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Publisher's Summary

A thousand years in the future, mankind's influence expands into the universe.

Alastair Reynolds epic vision of our journey into deep space will redefine Space Opera. Mankind is making its way out into the universe on massive generation ships.

The new novel from Alastair Reynolds is one for fans of Peter F. Hamilton and Iain M. Banks.

©2013 Alastair Reynolds (P)2013 Orion Publishing Group

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    33
  • 4 Stars
    43
  • 3 Stars
    17
  • 2 Stars
    5
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    3

Performance

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
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    41
  • 4 Stars
    35
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    9
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    8
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    5

Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    37
  • 4 Stars
    36
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    3
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Reynold's return to mastery

Any additional comments?

While I thought Blue Remembered Earth (the first of the Poseidon's Children series) only average, with On The Steel Breeze Reynolds returns to the levels of mastery I associate with many of his other books. Again, the scope is enormous, entailing the nature of politics, emotions, intergenerational ties, time, artificial intelligence, morality and God... And amazingly, he succeeeds in weaving these threads into a believable tightly knit whole. <br/><br/>I am a fan of space opera, and so it should come as no surprise I find Reynolds so marvelous. Still, I think this book and the upcoming series deserves a much broader audience. <br/><br/>There are some scenes in the book that should have particular interest for debates on morality and God, where the knowledge of being surveilled by powerful entities impacts (or not, depending on your interpretation) deeply moral decisions. Would love to hear them debated. <br/><br/>The elephants are an interesting theme throughout the book, but I don't think Reynolds has used them as fully in the narrative as their repeated mentioning might make sensical. I suspect they will make their presence more known in future installments of the series. <br/><br/>An earlier reviewer remarks that the books feels unfinished, perhaps as an outcome of the $1m contract Reynolds has with his publisher for the series. I am sure the book could be better (as could any book) and it might be it does not reach the full heights of some books in the Revelation Space series. Still, Reynolds manages to push all of the right buttons with me, which means I would not be able to give the book less than a full score. I cannot imagine Reynolds-fans will be disappointed. <br/><br/>Adjoa Andoh does a really good job giving voice to the different characters and the tense emotions that sometimes grip them. Admittedly, I have always felt Reynolds books are better in audio than on paper, perhaps partly thanks to the narrators.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance

Horrible narrator

The narrator tries to do character voices but fails miserably. Got halfway but had to stop.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Like a Picasso sketch

What did you love best about On the Steel Breeze?

The gigantic scope of the story. Alastair Reynolds has a knack for such things and he proves himself again with this one. King of Space Opera he has been called and I don't disagree.

What other book might you compare On the Steel Breeze to and why?

I compare this book with mr Reynolds previous books of course but also with many books written by of Peter F Hamilton, who is also among my favourite writers.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes. Adjoa Andoh does a great performance when telling this story. The african accents fits wonderfully with the characters in the story and when needed, she shifts to a more neutral accent. Very good interpretation of the personalities and it's quite easy to pinpoint who is talking even if you are distracted from listening for a minute.<br/>When Arachne talks however, is really hard to endure.... but maybe that is intentional.

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

No. I always fall asleep when listening too long.

Any additional comments?

Despite being quite good SF this could have been so much more. This book feels rushed, which I suspect comes from a demand for delivery. Sad if literature goes the same way as almost everything else. Maybe that could be a plot/trope in a future story?<br/>I feel that this book is like a sketch that Picasso made, many good things just hinted at. Quite a few great events are just summarised in the story, and a rather good amount of standard clichés are used when we are let into the experiences of the main characters.<br/>Mr Reynolds, I urge you: Lean back and write a real masterpiece. I can wait for it ten years or more!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Brett
  • Westmoreland, Tn, United States
  • 05-20-14

Can't finish this book

What disappointed you about On the Steel Breeze?

I cannot finish this audio book. I find the narrator difficult to understand.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Adjoa Andoh?

Kobna Holdbrook Smith did a great job on the last one.

Any additional comments?

This is a kindle book for me it seems.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Excellent narration

The story was interesting, with the twists typical of the author. The narration was excellent, with a wide variety of accents and voices.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Fredrik
  • Våler i Østfold, Norway
  • 12-19-14

Really worth a listen!

I really like the narrator of this book. She makes the story come to life for me. The book is well written and is a worthy continuation of the saga :-)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • John
  • 11-09-13

Poseidon's Children

Any additional comments?

It should be noted that this is the second part of 'the Poseidon's Children trilogy, following his 2012 novel Blue Remembered Earth.

