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Publisher's Summary

From Joe Haldeman, the all-time master of military science fiction, comes the new novel set in the universe of his Hugo and Nebula Award-winning classic The Forever War.

An epic story about war, peace, and the price of freedom, Forever Free reintroduces listeners to William Mandella - who has been living peacefully on the planet called Middle Finger, a refuge for humans who refuse to become part of the group mind known as Man. But after decades of this peace, Mandella and others are tired of living like zoo animals. So they steal a starship - and embark upon a voyage that will forever change their understanding of the universe, and themselves.

©1999 Joe Haldeman (P)2016 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    63
  • 4 Stars
    48
  • 3 Stars
    47
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    9

Performance

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    60
  • 4 Stars
    41
  • 3 Stars
    36
  • 2 Stars
    15
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    10

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    61
  • 4 Stars
    36
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    42
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    8
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Go fetch!

The conclusion to the story started in the first two books is far fetched to say the least. Incoherent and diffuse storytelling, leaving me far from engaged. I feel cheated to have such a cheap conclusion to a trilogy that seemed worth my time.
And what does the title even have to do with the book? It has no relevance or anchor. It is like Joe felt like he had to complete the trilogy for trilogies sake, not because he had a story to finish.

To compound the disappointment the narrator fails to read punctuations right, ending sentences at commas with downward inflection, then reading the second part of the sentence as sort of an afterthought. I can not understand why he would do that. Did not the writer compose his sentences to flow in a certain way? Does the narrator not understand what the function of punctuations is? Highly unprofessional.
Besides that he sucks at voices in dialogue. Often leaving me guessing as to who is speaking, not even sure of the sex of the character.
His voice might have a good tone but he has not mastered narration at all.

Meh..

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

Very disappointing. No relation to Forever War

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

This is a VERY slow and "stupid" book. None of the events (except for the opening setting) make sense. Even though the book continues the story of same characters, it is a HIGH contrast to Forever War. There is NO ACTION. Whole book is set around boring family relations / human colony community relations. The ending makes no sense at all. It seem that the author wanted a cashout / ride to success solely on the coattails of Forever War.

Would you ever listen to anything by Joe Haldeman again?

Not ever going to listen to anything by Joe Haldeman again if i have to pay for it. There too many way better books already lined up for me.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Peter Berkrot?

Narrator doesn't make a difference because i couldn't wait for the book to finish. I had to endure it because i had paid for it.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

My reaction was of a complete let down and disappointment.

Any additional comments?

Seriously, don't bother with it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Literal Deus ex Machina

A Literal Deus ex Machina - interesting premise, but author undermines it through lazy plot devices. A very far cry from the genius of the Forever War.

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

dont spend your money here...

Yes, Mandella is back. However the story is a ramshackle of ideas and felt poorly executed.

The voice actor was, bluntly, annoying. it sounded like the voice actor for an 80s action movie trailer guy. Yet instead of 30 seconds of hearing about how snake pliskeen is going to escape from Huston or what not it is 6+ hours...

Just dont do it!

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

The narrator makes a difference

Who is this guy that is reading to me? He ruined the entire book which might have been okay if I hadn't had to listen to his slimey voice.

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

good build up but an anti climatic ending ruins.

there is a good build up of suspense but the ending is anti climatic , the forever war is much better and forever free is a poor follow up.

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

Pass this one.

Pass this one. It's in the same universe. That's it. It's a depressing story that really leads nowhere.

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

This is an awful reading.

The book would be better with a decent narrator. I adjusted the audio as much as I could and it still sounded awful.

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

This was utter rot

Let's get the positives out of the way first: - The reader does a decent job - The initial setup and first part of the story is okay But there is a huge problem with this book. The book itself. Essentially, it's a bait-and-switch than LITERALLY ends in a deus ex machina. The mystery presented at the mid-point is interesting, and you wonder how Haldeman will write himself out of it. And then he doesn't. Spoiler alert - it was all set up by a playful god. I am not kidding. This is the worst type of drivel. The reader is left with only one conclusion: Haldeman needed the money to pay for the weed he was smoking while writing Forever Free. Either that, or he was giving the literary middle finger to his publisher and his readers. Either way, avoid this thing. As in completely. It is really just a worthless piece of writing.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jeffrey
  • Warwick, RI, United States
  • 08-21-17

Different direction from Forever War

Forever War was a sprawling political war epic in the tradition of Robert Heinlein. Forever Free is at once a smaller, personal story that, by the end, seems like a cosmic tale concocted by Aasimov, Clarke and Dick while sitting at a cafe with Serling in the Twilight Zone.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Connor MacDonald
  • 10-22-16

A sequel, of sorts

I was eager to get back into the world Haldeman created in 'The Forever War', and while it was slow to start, the book definitely picked up in its second act. However, the ending (which I won't spoil here) seemed clumsy and rushed. None of the actions taken up until the ending have any bearing on the close of the novel and while I found parts of the third act interesting it didn't feel as though they were part of the same book. Worth a listen if you simply must know what happened after the forever war but you'll be left with more questions than answers, and none too satisfying.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Tonks M.
  • 04-05-18

Where to even begin...

The Forever War was a fascinating work really looking at the realities of interstellar warfare and relativity.

Forever Free starts off pretty good with the plan to steal the time warp and ride it out of the galaxy and back, a journey that will take 40,000 years of real time, but 10 years for the crew.

But suddenly, the power supply for the ship vanishes and they're forced to return to the world of Middle Finger, to find no-one. Apparently no-one in the entire galaxy it looks like, and thus they travel to Earth to find answers.

Up until this point, it's a fairly good novel... Then it goes down hill.

Once on Earth they visit Disney World, which somehow has survived over a thousand years through the chaotic times on Earth due to the Forever War, and then there's the Omni... Shape-shifting aliens who are responsible for the Forever War shows up and claims a god is behind the disappearances of Human & Tauron a like... Then God comes down and chats in Mandella...

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Neil
  • 10-10-17

A good follow up

A good follow up to The Forever war. If you enjoyed that, you'll enjoy this. The story isn't as good, but its a good continuance.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Nat
  • 06-02-18

Did you love The Forever War? You wont love this..

If you enjoyed The Forever War and were thinking "Hey I want some more of that goodness" then CAUTION!!! this is not going to give you that. In fact, this is going to make you dissapointed and mad.

It starts off good, but slow, then goes balls out lame, deus ex machina, waste of time in the second half. If you loved Mandela and every character in The Forever War, leave them in your memory unaffected by this massive disappointment.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Lawrence
  • 08-26-17

Forth listening it gets better each time

First listening in the context of the rest of the series made this a bit of a shock. Each listening eases it more into the physics of the writers mind. It improves...