Ten thousand years ago, a single alien super-ship survived a desperate battle. The vessel's dying crew set the AI on automatic to defend the smashed rubble of their planet. Legend has it the faithful ship continues to patrol the empty battlefield, obeying its last order throughout the lonely centuries.
In the here and now, Earth needs a miracle. Out of the Beyond invade the New Men, stronger, faster and smarter than the old. Their superior warships and advanced technology destroy every fleet sent to stop them. Their spies have infiltrated the government and traitors plague Earth's military.
Captain Maddox of Star Watch Intelligence wonders if the ancient legend could be true. Would such an old starship be able to face the technology of the New Men? On the run from killers, Maddox searches for a group of talented misfits. He seeks Keith Maker, a drunken ex-strikefighter ace, Doctor Dana Rich the clone thief stuck on a prison planet and Lieutenant Valerie Noonan, the only person to have faced the New Men in battle and survived to tell about it.
Maddox has to find a place hidden in the Beyond and bring back a ship no one can enter. If he fails, the New Men will replace the old. If he succeeds, humanity might just have a fighting chance...
©2014 Vaughn Heppner (P)2014 Vaughn Heppner
The story was fine, an old fashioned action movie with all the usual aspects you would expect. The narration however was at times truly appalling, especially the attempt at a Scottish accent. The character variously sounded Russian, Indian, Scouse, Brummie, Irish and a whole variety of others but never ever a Glaswegian. It was embarrassing and truly cringe worthy.
This audiobook is the worst I have purchased, plot is thin for sci fi space opera, narration poor with the infamous Glaswegian accent.
Seems like it must be a spoof.
Failure on behalf of audible editorial team how on earth did it get in the catalogue?
Got about half way through this book before calling it quits
Weak story but could have got through it if the performance was better. This guy can't do a Scottish accent its cringeworthy like dick van dyke in Mary poppins
OK, so I’ve got to address the elephant in the room. If you’ve read almost any of the other reviews you’ll have heard mention of The Accent. One of the characters is allegedly Scottish, although the way that the narrator tackles the accent you could actually believe he’s from anywhere in the world. Or perhaps everywhere all at once. It doesn’t just vary from sentence to sentence. I swear in one sentence he managed to hit four different accents. And it only had three words. Sorry, but it really is that poor. It’s positively distracting whenever that character is around, which unfortunately is for most of the book.
For those of a certain age who can remember this far back (or those who like classic movies) it’s essentially The Dirty Dozen in space. Well, maybe on a budget since it’s more like The Dirty Quintet, but that didn’t have the same ring to it. Essentially humanity has once again got itself in to trouble and is about to be wiped out (that’s about the 14th time this year already. Perhaps I should stop reading so much sci fi). New, stronger versions of humanity called the New Men are invading. We have a slightly weaker version of them in Captain Maddox (if the New Men are version 2, he's version 1 service pack 1) who must round up a group of belligerent people who really don’t want to be together and try to save the day by finding ancient technology. All whilst trying to figure out what accent the “Scottish” guy has slipped into now. Talk about a challenge.
I really wanted to like this book. In particular, the concept of an ancient ship left with only an AI to run it felt like it had great potential, but in practice that whole piece was just a massively missed opportunity. Even the New Men, though physically strong, were emotionally weak and ultimately served as little more than throw jibes at the protagonists.
So, it’s not a terrible book, but there’s nothing all that novel about it. The pacing is also somewhat patchy. There are big action pieces that are actually quite entertaining, but then the action slows to a crawl for too long and very little happens. There isn’t really enough mystery to hold your attention for long listening sessions, and the characters are all somewhat bland and interchangeable with obvious flaws that they have to overcome.
And oh my, that accent...
Someone with too much time on their hands. Perhaps someone in prison who deserves punishment.
The start, the premise, the middle and the end. The bits in between were disappointing as well.
There is nothing more painful than hearing an American actor fail badly at attempting a Glaswegian accent. It varied between South African, Australian and German.
It didn't help that the narrator had the tone and delivery of an accountant presenting a financial report.
Denial - surely this book can't be that bad despite the opening chapter
Bargaining - if I keep reading it will get better.
Anger - why did I pay for this book??
Depression - listening now out of sheer apathy and misery
Acceptance - the book is finally over and was disappointing. But now I know to avoid future works by this author.
This will be 13 hours of your life you won't get back. Unless you're in prison.
The narrator is extremely painful to listen to. His attempt at a Scottish accent was atrocious. Beyond that the story is very weak and not worth the suffering.
Save your credit!
I'm not sure if I'd listen to it again; but I did enjoy it. It has an interesting story, if a little obvious.
Oh my God, the sole reason for my review.
This guy has clearly never been to Scotland; heard a Scottish accent or perhaps even knows where it is.
He is hilarious. The first 20 minutes of hearing his 'Scottish' accent has me roaring with laughter. It is truly bizarre..... I cannot believe that at some point someone didn't say to the guy - "hey, did you know that you really can't do Scottish?!"
Truly shocking. It's hilarious but it does grow weary.
I know they never will.... but it'd be a far better book if they redid the narration.
"THE NEW MEN"
SOUNDING CONFIDENT ABOUT A THING DOESN'T MAKE IT TRUE
I don't want to sound like a copy cat of The southern STRIKER man on meds, but I too thought this good, but not great. It was 70% entertaining. The filler in the middle was boring.
I MUST SAY DOCTOR, YOUR AWFUL HARD TO LIKE
While I did not like the doctor on the prison planet they rescued. I did like the adventure on the prison planet.
