Cassandra Chamberlain has always stood out. It's hard not to at 6'1" and 165 pounds, with jet black hair and sapphire blue eyes. And if that isn't enough, she is also brilliant, graduating from Harvard at 15, teaching at MIT at 19, and up for the prestigious Magellan Award at 25. She's never really fit in. Not with her peers, not with her contemporaries, only with her family.
But everything changes when the Earth is attacked, and Cassandra and her niece, Victoria, are the only survivors. Suddenly the smartest woman on the planet has to relearn everything. Everything she's believed to be true is challenged, and she has to learn to survive, not only for herself but for Victoria, because someone wants them dead.
Admiral William Zafar is the youngest Admiral ever in the Coalition fleet, the hero of the Battle of Fayal. At 7'1", he's 325 pounds of Carinian male in his prime who is feared and respected throughout the fleet. He is a royal from the House of Protection, carrying its birthmark, and considers its king one of his oldest friends.
But when the Regulians destroy a previously unknown planet, leaving only two survivors, he finds he's willing to risk it all to protect the woman he loves from the Regulians and the Carinian traitor that wants her dead.
©2013 M.K. Eidem (P)2016 M.K. Eidem
I was a skeptic of audible books, but I've been won over! I listen to my books everywhere, even while cooking. Audible is a perfect escape!
This book was hard to put down!
I must speak of the performance of this audible book first. We have a relatively good narrator but what brings the book to life are the specific female and male voices for each of the characters and the background sound effects that bring each scene to life without actual visual. This is the first I've experienced and it's like experiencing a movie with everything except visual input.
The story itself was entertaining and certain aspects of it showed in-depth understanding, research and development of scientific issues/ideas from which flowed a believable story. A few points are taken away for the predictable aspects of the story and the over indulgence and dull delivery of erotic parts.
Generally I found the book very interesting and endearingly romantic. I also think there is a lot especially on the political front from which further books in the series can build upon. I can't wait for the next book in the series!
I might have stuck with this if it had been edited down to a more reasonable length as I did have some curiosity about the story, but I concluded I couldn't give it another sixteen hours of my life.
Narration - there is a narrator and people voicing the characters. They have clearly been recorded separately, as the person playing Cassandra always sounds as though she is in a large echoing room, when people she is talking are not. The actress does not appear to have read around her lines and generally is fairly unemotive. It is especially noticeable when she says something with no emotion, then the narrator says - "she said angrily/sleepily etc.."
It's not giving anything away to say Cassandra and her niece are the sole survivors from Earth. They are on a spaceship and the story picks up again a few days later. I can only think that their rescuers are particularly unempathetic, as a couple of times people with whom they have been interacting over those days apologise for not remembering that every one they know has just died.
There is very little background or world building. Cassandra herself, who is meant to be super intelligent, shows no curiosity at all about their rescuing race or their enemies. It is some five hours in that we are told a little about their family system, but that doesn't arise out of any enquiry by her. By the stage I stopped we have been told nothing at all about the enemy except their name. If I were the only one of two survivors I would be asking for a little more information. As a reader I also wanted more idea about the ship she was on - it has families on board, is that because it does long voyages; there is more than one place to eat - so are there hundreds of occupants; it apparently doesn't have a captain, as Cassandra's lover is the admiral, but also is in charge of the ship. I don't think the author has visualised things for herself. We are constantly told that Cassandra, at six foot one, is considered very small, yet there is no comment that she finds everything outsized for her use.
I found the characters quite one dimensional and was left wondering how William ever achieved the rank of admiral. His reaction to any problem seems to be to yell and swear at whoever brings him bad news.
All in all, if this had been cut down to a short novel the basic plot would have kept me going, but there was insufficient to keep me interested for its length.
I couldn't finish this book because the narration was awful, will think twice about buying anymore of her books if it's the same narrators
Wow, just ... wow. Once I started listening to this book I couldn't stop. I highly recommend it to anyone and everyone. The story is inspired, the performances of the readers are stong and consistent and the background music and sound effects added another level that really drew me in. This combination has resulted in 'Cassandra's Challenge' becoming one of my favourite books to listen to.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book until the voice of the king came in and I couldn't stop giggling he reminded me so much of Ringo Star narration of Thomas the tank engine!
The voice of William was brilliantly done, not so much Cassandra.
The book itself is really good, intrigue and mayhem all thru, thoroughly enjoyed it.
I have all this series so far in book form but this is the first audio books I have ever brought. I thought it was really great. I'm going to buy the rest of the series when they are out.
So far I have enjoyed all MKE books the audios have been very well recorded. Waiting eagerly for her last 2 books to be available on audio too finish my collection.
I thoroughly enjoyed the story
the interplay between the characters
I did find the long pauses between chapters annoying as it broke the flow of the story and I thought the music introducing the chapter unncessary
Phenomenally creative performance.
William, a wonderful, strong hero who is a combination of a powerful historical buccanner of earth and a handsome sci-fi alien.
Again, WillIam portrayed by Ian Gordon. He has the voice of the most amazing hero and he brought the Admeral to life as no other could.
It made me feel excited, angry, kept me on the edge of my seat and putting myself in the mindset of the heroine, totally treasured.
The storyline was detailed, creative and entertaining, however the performance was even more impressive, just wonderful. If you have never read or listened to MK Eidem, please try this, you will not be disappointed
Could be better.
The story line has a lot going for it.
The main narrator was fine, but the other actors - with the exception of the voice of William Zafar - showed no emotion in their rendition of their parts.
I would like to have this audiobook re-recorded with just one narrator, or at least another selection of "other voices",
"Outstanding Story And Performance!"