23 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Stu
  • 02-05-14

Obvious shortage of telescopes

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Why oh why is Ocular the only telescope in the known universe that can see the Pinecones ?

Would you ever listen to anything by Alastair Reynolds again?

yes

Have you listened to any of Adjoa Andoh’s other performances? How does this one compare?

first book i've listened to with a female narrator. Helps that almost all the characters are women.. did initially have a few problems differentiating between the sexes.

If this book were a film would you go see it?

yes

Any additional comments?

almost no emphasis on the alien elements within the book, to much on squabbling humans.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Martin
  • 03-08-14

At a Snail'sPace

I'm a big fan of Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space series, and also enjoyed some of his other, one-off stories, but this novel is a dreary, laborious and overlong attempt to create an Epic Tale, which falls far short of the mark. Unfortunately, the narrator makes it even worse by attempting to invigorate the characters with heavily overdone regional accents or unusual vocal styles which are extremely irritating and intrusive. For me, good narrators, like good actors, underplay or understate rather than draw lots of attention to themselves. Almost gave up halfway through, but stuck doggedly to the task of finishing this wearisome plodder.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Boggy of Bucks
  • 12-03-13

The least of his work

Would you try another book written by Alastair Reynolds or narrated by Adjoa Andoh?

This latest story by Alastair Reynolds disappointed this reader. The narration was proficient although some of the accents jarred.

Would you ever listen to anything by Alastair Reynolds again?

I hope Alastair will get back on track for the next story. More science and speculation please. I can do without the continuing saga of the Akinya dynasty if the characters are as uninteresting as the identical triplets in this story.

Have you listened to any of Adjoa Andoh’s other performances? How does this one compare?

This is the first narration by Ms Andoh I have heard. She is clearly talented.

Did On the Steel Breeze inspire you to do anything?

Nope

Any additional comments?

The title of the story is great. It comes from a line in Crazy Diamond from Pink Floyd's album, Wish You Were Here.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul
  • 11-14-13

Brilliant

Blue Remembered Earth was a bit different and took me a while to get used to it. But once I did I thought it was fantastic. I have been waiting for this follow up and I'm not disappointed. If you enjoyed Blue Remembered Earth you'll enjoy this, it's more of the same but to my mind better. Very well read and a great story.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr A Boland
  • 07-26-15

Middle of the way for Alastair Reynolds

Read all of AR's books barring this Poseidon trilogy. Loved revelation space and the standalone novels.

The first in this trilogy, blue remembered earth - is excellent. But this second instalment takes his 'shatterling' idea from House of Suns, and tried to add to an A.I versus humans concept but never quite delivers. For me, it's a bit confused, mixing the primary plot lines with concepts and ideas more clearly realised in his other books. Really liked the idea of the emergent Africa however! Would be nice to know more about the other superpowers and how they played a hand.

Good narrator too! Great use of African dialects!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Adam
  • 06-30-15

Artilects, generation ships and Akinyas

This is proper hard sci-fi. It's nearly twenty-four hours of story, so you need to let the plot develop - Reynold's stories are chess, not draughts. Anyone who's read (or listened to) Reynolds knows that he wants to explore the universe he's weaving and this trilogy is no exception.

Adjoa Andoh is the perfect narrator for this story. Although, I suspect that Andoh could read a telephone directory and I'd still be enthralled.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Martyn. R. Winters
  • 04-14-15

Brilliant and absorbing

Is this the perfect sci fi novel, with the best ever narration? If it isn't, then it is pretty close.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jay
  • 01-08-15

Cannot make head nor tail of this story.

I've tried, I've really tried to get into this book. Some of the accents of the narrator are so strong that I can hardly make sense of them. Not for me I'm afraid!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-02-17

Difficult rendition

I am very conscious that this is a cultural problem and that it is my cultural problem. I found listening to this became hard work after a few chapters. The narrator made liberal use of various accents and affectations to distinguish the characters from each other. The result was at best hard work and at worst unpleasant to my ears. I coped with the unfamiliar accents and was willing to put in the effort to learn and absorb them but found the exagerated slobbering and wet breathing too unpleasant. I will return to the written book to finish the story.

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  • Amanda
  • 01-14-15

fantastic!

Really well thought out plot, not predictable at all, kept you interested to the last word!

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  • Linda
  • 03-12-14

Disappointing

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

A better story line would have made it better.

Would you ever listen to anything by Alastair Reynolds again?

Yes.

Have you listened to any of Adjoa Andoh’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No. I found the accents annoying.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No. It dragged out.

Any additional comments?

I am sure one of the males kept being called SHE all the time - it could have been the accent. It was annoying.