A vast conflict, one that has encompassed hundreds of worlds and solar systems, appears to be finally at an end. A conscripted soldier is beginning to consider her life after the war and the family she has left behind. But for Scur - and for humanity - peace is not to be.
On the brink of the ceasefire, Scur is captured by a renegade war criminal and left for dead in the ruins of a bunker. She revives aboard a prisoner transport vessel. Something has gone terribly wrong with the ship.
Passengers - combatants from both sides of the war - are waking up from hibernation far too soon. Their memories, embedded in bullets, are the only links to a world that is no longer recognizable. And Scur will be reacquainted with her old enemy but with much higher stakes than just her own life.
©2015 Alastair Reynolds (P)2015 Tantor
"A fine example of the true science fictionist's art." (Michael Bishop, author of A Funeral for the Eyes of Fire)
Cannot penetrate this book at all due to horrible intonation in narrators voice - every sentence is pronounced identically with the same odd inflection at the end like she's telling me where the next train to arrive at platform 1 is going. I'm no longer hearing the words just gritting my teeth for the end of the next line... Sorry j think I'll read this one!!! Love Reynolds and it was grudging to use a precious credit on only 4hours of listening - I'll get a refund for sure.
I do like the books of Alastair Reynolds but in this case, whilst the story premise was okay, nothing really happens. Even to describe this as a short story is being generous.
A reader of science fiction and other speculative musings for more than 40 years, I'm most fond of the grand themes found in space opera.
Reynolds is a really good story teller and he makes the most of an interesting situation in this short story. Unfortunately, the narrator, Susan Duerden was not to my taste. She is, apparently, an accomplished actress, but in this instance contrives to adopt a vocal style reminiscent of a particular BBC anchor, who segues programmes with an awful, home counties, posh-voice that has a peculiar downward vocal inflection on the last syllable of every sentence. It's irritating, frankly.
The opening when the protagonists meet.
By ensuring the actress wasn't so irritating.
This is the first time I have been moved to criticise a Reynolds offering. I've enjoyed every one, but this one so far. The two outstanding reasons were the narrator and the length of the story, but it also has to be said this had the feeling of something written in a hurry, with shallow characters and a fairly linear plot. Having said that, Reynolds does manage to extract the maximum out of a static situation, but I'm sure he could have made a longer story if he had bothered to make his characters a little more interesting. Also, he could have developed the various strands of the story that were glossed over in the final chapter. The story idea is a good one, the implementation not so much and the narration just not for me.
AR writes a good story and this was OK - not his best, but it was fine for a short story. Unfortunately, a reasonable story was let down badly by the breathy reader. I like to hear female voices when I am listening to a story more than listening to a man, but SD was so breathy and liked to narrate as if she were commentating on a Reality Program, every sentence laboured out and ending in a downward note. Someone let her know - this is not the right intonation for story telling. She read the odd sentence quite well, so I know she can do it. The producer must have been sleeping during the whole thing. Well back to the story - it was kind of out of date, sort of 1950s in style. It lacked real purpose and sharpness, but in the end - I would not send it back. Lets have some more of your good stuff AR!!!
"A great story ruined by narration."
Another great AR story, seemingly set in a new universe or in Revelation Space some time after the Wolves or a similar culture have shepherded humanity through the great collision.
Really nice story with all the typical scifi elements and AR twists.
Narrator is terrible. Her voice goes up at the end of every sentence, as if surprised. Had to listen at 2X to make it tolerable. Too bad, because I'd like to experience the tale again.
"Short Story disguised as a novel."
I must admit I purchased the book on the weight of the author's name alone ... and I paid for it. I believe I have listened to everything published by Alistair Reynolds and just as the story beings, it ends. My bad but 4 hrs is barely an introduction to most novels. I'll look more closely next time but seems to me Audible is marketing more and more relatively short audio books and charging full price (a full credit for those who subscribe). Don't want to publish the voice artist but like I said - 4 hrs - really?
Not a 4 hr "audio book" I'll tell you that.
That's just it. The "book" laid out several directions in which it could go but when you got there - nothing - it just moved on. I think the best description of the plot would be "shallow" as it had no depth and no real character development.
It seemed to be an intro to an actual novel. Then it ended.
Seems like this may have been a contractual requirement to produce a book and he did just that.
Horrible narrator, talks like she is announcing something at the local supermarket calling system. Recommend you buy the book instead.
"Great novel but.."
Is the woman read this a robot? because she sounds like one. she puts a wierd inflection on the end of every sentence
"A bit disappointing"
Story is somewhat implausible, narrator is annoying with repetitive tones at times. I enjoyed his earlier books much more than this one.
"Fingernails on a Blackboard"
The audible narrator has a repetitious technique with almost every sentence sounding like any other.. I find this unlistenable and gave up about 15 minutes in. I can't really comment on the story, though I generally very much enjoy Reynolds' work. Too bad I can't abide this narration.
"Narrator ruins this title"
I love Alastair Reynolds' novels, but I was unable to complete this audiobook due to the narrators very narrations style.
"Seems like part of a greater world"
The story is just ok, it seems like, and may well be, part of a greater story but as a stand alone book it was a lot about nothing.
I had a lot of problems with the narrator who seemed like she was reading a list. Each sentence exactly the same tone. I found it to distracting. I never usually care about the narrator but this is the first book I have ever had real problems with in listening. Although it's great to hear a woman narrator her performance was robotic.
Monotone narration matches a surprisingly unsatisfying Reynolds piece. Nice setting, unconvincing characters, predictable twists. Looking forward to longer, better more insightful works in the future.
"Interesting short story a little let down by narration"
I love Alastair Reynolds' work so I was willing to pay a credit for a story only four hours long.
The story itself is worth the credit, with interesting ideas and characters. But the narration is grating: every sentence ends in the same drop in pitch. With a little more variety in tone it would have been much more engaging.
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