The Circuit

Narrated by: Jefferson Mays
Length: 28 hrs and 46 mins
4.2 out of 5 stars (905 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

USA Today Best-seller Rhett C. Bruno's debut sci-fi series is a gritty, space-opera epic perfect for fans of The Expanse!

Earth is a dying planet. To survive, humanity founds the Circuit, a string of colonies across the solar system, dedicated to mining resources vital to preserving what remains of mankind. Here there are no heroes or villains, only those willing to do what's necessary to survive.

The New Earth Tribunal, a powerful religious faction, has risen to rule the Circuit. They believe a Spirit within the Earth will one day appear and welcome humanity back home. Following a string of seemingly random attacks, the Tribunal suspects its mortal enemy, the Ceresians, have again rallied to challenge their absolute rule. But a new, sinister threat has arisen - and it plans to bring down the Tribunal once and for all.

Join an unlikely band of would-be saviors - the Tribunal's best spy, a roguish Ceresian mercenary, a subservient android, and a disgraced general - as they are drawn into a conspiracy destined to change the Circuit forever.

"Bruno has crafted a complex, multi-dimensional story that combines the best of his genre with age-old truths - and quandaries - about humanity, politics, religion, family, and, yes, love." (Portland Book Review)

©2017 Diversion Books (P)2018 Podium Publishing

Critic Reviews

"All the distinctive voices carry a complicated, ultimately very human, story to a powerful conclusion." (Audiofile Magazine)

What listeners say about The Circuit

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If you liked The Expanse, walk away.

If you came here from the Expanse and want another thrilling space opera, this isn’t it. Jefferson Mays is fantastic, granted. But even his performance can’t save this.

18 people found this helpful

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An Epic Trilogy

I thoroughly enjoyed all three of the Circuit novels. As a huge fan of sci-fi, it is a real treat when I find a new author and series to get into. The universe that Rhett Bruno has created here is astounding. Each book builds up to an epic crescendo, with plenty of twists and turns throughout. This is one of those series that leaves you depressed when it is over, as you really feel like you are part of the world and you never want it to end. The character development is amazing, in particular, a certain non-human is probably one of my favorite characters in any sci-fi universe. I can't wait to see what else Rhett Bruno has in store for us!

9 people found this helpful

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  • Tm
  • 08-19-18

Arrrrggghhhhh

I just can’t continue. How did this book get so many 5 star ratings? The other critical reviews are 100% correct in my opinion. I’m about 4 hours into this book a could not care less what happens next. I am sending this one back. Btw Mays did a fine job. I don’t think he was a good choice for this book. His performance didn’t help or hurt this book it just is.

17 people found this helpful

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Wonderful

I liked the narrator. I loved the story. I carried my device around the house with me and listened while I made dinner, checked emails, etc. Wonderful!

8 people found this helpful

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An author who understands science fiction and true story telling!

I truly don’t know where to start in reviewing this tremendous work of sci-fi art. Because that’s what it is. The narration is flawless! The narrator makes it seem like I’m really in the story. This is truly a pure understanding of how to compose a story with rich characters along with intricate yet totally understandable backstories, unbelievable, but realistic environments, wonderful awe inspiring action at every turn, but I personally think that the real treat is the lesson the author and narrator have shown humanity. This tale exposes all of our very real flaws as a supposedly civilized species. It’s a mirror image of today’s horror here on Earth. We lie to each other, cheat each other, kill one another and at the same time we’re destroying the only home we have. Mr. Bruno, I hope I’m not reading more into your stories here than you wanted, but for me it was an exciting lesson. I can’t give out spoilers, so all I can say to others is to read and or listen to this trilogy and if you love science fiction then this is for you. Thank you Mr. Bruno and thanks to the narrator, Mr. Jefferson Mays. Sincerely, Alan McDonald (note: my vision is impaired, so I was helped by my daughter to read this wonderful tale and I’ve managed to read most of his other wonderful works as well. The audiobook version provided me with no restrictions and was simply wonderful)

26 people found this helpful

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Excellent performance undercut by a poor story.

Hearing all the great reviews for this title and being a fan of Jefferson Mays’ narration from The Expanse, I had high hopes for The Circuit. Unfortunately, I have to say that the story is just plain juvenile. It indulges in some ridiculous tropes that would be shameful in a B-movie Hollywood production. The characters tend to be painfully one-dimensional retreads with hardly an artifice of humanity or believability (some much, much worse than others). When it comes to the settings, their scientific and technological premeses have an ounce of potential here and there, but Bruno just fails to sell it to my suspension of disbelief. Let me put it this way: If you approach The Circuit as a YA novel and aren’t prone to cringing over simplistic and fantastical storytelling, you’ll do fine. For the rest of us, Mays’ superb narration skills just can’t rescue the underlying material.

16 people found this helpful

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Tedious to the end

I will admit I went along for the ride for the entire 28 hours. It seemed like an obligation towards the end. The first few hours were quite enjoyable. Compelling characters and interesting (if not flawed) world building. And, as is usual, Jefferson Mays skillfully voiced the many characters in the story. Ultimately, the early momentum was lost and the character flaws became more apparent. The Evil Genius of the story was only a genius relative to his Idiot Opponents. The Nobel Mercenary wasn't that bright either. The Beautiful Spy/Assassin also turned out to be a bit dim as well. I stopped caring about the narrative so much that Solar Genocide was boring. Early potential squandered. Sigh.

6 people found this helpful

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totally absorbing

This is one space story that keeps you listening. There are no slack spots as you follow Cassius and Sage in their adventure through the circuit.

2 people found this helpful

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Surprised and disappointed (in a good way)!

I hadn't read or listened to any works by Rhett C. Bruno before this title nor have I listened to any works narrated by Jefferson Mays. I was happily surprised at how much I enjoyed this book (compilation) and was disappointed when it finally came to a conclusion (I wanted more!). The publisher's summary compares it to The Expanse and I can see some similarities but I also got a slight "Red Rising" by Pierce Brown vibe (books 2+). I feel like if you enjoy either of those series this book would be a great addition to your reading/listening library. The story took a bit to get going while it introduced characters and the universe (i'd say about 20 chapters or so before I was moved from interested to thoroughly hooked) but once it hooked me I couldn't stop listening! I think what I found most interesting about this book was that, despite some pretty clear indications that some 'bad' decisions were made (i.e., serious negative consequences for many), I really liked all of the 4 main characters! It was (for me) a unique experience where you start rooting for the 'bad guys' alongside the 'good guys' and find yourself at odds with who you really want to 'win'. I was pleasantly surprised by the wonderful narration by Jefferson Mays and would not hesitate to pick up additional works narrated by him! Excellent performance and character variation throughout! I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

8 people found this helpful

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Some of the best Sci-Fi on Audible!

This is some of the best SF on Audible. The three books found within are set in the distant future. Its a true space opera in the sense that there's a need for a bit of disbelief suspension, but that's not a bad thing. Bruno does a great job of shifting between characters and plot lines and then back again. he built a wonderful world with the Earth uninhabitable and human settlements on the Moon and Mars, as well as on asteroids. It is violent, however not too graphic.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Johnny
  • 07-30-18

Intelligent Science-fiction

There’s intellectual thought behind this book is it All for the greater good for humanity to move forward ? To become the villain to force change ? Good read and believable futuristic tale And the narrator is brilliant one of the few American narrators I can listen to in science fiction

4 people found this helpful

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  • Norma Miles
  • 07-21-18

This unit does not bleed.

Several centuries before, Earth had finally succumbed to mankind's abuse, killing millions and forcing survivors to find new homes in space, only made possible by the mined gravitum. The Circuit connected, protected and made travel possible between the numerous colonies. Many clans and factions had grown up but, after war, the Tribunes dominated with the religious beliefs about Earth itself and a far crude revival when the totally inhospitable homeworld would again be welcoming, green and filled with life, the atmosphere breathable, the ground not giving to ferocious upheavals. One man, Cassius Vale, had been instrumental in winning the war and had been rewarded by being made a Tribune, so becoming one of the four most powerful beings in the universe. However, the death of his only son so grieved him that he left his exhausted position and determined on a very different way forward. And he built a different son, ADAM. Skillfully world building and breathing life into his characters, Rhett Bruno has written an enthralling story of the struggle to survive, political intrigue and double-cross, familial love and hate, friendship, courage, battles, murder, the threat of renewed war, new technologies and an android's coming of age. Narrator, Jefferson Mays, gives a pleasant, clear and well modulated reading, filled with understanding and giving differentiated voicings for all of the protagonists. His narration at first is in slow motion, which adds even greater strength to the action and emphasises the power of ADAM. However, this reader later increased the playback speed to 1.25, which in no way diminished the excellent performance. The Circuit includes all three full length novels of the Circuit Trilogy - nearly thirty hours to explore the worlds, the people and their motivations as terror once again sweeps over the inhabitants inside the Circuit. Intriguing as well as exciting, and even better in audio, his book is not to be missed.

3 people found this helpful

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  • keshaikol
  • 09-27-19

Jefferson mays!

Mays was the selling point for this book. Never heard of the author but needed to fill the void left by the expanse. Mays is a great narrator and I hope he gets more releases on this genre soon! Regarding the story being too long, noted in some reviews, just want to point out that this is a trilogy. Quite short in comparison to the expanse. I enjoyed the story, so much that I’m writing the review before finishing the last book. There may have been a lack of depth and absence of scientific explanation, but the story, in my opinion, makes up for it. A lot of plans within plans, taking lessons from other sci-fi writers. Not sure where it’s heading for the climax but I have some ideas and I just hope the author goes Down the path I want. Give it a go, it’s not the expanse, but it’s not trying to be either. On another note, I listen at 1.5/1.75 speed and Mays is still perfectly clear.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-19-19

Writer probably has OCD!

