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Publisher's Summary

What would you give to live forever?

Seventeen-year-old Elijah Brighton wants to become an ascender--a post-Singularity human/machine hybrid--after all, they're smarter, more enlightened, more compassionate, and above all, achingly beautiful. But Eli is a legacy human, preserved and cherished for his unaltered genetic code, just like the rainforest he paints. When a fugue state possesses him and creates great art, Eli miraculously lands a sponsor for the creative Olympics. If he could just master the fugue, he could take the gold and win the right to ascend, bringing everything he's yearned for within reach... including his beautiful ascender patron. But once Eli arrives at the Games, he finds the ascenders are playing games of their own. Everything he knows about the ascenders and the legacies they keep starts to unravel... until he's running for his life and wondering who he truly is.

The Legacy Human is the first in Susan Kaye Quinn's new young adult science fiction series that explores the intersection of mind, body, and soul in a post-Singularity world... and how technology will challenge us to remember what it means to be human.

©2015 Susan Kaye Quinn (P)2016 Susan Kaye Quinn

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    29
  • 4 Stars
    19
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    42
  • 4 Stars
    15
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    26
  • 4 Stars
    17
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    1
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A(n Audio)Book of Halves.

I was drawn to this audiobook because of the setting—a scifi, possibly dystopian future that touches on the Singularity—and stayed because of the narration. I wish Audible allowed you to put half stars because my journey through this audiobook was a very see-sawy one.

I enjoyed the book for what it was: a YA scifi story with the usual romance, drama, and conflict thrown in. Romance isn't the main focus thankfully (though Eli's monologues about his crushes certainly get quite the airtime), camaraderie and family is, along with questions that venture into philosophical and religious territory. The questions aren't new, but I could certainly see myself recommending this book for the younger YAs in my life. There are likeable supporting characters, and there's generally tight enough pacing that the story did not feel like a slogfest.

I am a newcomer to Nick Podehl, and I have to say, his variety impresses me. The first time he adopted the voice of Basha, a girl, I did a double-take wondering if I had remembered wrongly and it was a joint narration with a female narrator instead of a solo effort. That's how believable his voices are. Podehl changes seamlessly between different characters even during heated exchanges, and they are all distinct voices; I never had any trouble differentiating between characters, even Eli's internal and external voices.

But this is where the halves come in: I enjoyed it whenever a character spoke, but the choice made for Eli's internal voice (a whiny, almost nasal, sometimes condescending one) was grating for me, requiring that I break up the listening into chunks. It is a choice I question because I know Podehl can do other voices, smoother voices, better voices, because as a first-person YA novel, there is a lot of Eli's monologuing going on. And for that, I wish I could give Performance a 4.5 instead. In the end, I decided that 5 instead of a 4 was appropriate because I loved Cyrus' and Marcus' voices. Cyrus in particular was the deciding factor, he was hands down my favourite character in this book, his voice a warm balm to the long stints of Eli's whining. It's made even better when Cyrus is the only one to call Eli out on his wallowing and whining.

I give a 4 for Story because the story is fairly typical for the first half, with the side-characters carrying the weight of giving it individuality and life. I would've given a 4.5 for the first half as the introduction of new norms and information was well done, tiny chunks that did not feel like a lecture. And for all that Eli went on and on about Lenora, there was still a dry humour present in his internal monologue; just a couple of lines here and there that were so tongue-in-cheek that I'd burst out laughing, the friendly banter between Eli and Cyrus that just made me feel good for them. I didn't dislike him then. I thought he was a typical seventeen year old, but I didn't dislike him then.

But then the humour vanishes, and the second half left me with a 3.5 because despite having more action and giving Podehl more emotional material to work with, it became increasingly dreary whenever Eli was left to his own devices (which at least thanks to Cyrus, isn't too much). The same issues would be turned over and over, which while potentially realistic becomes boring when exact lines get repeated. If this was a book, these would be the parts that I would skim over, but add in Podehl's choice of internal voice for Eli and those portions just became tiresome for me. I did not enjoy Eli. There was nothing that I particularly liked about him, he was an angry boy, condescending at times, holier-than-thou at times, self-deprecating and pitying when it suited him, and entirely far too self-absorbed with his perceived self-sacrifice.

