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Publisher's Summary

Eccentric Sunset Tuttle spent his life searching in vain for forms of alien life. Thirty years after his death, a stone tablet inscribed with cryptic, indecipherable symbols is found in the possession of Tuttle's onetime lover, and antiquities dealer Alex Benedict is anxious to discover what secret the tablet holds. It could be proof that Tuttle had found what he was looking for. To find out, Benedict and his assistant embark on their own voyage of discovery---one that will lead them directly into the path of a very determined assassin who doesn't want those secrets revealed. Echo is the fifth book to feature intersteller antiquities dealer Alex Benedict. The first four titles in the series are available on audio from Audible.

©2010 Cryptic, Inc. (P)2011 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Fans of antiquities dealer Alex Benedict will find their expectations fully met by his fifth outing." (Publishers Weekly)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    52
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    74
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    26
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    5
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    1

Performance

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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    45
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    35
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    8
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    3

Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Better than the last version

I'm one of the folks who bought the original version of this title with Paul Boehmer as the narrator. That version was horrible and I was never able to get past the first few chapters. Why use a guy when Chase Kolpath tells the story? Regardless, this version is much better though not up to the typical Alex Benedict standards. The narrator really struggles with the AIs and takes a while to get comfortable with the characters. She gets the hang of it by the last third of the book.

The story is good but not exceptional. The climax is pretty apparent a couple of hours before it actually happens. All in all, it is an okay way to spend a few days in the car.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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When did Chase become so negative?

This is the eleventh audio book I have bought by Jack McDevitt. It was entertaining but I must say I was disappointed in Chase’s role in this book. Her character was so negative throughout the whole book. I had always seen her as an asset to Alex but here she was an anchor. A very disappointing drag to the story. She could have been the catalyst that raised this book to another level. Instead, I found myself almost wanting to skip over her parts and I would have if I could. This is still a great story but not the dynamic duo of past books. Hope this just a bump in the road.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Can I have Jennifer Van Dyck back, please!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

No, this is fifth book in the series and they switched the narrator. I was really unhappy with this decision and the new narrator. I went through because the next book, the final in the series, has the old narrator.

What other book might you compare Echo to and why?

Polaris, another Jack McDevitt book with a good story like this one but a better narrator.

What didn’t you like about Coleen Marlo’s performance?

Coleen is no Chase(a main character) and she has a tendency to make all the characters sound annoying or weak or pathetic. It really ruined the book for me. I even went looking for a different version of the audiobook but didn't find one.

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

No, I listen in the car, while doing dishes or cleaning house and sometimes on my lunch break.

Any additional comments?

To all people responsible for getting audiobooks recorded: Please Please Please do not change the narrator in the middle of a series. It really ruined this series and book for me.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • David
  • San Francisco, California, United States
  • 12-09-11

Another good Benedict Novel

I enjoyed this audiobook. Both the story and the narration are less compelling than others in the series. The narrator is a bit jarring at first, but warms up to the material after a few hours.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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Not-so-cozy scifi

Thank goodness a couple members of my sci-fi book club (for which I read this book) are also avid mystery readers. Without them, I probably would have given this book a single star. They were able to explain to me that this book is an example of a “cozy” mystery. According to them, “cozies” typically feature an amateur sleuth, little violence or sex, and focus more on clue-gathering than on suspense. All of which goes a good way toward explaining the slow pace which was one of the things I found unappealing about Echo. I like the concept of combining genres, but in this case, neither the scifi backdrop nor the unravelling mystery were well-served. I have not read any of McDevitt’s earlier novels featuring the same protagonist, Alex Benedict, but I do wonder if perhaps this mash-up worked better in its early incarnations. In this sixth book in the series, the author seemed to be going through the motions. Clues were dribbled one by one in a path that the main characters followed inevitably from one suspect to the next and the reader simply had to follow this plot train along to its conclusion. The fact that the action takes place thousands of years in the future does not stop the characters from packing chocolate chip cookies in their space ship and commenting constantly about how “good-looking” the characters are—mostly the females. Clearly the author was interested in thinking about first contact with aliens, but even that aspect of the story was weak and took so long to arrive that I had already lost most of my interest. I never did get used to the breathy voice of the narrator, which made all the female characters sound like porn stars.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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I liked the series - I enjoyed this book

What did you love best about Echo?

Well written, well read

What about Coleen Marlo’s performance did you like?

I disagree with some of the other reviewers. I had absolutely no issue with the performance.

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

I would not listen to any book in one sitting, but I listen while exercising and this book made me exercise longer

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  • Story

Thoroughly Good Read/Listen

Highly engaging mystery set in distant future. Presents some thought provoking situations involving the human condition and moral stances. Really enjoyed it.

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Disappointing

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

It was alright, but the story dragged in a few places and the action was sub-par. I think main problem with the story was the premise. The story universe already has one alien race, but the characters act like aliens are complete impossibility. It undercuts the story and makes the characters' action unbelievable. Then when they find aliens they basically turn out to look and act just like us.

Would you be willing to try another book from Jack McDevitt? Why or why not?

I would, I've liked the other Alex Benedict novels.

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  • J
  • 11-25-13

A solid OK

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

It was entertaining enough.

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

Some ideas int he book seem a bit too far fetched. It's supposed to be science fiction, not fantasy.

How could the performance have been better?

The narrator's interpretation of the tone of the characters is off. For example - She thinks robots 10s of 1000s of years in the future will speak in monotone. The book itself describes Belle's voice as being bright and cheerful.

Was Echo worth the listening time?

Yes

Any additional comments?

Nope