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Publisher's Summary

The science-fiction epic of our time has arrived.

Three years ago, an object 100 miles across was spotted on a trajectory for Earth's sun. Now, its journey is almost over. As it approaches, two competing manned vehicles race through almost half a million kilometers of space to reach it first. But when they both arrive on the entity, they learn that it has been sent toward Earth for a reason. An intelligent race is desperately attempting to communicate with our primitive species. And the message is: Help us.

©2011 Michael Cassutt, David S. Goyer (P)2011 Penguin

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.6 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 3.5 out of 5.0
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  • Brian
  • Lansing, MI, United States
  • 09-06-13

Good character based sci-fi

What did you love best about Heaven's Shadow?

The character development and dialog was good I thought. The narrator's spin on the various voices helped personify them as well.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Harley - because he just seemed like one of those guys that act all bad-ass but is really a big softie.

Any additional comments?

The plot had a few holes in terms of being realistic and believable. If these creatures are so advanced why can't they directly communicate with us? Why do they even need our help? <br/>Maybe that will be explained more in the next two books. But, in terms of a character based story it was very entertaining. The astronauts seemed to say the F-word a bit more than I would imagine they would, being professionals; it didn't really bother me (except I always had to have headphones on so the kids couldn't hear.) <br/><br/>The actual science wasn't bad either. I like how they addressed the fact that there was an 8 second delay in communications back to Earth for example. <br/><br/>If you can suspend disbelief and roll with the story, it was well written and entertaining. There were many characters but they were all well defined and all entertaining with their own unique personalities (if you can keep track of them all.) Joe J. Thomas did a spectacular job with the narration and added a whole new element to the story that wouldn't have been there if I simply read it myself. I loved his Harley voice.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Glenn
  • Cloverdale, IN, United States
  • 08-25-11

Rama revisited

I enjoyed this book, but for you Sci fi fans, this book is a very similar story to the Rama stories by Authur C Clarke and Gentry Lee. VERY similar story. Its all set up for a sequel which may also be a Rama story. Stay tuned we'll see!!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Great Book

Not a formulaic apocolyptic, big rock heading for the earth book. This is a very interesting read that takes some big topics on without hesitation. It is supposed to be the first book of a trilogy, but after doing some research on the authors, who are primarily screenwriters, the rights to the books have already been sold to movie production houses, so I am not sure that the other two will ever get written as books. Too bad, because I would love to read the entire series.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Engrossing, but with a misleading description

Heaven???s Shadow is a moderately better than average sci-fi tale. The supplied description that comes with the audiobook really needs a serious rewrite as it is quite misleading and contains a significant spoiler that is not revealed until nearly the end. Briefly, the story unfolds in the near future (mostly 2019) and revolves around the US and a coalition of Russia, India, and Brazil (exactly what has happened to China is never discussed) racing to reach and explore a newly discovered near earth object (NEO) that eventually settles into an orbit around Earth. The NEO reveals itself as an alien spacecraft and the rest of the story is unraveling the mystery of its purpose.

Much of the suspense comes from each individual isolated group not possessing the full story for the other players. Unfortunately, the tale suffers from many standard cliches and gimmicks. Political leaders regard the alien presence as hostile with no credence given to the likelihood that aliens sufficiently advanced for interstellar travel would not travel 10K years just to destroy earth. Suitcase nukes in the hands of fears for invasion of body snatchers does not end well either. The alien technology is novel, but is unevenly applied (the aliens didn???t design well).

The denouement was less than satisfying: a dead alien race has sought out other intelligent life to continue their failed defense from a more powerful adversary. While a sequel seems likely, the ragtag band of mostly unknowns that will give rise to future a generation of unknowns that will confront this virtual enemy does not inspire much anticipation.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Frank
  • North Carolina
  • 08-25-11

The story unravels then just stops

I loved the premise. The story started out just fine . . . but then credibility was strained, and it became clear that the authors did not know where to go with the story they had crafted. That whole thing from the summary about "and they need our help" is just kind of thrown in there. It does not make sense, and it leads to nothing. When the book ended, I had to check to make sure that I had not accidentally hit fast forward or something, because the story just stops. It does not end, it just stops.

I listen to many books (5 per month on average). I only write reviews if the books are great or terrible (because, after all, most fall somewhere between).

This book started out well but unraveled so badly and so disappointingly that I would call it terrible.

If you like the genre, get something by Arthur C. Clark instead.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Pod People in Outer Space?

Fair to Good story but lacks something! Very good Narration. The science part of this Sci-fi doesn't work well. The narration kept me listening. I hope book 2 Heaven's War is better.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Pedro
  • 800 NW 13 Ave Miami Florida 33125
  • 08-16-11

Interesting

The book was very interesting, however; a bit slow. Funny that a more advance, intelligent race cannot communicate effectively, this book is like a puzzle within a puzzle. Very weak ending.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Bad language ALWAYS Ruins a book

:Love Syfy But not bad language, it ruins the story when the "F" word comes into it.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Moves very slowly

Any additional comments?

I couldn't make it past the three hour mark. By the second hour, the characters were just reaching the alien ship, which at this time they still believe is an approaching asteroid. That entire time was filled partly with minutia about politics and NASA procedures, but mostly consisted of flash backs for the characters, specifically the shuttle captain. Nothing of any interest happened during that entire time. The narration was also read with all the passion of an instruction manual. Would not buy again from this author.

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Daniel
  • Portland, OR, United States
  • 12-27-11

Feels Like A Movie

I love Big Dumb Object sci fi. I almost loved this but for the huge role some nearly meta-physical speculation plays in the story. This may appeal to listeners who enjoy supernatural science fiction. The story is well paced and suspenseful. If this becomes a movie, and is then successful, then perhaps 'Rendezvous With Rama' will finally happen.
Joe J. Thomas' narration is good and I'm surprised I hadn't heard him on audible before, he should do more.