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Andrew John Rae

Andrew John Rae York, UK Member Since 2013
HELPFUL VOTES
19
ratings
REVIEWS
9
9
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
2
0
  • "Military SciFi in Classic Style"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Terms of Enlistment is a newly written but old-school military science fiction novel. It follows the protagonist, Andrew Grayson, from high-rise slums through book camp, a combat infantry posting, and then out into space. The tone and style are similar to Robert Henlein's Starship Troopers or Jerry Pournelle's Co-Dominium. The action is up-close and personal, set in a universe where government isn't perfect, conflict isn't clean, and the military gets to play hero on a small scale whilst the overall morality of the conflicts they take part in is constantly questionable.

    At least in this first book of the series, the action is well above average for the genre. In any fire-fight it is easy to visualise where everyone is and what is happening. The technology is plausible, and is never used as a get-out-of-jail-free card by the author.

    The main character is likeable without being super-human. He is no author-avatar with perfect military skills and likeable flaws. He is just a young, impulsive enlisted soldier.

    The secondary characterisation is below par for a novel. Whilst Kloos does a fantastic job of "show, don't tell" with army life and the background political unrest and intrigue, friendships and even romances just appear out of nowhere. After a major plot-turning firefight, most of the casualties are really just names to the reader despite their importance to the main character.

    The plot arc isn't well structured either - although I think this is really an artefact of the way the series was written. I get the impression this is an episodic series broken arbitrarily into novel length portions, in which case the first half of the novel is really establishment of the series plot rather than the novel. If considered as a single novel the initiating event comes around 3/4 of the way through the book. Up till then it's a good read, but it comes as a surprise to find that it's all really just scene setting.

    These issues aren't enough to spoil the book. Go into it imagining that you're listening to the first 10 episodes of a 5 season audio show, and they become style rather than problems. I'm certainly going to give the second book a try based on the first.

    The audio performance by Luke Daniels is okay, but I imagine it might irritate some people. He has an overly-dramatic tone which rolls consonants and stretches vowels. This suits the book, but is a bit wearing on the ears. He does voices prettty well, at least for the main characters. It's hard to imagine him as actual voice of the first-person narrator though, which takes it a star down from the really top notch audio book performances.




    More

    Terms of Enlistment

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Marko Kloos
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    The year is 2108, and the North American Commonwealth is bursting at the seams. For welfare rats like Andrew Grayson, there are only two ways out of the crime-ridden and filthy welfare tenements, where you're restricted to 2,000 calories of badly flavored soy every day. You can hope to win the lottery and draw a ticket on a colony ship settling off-world, or you can join the service. With the colony lottery a pipe dream, Andrew chooses to enlist in the armed forces for a shot at real food, a retirement bonus, and maybe a ticket off Earth.

    Andrew John Rae says: "Military SciFi in Classic Style"
  • "A fun taster representative of the ..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the first Chapter of the "Ender's Game Alive" audio play. As I set out in my review of the full work, I think it is one of the best versions of a Sci-Fi classic. The story is a bit polarising though - it isn't to everyone's taste.

    This taster is representative of the full thing - if you're wondering whether to invest in the audio play, then download this one for free and listen. It's only 20 minutes long, and if you like it, I'm pretty sure you'll like the full thing.

    More

    FREE Ender's Game Alive: Chapter 1

    • ORIGINAL (21 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Full Cast Recording
    Overall
    (34)
    Performance
    (32)
    Story
    (33)

    Experience Ender's Game as you've never heard it before! With an all-new, original script written by Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game Alive is a full-cast audio drama that re-imagines the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning classic.

    Andrew John Rae says: "A fun taster representative of the full work"
  • "Dark but Gripping Story Well Told."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I first read Ender's Game when I was in early high school. It deals with some rather dark subjects - child soldiers, bullying, and pre-emptive "self defence" on both a personal and civilisation level.

    The central plot concerns "battle school", an orbital facility for training child geniuses to command fleets and armies against the "buggers" - traditional insectoid space invaders. The protagonist, Andrew "Ender" Wiggan, has been pre-selected as commander-in-chief, and his experience at battle school is carefully designed to shape him as the perfect leader, regardless of the emotional or physical cost to Ender and the other students.

    The original novel is almost entirely from Ender's point of view, with small and ambiguous interludes from adult perspectives. This new production is an audio play. Since nothing can be directly described, scenes that were previously from Ender's point of view are now recounted as conversations between the adults, significantly expanding these roles. This works very well, creating a simpler, cleaner story.

    Some small changes have been made to the story, increasing or decreasing the significance of various scenes, but without removing or adding major plot elements.

    The side-plot of Peter and Valentine Wiggan, Ender's siblings, has been retained but reduced in size and importance.

    More

    Ender's Game Alive: The Full Cast Audioplay

    • ORIGINAL (7 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Full Cast Recording
    Overall
    (76)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (75)

    Experience Ender's Game as you've never heard it before! With an all-new, original script written by Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game Alive is a full-cast audio drama that re-imagines the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning classic.

    Holly says: "Could have been great. Was only okay."
  1. Terms of Enlistment
  2. FREE Ender's Game Alive: ...
  3. Ender's Game Alive: The F...
  4. .

Stranded on the red planet

A new sci-fi adventure from the great Terry Pratchett

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