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Revenger

Narrated by: Clare Corbett
Length: 14 hrs and 40 mins
4 out of 5 stars (931 ratings)
Regular price: $26.22
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Publisher's Summary

A superb science fiction adventure set in the rubble of a ruined universe, this is a deep space heist story of kidnap, betrayal, alien artifacts, and revenge.

The galaxy has seen great empires rise and fall. Planets have shattered and been remade. Among the ruins of alien civilizations, building our own from the rubble, humanity still thrives.

And there are vast fortunes to be made, if you know where to find them....

Captain Rackamore and his crew do. It's their business to find the tiny, enigmatic worlds that have been hidden away, booby-trapped, surrounded by layers of protection - and to crack them open for the ancient relics and barely remembered technologies inside. But while they ply their risky trade with integrity, not everyone is so scrupulous.

Adrana and Fura Ness are the newest members of Rackamore's crew, signed on to save their family from bankruptcy. Only Rackamore has enemies, and there might be more waiting for them in space than adventure and fortune: the fabled and feared Bosa Sennen in particular.

Revenger is a science fiction adventure story set in the rubble of our solar system in the dark, distant future - a tale of space pirates, buried treasure, and phantom weapons, of unspeakable hazards and single-minded heroism...and of vengeance.

©2016 Alastair Reynolds (P)2017 Hachette Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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

Great story, crap Mastering/Post work

What did you like best about this story?

A departure from Reynolds work. 1st person perspective that took me quite a while to get into. At first I thought I was going to be giving this a very poor review, but after getting into the book (after a binge of hearing John Lee narrate some space marine books) I started to really like it. A bit of a steampunk/Victorian feel to it, but still a lot of fun.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Clare Corbett?

Clare was fine.

Any additional comments?

Whoever mastered/edited this needs a freaking slap and if I see you at APAC I will. Shame on you! As a narrator myself, under another name, I was shocked at the quality of this. Whoever edited this did not bother to listen through after they ran it through a fairly aggressive noise-gate. When Clare is being quiet, which is quite often, the db drops dramatically where the processor lowers the volume to the point that whole words are barely audible at times. More often the end of soft words are cut off/reduced to near inaudibility. If Clare had been louder in her reading it may not have been a problem, but with her habit of half whispering at times it was extremely annoying and IMO the book should be pulled and re-edited.

77 of 78 people found this review helpful

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

warning headphone users: volume needs normalizing

The story is fast-paced and much more dialogue-heavy compared to the author's other books. The audio volume is troublesome for me, however. There are sections when the narrator is whispering quietly followed by much louder exclamations that hurt my ears. I recommend ripping the audio and renormalizing it so you don't have to strain yourself to understand what is being said.

57 of 58 people found this review helpful

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

Too bad about the sound production- Great book!!

Loved the book. A great pirate story with some steam punk to boot. The audio had way too much bass and almost ruined it, but turn the bass down and the treble up and enjoy!!

16 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lynn
  • NEW YORK, NY, United States
  • 03-22-17

terrible reading, decent story

recording is terrible. reader whispers too often, and is hard to hear and understand. the story is decent but I'm not sure it makes up for the struggle to understand.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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

I didn't finish it

This book is a sadness for me. The author has a very rich imagination and excellent feel for the steampunk genre. Set in some very, very distant future he envisions a unique view of how it all turns out for humanity. The language is interesting and settings truly interesting.

And endlessly described.

The story is conventional but has some interesting twists. Something happens. The protagonist develops a mission. Reversals occur. Hijinx ensue.

That are endlessly described.

At any moment the story and setting is likely to be interesting. I got 80% of the way the way through it before I realized that I still had no real appreciation for the intentions of the protagonist and that I was never going to be interested enough in the outcome to put up with more endless, unproductive detail.

I might have still stuck with it. After all, I only had five chapters to go, but, I became annoyed at another systemic flaw beyond toleration. With all of the virtues of the prose and imagination, the author was way too loose with the logical links between things.

For example, an event occurs where someone does something truly heinous to the protagonist for a prolonged period. There are musings in the aftermath where the protagonist refers to the offending character in a warm emotional tone appropriate only to the relationship before and completely, insanely discordant considering the awful things that were done.

This sort of weird disconnect happens with motivations, actions, plot twists and, if it weren't for the obviously immense effort of the richly detailed world, would suggest laziness. As it is, I can't really understand how the editors didn't say, "Alistair, you really need to tighten this up. Nobody would [act that way, do that thing, be able to guess that, etc]."

I quite liked the narration. It is done with a chewy, working class English accent. Sometimes a little thick for my American ears to comprehend but, for me, that's a good thing. The characterizations were clear. Sometimes a little overwrought, but I liked them. As some have said, things were occasionally a little whispery and hard to hear. Not a big deal. I'd listen to her again happily.

I'll try this author again someday. The world and viewpoint and use of language was appealing. However, this book eventually became tedious.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

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

An almost great book...

