The colony world of Stittara is no ordinary planet. For the interstellar Unity of the Ceylesian Arm, Stittara is the primary source of anagathics: drugs that have more than doubled the human life span. But the ecological balance that makes anagathics possible on Stittara is fragile, and the Unity government has a vital interest in making sure the flow of longevity drugs remains uninterrupted, even if it means uprooting the human settlements.
Offered the job of assessing the ecological impact of the human presence on Stittara, freelance consultant Dr. Paulo Verano jumps at the chance to escape the ruin of his personal life. He gets far more than he bargained for: Stittara's atmosphere is populated with skytubes-gigantic, mysterious airborne organisms that drift like clouds above the surface of the planet. Their exact nature has eluded humanity for centuries, but Verano believes his conclusions about Stittara may hinge on understanding the skytubes' role in the planet's ecology - if he survives the hurricane winds, distrustful settlers, and secret agendas that impede his investigation at every turn.
©2013 L.E. Modesitt (P)2013 Tantor
"One of Modesitt's best, which means, don't miss it." (Kirkus Starred Review)
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"Modesitt lover BUT"
Sorry I can't endorse this particular book. I have read and listened to many of L E Modesitt's books but this one was a bore.
Sorry Mr M.
Moving on to the his next book in the Magi of Cyador.
Really enjoy his Recluse and Imager series
Mr Dufris is a fine narrator and it was the material that seemed to lead nowhere slowly
"Skip this one"
He could have made it a short story.
I’m trying to spare you without including any spoilers:
This book is slow, repetitive and boring. Nothing interesting happens, just the same boring routine over and over again. They could easily have taken out 10 hours from the middle of the book and it would only make the book better. Somewhere among the repetitive happenings there are elements that could make it a halfway passable story but for some reason, they never make it into the main storyline. If you listen to this all the way through get ready for some disappointment. I’m a fan of the author, but this time he totally missed his mark.
"The story of a bureaucrat's life"
This book is the story of a bureaucrat's life. Yes, this bureaucrat is a planetary ecologist living in the far future, sent to judge the human population of a whole world, but still a bureaucrat.
Thus we get long passages about the protagonist reviewing reports all day, after which we get a review of the food he ate. He seems to be fond of ordering pale lagers. There are many characters, none of which are memorable.
All the characters speak in a curious stilted dialogue (imagine the language of Data from Star Trek, the Next Generation) that sounds unnatural and robotic.
The narrator accentuates the problems with the dialogue by giving everyone a breezy, worldly way of speaking.
Speaking from experience, reading this book is like reviewing environmental documents for a planning department. It's just not compelling fiction.
"Typical, thoughtful Modesitt tale"
Generally even performance-necessary as lots of story with less dialogue than many.
The protagonist-competent and more confident than the typical Modesitt "hero".
Followup reactions to "predicted" tragedy.
Enjoyed the setting up of details. Felt like I might have "known" several of the characters.
Have to "ding" the narrator a bit for being unable to pronounce the author's name correctly (I have known Lee for over 50 years, so I think I have it right!).
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