This may have a plot but I think it is hidden behind the endless detail. World building requires some detail in order to paint a realistic picture. What I don't need is enough detail to paint a world. Combine this with what I choose to call effluent dialogue (like fluent, but shitty), and you have a tedious listen. The narrator was doing his best. I didn't get past the first few chapters.

1 person found this helpful

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  • MG
  • 12-21-18

Exceptional

An utterly brilliant, well written, superbly executed adventure. I wasnt expecting much from an author Id never heard of - but now Rhett C.Bruno has another fan. If you like Political, but action packed Sci-fi - listen/read/ingest this

1 person found this helpful

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  • Q G
  • 12-21-18

Excellent !

High Octane indeed!, Jefferson Mays delivers a great performance. Great characters and lots of interesting plots. highly enjoyable

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-14-18

Space Fan-Tas-Tic

What a great book the circuit is full of an all to believable world with characters that appeal to the reader, or in this case the listener. Who would think that a robot would be one you can feel for or that those who think there doing good can make us really think what would i do? and how I would feel. Rhett Bruno is starting to become a household k own popular sci fi author with good reason and this show cases why. Although I think this worked better as a book rather than an audio almost 30hrs of a deep political epic is great and the skills of Jefforson Mays does great with his sonorous take on Cassius and Adam especially. Some of the female characters i would of thought sounded different in my own head but he does a good job I think and i can see why he is so sought after. For me the real skill is the political landscape and the insights into the characters that really grip you, something i think Rhett excels at. For those new to his work then this is a great introduction to his work on audio and I'm sure will be the first of many as his name gathers followers and fans. Hopefully some of his other books follow suit as i think a lot of his work and characters need Audio and as an avid fan of good narration this is all good for us Audio fans. This audio was requested and i have chosen to leave my thoughts on this.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Thorvald
  • 12-24-19

This was no good

Narrator is good, actualy the only reason I finished. After chapt 14 if the first book I knew it was a story about pinocchio turn Frankenstein monster in space. I did not expect the end; I did not think the author was so stupid. The book is poorly written, all the tech an physics are glossed over and totally out anyways. The author really needs a physics class. crap on a cracker

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Beverley
  • 12-02-19

Nothing like The Expanse!

The Expanse series (with the exception of the tedious 6th book), is gripping, well written, with solid characterisation. Most importantly, you never feel that the writers have any sexist, racist, etc, bigotry; quite the contrary.

This book feels uncomfortable; although it's not blatantly sexist or racist, women are objectified to some extent and Ceresians, with one exception, can be recognised by the extreme whiteness of their skin.

As far as the writing quality goes, what are "denuded women" and does alcohol *really* have a pungent smell?

Having said that, while occasionally irritating it's not completely abysmal and I'm going to keep going with it.

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  • david
  • 08-22-19

well worth the read

Not had such a long story for a while but it was worth it. thankfully not the usual saga

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Guy
  • 10-29-19

Easy to follow, entertaining, good characters

A quality read, I like books where the story is easy to follow and doesn't try to be too intricate. There are some events that I didn't see coming so that was good too.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 09-04-18

good story great twist

found it hard to follow at the beginning but warned to it as it went on. good story line. great twist.

1 person found this helpful

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  • HollySoall
  • 08-29-18

I don't usually like sci-fi...

... but this series is awesome. Never mind that it's almost 29 hours long and took me almost 2 months to finish. I didn't think the ending was going to happen... but it did. Too bad someone couldn't be there to see it, and who didn't see the AI as heading down his own path? Well-read, with great differentiation between characters, it makes listening so much better!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Pen Name
  • 07-15-18

Disjointed and disappointing

Reads more like a fanfic quality story then the work of a professional writer. Completely unnecessary flaws in the internal logic of the narrative from the get go, for example the Android easily shoots down many people in the command crew neatly thru the head no less but the angle was wrong for the captain so he shot him in the leg... then in explicably couldn't prevent him crawling up his chair and getting half a warning message out over communications which apparently was required by the author to cludge in the following exchange with a technician regarding the message... which was a unnecessary cludge in itself. I normally am compelled to finish books that I've started regardless but this was so bad I'm going to bail on it halfway thru. I feel mislead by the obviously insincere and planted good reviews and am considering asking audible for a refund not because I want the money back but because it isn't just personal taste at play here, I actually feel mislead enough in spending money on this that it feels like theft.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Nat Venosi
  • 07-19-20

Hope there will be more...

Favourite narrator delivers a whole new space thrill ride by an author I haven’t read before. The concept and the characters are worthy of many more, I have been longing for another series since the Expanse and this was really fantastic. Tried to make it last! Thank you

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Ciara M.
  • 05-13-19

such a good listen

it really is like the expanse! Mays is fantastic as usual. anyone who enjoys a rich SciFi character study should listen to this.