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Publisher's Summary

From the USA Today best-selling author of Dark Space. A mission to another world could be our only hope....

The year is AD 2790. With space elevators and giant orbital fleets hovering over Earth, open war looks inevitable, and people are anxious to get away. The lines are drawn, with the Confederacy in the East and the First World Alliance in the West. In hopes of finding a refuge from the looming war, the Alliance is sending Captain Alexander de Leon to explore an Earth-type planet, code-named Wonderland, but at the last minute before launch, a Confederate fleet leaves orbit on a trajectory that threatens both the mission and Alliance sovereignty. The resulting power struggle will determine not only the fate of Alexander's mission but the fate of the entire human race.

©2016 Jasper T. Scott (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Excelsior

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    80
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    22
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    70
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    41
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Story
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  • 3 Stars
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

difficult to listen to

the narrator has a "strained" delivery that I found nearly intolerable. I did finish this because the story. I found it interesting very early on even though it is a bit more soap opera than space opera. I truly hope that by 700 years into the future the term "my baby daddy" is a term only the rarest of historians remember.

5 people found this helpful

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

This is not military sci-fi

What would have made Excelsior better?

Where do I start? On the plus side, the plot is interesting. On the negative, the author has no feel for the military whatsoever, and this book is mainly about domestic violence, not military sci-fi. Truly absurd dialogue between the primary character, a captain of a starship, and his crew. During the entire book, I spotted only two instances of his orders not being questioned. And the narration was one of the worst I have ever listened to, and I'm a voracious audio book listener. James Cronin's go to "other" voice is completely deadpan without any relevant inflection or feeling. I am truly sorry I wasted my money on this.

Would you recommend Excelsior to your friends? Why or why not?

I would tell them to run in the other direction, unless they are fans of domestic violence themed literature.

Would you be willing to try another one of James Patrick Cronin’s performances?

Not in a million years. James Cronin should stick to narrating non-fiction. He has no feel for characters and it is dumbfounding that he was chosen for this book. On the other hand, when you consider that the publisher also chose a military sci-fi cover shot, you get a sense for how lazy this whole production really is.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Excelsior?

No amount of editing could make this book readable.

Any additional comments?

I hate being negative about audiobooks. They are hard to write and challenging to produce on a budget. I have the utmost respect for the authors, narrators and publishers who transport me to other times and other worlds when I press the play button. But this book is a rip-off and an insult for people who spend their hard earned money on this type of entertainment.

10 people found this helpful

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

Great Book! Interesting and exciting

Would you consider the audio edition of Excelsior to be better than the print version?

Did not read the printed version

Have you listened to any of James Patrick Cronin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No,

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

YES, imaginative and very well written and structured. and the narrator does well with the different voices of the characters

Any additional comments?

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this 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

It kept me hooked

There were so many events throughout this book that made me awkwardly cringe. Most situations seemed unresolvable at first but the story played out wonderfully in the end, putting all my cringes to rest. Hence the power of great story telling! Such an incredible plot, and most of all; incredible lessons and morals to be learned from this. Awesome read!

1 person found this helpful

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

Great Book! Interesting and exciting

so when I bought this book I had no idea it was a space book about war. There is some romance, action, says, intrigue, fighting etc. Although this is the first book I have ever read of this kind I highly enjoyed it. My one problem was I listened to it aloud and the reader would do some characters monotone and almost computerized flat expressionless voices. otherwise he was okay. It almost put me off listening to book completely but I finally got used to it. I did really enjoy the ending of the book.

1 person found this helpful

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

Good writing

Well written story and good narrative, but it is a little darker for my taste

1 person 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

Free. Sappy Soap Opera

NOT a Military Sci-Fi. NO "hard science", ridiculous dialog; the Captain is defied and questioned by his crew constantly. Just completely unrealistic in terms of military chain of command. The whole "geners" vs the "degenarates" never FULLY explained - and at the end just kind of left hanging. The "earth politics" so extremely dated Cold War that I could' even relate - the whole "evil empire" rhetoric. Just AWEFUL all around. Oh yes, the "narrator" who alternates from deadpan to "valley girl" to drunk/simpleton - just AVOID!!!

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Something feels off

Would you try another book from Jasper T. Scott and/or James Patrick Cronin?