It's sad because I enjoyed the rest of the story, almost the entire rest of the cast, the setting and the situation that it posits, and the varied accents that Podehl pulls for the different characters. I want to find out more about the backstory, more about the ascenders and how things must be like for them, how things happened for them from their point of view. I want to find out if Cyrus is okay, how he deals with the new circumstances that is being thrown at him by sheer virtue of being Eli's first and best friend. I enjoyed this world, but I'm not sure that I can take another novel of Eli's internal whining and wallowing. I'm still undecided if I want to take that plunge. But that's me, maybe you can?

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Artistic and Positive version of the Hunger Games

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

Yes. This was a great listen that offered a glimpse into our possible future. Any friend that enjoys post apocalyptic distopian/ utopian books would enjoy this read.

What did you like best about this story?

I enjoyed the aspect of human and robot interaction and the idea of the eventual population of AI ruling the world. I also liked the Olympic games surrounding the arts; painting, singing, spoken word and dancing. This offered a great artistic element to the book whereas other similar books (Hunger Games) were brute strength and force.

What about Nick Podehl’s performance did you like?

The narrator did a great job with the various voices, especially the females. Most male narrators have trouble with the female voices but Nick did a great job.

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

I would not listen to this in one setting. I listened to this over the course of a few days, mainly while driving. The similarities to other books necessitated the need to stop listening a bit. However, after a while the book took on its own form and finished very well.

Any additional comments?

I am eager to listen to the next book in this series. I would like to find out how characters deal with the various curve-balls they were thrown towards the ending of this book.

I was gifted this audio book by the author in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • TU
  • 03-19-18

Pretty good start for a YA sci fi series

I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

For a book oriented towards the YA audience, this was actually pretty good. I would say this is one that can be enjoyed by most ages. I thought it was a well written/read story that is rather thought provoking in how it addresses concepts like humanity, the soul, etc. All in all, I'd definitely be open to more in this series.

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

If he controls his gift, he'll control his future.

Elijah is an artist, living at the whims of a hybrid species of human and machine called ascenders. The only hope Elijah has of saving his mother from cancer is to gain a coveted entry into the creative Olympic Games. But to do that he'll need an ascender sponsor, as well as management over the fugue state that controls his body without warning. It's this fugue state, a sort of brief conscious coma, that allows him to create his best paintings. If he wins an Olympic title, he'll secure a place for his mother and himself amongst the superior ascender beings, granting them both a healthy eternal life. But Elijah's participation in the Games would be dangerous, and it's possible the ascenders could rig the Games in their favor. If he does make it into the Games, will Elijah survive his task and save his mother?

The Legacy Human is an original story concept that challenges the reader to evaluate what it means to be just human. As for character development, my only issue regards Elijah, who is written to be so insecure that he constantly frets over how bad his paintings are turning out. His inner dialogue reads like a loop of self-consumed worries and complaints. He lacks the constitution and fortitude I'd expect from someone desperate to save his frail mother's life. Elijah's best friend supplies all the physical and emotional strength between the two, and by the end, I felt like Elijah was portrayed as a self-obsessed fragile drama queen. Thankfully, Elijah's female peers were shown as brave and, when circumstances called for it, defiant. Nevertheless I am powerless to quell my curiousity about where this story will go, and thus plan to continue on with the series.

Narration performance by Nick Podehl is energetic and professional. I would love to hear more of his work.

I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge. My review is unbiased and the opinions expressed herein are 100% my own.

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

the narrator is a magician

the book was fine not the best but it was fine I did heard every single moment and I did enjoy the book because the narrator did miracle for this one the book was interesting enough had a few issues with it but overall because of the narrator the book was great
I'm sure I will search more books from this narrator

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Cody
  • Fargo
  • 02-27-18

Hunger Games but with art.

I was so surprised by how good this book was. If someone told me what it was about, I probably would have passed on it, but I'm glad I didn't. It's written in a YA style, but managed to keep my (39/M) interest all the way through and I'm excited for the next in the series to come out. The subject matter is a bit strange, the main character being a painter and the story revolving around the arts, but it is done flawlessly and by the end I was so happy not to be reading just another story about kids fighting each no other with fists and weapons. Also there is nothing strictly YA about the story other than it follows a bunch of teenagers.

Nick Podehl delivers the story flawlessly as well (as always) and gives the characters voice without making them seem too whiny, which is something I find in a lot when the characters are teenagers.

