It was supposed to be an easy job: find the Dark Star Revolution Starships, destroy them, and go home. But a booby-trapped vessel decimates the Meridian Alliance fleet, leaving Serengeti - a Valkyrie class warship with a sentient AI brain - on her own, wrecked and abandoned in an empty expanse of space. On the edge of total failure, Serengeti thinks only of her crew. She herds the survivors into a lifeboat, intending to sling them into space. But the escape pod sticks in her belly, locking the cryogenically frozen crew inside. Then a scavenger ship arrives to pick Serengeti's bones clean. Her engine's dead, her guns long silenced; Serengeti and her last two robots must find a way to fight the scavengers off and save the crew trapped inside her.
©2016 J. B. Rockwell (P)2016 Tantor
Yes, I would recommend to a friend, it was a refreshing storey line to listen to, I hope that there will be a follow on book.
It was the ship AI's and maintenance drone/bots that were the main characters.
I don't think someone else could have played the part, the warmth and feeling came through right to the end.
No, just a satisfied feeling that the fleet came back looking for Serengeti.
I hope that there will be other stories about Serengeti in the near future.
"A fun read Ta Da"
This is a different and interesting story. Serengeti is a Valkyrie class Warship with a sentient AI brain. The AI ships are special. Their personality depends on the kind of spaceship they are in. They have complete authority over the captain.
Serengeti belongs to the Meridian Alliance fleet and they are at war with the Dark Star Revolution fleet. The two fleets have a battle and Serengeti is badly damaged and is on the edge of total failure. She was unable to evacuate her human cryogenically frozen crew and send a distress signal. Scavengers board the ship and Serengeti and her two robots must fight them off and save the ship and crew.
Rockwell made the AI and robots very humanized almost too much so. Had the feeling this book was written for young people. I had to suspend belief a few times but overall it was a fun book and a bit different from the usual space operas. The book was well written and the robots were cute. The book dragged a bit in the middle of the book.
Wiley does a good job narrating the book particularly between Serengeti and her robots. Wiley is an actress and an award winning audiobook narrator.
"Endearing Space Opera"
This book was not what I expected but charming and worth the listen. Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book (audiobook version) in exchange for an honest review.
Serengeti, by J.B. Rockwell, opens with an epic battle, armada against rebel armada. After the first fifty pages (nearly an hour of the audiobook), I realized the pace was diverging from what I've come to expect with such a scene and genre. Rockwell takes her time in unfurling the relationships between the human crew and AI crew of the Valkyrie class starship Serengeti, and an interesting dynamic guides these relationships. In Rockwell’s universe the AI are in charge while remaining humbly indebted to their human creators. AI minds are master’s of their own fates while still harboring human crews inside their starship hulls.
The story is not a military sci-fi at all. Instead it becomes quite the AI drama. Without spoiling the story, I'll simply say that Serengeti herself is the central focus. This much should be obvious by the title, but the reader could easily start off by thinking of "Serengeti" as "Enterprise." This is not at all the case.
Serengeti is a stark and slow-blossoming story featuring moments that made me laugh and a couple that brought me to the verge of tears. Rockwell's strengths are the intimate, small-scale moments. She seems to recognize this. Even the epic battle at the beginning of the story is broken down and parsed out amidst continuously developing relationships and growing tension.
A couple of times I was jolted from the story when plot elements made me furrow my brows. Once, Serengeti overlooked an important aspect of her own schematic. For a super AI this struck me as convenient for the overall plot. And a few phrases were overused. Perhaps these stood out more due to hearing the story rather than reading it.
But these are small complaints for a story that I rather enjoyed. The audio performance was excellent as well. As all good books should, Serengeti left me asking a handful of deeper questions: What is intelligence? Organic? Artificial? Can the two be bridged? What of morality? What of life? Is there a universal created order/pattern that will emerge within all intelligence if given time? Or will the things humans create always gravitate toward human characteristics—imitation being the sincerest form of flattery? Thoughtful questions from a well-told story.
Serengeti is by far the most important and impactful character. TIG and her human captain are also portrayed nicely.
I indeed laughed a few times and almost cried once.
So much action and emotion. Unlike AI characters in other books, I actually cared what was going to happen to Serengeti. Also enjoyed the range of depth in the story, from massive space battles down to the intimate struggle to survive.
"Just say no..."
I love sci-fi. But this was like a cross between the more annoying robots of star wars and WALL-E.
I kept listening and waiting for something to happen. It never did.
"I haven't loved a book like this in years."
This isn't the story of Space Marines. This isn't a story of human verses aliens. This is a story of a the wreck of Serengeti. A proud and distinguished Valkyrie class warship and her duty to her crew.
Follow Serengeti and her Herculean efforts to save what is left of her crew. Stuck in Cryogenic hibernation. Through power droughts. Invading scavengers and her own slowly devolving physical structure. Nothing will stand in her way of saving her crew. She has her exceptional wits and the hands of two small repair droids fending off entropy and working to save the crew.
The narrator brought Serengeti to life. She was brilliant and I will look into other books she might have narrated. If you like SciFi I highly suggest trying Serengeti for the off beat and generous story the author has weaved for our entertainment.
"Welcome to the Crew of Serengeti!"
Who would have guessed that a book mainly about a ship and some robots could be so fantastically captivating?! I wish Serengeti was a series. The narrator does great voices for each character and the author did a wonderful job of giving each artificial intelligence a full, rich personality. I cannot recommend this book enough!
Now, off to try more J.B. Rockwell books!
Having read this book. I loved hearing the voices!! It made it all the more wow for me!
A most definite book to have in your library in any form!
Great book. I was almost in tears at the end! Worth the price of admission
As a disclaimer, I was only able to get through five hours of this book before I realized I wasn't invested in a single character and I was still waiting for any kind of significant action to take place. I popped over to look over the reviews for this book and realized the story was going to continue to go nowhere until the very end. Well that did it for me and this title has become only one of three books I've ever not finished. I can say the writing is well put together and the narration is as good as any other book. The story is just incapable of grabbing the reader in any significant way an would be a tough 10 hours to sit through.
If you are looking for a more captivating space opera, check out Ryk Brown's "The Frontier Saga" or Jack Campbell's "Lost Fleet."
I'm glad I had a long trip in the car when I purchased Serengeti, because I couldn't stop listening to it.It took me a little while to get adjusted to Elizabeth Wiley's voice, but once I got about 15 min in, I could see why they went with a female narrator.
The author did a great job, this is one of my top 5 Sci-Fi books that I have listened to so far! I can't wait for the 2nd book in the series (I hope there is one). J. B. Rockwell you ROCK, keep them coming...
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