So, I'll keep this spoiler free for the story part but will start with what I found incredibly annoying on this title, something that we take for granted mostly because it's frankly the basis for this entire platform:

AUDIO ENGINEERING (recording)

In the case of Revenger, what would have been a great narrator (Clare Corbett) was hamstrung by poor recording practices. There were areas in the book where you literally could not hear what she was saying - due to her being 'in character' and whispering or otherwise. It was a problem, and prevents me from giving this a better review.

THE BOOK:

Very good space opera by way of steam-punk. Incredibly imaginative, strong characters and solid dialogue. There were a few loose ends that are never tied up to my satisfaction (full disclosure there are ten minutes left) and the ending feels a bit rushed to my taste (a lot of substantial build) but I'm quite satisfied overall and think it's a great, original take at world building on a galactic scale and I hope Reynolds revisits it in the future.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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

Good but feels like a subplot to a larger story

First, the narration was a real issue for me. Ultimately, Clare did really grow on me and I loved her voice and investment in her telling, but the changes in volume were a mess. I had to have the volume high to hear some of her characters because her voice was so quiet, but then cover my ears when she boomed out the voice of another character. Ultimately, I realized that if I had been listening at home, eyes closed and headphones on, I would have been immersed in her storytelling. But when I have those breaks I read, I don't listen to audiobooks. Her voice and talent was therefore lost on me.
The book was engaging, fun, offbeat, but also incomplete and lacking the bones of a full story. (Yes, I know, it actually does have bones in it). It feels like an earmark for a greater story, and I'm really quite sad that I didn't get to have more than a glimpse of this universe from far outside the congregation and through only one set of naive and impetuous eyes. I adore our young Miss Ness, but she was not nearly as inquisitive or fascinated as I. Listen to this (in a quiet place) as a fun and engaging diversion, but expect to be left with an appetite that this story does nothing to satiate.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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

Ideas great, product ok

As usual, Reynolds creativity and originality is the star of the show. His ideas are never derivative and always thought provoking. However, while the setting and back story of the narrative is interesting, the story itself is rather tedious. The protagonist is the usual youngster who becomes toughened by circumstance. Put a different narrative in this setting and you would have a winner.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Buccaneers and buried treasure setting in space

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

I just finished listening. I highly recommend it. He has pulled off the Robert Louis Stevenson buccaneers and buried treasure setting in space masterfully. The story is set in a deep and well developed universe that I'm hoping to get a chance to visit again. The narrator Clare Corbett was excellent too. Having this on in the car made my commute much more fun. Ten out of ten on story telling, character and plot. It was pretty high on the suspended disbelief scale. Maybe verging in to the realistic fantasy in space than hard science fiction. But still an operatic story.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Disappointing

I am a fan of Alastair Reynolds. I have read 11 of his books. This is the 12th. No one is perfect all the time. This book proves that this is true even for Mr. Reynolds.

The setting is amazing. A multitude of worlds in a large variety of types. The history of the Congregation - 13 Occupations. Treasure worlds that might kill you. Alien races oddly running the banks. The setting had so much potential for a great story. What a waste.

The story is geared to the YA audience. That is not my preferred genre but sometimes you find the best stories if you step out of your comfort zone. Not so in this case.

Where did this story go wrong?

The first problem is in the vocabulary. The reader already knows that the story is fictional and taking place in a time and setting far removed from our reality. We do not need vocabulary that does not bring any added value to the plot. This is especially true if the author is using common phrases. For example. The narrator states that another a blades weapon cut through a character as like a knife through “lungstuff”. It is obvious that lungstuff is air. But hey lungstuff sounds cooler. But after the hundred time you read it the coolness becomes tedious. No add to that “cove” for person, “gray” for brain, “chin waggle” for talking, and tons of other terms. At best it seems as if Reynolds is trying to hard to impress us with the strangeness of this place. At worse it distracts from the story and make the reader not finish the book.

The second is everyone in the story has a great fear of the antagonist but in the 2 scenes that she is in she does nothing to warrant that fear. She is bad. But she is not the wellspring of evil that everyone makes her out to be. I was rather disappointed in her.

The story is ultimately about the protagonist changing from a young girl to a mature woman. She finds that she is somewhat surprised at who she has become. That is life and could have been a shining message to the YA readers (as long as they remember this is a fictional character). The problem is she does not mature. At the end of the story, she is still as naive, selfish, petty, and thoughtless as she was in the beginning of the story. The only real difference is she is more capable of senseless violence.

The largest problem with Clare Corbett. She is difficult to listen to. For some characters she is loud and booming. For others she whispers. As I listen I had two choices - turn the volume up so I could hear a character only to blow out my speakers when voice a different character or listen to the louder character at a normal volume and miss out on what the whispering character was saying. This got so bad, that I went to the library to get the paperback version so I could reread the parts that I could not hear. I went to the library because I was not going to buy the book when I already wasted money on the audible version.

The book could have been so much better. I am not going to say don’t listen or read this book. Instead I am going to say this was not the book for me. You can make up your own mind. I will say that this is not indicative of Alastair Reynolds other books. If you don’t like this one please give him another chance. I am looking forward to his upcoming work. Just not the sequel to this book.

Happy Reading (both visual and audio)

Please excuse any spelling or grammar errors in this review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful