First contact: the dream that became a nightmare when the first alien life encountered swarmed locust-like through the solar system. Merciless. Relentless. Unstoppable.
With little hope of halting the invading forces, Earth's last, desperate roll of the die was to send out three colony ships - seeds of Earth - to different parts of the galaxy. Earth may perish, but the human race would live on, somewhere.
Fully 150 years later, the human colony on the planet Darien has established a new world for humanity and forged a peaceful relationship with the planet's indigenous race, the gentle, scholarly Uvovo. But there are secrets buried on Darien. Life is about to change for the last children of Earth, as surprises spring from below and above. How will the Darien colonists react when all they have worked for is overturned at a stroke? And what choices will the Uvovo make when their true nature is revealed - and the skies grow dark with enemies?
From the author: "Audible did a great job with the audiobooks of Seeds Of Earth and The Orphaned Worlds - and David Thorpe is one versatile guy, able to lend his vocal talents to every strange character I was able to think up. Just excellent!"
©2010 Michael Cobley (P)2011 Audible Ltd
"Proper galaxy-spanning Space Opera... a worthy addition to the genre." (Iain M. Banks)
"A complex, finely detailed thriller-cum-space opera." (The Guardian)
Full Disclosure: I work for Audible.
The narration for this book is just absolutely amazing. The reader has an unbelievable facility with accents and voices. That works especially well for this book, where the premise is that earth has been overrun by aliens, and ships have been sent out--the 'seeds of earth'--to preserve humanity. Just a fantastic story, and one that's really brought to life by the talents of the reader here.
I'm a singing songwriting postie living in Yorkshire. Sometimes I like to be challenged by a book, and sometimes I just want to lose myself.
I really enjoyed this audiobook. It was extremely well read by David Thorpe who brought the vast range of characters to life. The book itself would be well suited for a younger reader I think (I'm 37 but still in touch with my 16 year old self) as against other current Space Operas The Seeds of Earth feels a bit tame; it lacks the visceral brutality of Neal Asher or the scathing wit of Iain M. Banks but the universe(s) are well realised and the politics, drama and science are quite satisfyingly complex. In short, even though I wouldn't claim this as a classic, I'll be carrying on the series (in audiobook form) because whatever it may lack it's still a lot of fun.
Once again a story picked up via a recommendation by Audible, in fact for the 3rd book of this trilogy - The Ascendent Stars, has lead me to a story and an author I'd probably never have picked up (whilst a Sci-Fi fan my life is too busy to keep a finger on the pulse). I have to say that David Thorpe is an even better than Michael Page who so excellently read Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora and Red Seas Under Red Skies.
The way the story unfolds is such that I just can't bear to go into too much detail over the story as you don't want any spoliers. However it can be said that all the characters are belivable and the main ones (excepting the Sendrucan Ambassador - boo, hiss!) I was rooting for from a couple of sentences in. I like the way Cobley structures the books with each episode telling the wider story by way of what is affecting an individual character, whose name is the chapter title.
My only cautionary comment is that by the third book there are so many characters and layers of story that you really need to pay attention - on several occasions had to rewind way, particularly when listening in the car and distracted by that dratted traffic!
A decent enough sci-fi yarn. The story may not win any awards for innovation, but it's very well paced and quite entertaining. The characters, while definitely not as complex or multi-facetted as those of Iain Banks, are also rather enoyable.
I need to mention the narrator. It's true that his work with accents feels a bit artifical, but I think that's forgivable, considering that he manages to give almost every character in the book (and there's plenty) a distinct, recognisable voice and infuses every scene with the appropriate emotions and excitement.
Mr. Thorpe's work on this book was reason enough for me to take a look at his other work on Audible.
One last thing: This is definitely not a stand-alone novel. While some plot points are resolved, it is very much a beginning. Things are put in motion and events are set up for future books.
Better editing. Plus tighter plot. Avoid racial stereotyping which I think many Russian, Chinese and some Scottish listeners may find offensive.
The author has an "irritating annoying" tendency to use double verbs at any opportunity. This has a role to play when used for effect sparingly to create atmosphere but gets plain infuriating when used at any opportunity. I am sure it is not but it seems that way due to the high frequency of its use.
The new Peter F Hamilton book or the new Richard K Morgan book.
He does a good job giving a depth of character that is lacking in the prose.
There are too many to mention. Unfortunately I have listened to the entire trilogy and can see a great deal of irrelevances and padding in the story.
I bought the entire trilogy of which this is the first before completion of the first book. I have read and enjoyed worse when I was young and new to Science Fiction so can see why this will be okay listen for some. But once used to the quality storytelling of Iain Banks, Peter Hamilton and Richard Morgan you raise your expectations.
I found after the first book I really could not care about the fate of many of the characters.
I usually listen to the books only when I am on the exercise bicycle or going jogging. This motivates me to do the exercise as I want to know what happens next. Sadly with this trilogy I have put on a lot of weight due to a reduced exercise programme.
If you are new to Science Fiction you may enjoy this if you can put up with the prose style and lack of depth of characterisation . If you are not new to science fiction then there is nothing new for you in this or the following books.
The missing link to this inventiveness was the need to engage the reader; I simply lost interest and ditched it during part 2, appalled that it was going to go on and on.......
The reader makes a valiant effort. The book isn't bad, nor is it good. So what's wrong? It's a fairly strong story line and some of the characters are nicely drawn. Yet, overall it doesn't work. I think the reason is probably because the author set out to write a multi-book series. This book needed a good editor to cut it down and turn it into the tightly written, exciting book it could have been.
if you need to know what shirt button he got done up , enjoy endless description of things that really do not need you might like this. I think that he had so little story that he feels the need to pad it out so it looks like an epic.
David Thorpe's characterisation is excellent and nearly worth listening to just for that! But as others have said, the story does jump around a bit, there are lots of alien races and names that you feel you need to track. But some just pop in to add depth and disappear again, others hang around for longer. My advice is to sit back and enjoy the story. Don't worry about all the smaller detail as it does settle and the main threads are strong and interesting. I've just downloaded the second book now but when I first started on book 1 I couldn't image I would.
"Just plain BAD"
Fragmented, juvenile, unbearable, and just plain BAD. The performance was childish, I could not finish listening in any way.
"A fun ride"
Without doubt space opera in the grandest tradition of the genre. Michael Cobley has created layered, textual imagery that is vastly entertaining and I am eagery awaiting the next installment which audible will hopefully make available soon. The only reason I gave it four stars is because the reader used some very annoying accents and voices that detracted from the story, including one that sounded so much like Alec Guinness in Star Wars I kept waiting for him to tell one of the other characters to "Feel the Force". In addition, some of the Scot's brogue he used was so thick I had to rewind it to make out what was said. Minor annoyances aside though, it was a huge fun and well worth the credit
"A fun ride ??????????"
A fun ride...NOT ! The only thing entertaining about this book is the ability of the reader to use the various accents to perfection...which is why I give it the single star. Based on the previous review I stuck to this book waiting for an entertaining story that never developed. I'll be avoiding the sequel like the plague.
Try to listen to the sample before you waste your credit here. This is one of the worst written books I have come across in years. There are just so many characters and he jumps from one to the other before you gain any emotional attachment to the character.
He jumped so much from one scene to the next that I found myself thinking about other things and not even caring what I missed.
The only amazing thing about this book is how the narrator manages to work with so many different voices. Even that gets bad because some of the accents are so intense that you just can not understand what is being said. Many of the characters in this book have a very strong Irish or Scottish accent that makes it nearly impossible for the rest of us to follow.
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