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Publisher's Summary

Firewalkers are brave. Firewalkers are resourceful. Firewalkers are expendable.

The Earth is burning. Nothing can survive at the Anchor, not without water and power. But the ultra-rich, waiting for their ride off the dying Earth? They can buy water. And thanks to their investment, the sun can provide power.

But someone has to repair the solar panels when they fail, down in the deserts below.

Kids like Mao, and Lupé, and Hotep, kids with brains and guts but no hope. The Firewalkers.

©2020 Adrian Tchaikovsky (P)2020 Penguin Audio and Rebellion Publishing

What listeners say about Firewalkers

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

Narrator was too good.

Loved the story! Couldn't understand what they were saying half the time because she did the accents so well. The French accent in particular was almost impossible to comprehend, but maybe that's just me, I've always hated the way French sounds.

5 people found this helpful

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Awesome

Great Story, great audio performance. Consider this a must listen...hoping for a continuation of this story

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Too much hard work due to narration

This is a much less ambitious novel than Tchaikovsky's Children of Time books, but might still have been an entertaining listen had it not been so hard to follow the narration at times. The narrator is very talented (hence the three stars) and I'm sure she's very proud of her ability to produce authentic accents but this serves no purpose if so much of the dialog is so heavily accented that the listener has to work hard to understand, sometimes having to make the choice between a rewind in an attempt to comprehend what was said or just moving on. If I'd realized it would take this much concentration to understand what was said I would have given it a pass.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Present day issues on steroids

Adrain Tchaikovsky's Firewalkers is a novella concerning the intersection of runaway climate change combined with extreme income inequality. In the near future, the world has reached its limit of carrying capacity which is rapidly diminishing. Major population centers have been located on the equator to support space elevators that are part of a plan to build space habitats, but only for the wealthy. Firewalkers are a unique breed of underclass that will leave the confines of the city to repair critical infrastructure that keeps the city alive. On one such assignment, the intrepid group encounters a wide array of odd behaviors and stumbles across a machine intelligence that has its own agenda and offer a unique perspective on society and the current state of affairs.

Tchaikovsky in a very economical way manages to flesh out a world that is an extreme of today's conditions, but is hauntingly familiar and recognizable as our possible future. There's a grittiness to life, while the sci-fi elements don't so much titillate the imagination as much as flow naturally from our current state. Beyond space elevators and orbital habitats with dreams of asteroid mining, the climate change and adaptations seem natural and unforced.

The narration is the weakest aspect. While there is reasonable character distinction, the heavily accented renditions are difficult to track and there's a bit too much histrionic performance that makes listening a bit of a chore.

1 person found this helpful

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Great performance on a pretty good story

Struggled a little with the accents at first, but once you get into it they really help bring life to the story and characters and seem as authentic as I can believe they'd be in such a future. The story was good, but ended a little abruptly. Really good world building during the story but didn't really build out the world that is being left at the end.
Overall, would still definitely recommend.

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Pretty good ;)

I appreciated that the story isn’t long and drawn out and tells the story that it wants to succinctly - although the ending was a bit rushed, not that I needed two extra hours for the ending to unfold so it didn’t bother me.

A lot of reviews seem to be complaining about the accents - I disagree, the narrator did a good job with it and if it was hard to understand it was more that the author was using some future slang that he thought he would let you figure out through context.

There were three or four editing mistakes where the narrator did alternate takes and the editor missed them and left them in.

Overall it’s a good slice of what the end times for earth could be like - I’d say it’s worth a listen.

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Standard global warming dystopian novel + twist

Standard global warming dystopian novel with a fun thought provoking twist. Sci fi at its best.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Simon
  • 06-28-20

Tchaikovsky Does Pop!

I've been so engrossed in some of Tchaikovsky's books that after 'Children of Time' I said that 'Tchaikovsky is still writing symphonies", it really was that good with length, depth and lots of sumptuously clever sci-fi ideas. Well if that was his symphony 'Firewalkers' is his effort at a three-minute pop song! Catchy setup, interesting chorus but really not much more than a bit of pulp entertainment.

For me, though it's not just that this isn't one of Tchaikovsky's best works it really isn't great generally either and it felt like a setup that deserved far better than this rather staid sci-fi offering. Adjoa Andoh certainly puts a lot into her performance to help lift it. She has a great voice but unusually for me, if I have a criticism, it's that for some of the characters it was a little over the top so that more than once I wasn't convinced I had understood what one of the characters was actually saying.

So, in summary, it's by no means awful but you can safely pass over this B-side composition, it isn't going to make the Greatest Hits album.

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Ciaran
  • 09-11-20

screaming autist

the problem here is, one of the main characters has autism. something the actor performing this book fully embraces. which means you get a lot of autistic scream in your ear, making it hard to listen to. really need to take some artistic license with that character to make this easier on the ear.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-08-21

Short but very enjoyable

Great world building, fascinating plot and interesting complex characters. It’s Short but a great listen.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-19-20

Enjoyable listening

Quite enjoyed this book. Fairly short, 5hrs but an easy listen. Narrator was great. I didn’t have any problem with understanding the accents at all.