characters, once set up, is believable. There is humour and (unless I am oversensitive) some implied commentary on society and politics in our own world.

The reading brings the whole thing to life - each character has a different voice which suits them perfectly. I really rooted for some of them against others, though as in real life the nicer people frequently lost out to the more selfcentred and the protagonist Stefan - as he himself admits- is far from all-seeing or unbiased.

I enjoyed the whole 23 hours.Looking forward to more of the author and the narrator.

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  • Constantgardner
  • 09-26-19

Strange tales from a strange world

While lacking the epic quality of Children of Time/Ruin books this quickly draws one into its bizarre end-of-times world. Set way into the future as the last remaining city awaits the death of the Sun, the unreliable and deeply flawed narrator recalls his banishment and incarceration in a hellish prison located in an even more hellish jungle. The author revisits his favourite themes of intelligence, evolution and language, again interweaving them in a plot full of intriguing characters, vivid landscapes and action. He's rapidly becoming my favourite sci-fi author and the reader does a good job too.

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  • sukie
  • 09-04-19

The story grows on you well drawn central charater

The narrator was perfect for the story and fleshing out the character. a clever premise.

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  • AnnaàHearn
  • 08-04-19

Exciting read with another thrilling performance

Adrian Tchaikovsky is from now on my favourite writer! Here yet again another amazing insightful story taking us to a future Earth...which looks exactly how most catastrophers would expect...
There are surprises behind every corner and I couldn't make myself stop listening even in the late hours longing to put it back on as soon as possible!
This book is just packed with ideas of a brilliant mind and I can see many ways he could follow up on this book not necessarily using the main character.

Please oh please write more books! And make sure that David is performing as he is just a perfect narrator!

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  • Tony
  • 07-21-19

it's alright. felt like a chore to finish

Could have been a lot shorter. lots happens in the background and the story just jerks along with new amazing things happening for no real reason. still, glad to get to the end and the vision interesting enough.

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  • C. Hampson
  • 07-10-19

Slow but solid burn

Tchaikovsky's main goal in this book seems to have been world building. He does a fantastic job building up a scifi/fantasy world that is engaging, imaginative and quite unique. He does a great job filling this world with colourful and likeable characters that are a joy to follow as they meander about this fascinating world he has dreamed up.

The strong emphasis on world building does slow the plot down however, and it takes a good few hours before we start to see any progression in the story. The plot ends up being fairly simple, and I found a few of the pay-offs slightly disappointing, but I still very much enjoyed my time in Shadrapar and it's environs.

Thorpe does a fantastic job narrating. I was unsure of him initially, he came across as a little too light-hearted in comparison to the bleak world he was describing. He quickly won me over however, and managed to imbue almost every character with a unique voice that fitted them perfectly. A commendable achievement considering how twisted and abnormal many of the characters are.

All in all, another fantastic romp around a sinister but brilliantly crafted world from the mind of Adrian Tchaikovsky, who is rapidly becoming one of my favourite authors.

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  • Bart Primrose
  • 07-10-19

brilliant performance. top quality writing

my only draw back is that the story is a common one, we don't find out a lot of interesting points, and the story, while wondrous, doesn't make me think about anything greater than myself in the same manner that children of time / ruin / dogs of war does

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-27-19

Fantastic from start to finish!

I purchased this book after listening to the Children of Time books hoping it was similar.. It wasn't, but that's not in any way a bad thing. I loved how each stage of his life was completely different from the last, but all meshes together beautiful at the same time.

Adrian may be my favorite new writer!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Guy
  • 08-23-19

A great story telling

Always interesting, no annoying over description. Truly easy to enjoy. I would easily recommend to anyone who wants a great classic story

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  • Roy
  • 07-27-19

Sheer listening joy, a story you will remember!

A treasure trove of interesting well narrated characters and a story that keeps you spellbound.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-13-19

Painful slow and an ineffective lead character

It was looooong listen. The story was much like a lukw warm cup of tea. Looked promising but fail to deliver.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful