One hundred and seventy years from now, aliens decimate Earth. A relative handful of humans survive, hidden in deep subterranean enclaves that offer some protection from surface radiation. Although the main attack is now seven years in the past, one alien ship remains in orbit, and the conquerors are not content merely to let humanity lick its wounds...
©2013 William Bryan Miller (P)2014 William Bryan Miller
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"Sci-fi story with a small slash of fantasy."
This is one of the best stories I've read. If you are are a sci-fi fan and enjoy a little fantasy this is the book to read.
I was surprised by all of it. Mostly, I was impressed with the writing. This was edited well. I really enjoyed the parts that they Tolkien parts.
This was the first time listening to Charistine Padovan. She did well with the story.
For some reason I was reminded of Anathem by Neal Stephenson. I'm not sure why but I felt a connection with this story and Anathem. Perhaps its the style.
This book really blew me away. One of the best sci-fi books I've read for the year.
"An interesting mix of Fantasy and Sci/fi."
This book is a hybrid, it that it tells a sci fi story but also has fantasy elements, due to some actions by some of the characters. Earth has been invaded and humanity's survivors live deep underground in vaults, trying to hold on. The aliens are trying to infiltrate and finish them off. Some of the survivors decide to try and merge with a computer network game in a closed loop they set up to give up their bodies and become the ghosts in the machine, so to speak, living their lives in an RPG game setting. Menawhile, the other survivors try to dig in and survive. With an alien menace and natural attrition taking place, will humanity survive? Read it to find out.
The main characters are engaging, with realistic reasons for their actions, and are pretty well fleshed out. Some of the supporting characters are a little 1 dimensional, but not so bad as to drag the story down. The action scenes are well done, keeping you on the edge of your seat, and the whole struggle and how they survive is well drawn out. With both fantasy and sci fi elements, this stor should appeal to a wide range of readers.
Christine Padovan's narration is good as always, bringing life to the characters, and moving the story along nicely.All in all, a book worth listening to, and a story worth following further.
I was given this book at no cost in by the narrator in return for an honest review through Audiobookblast dot com.
"Bravo, when can we have the next instalment?"
Our beautiful planet has been devastated and irradiated by huge tentacled, soul drinking extra-terrestrials, but for those humans who survived by burying themselves deep in the heart of the earth, things are just about to get a whole lot worse.
The beginning of this epic Sci-fi/Fantasy left me wondering whether I was going to be able to get in to the book (I don’t think it helped that I was listening to it on audio.) The myriad of technical descriptives, complex concepts, along with a host of characters and situations meant listening hard so as not to get lost.
But oh boy was it worth it, I was quickly submersed in the mastery of Mr Millers tale weaving, the more I listened the more intrigued I became. The characters were developed skilfully, in detail and I soon identified with each of them, the twists and turns the reader/listener is subjected too are well worth waiting for. As the narrative continued everything became clear and the addictive, credible story transports you literally to another realm.
I enjoyed Christine’s narration, although having listed to some of her other work this sounded computerised in places and took some time to get used to.
Be prepared to astounded and amazed, I was and I loved the acknowledgement to the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence.
Bravo Mr Miller, when can we have the next instalment?
"Cool story - great character action"
Honestly, you can't judge this particular audiobook by the sample. The main character, Sethra is doing a monologue into his implant as part of his diary - basically giving us the setting for why these humans are where they are today. So Sethra is asking questions to himself (reason for the narrator's 'up' tones here) for almost a full 4 minutes, then reverts to regular conversing. And Sethra is a geek, so he isn't going to speak like a Toast Masters speaker. (Think Sheldon or Leonard from Big Bang Theory).
I found there was some 'echo' in the prologue during Sethra's monologue, but once chapter 1 started, that went away, so it seems to me a couple of reviewers were only writing their reviews based on listening to the audio sample, thinking the narrator is elongating the last word in a sentence when hearing the echo and that she is speaking only in up tones, then reading Amazon reviews to get the gist of what the book was - then writing a review.
If you listen to the whole book (it IS very technical, so be prepared to listen closely), it's a pretty entertaining collection of characters. The narrator states the 'star' date and time in the beginning of almost every chapter like a Captain's Log from Star Trek - but that's how the author wrote it - I guess Mr. Miller wants to give us a sense of how much time is passing between each event and subplot. That sometimes seems a bit much because sometimes only hours have passed. But if you listen to this audiobook with stereo headphones, you can hear the warm, subtle shading in the narrator's tones as she mentions dates and times - it isn't monotone. Character voices were distinct and fun.