THE WAITING IS GETTING TO HIM, JUST LIKE THE REST OF US.
This is a long set up for the gathering of a crew and the finding an ancient derelict from an unknown super race, in order to beat THE NEW MEN, who are far superior to us and who feel we are like ants. Heppner writes in a old time serious manner, so don't expect any laughs. His writing reminds me a little of pulp science fiction.
The narrator was a little slow and I put him on 1.25 for the last three hours.
"A Good Concept and Decent (But Not Great) Story"
Let me say first that I disagree with the one-star ratings. Although this story wasn't amazing, I was still entertained and thought that it deserved the three stars I gave it.
I loved the overall concept of the story, I just didn't care for a lot of the "filler" leading up to the actual "lost starship" and thought that a few of the characters were a little unrealistic.
The summary given by audible is pretty good. The story focuses around a gifted intelligence officer who is given the mission of finding a potential new weapon to save the human race from a new and powerful enemy. The "new men" have recently attacked several planets and every ship and task force sent against them has been completely destroyed with no losses on the side of the enemy.
The main character must rely on the notes of a missing professor and the cooperation of his assistant to find an ancient, but powerful, alien starship in a system long ago destroyed by war. With the new men having infiltrated seemingly every branch of the government and military, the enemy is on their tale the entire book, and sometimes even a step ahead of them.
Much of the story that I didn't quite care for consisted of the main character having to rescue the missing professor's assistant from a supposedly escape-proof prison planet. Later, I found this character to be completely unrealistic and annoying as she takes every opportunity to sabotage the mission for seemingly no real reason...
The main character also believes that he may actually be a new man-human hybrid, explaining his considerable physical and mental abilities (abilities that seem to closely match those of the new men). This plays into the story quite a bit as well.
As I said, I did still enjoy this book and will purchase the next in the series if it is ever released on audible. It is worth the credit and the listen.
"So horrible. Please don't purchase!"
I couldn't wait to finish this book so I could write a bad review! I want to cry when I think about all the credits wasted on this book. Credits that could have been used on decent books.
The dialogue between the characters is literally the worst dialogue I have personally ever heard. It never gets to the point. I'm pretty sure this book was written by a 12 year old boy with ADHD. The characters are also impossible to like. They seem to have no redeeming qualities.
The narrator of this story is dreadful! Every female voice is some sort of caricature of a breathy Marilyn Monroe. The narrators attempt at a Scottish accent makes you cringe every time you here it.
"Not very good"
Failed in story, characterization, world building. The only area this book is good is at building suspense.
"I'm spoiled. Even imaginary universes have physical laws."
First: Too much explanation. The author telegraphed his main character's angst over his origins in chapter 1. Nothing left for him to do for the next hours, except action. Like the space battles, 2D.
Second: You can't change the laws of physics. You can create new laws, worm holes, FTL drives, whatever, but if you're communicating by radio, you're limited to light speed. If you're sitting 3 light years away from a planetary system, your sensor data is 3 YEARS OLD. Telling us that you see no sign of the enemy from that distance is bogus.
Third: The author wasted a perfectly good character, the alien AI. Granted, he'll probably be back in the sequel.
"Fun story but how about some production QC!"
The story was OK but not great. A major detractor from the immersion was the awful narration.
The narrator takes some getting used to but it seems like no preproduction was done during recording. There were multiple times that the narrator used the wrong voice and would try to transition from one voice to another over the course of a sentence. I don't know what techniques are used so that a narrator knows who is speaking a certain line but this could have been done much much better.
If you can get over this it is a fun jaunt.
I was doubtful at first, and I got so sucked in it only took a day and a half to finish.
"Old school-style scifi with dreary narration"
I'd love to say great things about this book, but all I can come up with is "meh". The simplistic, straight-line, single character focused writing is reminiscent of classic 50's-60's scifi, which was fine for Heinlein half a decade ago, but this is supposed to be a contemporary book. Heppner seemed to borrow too much from older scifi, and at times this novel reads more like Star Trek fan fiction than an original piece. While there's nothing wrong with fanfic, I was expecting something a little more unique in theme and modern in complexity.
As for the narrator, who was at best dull and at worst awkward, I am very happy to see that the next books in the series use a different one. The breathy voice he used for the female characters was laughable. The odd pronunciations (e.g.,"rum" for "room") and sometimes outright mispronunciations were distracting. The supposedly "Scottish" accent sounded more like a cartoon character than a serious one. There were also times when it was clear the narrator forgot who he was speaking for, and used the wrong voice or changed it midway through. All in all, it didn't work.
The story bogs down badly. It would have profited from better direction and better continuity.
The story started out in one direction but broke down into angst and internal dialogues combined with an insane AI.
Just weak. I wish I'd listened to it while I could still return it.
"So much promise, such a sorry delivery."
Where to begin? The idea of the story really aroused my interest. A long abandoned warship from a long dead race mixed with the threat of a new, hostile, implacable race of supermen. I was immediately caught and purchased the book regardless of the substantial amount of poor reviews. First off the narration was really poor with the delivery being on the same level with a computer generated artificial voice. And the character effects were awful with Kevin having an accent that seemed to combine a Glasgow/Liverpool thing that made me think of a hybrid Scotty from Startrek/Ringo Starr character. Aside from the delivery I found the writing itself to be juvenile, full of cliché and reminiscent of 50's pulp sci-fi. The science was high school level with little explanation. All this said, I listened to the entire piece to be fair and I can safely say I will not be buying the sequels.
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