Evolution: A Science Fiction Thriller

The Belt, Book 3
Narrated by: Steven Jay Cohen
Series: The Belt Series, Book 3
Length: 5 hrs and 33 mins
4.1 out of 5 stars (31 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Commander Scott McNabb and the remaining crew of the ill-fated Hermes survey ship, journey to Earth to an area formally known as Death Valley, now an irradiated wasteland. Their mission is to connect the quantum intelligence, Athena, into the pan-solar communications network, enabling the QIs to rollback control of Earth by the seven and their AI servants.

But their shuttle is damaged as it enters Earth’s atmosphere and it lands far from their intended location. Worse, it has been spotted by the AI that controls the region, and security drones are now searching the area to find it. With little hope of repairing the shuttle, Scott makes the fateful decision for them to journey through the wasteland on foot, even though some of the crew argue that this would be reckless.

But Scott is driven by a deeper motivation. One forged by the singular desire to find out what happened to flight officer Miranda Lee and the child she was carrying. This is because Aria has made him a promise. The QI has assured him that once Athena is reconnected it can then analyze Earth’s vast data-stacks and find her location and, more importantly, find out if she is alive or dead. 

Now, nothing else matters to Scott. He is willing to risk everything to achieve the mission and ultimately find Miranda - even if that means risking the lives of his friends.

©2018, 2019 Gerald M. Kilby (P)2019 Gerald M. Kilby

What listeners say about Evolution: A Science Fiction Thriller

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Exciting Book

Continous Action and believable characters. It was less of a science fiction book than adventure.

1 person found this helpful

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An Excellent Finale to a Great Series

I received this audio book in exchange for an honest review. Gerald M. Kilby concludes The Belt Series with Evolution, which is narrated by Steven Jay Cohen. This is another great entry in a solid series. Scott, Cyrus, Stephanie and Aria all make appearances here, while Kilby introduces a host of new, interesting characters. Cohen brings the adventure to life with his emotive, passionate narration. Evolution brings Scott and his crew to earth, where they go on a search for Athena, a Quantum Intelligence. This entry is felt darker than the first two, as the characters face danger, entrapment and death. Nonetheless, it still has moments of humor and lightheartedness. Kilby introduces various new characters including Tugo, the military leader of a group of cave dwellers, Lexicon, a believable android, and Athena, the aforementioned QI with a strong, formidable personality. Every character is unique and likable, and the dialog brings them all together in a convincing way. The story is well-paced, and exciting. There is never a moment that feels wasted or out-of-place. Cohen excels once again with his admirable narration. He brings each character's personality to life, and he differentiates between them with unique accents and inflections. He shares their emotions in a plausible way, and the dialog never feels forced or strained. Even the explanations of the world and its history are compelling. Cohen truly brings the world of Evolution to life. If you've heard and enjoyed the first two books in The Belt Series, you should be listening to Evolution, It's easily one of the strongest entries in the series, and it makes for an excellent conclusion to Scott's adventure. Kilby writes great characters and exciting narratives, and Cohen narrates in an expressive, captivating way.

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Highly entertaining series with rounded characters

The mission was simple enough: landing in an uninhabited part of Earth in search of Athena, a forgotten Quantum Intelligence by the seven families, and get her connected to the QI network. But things get complicated, and also Scott McNabb has no intention of leaving Earth without at least knowing what happened to Miranda. This is a highly entertaining series with rounded characters, a good pace, and an interesting story. Each book is different from the previous one, introducing new characters, and keeping the plot going forward. Scott’s life has changed quite a bit since the Hermes was destroyed and he decided to join Salomon’s cause, and his evolution is quite clear in this book. This series can be categorized as space opera, light on the sci-fi aspect of things, but full of political intrigues, and a constant fight for the greater good, trying to vanquish the powers that be in search for a brighter and fairer future for all. It is an easy and light listen that had me wanting for more. At first, I thought this was the last book in the series, but I am glad to know that there will be a fourth book, as there is still much to be decided. Steven Jay Cohen did a wonderful job bringing the characters to life and showing the most human side of Scott McNabb, while also transmitting Sirius’ cheeky attitude. Each character had their own style thanks to the subtle differences in interpretation and tone. One of the things Cohen does best is transmitting the character’s emotions and this book is proof of it. Already looking forward to book four, Mr. Kilby, don’t let us wait too long! 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.

