An SF fable for the young-at-heart from stand-up comedian and satirical song-writer Mitch Benn.
No-one trusts humanity. No-one can quite understand why we're intent on destroying the only place we have to live in the Universe. No-one thinks we're worth a second thought. And certainly no-one is about to let us get off Rrth. That would be a complete disaster.
But one alien thinks Rrth is worth looking at. Not humanity, obviously, we're appalling, but until we manage to kill every other living thing on the planet there are some truly wonderful places on Rrth and some wonderful creatures living in them. Best take a look while they're still there.
But on one trip to Rrth our alien biologist causes a horrendous accident. The occupants of a car traveling down a lonely road spot his ship (the sort of massive lemon coloured, lemon shaped starship that really shouldn't be hanging in the sky over a road). Understandably the Bradbury's crash (interrupting the latest in a constant procession of bitter rows). And in the wreckage of their car our alien discovers a baby girl. She needs rescuing. From the car. From Rrth. From her humanity.
And now eleven years later a girl called Terra is about to go to school for the first time. It's a very alien experience...
Terra is a charming and hilarious satirical fable. A story about how odd and alien we are. And a story about how human odd aliens are. It tells the story of a girl who grows up in a very different world, who gains a unique perspective on our world and a unique perspective on her new home. A girl who can teach us and them a lot. A girl living in an extraordinary world that is spiraling into a terrible war.
©2013 Mitch Benn (P)2013 Orion Publishing Group
Mitch Benn's reading brought even more warmth and humour to the story than the words on the printed page.
Haha, no spoilers, can't tell you. But some of the nods to Douglas Adams' writing raised a smile.
The more obvious 'character' parts, precocious Fthfth, accident-prone Pktk and officious Vstj, add colour to the tale, but the warmth between Terra and Lbbp was beautifully portrayed and, for me, where the performance stood out as more than just a 'reading'.
I had to break my listening into about three sessions, but each time I was impatient to come back to it.
This is a heartwarming story in a similar vein to E. T. and would be a great introduction to sci-fi for a younger audience. Existing fans of the genre and geeks in general will enjoy that the 'sci' in this sci-fi hasn't been sidestepped or excessively dumbed-down.
Highly, highly recommended.
Terra is an engaging story, with engaging characters, set in an engaging universe. I listened right through in just a couple of sittings, and enjoyed it thoroughly. However, (you were expecting a ‘however’, weren’t you?) I did find the language and plot to be aimed at a much younger audience. If you have a 12 year old sci-fi obsessed daughter, she will love it.
Mitch Benn (as you can expect from an accomplished musical stand-up) is expressive and . . can I say ‘engaging’ again? He is more than capable of expressing the many, varying characters in his story through use of different voices and intonations, and has that kind of quirky edge to his voice that keeps a listener interested throughout.
Thoroughly enjoyed Terra. It's a clever story building on some classic ideas from the science fiction genre but producing something fresh and clever at the end...
Can't wait for book 2!
Had not expected a children's book, but the child at heart took to it quickly and enjoyed this alien romp through the meaning of inclusion and exclusion and a lot more else. Better ask the children if I can have the sequel (before they do!).
I really enjoyed this audio book. It has a strong original story and the narration is first rate. I look forward to Mitch Benn's next book following the fortunes of Terra. Highly recommended.
Yes, I sat through the entire thing in 2 sittings, on the out and back legs of a long drive and this audiobook made great company. It's a lovely story, told with genuine warmth and humour and with a smattering of very interesting "what if" sci fi.
Too spoilerific to recount the best bits, but I loved the idea of the parents who argued so much they couldn't even agree on a name for their daughter!
He clearly has a great love for his characters and knows exactly how he wants them to sound. He invests them all with great cartoonish inflections so you always know whose talking without needing to be told.
Both, well I laughed a lot and very nearly cried on several occasions.
Mitch Benn is a particularly engaging narrator of his book. His roots in radio performance and music are obvious and welcome.
Very much looking forward to listening to the sequel to this book.
Only took a couple of sittings, was a nicely focused story without the bloated feel of some of its contempories.
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.
This is the multi-talented Mitch Benn's first novel and, as I'm already a big fan of his satirical songwriting, I was delighted - if not all that surprised - to discover that he's a published author too. And then to see that he's following in the footsteps of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett and using Science Fiction as his medium - my cup of joy did overflow!
Terra is fun and funny, with heart and depth too, but it does feel like a first novel and its simplicity is probably its weakest point: it is quite predictable. However, I can't imagine where Mr. Benn will take us next, but wherever it is, it's gonna be fun!
Mitch Benn proves himself to be an able writer and narrator but this is really a children's book, I'm not even convinced this makes it into the young adult category. Its well written children's fiction but a little trying for an adult audience and this isn't made clear from the write up or the other reviews here. However, if you like works such as Harry Potter or I Am Number Four, then ignore this review - you'll probably also enjoy Terra.
The comparisons with pratchet et all are apt. A beautiful story that I just wanted to hear to the end. I would have liked to see the conclusion of the battle scene handled slightly better but I am really looking forward to the next book.. Particularly enjoyed the star trek references.
lobr......... (can't even type it)'s self sacrifice.
The pronunciations of the peoples names - how does he get them so consistent?
alone in a world that is starting to care.
Brilliant reading. Highly recommended for adults and young teens alike.
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