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Publisher's Summary

For eons, Earth has been under observation by the Firstborn, beings almost as old as the universe itself. The Firstborn are unknown to humankind - until they act. In an instant, Earth is carved up and reassembled like a huge jigsaw puzzle. Suddenly the planet and every living thing on it no longer exist in a single timeline. Instead, the world becomes a patchwork of eras, from prehistory to 2037, each with its own indigenous inhabitants.

Scattered across the planet are floating silver orbs impervious to all weapons and impossible to communicate with. Are these technologically advanced devices responsible for creating and sustaining the rifts in time? Are they cameras through which inscrutable alien eyes are watching? Or are they something stranger and more terrifying still?

The answer may lie in the ancient city of Babylon, where two groups of refugees from 2037 - three cosmonauts returning to Earth from the International Space Station, and three United Nations peacekeepers on a mission in Afghanistan - have detected radio signals: the only such signals on the planet, apart from their own. The peacekeepers find allies in nineteenth-century British troops and in the armies of Alexander the Great. The astronauts, crash-landed in the steppes of Asia, join forces with the Mongol horde led by Genghis Khan. The two sides set out for Babylon, each determined to win the race for knowledge...and the power that lies within.

Yet the real power is beyond human control, perhaps even human understanding. As two great armies face off before the gates of Babylon, it watches, waiting.

©2005 Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"An exciting tale full of high-tech physics, military tactics and larger-than-life characters in the first of two novels related to the bestselling senior author's Space Odyssey series." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Frankenhistory Deathmatch

First, a warning! If you are the kind of person who, like me, won't start a series until the ending has been published, be aware: one of the authors was inconsiderate enough to die before completing the odyssey. What Clarke and Baxter set out to write was, at very least, a tetralogy. What you _get_ is a trilogy with a multitude of loose-threads and a cliffhanger ending!

Time's Eye was...OK. At it's core is an interesting hard-science-fiction/alternate-history tale but when all's said and done, it didn't really seem to be more than an elaborate set piece, looking for a more cogent and complete story to be a part of. I guess that the remaining books in the series are that story but I didn't feel that there was enough left over to warrant having this part of the story be a separate book.

Having now read all three of the books I would advise that they're a little like the curate's egg, parts of it are excellent and it won't be a terrible waste of time to plough through them all.

John Lee who, as usual, did a great job.

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  • cort
  • Kensington, CA, United States
  • 02-19-13

Definitely worth listening to

A nice combination of science fiction and history. As ususal with Clarke's books, he does not develop a compelling central character but the other factors more than make up for it.

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Yawn. Interesting idea but slow!

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Action? Suspense? Be nice to see more of that!!

Has Time's Eye turned you off from other books in this genre?

I'm a life long sci-fi fan, but this is old school and it shows. It did put me to sleep fast,tho!

  • Overall
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  • Story

Great series - vast scope

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

Wonderful combination of the two author's ideas and visions

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

Viewing history through modern eyes - as if you had to live through it - the challenge was to make the ending believable

Did Time's Eye inspire you to do anything?

Look to more jointly authored books

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  • Tammy
  • Brookings, SD, United States
  • 11-01-11

Reads like a history lesson

I learned something about history but wasn't entertained at all. I forced myself to finish listening even though nothing more than mildly interesting ever happened. The narration by John Lee however was done very well.

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  • John
  • Acworth, GA, United States
  • 10-21-11

Waste of time and $

I can't believe the publisher would print this fluff. It starts slow and gets worse. Genghis Khan and Alexander the Great in conflict for nothing. Wish I could return it. Or better yet go back in time and switch the keys on ACC's type writer. Gibberish wolud eb betetr tahn tish capr.

  • Overall

Good Premise - Weak Execution

Time's Eye is based on a fascinating premise -- time discontinuities that force people and places from different eras into the same location -- that soon gets sidetracked by annoying characters and a meandering plot that never resolves itself.

Historical figures, man-apes, and futuristic astronauts duke it out for supreme control over the new world while floating "eyes" record it all.

The plot takes off with a bang as characters from different times in history find themselves together in the new world. The plot then wanders aimlessy through deserts, wars, discussions of morality, and bids for power played out with real warriors and a female astronaut. Suddenly, the plot comes to an improbably conclusion when all the science of string theory is pushed aside and replaced by a mother's hopes and dreams to return home to her daugher.

Although this book is the first installment in the trilogy, it isn't plausible enough to follow through with the rest of the series. Skip it and read the Space Odyssey series instead.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Noe
  • Edinburg, TX, United States
  • 03-14-09

Bubble gum for the mind.

The story reads like an extended version of the Star Trek Original Series episode "The Savage Curtain." The Earth has been broken up into numerous "time fragments," each stuck sometime in our past. The fun begins when people and animals cross over between fragments, including some of history's most notable warriors. The narration is superior, and it actually "lifts" the story up when it begins to drag in the middle. I enjoyed this audiobook.

  • Overall

Excellent series, though narrator not so good

The premise is excellent, as would be expected from Clarke. The fact that unlike Clarke's classics, this was written in much more rencent times, he includes a slew of current scientific ideas that will tickle the imaginations of hard sci-fi fans. I was disappointed, however, by the reader. He does not seem capable of varying his voice enough to create separate voices for each character. He instead tries to rely upon his poor foreign accents, assigning a horrendously stereotypical regional or foreign accent to each character. Some of them are so aweful (like his hideous attempts at US regional accents) that it really detracted from the wonderful writing of the book. I guess I've been spoiled by Lloyd James (amazingly talented narrator of a number of superb Heinlein books available here -- check them out!!).

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Now this is science fiction at it's best!

Unbelievably great book and good listening! I was swept up and away into the visual patchwork quilt of many times merged together and it felt very believable! I highly recommend anything Clarke has ever written. His view of the human race as a whole, almost as an organism, comes through crystal clear. He tends to be a bit off on the individuality, but not because of any lack of depth, I think it's because he simply "sees" a bigger picture.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful