Silicon World: Man vs. Machine

3 Book Bundle
Narrated by: Joe Hempel
Series: Silicon World, Book 0-1
Length: 11 hrs and 57 mins
4 out of 5 stars (44 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

As the age of the singularity dawns and artificial intelligence begins to rival mankind, the stakes have never been higher. Will robots and androids work side by side with mankind to make the world a better place or will they become our most bitter enemy?

The Silicon World: Man vs. Machine contains three action-packed AI-cyberpunk novels. Included in the collection are the first two novels in the Silicon Series, Silicon Man and Silicon Dawn, plus the scifi thriller set-on-a-spaceship Crossing the Darkness.

©2015 William Massa (P)2016 William Massa

What listeners say about Silicon World: Man vs. Machine

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Silicon World

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

I would highly recommend this 3 book bundle

Which character – as performed by Joe Hempel – was your favorite?

Joe Hempel did a great job narrating this book

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

This books are about artificial intelligence.. Man against Machine. This is a science fiction but its looking like it's getting to be real as the AI is getting better everytime.

4 people found this helpful

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

A great collection of books..

I've read all three of these stories separately and they were all amazing. Joe Hempel does a phenomenal job narrated them and bringing these books to life. If you enjoy good science fiction, horror, and dark fiction -- these books are definitely for you.

SILICON MAN:

Silicon Man had me questioning my "being"

5 out of 5 stars

AI helps humanity with nearly every aspect of their lives. But some of these AI are looking for more. A movement is forming demanding equal rights for the AI not always doing so in the most legal ways. That is where AI-TAC comes into play. Cole's job within AI-TAC is to hunt down these "rogue" AI's -- and in doing so he will come face to face with more than just the movement.

Narration for this was done by Joe Hempel and he absolutely knocks it out the park. Joe is definitely a go to narrator for me especially when it comes to the technothriller genre. He just has the perfect voice and narration style to fit these fast-paced technical stories. As with the prequel that Hempel also narrated--this story was perfectly told and I'm actually glad that I listened to the audiobook version over reading it first.

I feel like I've been getting lucky with my reviews lately, the last few books (and a couple after this one) were all on my backlog that I was seriously interested in--but life and other reviews got in the way. I'm sincerely glad that I was given a shot to give this a listen.

The story is extremely well written and fast paced. Sometimes a story, even with good characters, story, and arcs can be drawn out. This is not the case with Silicon Man. The action scenes, story arc, and character development are tightly weaved into an immaculate web. Massa really does a great job making a story both interesting and totally believable. He had me actually covering my mouth in shock/awe a few times in this story.

This is definitely a story that I cannot write the review that I want, because I will give it away -- but just know this: if you like plot twists, great story turns, and and overall story that leaves you asking questions but feeling satisfied at the same time. This story is for you.

The setting wasn't clearly announced, but it definitely felt like the near future. I did find myself pulling some comparisons to the movie I, Robot (which I also said when I was reviewing Silicon Dawn). But, I didn't feel like this was a total ripoff either. Massa has a way of writing so that you feel familiar with something but doing it in a totally new and unique way.

Overall, I finished this in one sitting. It took me one night to listen to this, and I'm glad that I took the time to do so. A great story with great characters.

SILICON DAWN:

Prepare yourself for the incredible story before Silicon Man

Adam is an android tasked with helping out an investigation into what looks to be a serial killer. The catch is, the serial killer looks to be killing former employees of the company who makes the androids that are being used (including Adam). He is partnered up with a detective who doesn't seem to like "his kind" or in her words "its kind". Which makes for an interesting dichotomy.

Joe Hempel does the narration for this and he just keeps getting better and better. I LOVED his work on Surviving AI, and I didn't think it could get much better than that. But low-and-behold lies Silicon Dawn. What an incredible narration job done by Joe. His pacing is perfect. You can listen to it at almost any speed an understand him. The quality is amazing -- studio-quality with no issues at all.

The story was fascinating to me. It's a perfect mix of detective/murder mystery and a futuristic AI-laced science fiction tale. I have not read Silicon Man, and now that I've read Silicon Dawn, I'm kind of glad I didn't. Now I get to jump into Man with some expectations of what is to happen and a little more back-story to the events that go down. Now, because I didn't read Silicon Man, I cannot comment on how this story ties into the main story, but I assume it does so very well.