If the blurb is interesting then yes, I don't think I will continue with this series.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The actions that the characters took in the world do not feel realistic in the context of the world, and what we know about the characters. There were times while listening to this audiobook were I went.. wait what? why? not in a good way.

The main character is supposed to be a "Captain" on a spaceship, but it feels like he has no real control over his ship or actions, and just got bounced from situation to situation. It feels like he is following a pre determined course, if that course make sense or not doesn't really matter.

Have you listened to any of James Patrick Cronin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Looks like this is the first time listening to this narrator. He did a good job, but I did not read the book so I am not sure if his portrayal caused the criticisms I have with the book.

Do you think Excelsior needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

A follow up looks like a possibility, but the book stands alone, and most of the plot points are resolved in the book. No cliff-hangers.

Any additional comments?

If your looking with Military Sci-fi with more family drama, and glossed over space fights with a Captain who doesn't seem particularly tactically minded you this is probably for you. If you like characters that seem consistent, with more tactics, and space stuff then I would pass this book.

3 people found this helpful

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

Affected by Bad Narration

Several of the narrator's voices were exceedingly annoying & possibly tainted my opinion of the story.

Story had an unusual premise, which was unsettling in many respects & made for a surprise twist at the end. Overall, I felt the world outlook was bleak & depressing. I don't know that there was a happy ending, though I think that was supposed to be the intention.

Everything was quickly & neatly wrapped up at the end, without exactly making a whole lot of sense. Certainly didn't seem very realistic or plausible.

I wound up listening to this book a second time, by mistake at 1st. As soon as I realized, I did skip through some areas, but alot of that had to do with not caring to tolerate the odd & disconcerting voices.

The whining supercilious voice of the Ambassador, as well as one used for a main bridge officer, who spoke in slo-mo every single time, grated on my nerves.

The voice for the MC, though not torture to the ears, was incongruent for someone whose 1st language was supposed to be Spanish, ditto for his wife.

The story on the surface of it was a combination of a space war between two major powers, the "Free" (but almost equally oppressive to the non- genetically enhanced) US & Communist China, a space race for control of a possible new colony world & life in a post nuclear war devestated Earth.

How evil & underhanded both sides actually are, or more the point, showing how evil & callous the so called "good guys" actually are, seems to be the theme of this book.

At the end, left me feeling unsatisfied & discomforted. Maybe that was the point, but that result was more the depressing nature of the story & the annoyance with the narration causing that result than any social enlightenment. It didn't feel like there was a succesful ending, nor that any real change was made, nor was there any hope at the end.

It seemed pretty obvious that another book would be following, the MC would be pulled back into it. The wife would not be understanding, the father of the wife's son would be plotting revenge & back to cause trouble, etc. etc. etc.

On a positive note I can say I didn't see the twist at the end coming, so at least there's that, but the MC's reaction upon discovery was just plain stupid & should've ended quite differently than it did. That had a lot to do with my feeling the story was unrealistic & too pat & that there were so many details that just didn't add up.

There was some action, some space battle, ground action, discovery of a new world, spy & political machinations, post apocalyptic survival struggles, mystery & a touch of romantic entanglements- it was a smorgasbord of story elements, but thw whole recipe just didn't make for a tasty pie, IMO.

This one was not a big win for me, though I have enjoyed some of the authors other works, like his Dark Space Universe, for example.

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

Worst narrator I've ever listened to.

The reader had a host of accents which were a) distracting, and b) just plain weird.
Take Forest Gump, and cross him with a surfer hippy, and mix in some Mexican accent, and that is how most people speak 700 years from now apparently....
Weaselly sneaky voices were applied randomly to men and women, in a way that had me frequently guessing.
It's distracting to have overlapping accents so odd.

That brings us to the story. Superficial, not engaging. I found myself in the second half skipping forward minutes at a time hoping that something interesting started to happen.
The big wrap finale was hardly interesting.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Unclebill
  • 12-17-18

Everyone's a dope except Alexander!

Story OK but the narrator made every other rank sound as though they were dumb morons.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Peter G
  • 02-24-17

best Sci fi story I've read in years

imaginative and very well written and structured. and the narrator does well with the different voices of the characters. recommended.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 02-23-18

Terrible, just terrible. Don't waste your time. I

struggled to finish this audio book. it had promise but went no where. The voices used in the audio where terrible, slow and boring.