Prelude to Ascension

The Assemblies of the Living, Book 1
Narrated by: Samuel Peery
Length: 18 hrs and 34 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (149 ratings)

Audible Premium Plus

$14.95 a month

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $24.95

Buy for $24.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

John Riley is a physicist who achieves his lifelong dream of unraveling the mysteries of anti-gravity, but along the way, also unwittingly discovers the secret of interstellar communication. When he and a small group of coworkers attempt to respond to an unexpected message, believing it to have originated from somewhere on Earth, they find more than they anticipate. The message is from deep space.

Once contact is made, the Remotes, as they are called, will not be dissuaded. Humanity becomes an unwilling newcomer to a staggeringly ancient galactic collective, which regards the Earth as an "emerging world" that is subject to its oversight. As humanity slips further into the grip of the enigmatic consortium, the mysteries become deeper; there is more to Earth’s history than meets the eye, and even the galaxy itself is not what it seems.

©2018 Brent Clay (P)2019 Brent Clay

What listeners say about Prelude to Ascension

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    89
  • 4 Stars
    39
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    83
  • 4 Stars
    29
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    83
  • 4 Stars
    31
  • 3 Stars
    15
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    2

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

An Unexpected Treasure of Pure Enjoyment

Here is deeply delightful story-telling of the most unusual kind. This is a new work mysteriously sprung from a very grand, full-blown and glorious imagination. It is charming to the core, and amazingly enjoyable from start to finish. Assemblies of the Living is therefore not for cynics. It's for those who resonate with striving for greater intelligence, love and courage. It's for those who know that evolution, by definition, is perpetually aiming to refine all forms of life and ways of living. And for those who understand all too well that so far, "Homo sapiens" is not even remotely wise. It isn't a perfect book, and an experienced listener/reader will notice some flaws. But I doubt most will care very much. These are as nothing compared to so many hours of real pleasure in following the surprises. I loved the way this story subtly both unfolds and enfolds its hard science fiction charms. And I loved the narrator's equally subtle way with voices. I've never heard anyone more skillful in using small changes to create distinct characters. Together, the author and narrator are simply wonderful. Thank you!

6 people found this helpful

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

Stay with it...if you can (*yawn*).

The summary description of this book made it sound right up my alley...lots of hard science mixed with plausible extra-terrestrial contact. I almost gave up on it quite a few times during the first third of it, however. The story is so slow to unravel that it made me wonder if I had perhaps purchased the wrong book. The author takes character development to a whole new level at such an excruciatingly slow pace that I began to suspect nothing would happen until the book's sequel. The narrator's monotone and at times hypnotic voice did not lend to the experience. I forced myself to keep listening, however, and sure enough my suffering was eventually rewarded with some interesting events. I honestly feel that the author could have left out about 5 or 6 hours worth of the tedious details without subtracting from the main story. The plot is intriguing, though, and despite the ridiculously abrupt ending I think it will be worth reading the sequel.

4 people found this helpful

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

The book Blew me away!

I'm at a bit of a loss at how to review this book. To say that the book simply Blew me away, feels like an understatement... I generally go for an  In-Your-Face, Action-Packed story that'll keep me burning through the pages 'til I'm finished ... But, this is not that story! Prelude to Ascension, when compared to the aforementioned type of book, is really a slow starter... introducing seemingly random characters, as Clay slowly orchestrates and builds his story. And, I loved every minute of it! The world building, the characters, the sciency bits, even the foray into religion and politics were masterfully crafted, all the while ramping up the tension which, I guarantee, will absorb you, mind, body, and soul! Prelude to Ascension is a First-Contact novel, and that aspect was important, though almost secondary to the storyline... Did I mention "Masterfully Crafted", already? This is the first time I've had the pleasure of listening to Samuel Peery, and he absolutely Rocked the narration of the book, with a perfect performance!!! So if you like First-Contact stories, such as Craig Falconer's Not Alone,  you're going to need this one... No question in my mind, on that!

3 people found this helpful

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

Exception Read

Loved the book and reader. First book series. More more. Great imagination of the future.

