Your audiobook is waiting…

The Praxis

Dread Empire's Fall, Book 1
Narrated by: David Drummond
Series: Dread Empire's Fall, Book 1
Length: 14 hrs and 23 mins
4 out of 5 stars (104 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

An infinite, sweeping saga of interstellar war - the first SF classic for the 21st century. The empire of the Shaa lasted 10,000 years. Years of terror, infinite violence and oppressive, brutal order. Now the Shaa are no more, but the terror and violence are only beginning... The Shaa, rulers of the universe, began to commit ritual suicide when it became clear that their minds - profoundly intelligent but limited - would accept no further information. Near immortality was their one, great mistake. And so began the war between the Naxids, oldest client race of the Shaa, who believed themselves inheritors of the empire, and a frail alliance of other races, including humanity. And so, the story of a dread empire's fall begins...

©2002 Walter Jon Williams (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    40
  • 4 Stars
    40
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    5

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    49
  • 4 Stars
    27
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    3

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    37
  • 4 Stars
    35
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    7
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic adaptation of a hard sci-fi space opera!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Praxis to be better than the print version?

In many aspects, yes. David Drummond delivers spectacularly on this title. He does an excellent job at creating many different voices for the large cast of characters. I was particularly impressed by the characteristic voices he came up with for the various alien species such as the Naxids and Torminel. He also does a great job expressing emotions without being too over-the-top. Volume and speed are also consistent, and as far as I can tell, the production quality is excellent.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Probably Gareth Martinez. His light accent is well done, and you can't help but be wildly entertained by his cheerfully shameless ambition throughout the book as he stumbles almost accidentally into heroism and fame.

Which scene was your favorite?

Probably the scene where Richard Li and Fleet Commander Jarlath are on the ring station and encounter some Naxid plotters. David Drummond's portrayal of an enraged Torminel can only be described as a masterpiece of the narrator's art.

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

The final scene of the Gredel flashbacks was chilling enough in print, but when brought to life in audio, you can really get a feel for the raw emotions that our protagonist must have felt at that point.

Any additional comments?

I have really enjoyed this title, both in print and audio. I can't wait to hear Drummond narrate the next entry, The Sundering.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

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

Stick With It

On the whole it's a pretty good book, but on the slow side to start, and honestly until about halfway through or so... It seems lazy and undirected, but as the weaving becomes coherent you see that for what it is, mirroring of the stagnantly content beings we're watching headed for unimaginable cultural and existential paradigm shifts... There's also a nice little mystery underneath the momentous changes going on... The 2nd half of the book is outstanding and moves fluidly, and at times w/ a neck jarring pace... Pretty good characters amongst those that are actually fleshed out... The narration is satisfactory, but flawed... It contributes to the dragging start w/ a slow delivery, which is aided when you play it at 1.25x... Narrator does the alien accents nicely, but does human females in a strident voice at times... Great climaxes and ending that will intrigue as to the future of these familiar seeming ppl...

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Chris
  • Seal Beach, Ca USA
  • 05-30-19

Very readable, pretty good story

The story makes me think of 18th century France on the eve of the French Revolution combined with a bit of the Honor Harrington's space navy and a touch of the Prince and the Pauper.
I listened to the Audible version of this story and found the narrator to be ill suited to the book. The author makes it clear in the story that one of the main characters and his family have very provincial accents that make the more urbane high families look at them askance. The narrator didn't do anything to convey this at all, and spoke with a noticeable accent of his own.

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

Great narration, don't like the main chars

I have been on a huge binge of sci-fi space opera recently. Jack Campbell, John Steakley, David Weber, Joshua Dalzelle, Nathan Lowell, and a few others. Each have things that make them great and each have their own weaknesses of course.

This is my first book from this author and I was very disappointed at how horrible the main characters are. not in a written sense, but a humanity sense. These are not good people! I suspect the next two books in the series will see the them change and improve as they have towards the end of the first book.

I also dislikes the space combat, the theory and concepts are very shallow and tactics seem non-existent for a military that has been around for a long time. Yes they have been relatively at peace, but some of these tactics are really obvious.

I will say the story behind the characters (which takes 3/4 of the first book.. not kidding) is kinda interesting, but really doesn't help me relate to them at all. I am not invested.

The worlds, the aliens, and the cultures are well done, but that is the background and is not enough to make up for the story.

I may be interested in future books at a huge discount but not at this time.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Zach
  • Smyrna, GA United States
  • 08-24-18

Children’s book

I wish I had been informed that this is a Children’s book.

This book surely is written for 13 and under.

If I am mistaken and this book is intended for adults then ... you get the idea.

2 of 10 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Poppey
  • Poppey
  • 01-16-19

Enjoyable

This is the first book in a trilogy and, If you can make it past the first 8/9 chapters, this book starts to pick up. I did enjoy the book, but it was a little on the heavy side. Also, the continual references to my lord began to grate in the end.

Narration was, in my opinion, well suited to this book.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Daniel
  • Daniel
  • 06-30-19

What a slow start

Took 8 hours to get interesting. 8 hours of caste system issues wasn't particularly interesting to me. Have now read the second book. It does get better and focus more on the battles than their system of government. Will probably read the third book.