Winter World

Series: The Long Winter, Book 1
Length: 11 hrs and 4 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3,817 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The ice is coming. It was the last thing we expected, but the world is freezing. A new ice age has dawned and humanity has been forced to confront its own extinction. Billions have fled the glaciers, crowding out the world’s last habitable zones. They can run from the ice, but they can’t escape human nature: a cataclysmic war is coming. 

In orbit, a group of scientists are running the Winter Experiments, a last-ditch attempt to understand why the planet is cooling. None of the climate models they build make sense. But then they discover an anomaly, an unexplained variation in solar radiation...and something else. Close to the burning edge of the sun, they catch a fleeting glimpse of something that shouldn’t be there....

Suddenly humanity must face the possibility it is not alone in the universe. And the terrifying possibility that whatever is out there may be trying to exterminate us.  

©2019 A.G. Riddle (P)2018 Recorded Books
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Really fun audiobook

Critical Stuff First:

My academic background is history, not science. Thus, when some reviewers have said that the science in Winter World is bunk, its not that I'm responding from a position of disagreement or doubt - rather, my lack of scientific expertise means that Riddle could have said the ship had a warp core, and I'd have ignorantly enjoyed the book anyway. If you have a strong science background, maybe some points in the book will bug you. Since I'm a humanities guy, I found the story thoroughly enjoyable.

I do see some people's points about Emma seeming underdeveloped. Shes NASA a mission commander, but she seems disproportionately assigned to "emotional" things, plus being good at building things. She definitely could have exhibited more 1) assertiveness/leadership 2) scientific expertise.

But Seriously, Everybody:

Those things aside, this is an awesome story overall. I'm a huge fan of Riddle's work, and I could listen to Ballerini read a phone book. His performance paired wonderfully with Cobb's, and I look forward to listening to the next installment in the series. Riddle takes the apocalyptic/dystopian genre and gives you a story thats much more than "omg you guys, a plague with no backstory or explanation. and zombies. and stuff". There is more depth to his plots than a lot of other stories you'll see, and it is so, so easy to get blissfully lost in his writing.

Summing up: Is it a perfect book? Of course not. Is it a great story and damn good audio book that I would absolutely recommend everyone buy? YES.

95 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

High school creative writing 101

While I've enjoyed both narrators on other productions, I truly felt put off by A.L.Cobb's version of the female protagonist - too 'teen'like for me personally; Ballerini also sounded off...personally speaking.

The story seemed contrived and forced. While I agree with much of the political statement, it was presented in a preachy nuance which was off-putting.

I've enjoyed other titles by Riddle better than this one, and I'm not certain whether I care enough about the characters to listen to the second in the pair.

73 people found this helpful

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

Disappointed...

Both phases of this audio book, story and performance are frustrating. First the story feels very rushed and underdeveloped. The performances are just not interesting and both have a strange inflection and tempo that I found distracting. This is disappointing because every other AG Riddle book I very much enjoyed, however in my view they missed the mark on this one.

77 people found this helpful

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

I felt title and genre was misleading.

It was not a bad story, was looking for a hard science fiction story ended up a love story in space with barely a nod to the problems of intersystem space travel. As a love story, it would rate at least a four start review by someone more talented in exposition than I.

115 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

One Dimensional Characters, Bad Science

The premise of this book was interesting, which is what led me to purchase it, however I was disappointed for a number of reasons.

1. The character of Emma was really poorly executed. Her entire reason for existing in the story seemed to be to validate all of the things James says and does. This is the epitome of a male author writing a part for a woman without having a clue about women. Making an astronaut play the part of a damsel in distress was embarrassing to read.
2. The science was bunk. A lot of inaccuracies in how things would play out were the planet to undergo massive cooling. I've heard some reviewers compare this book to "The Martian" for some reason. The Martian managed to get the science right.
3. Many of the "plot twists" were completely predictable, chapters in advance. Many plot points were never followed up on or glossed over. The author really seems to have phoned in some of the effort on this one, and the editor also doesn't seem to have done much to help either.

All in all, I was super disappointed in this book. I wanted to like it but it just didn't deliver. I'm definitely not going to bother with the sequel.

92 people found this helpful

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

Entertaining but nothing special

It’s a beach read. Plot is entertaining but very predictable. Writing is amateurish. Nothing to write home about but worth a read. Narrators are pleasant to listen to.

28 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Cliché. Maybe for teens or young adults

Great narration, but a couple pain points. First off, was the poorly scripted women. The lead female character is but a damsel-in-distress. Oh James, oh James, lets hold hands, oh James is so smart, oh James tell me what you’re thinking, oh my! whatever are we going to do James… Urgh! Other female characters also never quite seem to provide any applicable solutions to whatever predicament. They are either argumentative or overly sensitive. Even the apparently accomplished doctor is easily flustered by discord on the team she’s there to treat and ensure the well-being of.

My second pain point is the general intelligence and maturity level of humanity’s last hope. These characters and their respective internal dialogue lack the maturity, or portray the intelligence necessary to pull off the feat required to save earth. It’s like high schoolers playing grown up.

As an avid Sci-Fi reader, I can easily suspend reality and give the author wide berth, but this book is cliché and pretty deng annoying.

61 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Exciting... Like an action movie.

This book was entertaining - with good characters and lots of suspense - but the technical details were terrible. If you enjoy big budget action/disaster movies - eg. The Day After Tomorrow - you'll probably like this. If you're looking for a hard-science fiction story, you should probably look elsewhere.

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Love story with a backdrop of survival.

When this was compared to interstellar I immediately got it. I don't feel like it deserves this comparison. The love story dominates this story. Everything else is interesting but I cannot but help to roll my eyes whenever the two characters interact, which happens quite frequently.

