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Gary Sereno

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Interesting story targeted (?) at young teens

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 19-05-19

If I was still around 12-14 then I think I would have enjoyed this more, and if I were around 14-18 I probably would have felt it was patronising. The story is decent enough and I did find myself laughing at times, but it feels patched together using a set of generic tropes though the core background is reasonably original.

With the audio - I d like the idea of the author also being the reader, and Yahtzee Croshaw reminds me a little of Geoffrey Palmer. His voice is clear, however most the time the way he read made it sound like the characters were alway whining and winging, as if that's the only voice he can do. I suspect that is cruel on my part and it's just down to his voice - there's a reason actors like Geoffrey Palmer get type cast.

Overall it's not a bad book, I don't regret getting it, but if if had been tagged as young science fiction I might have skipped it and been just as happy, or having bought it being more appreciable.

Very interesting interviews near ruined by voices

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 17-04-19

The idea behind this is great. A reporter who was tasked with doing propaganda reports on the Atlantic Wall in early 1944 interviews with previous subjects, one at each of the five beaches, ten years later to record what it was like on June the 6th 1944 from a German perspective. Great in theory and great once you start to ignore the voices, but .....

The whole thing is near ruined by the voices. I actually did think it was a robotic voice being used, with some really bad, almost 'Allo Alllo' German accents applied for the interviewees. It is that bad.

Written for 12 year olds and hoping for a movie ?

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 27-12-17

For some reason this book appears on a number of cyberpunk must read lists, however I'm not sure why. The story is weak, predictable (with one exception), thin, linear, and unoriginal. It is almost as if the author has been reading books, watching films and TV and thinking 'ooh that scene would work' and then tried to fit them together. It is also written in such a way that you're certain the author is/was looking to write a sequel or a series based on this book, along with a string of movies (or straight to TV movies).

Are there any positives? Well it is very well narrated by Vikas Adam. Can't think of that much else.

Truly a Great Story in a Sci Fi Wrapper

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-11-17

I went for this book based on it appearing in top 10/20 cyberpunk and sci-fi lists. It truly deserves it. I'm not sure I'd consider it cyberpunk, but I would not let that put you off. It is original in it story and hard to fault, in fact I don't think i can.

Good book, but at times forced.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-09-17

I do like the concept behind this story and for much of the book it works well. However it at times also feels forced and some of the characters do not seem to fit roles that were meant to have been psychometrically assessed (as is explained behind the selection for one of the characters).
While towards the end it feels expected, partly due to it's forced nature, it also was not wholly predictable, which was nice.
Narration was decent, again not great, but certainly above average, which seems to just fit in with this book.

If you're after an exceptional story, I personally would recommend you give this one a miss, however if you want a decent book, which is slightly different, then this could be a tale for you.

11 people found this helpful

Writen with a movie and sequels in mind ?

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-09-17

Not quite sure what to comment on this one.
The concept sounds interesting.
The narration at first feels weird, but once you're used to it, it does work well.
The story. The story, well it feels forced, it feels as if it was written in a way to make it easy to transition to the big screen, and it was written in such a way as several sequels could be spun off. As a result it just doesn't work for me.

Highly rated story ? Killed by bad naration

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-02-17

I went for Metrophage having read good reviews of it else where and seeing it on a number of must read cyberpunk lists. How good it really is I'm not sure. The story in hindsight was fine, but not great, the main character was a tad flat, but what really ruined this for me was the narration. It is so bad and soulless that at first I thought it was computer generated. It was as if some automated system was being fed the lines. There was no emotion, just a flat, boring, single pace, reciting of words. It did improve later on, but not by much.

If you're tempted by this title and bounce between listening to audio books and reading the physical copies, do the latter.

Mike Hammer in a Dystopian Future

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-10-15

First off this is more a detective/crime story than sci fi, the latter is very much scene setting and background. It is also very much in the penny/nickel book format that brought us Philip Marlow and Mike Hammer. The story is semi-predictable and follows the standard format that we'd expect for that genre, but as a result it really works.

The start is sci fi, but once it gets going, it's all gum shoe and is both well written and well read. It's not a truly great story, but the way Todd McLaren narrated it is superb - better than Stacy Keach's recent Mike Hammer audio recordings.

Certainly a great way to pass time and worth listening to you if you like this genre of story telling.


More of the same

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-09-15

I enjoyed Steel World, even though it was flawed. This book was decent enough, but really it was just more of the same in a different setting with our 'hero' pulling of miracle end results by doing his own thing and getting in to trouble.

As you may guess I'm probably going to park on this one, if you were uncertain about the first book this one will leave you disappointed. There's still a chance I might try the third volume as the stories are not that bad, but not for the moment.

4 people found this helpful

Side story that worth it for completion.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-09-15

It's quite hard to judge this one. It's really nothing more than a side story to act as background to the rest of the series. If it adds anything further down that line I do not know.

It is well read and has decent pace, but doesn't grab and feels more like an after thought that was published as it has been done. It's not bad, it's just not that good.

If you enjoy the Empire's Corp series then it is worth it, if after tow books you were thinking of calling it a day, ignore it.