Adam is such a unique main character. His partner, Jane Malveuax doesn't like him at first, but seems to change as she works with him more and more. I think the most interesting part was just watching their relationship grown (and shrivel) throughout this book.

Massa is a wordsmith, I didn't feel like there was a single word out of place in this whole novel. Combine that with Hempel's ability to make you feel at ease even with the most intense situations, this book was a superstar for me.

It kind of reminded me a bit of I, Robot (the movie, I never read the book by Clarke), but more in the future and after solving the issues of the uncanny valley.

Overall, this Silicon Dawn is a must read for any Sci Fi junkie. And if you're a murder mystery fan, this book may surprise you.

I tell you how I know this was an incredibly well thought out book; in the last 30 minutes or so the book could have ended numerous times and I would have been okay with it. Honestly, I was waiting for Hempel to say "This has been Silicon Dawn" about 5 or 6 times before the book actually ended.

CROSSING THE DARKNESS:

A Horror Novel Inside of a Sci-Fi Story

4.5 out of 5

Faith Cadena wanted to get away. She wanted to leave her old life behind her. One full of regrets and sadness. She decides to sign up for a mining operation that will put her into cryo-sleep until it reaches its destination. Suddenly, Faith is awoken to find out that things aren't at all what they seemed.

Joe Hempel narrates Crossing the Darkness and, as always, does a great job. When the action picked up, Joe's narration followed the mood. When things got deep you could feel the emotion from him. It's awesome to listen to an audiobook that has so much emotion built into the narration.

William Massa is a great writer. The way that this story weaves back and forth and the amount of emotion that Mass is able to interject into it is amazing. I love a book that makes me feel. And Crossing the Darkness made me feel a lot of things. Dread, sadness, and fear were just some of the emotions I felt while reading this. Teamed up with Hempel's narration make this perfect.

Honestly, I really enjoyed the length of this. It didn't need to be 400 pages. The amount of action and emotion that Massa crammed into the size of this book is impressive. Usually, with shorter books, you feel like you're missing something. That was not the case here. There were times where I felt completely helpless, which is exactly as I assumed that Faith felt like.

Overall, I thought that Crossing The Darkness was extremely enjoyable. It's definitely more horror than science fiction, but fans of either should rejoice and go buy this book.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Humans & Androids living together... Mass Hysteria

SILICON DAWN
Silicon Dawn by William Massa is action packed from start to finish combining science fiction, homicide, and mystery. It is a story about the shaky beginnings of a great detective duo and I sincerely hope there are more stories with Jane Malveaux and Adam in the future.

Adam, the newest AI model, is endearing as he embraces the human experience, including humor and religion. Jane despite her horrible past experience with mechanical beings learns to look beyond and see Adam as an individual and a valued partner.

William Massa paints a wonderful picture, warts and all, of future earth and the beings that live upon it. I am told that Silicon Dawn was originally a screen play for Warner Bros. but sadly it was released from its contract when I Robot went into production. I hope they reconsider it in the future as this story and the one that follows, Silicon Man, are perfect for the big screen.


SILICON MAN
Silicon Man is about how humans treat their creations when their creations start exhibiting human wants, feelings, and full awareness of self. Follow the story of a futuristic Underground Railroad for Androids with both human and android assisting the so called “roque mechs. Commander Cole Marsalis's (human) job is to hunt down rogue mechs. He is sent on the ultimate undercover job by becoming that who he hates, an android. No possibility of Murphy's Laws interfering in that undercover job, noooooo, none at all......

William Massa again delivers an action filled techo-thriller full of fabulous characters and settings.

I eagerly await new episodes of this exciting and intriguing story about beings fleeing and fighting for their right to live and follow their dreams.


CROSSING THE DARKNESS:
The third story is not directly related to the previous two but could possibly happen in the same universe at a different time. The Horizon spaceship is loaded with 4,000 people in cryogenic sleep and a skeleton crew heading for work assignments on Saturn. A passenger and ex-con, Faith, is awoken from her cryosleep and discovers that she is the only one in her area awake. As the communications do not appear to be working, Faith heads off in search of the crew to let them know of the malfunction in her tube. She runs a dying man and then into ex-cop Hacker and all heck breaks loose. Yes, there is an artificial intelligence being involved in the kerfuffle.


