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The Expert System's Brother

Narrated by: Shaun Grindell
Length: 4 hrs and 2 mins
4 out of 5 stars (29 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Best-selling British master of science fiction Adrian Tchaikovsky brings listeners a new, mind-expanding science fantasia in The Expert System's Brother

After an unfortunate accident, Handry is forced to wander a world he doesn't understand, searching for meaning. He soon discovers that the life he thought he knew is far stranger than he could even possibly imagine. 

Can an unlikely savior provide the answers to the questions he barely comprehends?

©2018 Adrian Czajkowski (P)2019 Tantor

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

Unexpected brevity, told with gravitas

I approached this book cautiously. This is the third book I've read by Tchaikovsky— the others being Children of Time, and Children of Ruin— but the first outside the Children universe. At 4 hours long, it seemed rather short by comparison. Still, the author is masterful and I couldn't resist.

The Expert System's Brother asks you to shift your perspective from the very beginning and try to envision a world wholly different from our own, and primitive, yet peppered with enough signs of humanity's zenith that a vague sense of dread constantly tugs at the bag of your neck: what happened the the familiar human race?

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys epic adventures, Sci-Fi or otherwise. The grandeur of the world and the epic story behind its tenuous balance are enthralling. The author's perspective on belonging, purpose, knowledge and inheritance are unique, and add up to another great work from a master of science fiction.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Please listen to a sample first!

I am addicted to the works of Adrian Tchaikovsky. His stories are compelling, integrating humor in dire settings. His characters are fully formed, more alive than I am, I've come to believe.

"The Expert System's Brother" is no exception to his demonstrated mastery of storytelling. The plot pace is spot on. The language is perfect, almost unnoticeable. It is as if the ideas are projected directly into my consciousness, bypassing oral or written media.

Except in the case of this production. I found Shaun Grindell's performance so jarringly halting I resorted to speeding up the playback by 20% just to hurry up and get through with it. It is testament to my Tchaikovsky addiction that I toughed it out. Throughout the day, I would wrestle with the decision to restart playback or to wallow in my own random, disturbing thoughts. Random, disturbing thoughts often won out over listening to the staccato butchering of spoken English.

But, that's just my opinion. No one else may liken Grindell's performance to fingers on chalkboard. It's a thought provoking tale. Don't be put off by my assessment of the performance; listen to a sample and draw your own conclusions.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Good story, painful narration

I almost did not finish this relatively short story because I was constantly distracted by the narrator and his Shatner-esque delivery

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Disappointing

As a fan of Adrian Tchaikovsky, I had high expectations and was disappointed. The story is average, the narration really bad. Besides the boring flat reading, the voice is of a middle aged man. I'm no agist but the teller in the story is 16-19 years old and I think a younger man or even deep voiced woman would have been a better choice.
But if you liked the direction of this story I'd highly recommend "Dark Eden" with similar theme but so much better.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • S. L.
  • 09-24-19

Odd performance makes it a struggle

The story was great, just my sort of thing, full of clever inventiveness and considerations of humanity. Unfortunately, the narrator has this one vocal pattern, a sort of musicality to his speech that makes every sentence come out the same (excepting dialogue). And it's an annoying one! The closest I can think of is the way a news reader infects sentences which are meant to be much more bitesize than the paragraphs and pages of a book. It drove me mad for the first half of the performance, though by the end I had managed to get past it. Have a listen to the clip before buying, you'll see what I mean. (or maybe it won't trouble you!) The story is worth the listen though, if you can press on!

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  • MEJP
  • 08-23-19

I little short left wanting more

This book is like having a blindfold lifted from your eyes.
slowly you peace together what's happening / happend.

it feels like a different angle on the other authors books.

a interesting book.

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  • Minley
  • 08-22-19

Another classic Sci Fi Story from Tchaikovsky

I f you loved Children of Time and Children of Ruin you should really enjoy this.