Echo

An Alex Benedict Novel
Narrated by: Coleen Marlo
Series: Alex Benedict, Book 5
Length: 11 hrs and 21 mins
4 out of 5 stars (194 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Eccentric Sunset Tuttle spent his life searching in vain for forms of alien life. Thirty years after his death, a stone tablet inscribed with cryptic, indecipherable symbols is found in the possession of Tuttle's onetime lover, and antiquities dealer Alex Benedict is anxious to discover what secret the tablet holds. It could be proof that Tuttle had found what he was looking for. To find out, Benedict and his assistant embark on their own voyage of discovery---one that will lead them directly into the path of a very determined assassin who doesn't want those secrets revealed. Echo is the fifth book to feature intersteller antiquities dealer Alex Benedict. The first four titles in the series are available on audio from Audible.

©2010 Cryptic, Inc. (P)2011 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Fans of antiquities dealer Alex Benedict will find their expectations fully met by his fifth outing." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    74
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    84
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    28
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    5
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Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    52
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    41
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Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    75
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    25
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

When did Chase become so negative?

This is the eleventh audio book I have bought by Jack McDevitt. It was entertaining but I must say I was disappointed in Chase’s role in this book. Her character was so negative throughout the whole book. I had always seen her as an asset to Alex but here she was an anchor. A very disappointing drag to the story. She could have been the catalyst that raised this book to another level. Instead, I found myself almost wanting to skip over her parts and I would have if I could. This is still a great story but not the dynamic duo of past books. Hope this just a bump in the road.

4 people found this helpful

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

Can I have Jennifer Van Dyck back, please!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

No, this is fifth book in the series and they switched the narrator. I was really unhappy with this decision and the new narrator. I went through because the next book, the final in the series, has the old narrator.

What other book might you compare Echo to and why?

Polaris, another Jack McDevitt book with a good story like this one but a better narrator.

What didn’t you like about Coleen Marlo’s performance?

Coleen is no Chase(a main character) and she has a tendency to make all the characters sound annoying or weak or pathetic. It really ruined the book for me. I even went looking for a different version of the audiobook but didn't find one.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, I listen in the car, while doing dishes or cleaning house and sometimes on my lunch break.

Any additional comments?

To all people responsible for getting audiobooks recorded: Please Please Please do not change the narrator in the middle of a series. It really ruined this series and book for me.

5 people found this helpful

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

Another good Benedict Novel

I enjoyed this audiobook. Both the story and the narration are less compelling than others in the series. The narrator is a bit jarring at first, but warms up to the material after a few hours.

1 person found this helpful

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

Not-so-cozy scifi

Thank goodness a couple members of my sci-fi book club (for which I read this book) are also avid mystery readers. Without them, I probably would have given this book a single star. They were able to explain to me that this book is an example of a “cozy” mystery. According to them, “cozies” typically feature an amateur sleuth, little violence or sex, and focus more on clue-gathering than on suspense. All of which goes a good way toward explaining the slow pace which was one of the things I found unappealing about Echo. I like the concept of combining genres, but in this case, neither the scifi backdrop nor the unravelling mystery were well-served. I have not read any of McDevitt’s earlier novels featuring the same protagonist, Alex Benedict, but I do wonder if perhaps this mash-up worked better in its early incarnations. In this sixth book in the series, the author seemed to be going through the motions. Clues were dribbled one by one in a path that the main characters followed inevitably from one suspect to the next and the reader simply had to follow this plot train along to its conclusion. The fact that the action takes place thousands of years in the future does not stop the characters from packing chocolate chip cookies in their space ship and commenting constantly about how “good-looking” the characters are—mostly the females. Clearly the author was interested in thinking about first contact with aliens, but even that aspect of the story was weak and took so long to arrive that I had already lost most of my interest. I never did get used to the breathy voice of the narrator, which made all the female characters sound like porn stars.

4 people found this helpful

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

possibly the worst narrator on audible

Like all of Mcdevitts work this book reads like it was written 100 years ago. The plot is full of holes and badly constructed. The narrator is just terrible. The book is full of racism and sexism, and is simply poorly thought out. Brutally formulaic like all of his books, just awful.

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

amazing and frustrating

This might be the most compelling book in his Benedict series. However it also has some of the most frustrating moments that highlights a weakness of his writing. Sometimes the plot pivots on something small where an obvious step such as calling his police friend Finn or overlooking the fact that someone tried to kill them. it's forgivable when I happens in one book. But stuff like that happens in every book in the series. It's very frustrating because the stories have so much potential.

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

Poor reader and poor addition to good series

Reader was not good at changing voices and seemed to forget which voices were for which characters. Story was also very slow and lacked the mystery of previous novels, but I’ll read the next one because I feel this was a fluke compared to other McDevitt books.

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

I liked the series - I enjoyed this book

What did you love best about Echo?

Well written, well read

What about Coleen Marlo’s performance did you like?

I disagree with some of the other reviewers. I had absolutely no issue with the performance.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I would not listen to any book in one sitting, but I listen while exercising and this book made me exercise longer

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

Thoroughly Good Read/Listen

Highly engaging mystery set in distant future. Presents some thought provoking situations involving the human condition and moral stances. Really enjoyed it.

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

Disappointing

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

It was alright, but the story dragged in a few places and the action was sub-par. I think main problem with the story was the premise. The story universe already has one alien race, but the characters act like aliens are complete impossibility. It undercuts the story and makes the characters' action unbelievable. Then when they find aliens they basically turn out to look and act just like us.

Would you be willing to try another book from Jack McDevitt? Why or why not?

I would, I've liked the other Alex Benedict novels.