The Narration:
Joe Hempel’s brilliant narration brings these stories to glorious life. His timing, characterization vocals and inflections are well done and pack an emotional wallop. I really felt like I was at a movie instead of just listening to the story.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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wow great fantasy book!

machines and humans... can't we all just get long?

a great look into the future where machines and man run freely with each other. But are machine more then just a hunk of Metal? a lot of them seem to think so. " I think therefore I am" its a very good look into fantasy, and our future. who will win? Man or machine?
I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great series

I'm not sure whether to call this a series or not. The stories aren't tied to each other. They are each a great stand alone story of artificial intelligence. William Massa does a great job creating different scenarios of how A.I. could effect our lives. As always, I really enjoyed Joe Hempel's narration!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Three masterpieces narrated by one of the best

Any additional comments?

I was offered a copy of this book in audio format from the narrator in exchange for an honest review.

There are three stories in this book.

SILICON MAN:

A powerful virus has killed a great part of the world population and left sterile many of the survivors. This is the time for AI, since androids are needed to perform daily operations and jobs. Things seem to run smoothly but then some rogue androids try to convince the world that they should have basic rights and not to be treated like slaves. Some get to escape thanks to an underground network, and Commander Cole Marsalis, who hates rogue androids with all his guts, is the one that AI-TAC puts in charge to end this for good. In order to do that, the only way is undercover, and to be able to fool an android, the only way is becoming one. But he does not know that the AI-TAC‘s CEO has an agenda.

This book lands, for me, in between Blade Runner and Man Plus, by Frederik Pohl. On the one hand, we learn to see from the eyes of the androids and start to understand them, and on the other hand, we experience the transformation of the main character into something different than human, something that will change his perception and life forever.

At first I thought the story was going to be centered around this transformation, but there is a twist that changes things and gives more depth to the story. This was done in a clever way, and it makes the listener to want to know more and why. I am happy that William Massa has decided to explore this, and it is what has made the story complete.

I like the fact that Massa builds this world in a way that one relates more to androids than humans. It is like we are seeing the other side of things.

The main story is closed but the ending is open, and there is still more to know about the main characters.


SILICON DAWN:

This story happens 10 years before the events in Silicon Man. The new android model X3000 is successfully been tested in the space colonies but its arrival on Earth will just enhance the already existing conflict headed by the HDL. If in Silicon Man androids wanted to count with basic rights, here we see a first glimpse of them wanting to be human.

There have been several cybernetists murdered in mysterious circumstances, and all evidence points to the HDL, but the police will need special help to find the murder behind these macabre crimes.

I always enjoy a science fiction thriller with cybernetic touches because sometimes they make you think about the big questions in life. It is amazing how in an under four hours book we could see some many things, the characters evolving and posing quite some deep questions.


CROSSING THE DARKNESS:

This story is not related to the previous two, but it also about the topic man - machine. The Horizon is on its three year trip to Saturn with 4000 people in cryogenic sleep. Faith awakens in her pod, but something is wrong. They are still in space and there is no one around. She will find out that the crew is dead and that a dangerous enemy is after the colonizers' lives.

I really admire Massa's work. I just cannot resist a science-fiction thriller, and this one has all the ingredients to keep you listening till the end. He knows how to give depth to his characters and make them become alive inside the story. I was able to see Faith and Hacker running along the ship's corridors, escaping from a sure death. There is a lot of action and it is a fast paced story. The length makes this book ideal if you want a story for a weekend.


Joe Hempel's narration was great, as always. It is clear and he succeeds at transmitting the characters’ emotions. He definitely helps to bring the story to life. His tone and modulation gets you hooked to the three stories. His characters' impersonation is unique, and I forgot that I was listening to him and thought that was listening to the characters in the book instead. This book was very good, but let me tell you that I know that Hempel will make my experience much more enjoyable than with any other narrator. I will definitely enjoy anything narrated by Hempel!

I truly enjoyed this collection of books and how William Massa has given soul to androids and make it believable. I am looking forward to reading more about this.

3 people found this helpful

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

Great collection of stories

Silicon Dawn
A serial killer is on the loose.  Someone out there is murdering androids.  Adam is tasked with investigating these murders, but here is one big problem with this -- this serial killer is out there killing former employees of the company that has made Adam and other androids like him.  Adam is tasked with a partner who doesn't really like androids.

