The second book in the bestselling Atopia series.
Cast out from Atopia, Robert Baxter undertakes a globe-trotting quest to find his friend Willy's lost body, which just may hold the key to understanding the dangers facing his home...and Jimmy Scadden's role in the disasters that are spreading across the world.
As Robert pieces together the puzzle, he realizes that mankind's ravenous consumption of natural resources is no longer the most immediate threat to this world. As full-scale global war erupts and an ancient apocalyptic threat resurfaces, Robert must risk losing the ones he loves to save the planet from destruction.
©2014 Matthew Mather (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved
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"Well worth a listen, despite flaws"
The second book in the Atopia series is all about Bob and his friends going on a quest to find Willy's body. Meanwhile, the entire world is close to destruction and only these guys can stop it.
This book has a lot of great action. The scale is truly global and it throws up surprises the whole way. It continues to explore all kinds of great ideas with virtual reality, neural networks, etc. Bob, Sid, and Vince go on a global journey not only to find Willy's body, but to learn the truth about Jimmy, Atopia, and the forces working to destroy everything. The ending was quite unexpected..the author really took a chance with it.
There were some things I didn't like. The book has an anti-religious tone, especially Christianity. Also, I felt that many things in the book were not adequately explained. Some things were even explained, with the reader being told later that the explanation was wrong, but yet no alternative was given. Many of the things in the book didn't make a lot of sense if you looked deeper, and the epilogue was extremely confusing.
Despite the issues with the book, I found it overall to be very entertaining and interesting, and well worth the read. I sincerely enjoyed it.
I listened to the audible version of the book, and I found it very well produced. The narrator does a wonderful job reading and also doing all of the various voices in the novel.
NOTE: I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
"Further down the rabbit hole"
The first Atopia chronicles drew quite a bit of likeness to the Wool series by Hugh Howey, mostly due to its narrative structure and ebook distribution as a series of short stories following separate characters to be stitched together to form a larger novel. Beyond that, subject and writing style, the comparisons mostly draw to a close.
Dystopia Chronicles abandons the previous format for a full fledged novel, with much more fluid transitions between its characters and picks up immediately after the Atopia Chronicles, with Bob and the gang of Atopian castaways left to find Cid's missing body and hopefully stop a conflict between technocractic micro-nations.
The meandering story jumps from an exposition of "What if..." into a labyrinth of pseudo-religion, secret societies and so forth, some of which works and some of which doesn't. Despite the avalanche of ideas and sophisticated tech presented in the first book, it was easy in enough to comprehend. The second feels a little more dissonant, I found myself relistening to a few segments of the book (perhaps I needed a refresher). For example: early in the book Bob has an interaction in a small town that leads to a man brandishing a gun at him. I found myself bouncing back, thinking "How did we get here?". Sometimes a little more pretext or background was needed as Mather seems eager to "just get on with it" more often than not.
The conclusion is underwhelming and felt a bit like a cop-out. I'm sure it'll be divisive: some loving it and some hating it. Overall, I enjoyed the first book more but found myself becoming more distracted with The Dystopia Chronicles. It was enjoyable but lacked the deftness that I felt the first book had.
The ending seems pretty finite, so I'm expecting we won't see any more in the Atopia series. If for some reason Mathew picks it back up, I may skip.
"A few downsides but all in all it was a good read"
I loved Atopia and could not wait to get my hands onto this one! Matthew Mayer just has a way of bringing the reader into this fantastical world that he has imagined. But the scary thing? Not only can I imagine it for fiction, I can actually see this happening in our future!
I recommend reading the Atopia Chronicles before delving into this one. He brings back quite a few of the people that we met in Atopia and their background stories are important to what happens to the plot in this one.
In Atopia Chronicles the narration jumps from one character to another and you’re not sure where you’re standing with each character until close to the end of the stories. This one is much more stream lined and due to that I think it was a better read. Instead of being a little choppy it flowed quite well. This does start RIGHT where Atopia Chronicles left off too, leaving the questions that were left at the end to be answered! I love when an author does not skip portions. It has been a little while since I read the first but I was able to immediately fall into this story. There are just enough reminders to help that transition be very smooth.
The only thing I question is how the story progresses. Even without being as choppy as the first with narration at times I had to move backward to be able to figure out where I was. Or re-listen to a portion to ensure I got the entire story right. This also may have something to do with the fact that this is getting into some serious science fiction, which is definitely not my normal genre!
Over all I thought the narration by Nick Poedhl was done very well. The audio was very clean and easy to stay with, minus the few story portions where I got lost! I absolutely love when a narrator takes time to really tell the story. This includes adding pauses. I can get lost when the pauses are not done correctly but Nick Poedhl did a fantastic job reading this and the voices were pretty easy to tell apart.
In short: A few downsides but all in all it was a good read. I loved listening to this one even with the few times I had to look back.
Audiobook purchased for review by ABR.
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"wow, mind bending awesome for the 21st century."
This story takes you on a journey threw what a synthetic reality could be like if we could tap into the human brain.
I kept waiting for the climax, but it just fizzled. The ending the author chose ruined both books for me. I'm disappointed, I feel like I wasted my time.
"Fascinating, techno-philosophical, Clever ride"
I rank this book pretty high up there!
Hard to say who's my favorite character, might be All the Sci-kids and Vince too.
Again, difficult to say here which was my favorite because no ONE character stands alone. I like Bob, Sid and Vicious, Vince. I guess I'd have to say Nick Podehl is one of my favorite narrators/actors but honestly, I'm not so keen on his female characters. He does their voices in a way, that sounds NOTHING like a real female.
a bunch of moments that moved me. There are a lot of exciting and thoughtful moments in this book. I may need to audiobook it one more time.
"A little too deep"
I loved book 1 and book to was good as well but it got very metaphysical and very deep. It's almost as if it was calling out for a book three but it doesn't sound like there's going to be one.
"Meta.. Very meta"
Going to listen to these two books several more times to make sure u get it all
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