Performance is solid. I'm about a third of the way through and cannot wait to get it over with.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Interesting premise, then sappy

One part of SciFi is science. The author forgot that and turned scientists/astronauts into whiny overly emotional puppets. Rather than wasting time beating this turkey to death, just run away. Oh, Mr Bray was excellent as always.

29 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Simon
  • 02-27-19

Solid Opening Gambit!

Having meant to try one of Riddle's books for some time I finally took the plunge with Winter's World, first of a two-book series set in a future where the Earth is dying during a mysterious ice age like phenomenon which threatens all of mankind. It's good fun too, written from the dual perspectives of the two lead characters, a sassy astronaut commander, Dr Emma Matthews and a brilliant and enigmatic scientist of robotics, Dr James SInclair. This dual POV format worked very well with the two narrators who deliver high-quality work throughout and this setup very much added to my enjoyment of the interplay between them.

The story itself has plenty of action played of course against the highest of stakes, as befits a good apocalyptic thriller. I really enjoyed how Riddle developed the overall story arc making this a very satisfying read with a suitable conclusion for its own story while also setting the scene for the follow-up, Solar War. However, the publisher talking about this being The Martian meeting Interstellar is possibly setting expectations a little high albeit there is some stylistic truth there. For who they were the characters came over a little soft for me and I thought Riddle's pacing was a little variable with really major things like the emergence of a miraculous rescue mission over in a few sentences while family dramas received protracted coverage. So, I wouldn't quite attach it to books of the calibre of The Martian myself.

It is an entertaining listen though and it does the job of a series opener very well by completing its own story arc and setting an intriguing scene for the conclusion with a mostly action-packed journey along the way.

20 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Gramski
  • 03-26-19

I’m not liking this book

I’m nearly finished listening to this and to be honest I don’t really care anymore how it ends, I just want it to end. The premise of the book enticed me, but the story line and writing comes across as if for YA. The most annoying thing is the way the author won’t give away the reason why the main character was in prison, as if he were using this to keep the reader/listener attention right to the end. The male narrator was good but the female was just too American for me. I do actually prefer a good American reader to an English reader.
All in all, a poor listen, but maybe that’s partly because I’d just finished listening to a Philip k dick story, which was excellent.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrea Kennedy
  • 08-15-19

Absolutely gripping!

This book was so much more than the synopsis initially led me to believe. there is Sci-fi, political intrigue, human struggles and plenty of feel good moments. Supurb narration too. I highly recommend this Audi book.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • caroline
  • 05-19-19

Gripping book

I was hooked by the end of chapter one it’s fast moving I love that it’s narrated by two people giving it a very real feeling
Each time you think they are done for it twists and turns
I really enjoyed this book

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Christine
  • 03-02-19

Riddles best yet!

This book is fascinating and totally absorbing. I think it’s his best to date and I can’t wait to listen to whatever he writes next!
The two narrators are perfect in their delivery and I congratulate the producers.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • gepocock
  • 06-16-19

Winter world

I didnt like it. I returned he book after listening for two hours, as I thought I would giv it a chance, but in the end I realised that for me, it was a mistake. Of course, your opinion may differ, so don't take my word for it.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul
  • 04-13-19

Well paced, good plot didn't see revelation.

Interesting idea. good character mix, kept me listening and whilst maybe predictable in places, I didn't see the revelation on why he went to prison coming. thoroughly enjoyed.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • martin
  • 10-09-19

Interesting alien story in three parts

Editing my review after the third book. Excellent main storyline. Loved every minute, twist, and turn. Worth a listen. But the three part series focuses way too much on unimportant parts like detailed action sequenses, human inner emotion, and the like.

Original review
The book is partially slow and too focused on feelings and emotions. I would imagine this book could be more suitable for women than men. Myself i would prefer more focus on the technical aspect rather than the love story and inner thoughts of the protagonists.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Alison Jane
  • 04-22-20

Utterly captivating!

This was one of those books that kept me up til early hours. Just brilliant. The narrators did an amazing job.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrew W.Kerr
  • 03-01-20

brilliant overall theme

page turning and entertaining. brief rest, then part 2. just a tad predictable. will read more.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Katy
  • 04-04-20

not up to speed

the a g riddle books I have read so far were gripping, full of action and very imaginative story lines .
this one is just not up to the pace , quite slow and dragging and takes a while to develop the characters.
not sure I'm going to be able to read the whole trilogy, disappointed.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • SelenaH
  • 03-14-20

Not very good

Some very poor science. No proper understanding of orbital mechanics, physics or engineering. Fair enough, but is the story worth suspending disbelief?

I'm afraid not. We have the survival of the whole human race depending on one individual who is just so much smarter than everyone else. Please..
He gets to have a love interest whose demotion from an impressive ISS commander to mere adoring sidekick is annoying.

The narration was ok, particularly the female voice, but couldn't inject enough interest for me.
There are far better examples of this type of story that that provide much more intelligent scenarios and characters.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-08-19

NOPE

I've really enjoyed this author until this book. long, flat and went absolutely nowhere. disappointing

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Sophie Sturgess
  • 06-18-19

Winter World

I enjoyed this book somewhat, but there were also things I didn't like about it. The characters were good... but the narrators' Australian accents were SO BAD!!! I am Australian, and they were definitely not Australian accents. They sort of went between New Zealand/Jamaican/Indian/American. Thank God the Aussie woman wasn't in the book for very long. The ending was a bit anti-climactic. I would've liked more description of what was happening on Earth, but I get that this is a space book (although I didn't realise that until I started listening).