I read this book before I read Silicon Man, and it definitely hooked me for the rest of the story.  There was something about this book that just hit me in the right spot.  I think that reading this first will give me a much better intro into Silicon Man. (I've now read them both and I think this is true, but if you've read Man first -- don't shy away from reading this, too).

The love-hate relationship between Adam and Jane Malveuax really made this an interesting book.  Usually, mystery books similar to this have such a buddy-buddy relationship between the partners and this book was a nice change from that.

I love reading books like this where every word has its place and every single sentence felt like it was needed to move the plot along.

The entire time I was reading this I thought that it reminded me a bit of the movie I, Robot.  And that made me realize that I've never read that book that sparked the movie, so I have no idea if it's similar to the book, too.

Silicon Man
Commander Cole Marsalis’ job is to hunt down rogue robots. And he is darn good at it. Maybe it’s because he does this with slightly more vengeance than other members of the AI-TAC squad due to losing a family member to one of these units. Unfortunately, to take down the movement that is helping these rogue AI units out he will have to become the thing he hates the most… a robot.

The first thing I thought when reading this was its similarity to another book that Hempel also narrated – Pandora’s Brain by Calum Chace. The two books could blend so well together it’s actually a little freaky.

This is one of the shorter books I’ve listened to in a while but don’t get me wrong, it has a lot packed into this small package. I actually enjoy when an author can totally surprise me with a story that’s only 200ish pages that rival thousand page books I’ve read.

The main character Cole is an interesting one. As the reader, we understand that he is out for vengeance in some way, but we don’t realize just how much it drives him. This lends for some excellent drama later in the story as Cole is forced to become the thing he hates.

I don’t want to go much more into detail about those scenes because they were really powerful in the story, and talking about them will just take away from the masterful writing style of William Massa.

The story weaves this wonderful back and forth tale where Cole and others grow and become different people by the end of the story. Any author that can pull that off without losing their audience is a master in my book.

Crossing the Darkness
Sometimes you just need to get away, leaving your life behind.  That's exactly what Faith Cadena wanted.  She just needed to get away.   The easiest way to get away is to sign up for a mining operation that will put her into a cryosleep while they travel to the destination among the stars.  Unfortunately, Faith has woken up to find out that things aren't exactly as they seem.

As I've said before, and I will say again William Massa is a master of his craft.  He's an amazing writer who knows how to set the scene for each novel.  In Crossing the Darkness he sets this perfect dark and brooding theme that really takes it to the next level.

When a book can make you feel it's instantly better than average.  And Crossing the Darkness is definitely in that category.  I felt a lot of things throughout -- from dread to sadness, it made me run the entire gambit of my emotions.  Combine this with Hempel's emotionally perfect delivery and you have a great book.

The way that Massa blends Horror and Science Fiction makes this book a really unique and fun read.  I blew through it in an afternoon.  I think that both Horror and Sci-Fi fans will enjoy Crossing the Darkness.

Narration
The narration of this story (and the other stories included in this universe) was done by Joe Hempel who does a perfect job at this.  You can really tell that he is quickly becoming a go-to name in the narration world.  The quality of his recording is perfect, with no issues to mention.

Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator.

6 people found this helpful

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

Somewhat original...

Enjoyed Performance and story was well plotted, Was difficult to finish due to length but it is 3 books, recommended if you like this genre.
Provided for free for honest review

2 people found this helpful

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

Brilliant!!

I devoured this book (well 3 books)!! Let's talk about the narration first. Joe Hempel was amazing, as always!! He seemed to really enjoy reading these books, and it shows!! He grabbed me from the opening sentence and kept it throughout the nearly 12 hours. He made the book more suspenseful, more entertaining and more addicting with his narration. He knows when to ramp up his tones at the action scenes and when to slow down and let the listener take a breather! Brilliant narration in all 3 stories.

SILICON MAN

Commander Cole Marsalis' job is to hunt down rogue robots and he is the best at it. With the underground movement, of people who think that the A.I's need to be treated as humans, getting out of hand, Cole is asked to do the unthinkable, and infiltrate the underground by uploading himself into an Artificial. He has to become that which he hates! And hate them he does, because the leader of the underground was the one who killed his wife and daughter in a car accident. He is an Artifical and since then Cole has made it his mission to hunt him down and shut him down.

