The Somniscient

Narrated by: Steven Jay Cohen
Length: 8 hrs and 45 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (33 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When reformed dream hacker Nix Nighthawk's sleep chip malfunctions, he is forced to seek help from a world he is trying to avoid - his old friends in the pirate dream network. But that world has changed, and Nix soon finds himself at the center of a complex plot to overthrow the vast corporation that controls every aspect of society. Betrayed by his lover, his friends, and even the technology that defines him, he has to choose: go back to living his safe and controlled existence, or be the hero and join forces with the revolutionary known only as The Somniscient.

©2016 Richard Levesque (P)2016 Richard Levesque

What listeners say about The Somniscient

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Get this Book!!!!

SI-FI at its best. I loved this book. The dystopian setting coupled with-tech gone amok was just the ticket to keep me glued to my ear phones. Steven Jay Cohen's narration was spot on clearly delineating the characters both male and female in a novel way. This book caught me from the very beginning, no warm up, just full speed excitement to the satisfying conclusion. I want more of this story line and I will definitely be looking for Steven Jay Cohen's work. In all honesty, I have not been this satisfied with an introduction with an author's work since I discovered Robert Silverberg. Thank you Richard Levesque.I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher but will gladly pay for more work of this caliber.

5 people found this helpful

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The Somniscient

Any additional comments?

Great and fantastic book! The story is just great. The writing is very good with the far-out concepts being presented in a very clear way.

7 people found this helpful

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Fantastic!

Tech is not my thing, and I was skeptical about whether or not I would enjoy this book but I could not put it down! I also loved Strictly Analog. The moment I was done with this book, I started looking to see how many others like these books Richard had written. I hope there are more to come!

2 people found this helpful

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My God this was good

Once in a while a book comes along that truly resonates with me. The Somniscient is one of those books. The writing style, the brilliance of the narrator, the subversive horror that is a pretext to the entire narrative, combines to create an amazing listen.

The story is divided into multiple books, with each book advancing the timeline a few years. It starts describing how the book's main protagonist Nix Nighthawk is struggling to make ends meet in his job as a coder. In this version of the future, currency is in the form of Z's, or minutes of sleep. If you make enough Z's, you can sleep, or if you have an abundance of Z's you can purchase luxuries, but for the average working, making enough Zs to even sleep is a challenge.

To me, this is a terrifying vision, and hooked me into the story immediately. Things go from bad to worse for Nix, and the entire book is one tragedy after another. I don't think I've ever had as much empathy for a character as I did Nix.

Steven Jay Cohen is an amazing narrator and is legend among the narrator community. At the beginning of the story, since Nix was so sleep deprived, Steven's voice mimicked that condition, using a shaky, weak voice that truly added another level to the experience.

Highly recommended!

This audio book was gifted to me by the author in exchange for a unbiased review.

1 person found this helpful

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Pretty good. Slow start but it gets interesting

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

I listened to this a few months ago but am now adding my review.

Overall its a good book. I wasn't sure about the narrator in the beginning, but it gets better later on. I liked the story overall too.

1 person found this helpful

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Great

This narrator has such a calming voice! I found this audio book to be very easy to list to and really enjoyed it. The story is original and well thought out. I look forward to more.

1 person found this helpful

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Social networking gone wrong…

The Somniscient is a well-written gritty, futuristic, science fiction novel written by Richard Levesque and narrated by Steven Jay Cohen. The book places the reader in a future time where hard currency is no longer exchanged but instead replaced with sleep credits. These credits are not transferable from one person to another like cash, but the credits and their flow are controlled by a large corporation that knows everything about nearly everyone; think Google or Facebook. People work so they can earn the privilege of sleeping or have leisure time, all the while the corporation is deducting credit after credit for ones use of resources such as lighting, air, electricity, etc. All the while people are becoming more indebted to the company. It makes for a very grim and unpleasant world, however many of the people in the book grew up knowing nothing but this reality, and when they get a taste of what the world should be the story unravels.

People are tied into the corporation and all other aspects of the world via a “loop” that is surgically implanted behind the ear. This technology allows the wearer to view their credit status, receive map data, augmented reality, get paid by the company, communicate with other looped users, etc. This of a heads-up display projected on the user’s eye from within. One can also buy any number of items from clothing, food, and even dreams produced by the corporation; and others approved by the corporation. Dreams in this world are made available like videos are on YouTube. People can even make a living by recording and posting their dreams for others to watch. As with anything else in this world, the corporation takes a cut of the profits.

Things get interesting when one of the characters locates and plays a rogue (non-corporation sanctioned) dream opening a who new world and ideas not controlled by the corporation. This starts a chain reaction of events leading people to revolt against the company and the discovery of many dark secrets still yet to be uncovered.