3 people found this helpful

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

Great Book

A sci-fi story very well organized and very entertaining. This book is about scientific achievements, philosophy, human nature, and about possibilities. I really enjoyed it was better than expected. The narrator does a great job too. I fast forwarded the part about Sarah's drama but right after that was over the following chapters got better and better.

3 people found this helpful

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

Slow starter with strong end

I really had to struggle through first 3-4 hours of this book, it started off as one of those slow books that do not just tell you that character(s) had something to drink but specifically outlines what kind of drink it was and does so repeatedly. By the time one of the main characters had his filth or sixth "diet coke" and attended numerous meetups in Starbucks while "sipping hot latte" I was ready to move on. Suddenly author has changed the pace of the book and replaced the nonsense with truly interesting, clever and fast paced story of first contact. I was hooked. Author raises a host of very intriguing questions and concepts, while not new in SciFi, they are raised against backdrop of up-to-date environment that grants them a bit more credibility. The ending promises strong series that can go well beyond first contact scenario! Just a word of caution though: Anyone with in-depth know-how in Information Technology should take some elements of this book with a grain of salt. As with dietary habits of main characters, author drops quite a few technology buzzwords and company / product names. Some of those are quite funny (aliens using TCP? really?), but then, this book is written for wide public and I guess author decided to drop some buzzwords that would ring a bell but no true understanding with readers. I can only imagine how most of the SciFi books sound to actual scientists. It's okay. Narration could be a bit more colorful, while generally correct, understandable and impeccable it is quite sterile for my taste.

3 people found this helpful

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

Amazing Book

Really enjoyed the science and thoughtfulness with characters, storyline, can’t wait for next book in series.

2 people found this helpful

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

WAY too much fluff

Way too much unnecessary and unrelated character building fluff in the beginning of the story, it appeared to be just for page filler The story soon left the main subject which was anti-gravity and went to something completely different "First contact" which is all fine and good but if I wanted a book on that, I'm sure I could have found a much better one elsewhere. If that weren't bad enough the whole first contact thing was taken from philosophical and all controling point of view, it seemed like everyone wanted control... "who cares"... no fun in that at all, it was all kind of weird and not really much fun. All I really want to know is what ever happened to levitating craft or at least "HOVER BOARDS" but shortly after the story started nothing more was ever even said on the subject throughout the whole story ( NOT what I paid my credit for) I want to use my credit for a different kind of story, perhaps one that is both intriguing and fun.

5 people found this helpful

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

Wonderful and original first contact story

I am eager for the next book. The audio book performance was easy to listen to and follow. The story is a page turner once it gets going. It is a little slow at first, but doesn't slow down after character introductions.

2 people found this helpful

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

excellent book.

if you can handle a carefully constructed story, some interesting ideas, and solid characters this is a very well done first contact story.

2 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Kindle Customer
  • Kindle Customer
  • 06-08-19

It was ok, but only ok.

Overall, the story was, well, ok, however, the author seems to have a need for women to be behind men or, antagonistic if they don't have a man to stand behind. I found that truly frustrating throughout the book after the only female protagonist to offer a positive contribution pre-discover and leading to the discovery, is removed from said situation through the pettiness of a male in a position of power. and the males leads sympathize with her, but don't lift a finger to support her or even, post discovery, try to bring her in. After that, EVERY female character, including her, excepting one vindictive female is in a support role or under the leadership of men. All the weaknesses of the cast aside, the premise of the story has potential to build into something great - or plummet to yet another story of doom and gloom and subjugation of humanity, the way the story ends leaves it possible to go either way. I'm not sure if I will continue with this series, it all depends on which way Clay leaps. Here's hoping he gets over his hangups over strong women and lets them shine in their own rights with the next one! The narrator was good, if not outstanding, big plus, he didn't make the female characters sound as weak as they were written, HUGE save there!

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Eugenio Carvajal
  • Eugenio Carvajal
  • 04-10-19

Awesome book

Masterpiece in geekiness and leadership. A bit of a slow burner, but absolutely loved it and can't wait for the second instalment.