This was such a thrilling ride! It's not often that I get totally blindsided with a book, but when it happens, it usually means that the book is something special. Well this is what happened here! I did not see the twist till it came!! I was as shocked as Commander Cole was!! I think it was the fact that the story is so fast paced, intense and gripping, that I just became so engrossed in it and didn't find myself drifting off and thinking about the ending. I went with the flow :)

Extremely well written and thought out, this book took my breath away and made me want to read more in this genre. I haven't read enough A.I books!! I so badly want to say more about the plot and characters, but this is better left for the reader to experience! Brilliant book!!!

SILICON DAWN

So this is a prequel of sorts to Silicon Man. It tells the story of when the A.I's were just kind of starting out. Adam is an advanced A.I and is the first of his kind to be used in law enforcement. Needless to say, he has a lot of opposition and needs to prove himself. His very first case is to investigate a murder, but the murders keep happening and the victims are all people who worked to build A.I's like Adam!

I loved Adam!! You forget during the book that he is an A.I till he does something that reminds you. His partner, Jane, doesn't like Artificials and it was fun seeing them trying to cope with each other. Poor Adam isn't used to people not liking him!!

I loved the mystery in this one too. It kept me guessing till the end. Again, this is an amazing A.I book and I devoured it!! Action packed, entertaining and addicting, it is a must read! I loved this author's Occult Assassin books and these one's have just cemented his fixture in my watch list!! Highly recommend.

CROSSING THE DARKNESS

This is a surprise edition in this box set as it's totally different to the other 2. It's still A.I but more of a horror than anything else, but I loved it too!!!

Faith is an ex-con but is looking for a new start by boarding a ship bound for a new world. All passengers are put into cryo-stasis till they reach their destination, but when Faith awakens to a seemingly empty ship, and before she was meant to, she thinks it was an error and goes to the main cabin to see what happened. Along the way though, she encounters a blood bath! Everyone on the main deck has been violently murdered and Faith is on the list next! What is going on? Who is after them and why??

I didn't read the synopsis of the box set before starting it so had no idea what to expect in this one! Well the author gave us on heck of a journey!!! Again it's, action packed, creepy, entertaining and addicting. He has once again created an amazing world filled with amazing characters! Faith was awesome!!!

In all, this was an amazing experience made better with the combination of the authors words and the narrators tones! I so would love to see these as movies!!! All that's left to say is go get these books and enjoy :)

*I received a free copy of this but voluntarily reviewed it. This in no way affected nor influenced my thoughts.*

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Worth My Struggle

I have to break this review down by the three books in this series because my opinion changes vastly throughout this audiobook.

Silicon Man - I struggled to get through this first book, I had to restart several times because it just couldn’t hold my interest, it was the longest 4 ½ hours and took me a week to get through it, I never connected to the main character Cole Marsalis or cared about his predicament. At this point, my rating was 2 stars and that was basically for the quality of the author’s writing skills and Joe Hempel's narration.

Silicon Dawn - This book starts off with a bang and never lets up, it takes place years before Silicon Man. Adam is a new model AI sent to earth to become the partner of Detective Jane Malveaux, Jane has no trust for anything AI, but they strike an uneasy truce to hunt down a serial killer. I enjoyed the twists and turns in this story and the explosive ending, I loved it! So… I gave this story 4 stars and was so glad I did not toss this audiobook into the DNF pile.

Crossing the Darkness - You know that saying, the best is yet to come? It’s true! Crossing the Darkness is an epic listen. It’s cyberpunk, space opera, and horror all rolled into one! Ex-con Faith Cadena decides the only way to escape her past is to move far away, um… make that light years away. When she mysteriously wakes from a cryogenic state, she steps right into a living nightmare. This story reminds me a little of Alien, a strong kick ass woman, just trying to survive. It’s action packed from start to finish and I absolutely loved it! I gave this story 5 stars and I was so over the moon, (bad pun intended) ecstatic that I did NOT toss this audiobook into the DNF pile.

The entire audiobook clocks in at just under 12 hours, and Joe Hempel did an amazing job narrating all three books, his voice really suits the science fiction genre and he is fantastic at conveying the emotion, fear and suspense required in this quality production audiobook.

My rating if you average it out comes to 4 stars, but I just can’t, I have to give it 5 stars and if you end up struggling with book one like I did, don't give up! Skip to chapter 20, you can thank me later.

This audiobook was given to me to me at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review, thanks, Audiobook Boom!

2 people found this helpful