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Publisher's Summary

A vast conflict, one that has encompassed hundreds of worlds and solar systems, appears to be finally at an end. A conscripted soldier is beginning to consider her life after the war and the family she has left behind. But for Scur - and for humanity - peace is not to be.

On the brink of the ceasefire, Scur is captured by a renegade war criminal and left for dead in the ruins of a bunker. She revives aboard a prisoner transport vessel. Something has gone terribly wrong with the ship.

Passengers - combatants from both sides of the war - are waking up from hibernation far too soon. Their memories, embedded in bullets, are the only links to a world that is no longer recognizable. And Scur will be reacquainted with her old enemy but with much higher stakes than just her own life.

©2015 Alastair Reynolds (P)2015 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"A fine example of the true science fictionist's art." (Michael Bishop, author of A Funeral for the Eyes of Fire)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    45
  • 4 Stars
    45
  • 3 Stars
    30
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    8

Performance

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    39
  • 4 Stars
    39
  • 3 Stars
    24
  • 2 Stars
    14
  • 1 Stars
    18

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    45
  • 4 Stars
    37
  • 3 Stars
    29
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    6
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A great story ruined by narration.

Another great AR story, seemingly set in a new universe or in Revelation Space some time after the Wolves or a similar culture have shepherded humanity through the great collision.

Really nice story with all the typical scifi elements and AR twists.

Narrator is terrible. Her voice goes up at the end of every sentence, as if surprised. Had to listen at 2X to make it tolerable. Too bad, because I'd like to experience the tale again.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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

Short Story disguised as a novel.

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

I must admit I purchased the book on the weight of the author's name alone ... and I paid for it. I believe I have listened to everything published by Alistair Reynolds and just as the story beings, it ends. My bad but 4 hrs is barely an introduction to most novels. I'll look more closely next time but seems to me Audible is marketing more and more relatively short audio books and charging full price (a full credit for those who subscribe). Don't want to publish the voice artist but like I said - 4 hrs - really?

What do you think your next listen will be?

Not a 4 hr "audio book" I'll tell you that.

Which scene was your favorite?

That's just it. The "book" laid out several directions in which it could go but when you got there - nothing - it just moved on. I think the best description of the plot would be "shallow" as it had no depth and no real character development.

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

It seemed to be an intro to an actual novel. Then it ended.

Any additional comments?

Seems like this may have been a contractual requirement to produce a book and he did just that.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Nic
  • Norway
  • 06-21-15

Horrible performance

Horrible narrator, talks like she is announcing something at the local supermarket calling system. Recommend you buy the book instead.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Travis
  • Chickasha, OK, United States
  • 06-13-15

Great novel but..

Is the woman read this a robot? because she sounds like one. she puts a wierd inflection on the end of every sentence

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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

squandered potential

a good story idea though the characters, and their motivations, we're not fully fleshed-out. this felt more like a first draft than a finished work. Worst of all was the narration, almost unlistenable. every sentence is read aloud as a statement, ending in the same inflection. this audiobook needs to be entirely overhauled.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • richard
  • Arlington, VA, United States
  • 04-29-16

Fingernails on a Blackboard

The audible narrator has a repetitious technique with almost every sentence sounding like any other.. I find this unlistenable and gave up about 15 minutes in. I can't really comment on the story, though I generally very much enjoy Reynolds' work. Too bad I can't abide this narration.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

Narrator ruins this title

I love Alastair Reynolds' novels, but I was unable to complete this audiobook due to the narrators very narrations style.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

A bit disappointing

Story is somewhat implausible, narrator is annoying with repetitive tones at times. I enjoyed his earlier books much more than this one.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • C.J.
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • 09-30-15

Seems like part of a greater world

The story is just ok, it seems like, and may well be, part of a greater story but as a stand alone book it was a lot about nothing.
I had a lot of problems with the narrator who seemed like she was reading a list. Each sentence exactly the same tone. I found it to distracting. I never usually care about the narrator but this is the first book I have ever had real problems with in listening. Although it's great to hear a woman narrator her performance was robotic.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Unbelievable Bland

Monotone narration matches a surprisingly unsatisfying Reynolds piece. Nice setting, unconvincing characters, predictable twists. Looking forward to longer, better more insightful works in the future.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • W12 Jock
  • 08-11-15

Narration is awful!!

Cannot penetrate this book at all due to horrible intonation in narrators voice - every sentence is pronounced identically with the same odd inflection at the end like she's telling me where the next train to arrive at platform 1 is going. I'm no longer hearing the words just gritting my teeth for the end of the next line... Sorry j think I'll read this one!!! Love Reynolds and it was grudging to use a precious credit on only 4hours of listening - I'll get a refund for sure.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • RMB
  • 07-02-15

Not really a story

Would you try another book written by Alastair Reynolds or narrated by Susan Duerden?

I do like the books of Alastair Reynolds but in this case, whilst the story premise was okay, nothing really happens. Even to describe this as a short story is being generous.

Has Slow Bullets put you off other books in this genre?

No

What three words best describe Susan Duerden’s performance?

Breathless

Was Slow Bullets worth the listening time?

Maybe

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Neuromancer
  • 03-31-18

Unlistenable to

Read like a voiceover for a commercial with unnatural stresses and pitch variations. The overall effect breaks the text into separate sentences rather than fluent text

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Martyn. R. Winters
  • 07-02-15

Short, but interesting

What did you like best about Slow Bullets? What did you like least?

Reynolds is a really good story teller and he makes the most of an interesting situation in this short story. Unfortunately, the narrator, Susan Duerden was not to my taste. She is, apparently, an accomplished actress, but in this instance contrives to adopt a vocal style reminiscent of a particular BBC anchor, who segues programmes with an awful, home counties, posh-voice that has a peculiar downward vocal inflection on the last syllable of every sentence. It's irritating, frankly.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Slow Bullets?

The opening when the protagonists meet.

How could the performance have been better?

By ensuring the actress wasn't so irritating.

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

Probably not.

Any additional comments?

This is the first time I have been moved to criticise a Reynolds offering. I've enjoyed every one, but this one so far. The two outstanding reasons were the narrator and the length of the story, but it also has to be said this had the feeling of something written in a hurry, with shallow characters and a fairly linear plot. Having said that, Reynolds does manage to extract the maximum out of a static situation, but I'm sure he could have made a longer story if he had bothered to make his characters a little more interesting. Also, he could have developed the various strands of the story that were glossed over in the final chapter. The story idea is a good one, the implementation not so much and the narration just not for me.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Mark
  • 07-01-15

Not up to his usual standards and the telling is i

AR writes a good story and this was OK - not his best, but it was fine for a short story. Unfortunately, a reasonable story was let down badly by the breathy reader. I like to hear female voices when I am listening to a story more than listening to a man, but SD was so breathy and liked to narrate as if she were commentating on a Reality Program, every sentence laboured out and ending in a downward note. Someone let her know - this is not the right intonation for story telling. She read the odd sentence quite well, so I know she can do it. The producer must have been sleeping during the whole thing. Well back to the story - it was kind of out of date, sort of 1950s in style. It lacked real purpose and sharpness, but in the end - I would not send it back. Lets have some more of your good stuff AR!!!