The book was very interesting and I liked the author’s descriptive writing as it permitted me to feel like I was a part of the world. Although it was placed in a future time, it was not overly futuristic and often seemed plausible with some of today’s technology. If not today, the items people add to their social networks will be used by the corporation when the time comes. Today’s social networks are more a means of collecting data to imprison people when the time comes. The book is not only for science fiction fans, but includes a fair amount of action, mystery, clandestine activities, etc. that nearly anyone can enjoy it.

I must give the author credit for not using foul language in a book that could have been filled with it. I do not remember a single vulgar word being used, however I could have missed one. I will say that I would not recommend the book to younger audiences as there are some scenes containing discussions of sex, and sexual topics. Again, the author does not focus on these parts, but I believed uses them to portray the world the characters live in. It was more dark and gritty like The Fifth Element.

The book’s audio narration was done by Steven Jay Cohen. He has narrated over 20 books covering several genres on audible at the time of this review. I have not listened to any of his other works, but I have had “Strictly Analog” in my wish list for a future listen; same author and narrator as this book. Most people have rated his other narrations works by Steven between four and five stars, and that is where I would rate the narration for this book; four stars. It was by not bad, in fact very professionally done, but I have also listened to some narrators that were better. I listened to the audiobook at 1.5 times normal speed as I felt the pace of reading was a bit slower than I enjoy listening at. The audio itself was clean and contained no noticeable artifacts or errors. Audio volume and character voicing was consistent throughout the book.

Overall I would say this book as a hidden gem that people should pick up and read. It is engaging, felt believable, and contained a number of twists and turns to keep it interesting.

Disclaimer: I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent Scifi Writing

This book was surprisingly good. The writing is excellent and the plot and characters were engaging and realistic. The story takes place in a futuristic hyper-tech world and I found it both unique but also slightly reminiscent of some of the books written by the great writers we all know. I'd definitely recommend this book for all scifi fans. The narration was one of the things that made this book great as well. The narrator was truly great. I can't wait to hear him in future books. I requested and received a free copy of this audiobook from the author, publisher, or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review. I was NOT required to write a positive review and this reflects my honest opinion of the work.

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A Very Interesting Science Fiction Story

“The Somniscient ” is a very interesting science fiction story that depicts a world taken over by technology in a way that enslaves human beings without them even realizing it. Corporations are the slave masters and people work not for money, but for sleep credits. Nix Nighthawk is a reformed dream hacker who gets caught up in a complex plot to take down a super powerful corporation that controls pretty much every aspect of modern society. I really enjoyed “The Somniscient, ” but I felt the story structure was a little unusual. Then after the book ends, the author gave some background information about his story that explained why the structure was unusual. It seems the novel was originally a short story that was expanded into a novel. I think you will be able to tell where he added on to the story, but I don’t think that will take away from your enjoyment of the story.

Finally, this audio book was provided by the author at no cost in exchange for an honest review courtesy of Audio Book Boom.

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Excellent narration. Intriguing plot line

The snippet of description for this audiobook piqued my interest. I didn't get too far into it before I lost interest. It's not really my kind a story, but the narration is superb.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.”

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  • David Munch
  • 12-03-19

Classical hacker science fiction story

The Somniscient is written by Richard Levesque, and tells the tale about how Nix Nighthawk, a corporate programmer, gets wound up in trouble that he didn’t take part in, forcing him to seek help from some of his older shady friends, leading him discover a more sinister plot. It was well written, with good pacing, and fine characters. The first part was much faster paced than the second part, with a few action sequences and a well moving plot which kept me interested. Then the plot takes a turn for the second part after a time jump, which wasn’t too clear if one wasn’t paying really good attention, and then the book moves much more slowly. I vastly preferred the first part of the book, as the second part became somewhat unfocused, and changed the overall tone of the story somewhat. I liked the corporate science fiction setting, which reminded me a lot of both The Matrix movies, and especially Neuromancer. Everyone has a neural interface which can do a lot of smart things, and the story centers around it. I did get the impression though, that in the first part of the book, the interface was somewhat limited in use, while at the end of the book, it could make characters go full Neo and do almost anything which i felt was too much. I also thought it could have used better descriptive prose, since it was described more or less as Windows 3.1 in your mind, which was… Unimaginative I guess. It could have been more developed, instead of being a McGuffin that wasn’t properly explained. It also made the plot a bit too meh in my opinion, which was a pity, since I enjoyed everything else. I listened to the audiobook which was narrated by Steven Jay Cohen. He’s always a joy to listen to, and this was no different. Good individual voices, and clear and exciting speech throughout the book. Overall, if you enjoy classical hacker science fiction, then this is for you. I received this audiobook for free in return for a review. I have no affiliation with the author, the narrator, the publisher, or their pets (Although I am sure the latter are quite nice!).

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  • Helen
  • 08-31-19

great story

When reformed dream hacker Nix Nighthawk's sleep chip malfunctions, he is forced to seek help from a world he is trying to avoid - his old friends in the pirate dream network. But that world has changed, enjoyed this book very much