And there are several android characters in this story - I expected the narrator to sound like Data did in Star Trek: The Next Generation to voice them and she did. I actually think Ms. Padovan's narration for this particular story made it even better than how it is written.
The author tends to overdo having his characters explain their actions in the beginning, as if he is very intent to make sure we understand what is going on, but once it's rolling past the first couple of explanation chapters, you are very much intrigued and drawn into the world of Kyrathaba Rising. The humor is there from the beginning and helps keep it from ever being boring.
I enjoyed the written version and very much enjoyed this audio version. Highly recommended for sci-fi buffs :-)
"Great story, stilted delivery"
I'm not sure if it's the writing or just the voice actor that causes the delivery to come across as stilted. The story is quite interesting and I look forward to more of them.
"Great sci-fi writing for a debut novel"
I don't normally write reviews but wanted to say this was a refreshing change, seeing a newbie author with a great story and concept, coupled with excellent narration throughout. I enjoyed Ms. Padovan's tone of voice - it made the story very enjoyable to listen to.
Looking forward to more from the author - looks like there will be a continuation of this series. If you like stories about aliens, and human survival (with a twist), you'll enjoy Kyrathaba Rising.
"Bad aliens vs. rad poisoning"
I've listened to a lot, perhaps 300+ audiobooks. I will put this in the top 200.
This is a thinky-thinky question and I am posting this while I am tired. I have read a few other stories that involve a virtual reality, and I have read some books that mix SF and Fantasy. Then there are a few stories that involve mind-controling aliens with tentacles. So, I would compare this book to those.
distinct, geek accent
Almost. It is a little long for that. I was OK with breaks.
Kyrathaba is the name of a virtual reality world. Set in the future by nearly 200 years, humans exist in only subterranean remnants. The Earth suffered a devastating attack from aliens and what few humans are slowly dying out due to radiation poisoning. Sethra, a member of compound A-3, has found a way to enter Kyrathaba, and perhaps stay there indefinitely. Things look grim and Sethra, along with a few close friends, seriously contemplate the possibility that humanity as we know it may not be able to continue in their current form.
The story starts off with Sethra and Byron sharing a morning beverage of U Tea. Since they live in these completely enclosed underground capsules, everything, including their urine, is recycled. I am sure you can figure out what goes into the U Tea. Of course, I was enjoying my own morning cup of tea when I listened to this part of the book. And yes, I stared at my tea suspiciously.
So you can see that I was sucked into the straight-faced humor of the book right away. I enjoyed learning about the characters first, letting their current world unfold around me as Sethra and his friends went through their daily routine. Radiation poisoning is killing them off bit by bit. Even though they continue to reproduce as quickly as they can, attrition may well win out; humans are facing the very real possibility of becoming extinct. Compound A-3 has a regular security force who have a regular schedule. Their food is bland. The medical staff and care is the best they can maintain under such circumstances. And there are robots, which is the cool part in all this gloom.
While Sethra looks deeper into the possibility of long-term virtual reality habitation, Earth has a bigger issue. There’s an alien ship in orbit and it’s sole purpose is to monitor the remaining humans. I don’t think humanity could stand up to a second alien invasion. Meanwhile, the geoscientists explore drilling further into the Earth to escape the radiation and expand their living quarters. They discover an underground cavern with a clean water source. In exploring the depth and width of the water source, they make a very surprising discovery. I think this was the secondary plot line I enjoyed the most and want to learn more about. So many questions!
Kyrathaba itself is a Dungeons and Dragons kind of world; there’s magic, Orcs, plenty of sharp weapons, and paragon points to be earned. This magical world complimented, rather than contradicting, the science fiction tone of the larger story. I don’t always enjoy scifi and fantasy melding, but in this case it was done very well. The story had a good mix of characters, both male and female characters having crucial roles to the plot. Plus we had a range of ethnicity and ages. Definite plus!
My one criticism lies in the use of radiation poisoning to be the initial driver of the plot. I did radiological work for several years, dressing in yellow Tyvek, full-face respirator, nasal swabs, etc. To make it very simple, you either have a radiation source emitting radiation or you have radioactive particles that you have ingested or inhaled. For the first, you put shielding between you and it and you should be good. Shielding can be lead, several meters of earth, etc. And compound A-3 had all that in place between it and the surface of the contaminated Earth. The story didn’t really mention the possibility of the population all repeatedly inhaling, imbibing, or ingesting radioactive particles. Basic HEPA filters would take care of this problem and would be the first solution for signs of radiation poisoning. Also, with enough radiation to be causing prolonged radiation sickness over generations, then we would see the electronics failing left, right, and center. Electronics do not hold up well in the glow of radiation. At the best, they get buggy and stay that way. In this tale, we have a lot of cool tech and all of it was working just fine, showing no signs of electronic wear due to prolonged exposure to radiation.