Over all it's a great book and a great story.

- I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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

Enjoyable sci-fi

I wish we could give half stars as well, I'd have given this story a 4 and a half. For me there was a little too much teen angst and teen crushing. But otherwise I loved it.
A little about myself I'm a woman in my mid 50s, and I really enjoyed this so I would not consider it just a young adult book.
The narration is great, Nick Podehl really brings the story to life. He differentiates between characters wonderfully.
This audiobook was given to me for free at my request from the publisher or author or narrator and I provided this voluntary review.

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

A good read

This was a great story once I got past the first chapter. I have found that the best books are hard to dive into but reward the reader well throughout the rest of the story. The narrator was awesome with his ability to bring individuality to each character, both male and female. All in all, it was a good book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • H D
  • Crestview, FL
  • 05-20-17

Wonderful story with awesome narrator.

Would you listen to The Legacy Human again? Why?

I think I will because I like to go back to really good stories after a while. Some I revisit yearly.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Legacy Human?

When the two boys and Eli's mom were in the bathroom together. That was a touching scene.

Have you listened to any of Nick Podehl’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Not sure about other audiobooks but he did a great job narrating this audiobook.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Mom in the bathtub to reduce her fever.

Any additional comments?

I received this audiobook as a gift from the author and I voluntarily leave this honest review. I really enjoyed listening.

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

A wonderful Science Fiction novel!

Ascending into a form greater than human was the result of man creating the singularity. However, not all humans received that privilege. Eli will do anything to help his mother rid her body of an illness that threatens to kill her. He'll break Ascender law, trade on the black market, or compete in the Ascender Olympics for a chance to ascend himself and his mother. But trouble finds Eli and his friends.

This was an engaging book from the very beginning. Susan Quinn did a great job creating a world for me to live in and engage with for a while. I went through a range of emotions listening to Eli's journey. I felt the characters were nicely developed. The dialogue was very good and flowed nicely.

I really enjoyed the narration. Nick did a wonderful job differentiating the characters by slightly modifying his voice. It was easy to tell who was speaking at any point in the dialogue. The pace was nice, and he threw in some laughs and whispers as demanded by the author. Very nicely done.

I am excited to listen to the next entry in the Singularity Series!

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • C. Rowlands
  • 03-19-18

The grass isn't always greener

In some ways this is your typical book one of a series, you have a chosen one starting to realise their significance and the troubles this causes, but the world the author builds is an interesting one that helps this novel move beyond this standard starting point.

In this world you have legacy humans who are the have-nots of this future world along with the ascenders who are a post-singularity machine/human hybrid that are almost considered god-like by some humans and hated by others. Elijah (or Eli) is one such legacy human and a talented artist, albeit one who is unable to consciously control his talents with his best work only being produced when he enters a fugue state.

The ascenders seem to value the creativity of legacy humans very highly with the only way for a human to win the right to ascend is to win one of the events in the creative Olympics and this is something that would be very important for Eli since it would also mean that his sick mother could also ascend and in the process would have her cancer cured too. Eli gets his chance to enter the games when Marcus, a friend of his ascender patron Lenora, offers to sponsor him despite Lenora's objections, but what are his motives for doing this for Eli.

From the point in the book where Eli and his friend Cyrus leave their home in the legacy city of Seattle to go to the Olympic village in the ascender city of Los Angeles, the pace of the books picks up greatly and the true reality of this world is revealed to be a far more complex one than it seems at first, as are Eli's origins and it is this latter part of the book that firmly lays the foundations for subsequent books in the series.

The narrator gave quite a subtle performance, the various characters were generally distinctive enough without being too over the top and this resulted in a narration that nicely enhanced the overall story.

Overall, this was an interesting start to a series that should appeal to many people, particularly if they like the chosen one and hunger games kind of scenario.

[Note - I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.]

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • oddo1
  • 05-18-18

Totally surprised !!!

Some times you just know that you won’t like a book and I was sure that this is one of them.
To my surprise I was so wrong The Legacy Human was hard to put down, I actually liked it so much that I can’t wait for the next one to come out.
Truly amazing and written so well !
Narrated perfectly.
This book is joy if I had to describe it with one word.

I fully recommend this one to all.


For an honest review I accepted this audiobook for free.