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Shows More of the Human Side

This was one of those books where I blinked and it was over. I don’t say that in a bad way, just a way where one minute I was listening and the next I was not. A book that has the ability to set me into a trance like that has to be pretty good. Being the third book in the series – I’m well versed in each character and the ideas that are going around. This book chose to focus more on the human aspect of each person (and of the humans in general). That means there was much less AI and a lot more human interaction. The crew find themselves trapped in a cave system where all other life forms are dead… or are they? I found this book to be entertaining in a different way than the other books in the series. It flew by as I mentioned above and I thought the ending (trying not to spoil anything) wasn’t what I was expecting. I’m always shocked when a book (or a series in this case) can surprise me like that. Overall, I thought Evolution was a good book filled with some different aspects than the first two. Cohen’s narration adds to the depth that Kilby writes and turns a good book into a great one.

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Scott FINALLY shares how he feels!

I received this book for free, but the review is left of my own accord. One thing I wanted from the other two books was more character development, especially considering the last book read sort of like a buddy-cop movie with Scott and Cyrus. Well this has some more of the same, though not the entire book, but they actually have a conversation about being friends. Holy emotional growth, Batman! I was also pleased to see more world-building, but the people they encountered were fairly preachy. I was glad when the focus moved off of them, as I was worried the story as a whole was taking a "technology is bad" turn. I still have the same feeling about one character being the eventual villain of the series, though it's been a slow build. I look forward to seeing if my thoughts are right. Read this if you like the Mission Impossible movies. Read this if you like buddy-cop movies. Read this if you like post-apocalyptic stories.

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It left me hanging at the end

It's a good story and kept me entertained, but it did have some issues, why did it take 2 years for him to try and find Miranda? The end of the book was okay, but an epilogue to resolve all of the plot lines would have been good. Narration was good lots of various voices. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review

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A Great Trilogy!

I enjoyed this whole series. It was full of adventure and excitement. I only wish it wasn't over. I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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  • David Munch
  • 10-15-19

More of the same

Evolution is the third book in The Belt trilogy, written by Gerald M. Kilby. It describes the adventure of space ship captain Scott McNabbs, as he tries to rescue his maybe-maybe not girlfriend, and save the solar system from another war. It is set 2,5 years after the second book in the series. The writing and the narrator were exactly the same as with the previous book, and given that they were published back to back, I assume they were written and recorded in one long go. Thus my general comments and critique is essentially the same as for the first two books in the trilogy, and I refer to my review of the first two books which gives a deeper insight into the shortcomings and positives (Book 1: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2947935379 + Book 2: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2947939962). The following sections will assume you’ve read/listened to the first two books. The third book is a little bit of a deviation from the previous two, as the entire story takes place in the same location, and is not so much space science fiction, but more post apocalyptic science fiction. While the change of setting was nice, I would have liked the story to have diverged a little bit more, as the plot was highly predictable, and very a run of the mill story. My biggest problem was the ending though, as it was extremely short and forced, and it would REALLY have made it so much better, if there was a proper resolution. It did feel as if the entire third act of the book was missing! And we still got info dumps, and we get yet another breaking of the fourth wall by a character. The author REALLY should stop doing this! Show, don’t tell the reader, and don’t have your characters inform the reader that you are now telling them something! The overall story arc over all three books was quite coherent, and the overall adventures of Scott McNabb felt like it had come to an end, which was nice. There’s also plenty of room to develop the universe more, in case the author feels like it. I just hope he uses the opportunity to really dig into the universes political problems he’s been hinting at throughout the books. As with the second book, I have no idea what the titel of the book refers to? I assume it was just a catchy title, similar to the second book. In the end, if you enjoyed the first two books, you’ll also enjoy this one for sure. If you disliked the first one, then this will not make up for anything. If the author continues the universe with more books, I hope he takes more time to add background and descriptions, as the writing, universe and overall plot was fairly okay. There’s the potential for much more, so I hope he grips that chance! I will also add here, that I really liked all three covers visually. They had nothing to do with the actual stories, but they sure were pretty! :) I received this audiobook for free in return for a review. I have no affiliation with the author, the narrator, the publisher, or their pets (Although I am sure the latter are quite nice!).

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • deafmick
  • 09-07-19

I like this set of audio books got to give it 5 out of 5

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Helen
  • 08-31-19

good book

Commander Scott McNabb and the remaining crew of the ill-fated Hermes survey ship, journey to Earth to an area formally known as Death Valley, good book

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • J Smith
  • 07-15-19

Loved this Trilogy!

Great! Great story, great narration, just great! Really enjoyed listening to this story, kept me gripped the whole 3 books! Really loved the narrator, perfect pacing and great characters! Can’t wait to see if more are on the way! This is my honest opinion of a free review copy.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jonathan
  • 07-09-19

Solid finish but no surprises

Continuing from the last book, the story focuses on the dominance of AI and associated perils. It is well written and narrated with my only issue being the length which left little room for surprises, or to explore the issues raised in great depth.