Another outstanding story by M.K. Eidem, with excellent characters and world building! This was more than just a Sci-Fi Romance, with the alien race know as the Regulians who are out to destroy the "light." In their quest, they destroyed earth, and Cassandra and her niece, Victoria, are the only two survivors who were rescued by the Admiral and the Coalition fleet. Cassandra is not only a strong female character, but is very smart, and begins to not only fit in, but is able contribute by using her knowledge and skills. It was awesome hearing these two characters interacted with everyone, and how they became important to both the admiral and his son.
As this story unfolds, we see how Cassandra and Victoria both adapt to their new world, and how their fates are actually entwined with the alien race. However, while they are welcomed as the "two loan survivors," there are some who are not happy with having these two "stowaways" around, and attempts are made to remove them. During these times, we really get to see what these girls are made of, and how far the Admiral will go to protect both Cassandra and Victoria.
Due to the length of the story, Cassandra's and William's relationship evolve naturally, and is not forced. There's a lot of attraction between the two of them, and you get a sense of knowing the characters. Overall, an awesome romance with both action and suspense.
The performance was SPECTAULAR! I loved the multi-narrators, and sound effects! The audio performance really enhanced the story, making it more of a audio drama. Kudos! Job well done!
This is a great story for any Sci-Fi romance fan, and I'm looking forward to the next story being released in audio! Credit or Sale ~ it's excellent deal either way!
"Cassy's challenge is to be heard over the noisy background"
I read CC a year ago and liked it so much I suggested that Audible record it. The performance on the whole was very good but the sound effects left much to be desired. I found the clomping, chomping,and retching to be a distraction rather than an enhancement, and the ten second pause after announcing each chapter was just plain irritating. The story was a good romantic suspense that developed in a logical manor with enough twists to keep me interested. I got a little tired of the main characters making out like rabbits, but that is where the 30 second skip ahead came into good effect. All in all I greatly anticipate Victoria's Challenge.
"Nice story not very imaginative settings"
This was a pretty good book. The storyline and characters were well rounded. I don't know that I understand the need of this author to make everyone one of her Heroines extremely young yet with the characteristics of a 60 yr woman I don't know. It's somewhat insulting and this time we have a 9yr old female with the characteristics of a 20 yr old, that's unsettling.
I do overall like her story telling. I wish she could a be slightly more imaginative with her descriptions and differences between Earth and was is supposed to be an Alien culture.
Most of the slang, food and weapons were similar if not the exactly the same. This same book could have been written as a futuristic or fantasy world rather than trying to compare the two races of people.
I like the dramatic narration as it kept me engrossed. The female narrator needs to be changed for a better actress as she presented bad inflection , accents and pronouncement of words.
I have read all of MK Eidem's books, and since I enjoy listening to audiobooks I purchased Cassandra's Challenge. I have to say that this was the best performed audiobook I have ever listened to. I really enjoyed the multiple voices, it felt like listening to a play! I hope other authors will start to use multiple voice soon. The story itself I have always loved, and listening to it made it seem almost new again. If I could give it 6 stars, I would. Great work, Michelle!
I wanted to listen to this audiobook, but the attempt at 'movie-like' narration was extremely distracting and annoying, and there were huge gaps in the sound effects and narration. I will try again later and hopefully be able to disregard the discombobulated recording.
"Good Book, Interesting performance concept"
Great story! And, I really enjoyed the sound effects as well as the multiple people performing specific characters. I would definitely purchase an audiobook that is performed like this again. The only thing worth mentioning is that the narration of Cassandra is pretty flat and monotone throughout the whole book. I realize she's supposed to be methodical, logical, and intelligent but I felt that if I had been reading the book to myself I would have imagined her with a little more passion. Minor irritation but it doesn't distract from the audiobook too much! I may just be being picky :-)
"A Great Begining!!"
What would you do if the earth was destroyed? In Cassandra's case she is saved by the admiral of an alien fleet and his son. So begins their story and what a story it is! As Cassandra and her niece are trying to adjust to a new life after the earth was destroyed, they find they have an enemy on board the battle cruiser. In the mean time the admiral discovers a traitor from his own planet. Are they connected?? You will have to listen to find out, because if you have read any of my review, you know I don't like to give the book away. I will tell you this, if you like a good love story (there are 2 in this story), mystery, adventure, and getting the bad guys, then you will like this book.
M. K. Eidem has done another great job of building the storyline, people, and a new alien race and planet. There are many twists and turns in this story and yes sound effects are included. The use of 4 narrators is also a smart idea as the number of people in the story would be to many for any 1 narrator to be able to do justice to. I look forward to the next book in this series and I am also waiting for the next book in the Tornian series.
"I loved every minute of this book!!"
This book had everything I love. It had hot sex scenes, action, aliens, love, a strong hero, a strong woman lead and a you got what you deserve ending. LOVE IT!!! The writing is great, the narratiom is wonderful and the sounf effects are just a bonus. I love this author and truly am a fan!!
"Great but different"
This is the first book with what seems like surround sound that I have listened to and it took a bit of getting used to. It was unexpected to hear various noises such as jet, bombs, walking etc. made this very distracting at first. Cassandra and Williams story was very good with excellent writing. The voice of Cassandra I never really got used to but the male voices were pretty good. Overall good and I look forward to seeing where this series will go. Happy listening.
"This is how every book should be read"
This was a wonderful listen. I enjoy the sound effects and the actual dual narration. Every book should be read in this fashion. Audible books are for entertainment not just listening. The story was enjoyable after the first couple of chapters. I listen to this type of book for the narration more so than the story line. If the narration is good then so will the book, A must listen. You will probably enjoy it.
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