But if I wasn’t such a know it all, the radiation threat would probably work just fine. Over all, I enjoyed the tale and the multiple plot lines. I really want to know what is in that big cavern pool of water! I want to know what happens to Sethra and his friends in the virtual world of Kyrathaba. There are enemies every where it seems, human, alien, and potentially something else. Indeed, there is plenty of worth in this book to propel the reader into the next installment.
The Narration: Padovan did a decent job of narrating. Her characters were each distinct. In fact, she did most of the book with a geek accent which was well suited to many of the characters as they were half raised by their computer implants. Her male voices could use a bit more masculinity, but that is my only negative comment.
"Excellent story and narration!"
In some ways, yes - it takes a lot of the techno speak and makes it very entertaining, but on the other hand, you have to follow the audio carefully to get the gist of what some characters are saying. This is definitely a story I would like to see Whispersync-ed and be able to follow along with the print version.
There are a lot of great characters in this story, but a few who stood out were Sethra Slatten, the lead character and Grant Thompson - I enjoyed their sense of humor when battling the aliens. Their geekiness was always cool :-)
Administrator Mephord and the aliens Svareneketchmakull and Dukensenmatchlofel get honorable mention.
The halfway point in Chapter 13 when the alien Dukensenmatchlofel lands on Mt. Everest had me laughing throughout the rest of the chapter - for a debut novel, the author did a great job putting humor throughout this post-apocalyptic story.
I like how the author created a completely new paradigm - it wasn't a straight forward aliens versus humans story - there were several subplots that kept the story intriguing to the end.
Definitely will get the next in the series - I want to know what happens next!
"Within the book one is faced with two worlds"
Kyrathaba Rising is a post-apocalyptic world in the 2200’s and which aliens, robots and humans reside. Discovering unstableness and treachery, the humans and androids break into two fractions. One small group of four travels into a parallel world that is virtual in a sense and filled with magic, kings, orcs and such. The other fraction, a much larger group explores going deeper into the underground system they have been forced to live in since the war of human vs alien seven years prior.
Within the book one is faced with two worlds, both fighting for the same right to life and freedom from alien domination. The aliens remain above in a space ship, waiting, patiently.
I found Kyrathaba Rising to be a book one cannot listen to in bits and pieces, rather one must devote longer periods of time because it is very technical in the first 30 minutes. A hardcore science novel, it is very richly devoted to details that creates a clear understanding of what is going on and establishes character development.
It was interesting to experience the mash-up of hardcore science and fantasy, creating a connection where one would not normally see it. The plot development and character development were well executed.
The narrator, Christine Padovan did a good job of narrating. If one listened closely one could distinguish the humans from the androids because the androids spoke with the ending of their words being drawn out.
Production was good as there were no issues and no distracting background noises.
I would highly recommend this to anyone who is a hardcore science fan.
Audiobook provided for review by the narrator.
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"An Entertaining Blend of Scifi and Fantasy"
Miller created a setting that should, by all accounts, be completely bleak and oppressive. Humanity's numbers are dwindling, there's an alien threat looming, and A-3, the small pocket of environment that the humans are sheltering in is becoming increasingly unstable.
Kyrathaba Rising is a hard book to summarize so readers will know what to expect. Be prepared for the story and setting to change drastically as chapters unfold, and if you think you know where the plot is going, you may find yourself surprised.
The characters are, for the most part, distinctive and likable and I'm looking forward to seeing how their stories turn out. I plan on continuing with this series and recommend to it anyone who enjoys both scifi and fantasy stories.
I'm a little wary to criticize Christine Padovan's reading performance, because I could never do what she does. She does multiple voices just fine, and I think her voice is professional and clear. However, she tends to draw out the ending of all of her sentences in an odd and incredibly distracting way, like she was reading sing-songish poetry. I saw a couple other readers/listeners complain about this and their reviews were mercilessly voted as unhelpful, but I feel like their complaints were valid. Putting the setting at 1.5x speed did seem to help a little, but I feel like it took away from the listening experience overall.
--I received a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.--
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