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paul crowe

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  • 7
  • helpful votes
  • 28
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New old

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

Reviewed: 17-11-16

For filling time on my long commute this was great, undemanding pulp sci-fi. It's a very US centric sci fi with lots of shoot em up, US values (everyone has a gun), bad guy is European, and the spaceships are really run on US Navy lines.......hi tech engines, complex navigation and manoeuvring but managed and commented on as if submarines, with missiles described as fish. In fact space sounds very similar to the Pacific Ocean! But low grade as it was it got me through hours of driving

Long but involving

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

Reviewed: 04-11-16

At one level this book can seem very involved with seeming inconsequential minutiae of lives that are basically.......boring, despite the inclusion of cutting edge physics. However it's in the minutiae that detail exists, and in the detail lies variation that is the heart of the story. As others have mentioned, it slowly draws you in and by the end I was thoroughly engaged and not wanting it to end. Plus it's a book that makes you think more after you've finished, rather than simply moving on to the next story.

The narration was very good, I can (xenophobic comment!!) sometimes fall asleep with American narrations, I don't know why, but this is very good and she really gets the different characters across.

Recommended

2 people found this helpful

Enjoyable yarn

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

Reviewed: 11-04-16

Is it highly innovative cutting edge sci fi??? Absolutely not. The story, as with 14, becomes increasingly risible as the narrative continues. However it's an entertaining yarn and Peter Clines knows how to slowly develop the characters and the plot so that the reader is drawn in. It's not intellectual in terms of character depth, and it requires a high degree of 'suspension of disbelief', but it's a good and entertaining yarn that was perfect for my daily commute. The last third is the weaker part (as in 14) but overall I enjoyed it. And like 14 I was sure that this was written as a filming script for a Hollywood B+ movie..........watch this space eh!

Loved it

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

Reviewed: 28-03-16

Really kept me going on my daily commute such that I looked forward to getting in the car to find out what happened next. Yes it's a bit of hokum but it's entertaining hokum and I sense very filmic, targeted at the movie industry.....and I can see that happening. Great narration too

Young young adult fiction

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

Reviewed: 21-12-15

Having read Ernest Clines first novel and quite liked it, retro, quirky and a bit different, I wanted to get this and thought I'd enjoy it. Wrong, this is pretty puerile stuff, which Wil Wheaton does a sterling job of making sound interesting. Leaden, cliched characters, minimal emotional depth, and delusions of grandeur way beyond its capability to deliver. I'm not sure anyone above 12 should listen to this. Sorry, really must do better!

1 person found this helpful

Taut

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

Reviewed: 07-12-15

I've read all of William Boyds books and especially like the way he ties lives, world events and personal lives into one narrative. This novel follows that formula, yet manages to stay fresh. Unlike other people I think the narration is spot on. Very clipped tones that conjure up images of a 'woman from a certain period' whose emotions are tightly controlled, things are 'under' told. I had the same thought that at certain times I could tell it was a woman written by a man, but in some ways that suited the character. Sparse yet rich simultaneously. The smoking was definitely prominent, but I believe that is part of the dissonance Boyd wanted to create, to ensure the reader always is aware that this is a very different period we're talking of.

Overall I really enjoyed it. Had to sit in silent contemplation at the end, the mark of a good novel. Recommended

1 person found this helpful

Not the same

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

Reviewed: 12-11-15

A 'by the numbers' formulaic rehash of the Salander universe. I wasn't impressed, it seemed exploitative more than anything. The subtlety and characterisation were sadly missing and the narrative was, lets Sa, predictable. Additionally the narrator was miscast, sounding old and tired across the whole range of characters. It wasn't awful, but I won't be back for any more.

Dreary

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

Reviewed: 10-07-15

What would have made The Last Ship better?

Er, a complete rewrite with modern attitudes to the sexes, morality, etc and a big, big prune. The tone of the author as 'God' and his use of this medium to extol his own thoughts, rather than explore different viewpoints (that's what I believe this is more about) wore me down very quickly. Really didn't like this at all

What will your next listen be?

Something less condescending

Would you be willing to try another one of Christopher Lane’s performances?

Maybe, the material was dreary and he lived down to it's dreariness - a different book may raise him but the downbeat time to this and the overly judgemental and moralistic viewpoint had me tearing what little of my hair is left out!

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Not really, even as a background noise while driving this drove me mad and I couldn't listen beyond the first 2 hours - I gave it a go!

1 person found this helpful

Curates Egg

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

Reviewed: 10-07-15

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I understand the desire to create an alternate to the standard white Anglo/American focus, but not sure the African slant works for me. But the biggest issue I have is, talking elephants! Felt like a bit 'young adult science fiction' to me, and a big stretch, especially as there was little character definition and therefore it was impossible to be either supportive or antipathetic toward them. I like the usual broad span of space and time of ARs books, and the strict adherence to the existing laws of physics.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

As in other books, the ending allows many more spinoff stories, which is a good thing.

Have you listened to any of Adjoa Andoh’s other performances? How does this one compare?

She was excellent and I will look out more books read by her on the basis of this.

Was Poseidon's Wake worth the listening time?

It filled up my daily commute, in that its length helped and the narrative was 'just' strong enough, but across the whole three books I think there were large chunks where I just concentrated on driving.....I don't think I missed anything critical

Any additional comments?

Alistair Reynolds is a great author but I'd rather see/hear more of the Chasm City universe (or the as yet undeveloped Pushing a Ice universe) than any more of this one. Noble attempt to change the paradigm, but ultimately the whole African/Elephant plot didn't convince me at all.

1 person found this helpful

Absolutely wonderful

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

Reviewed: 22-05-15

This could only have been written by a woman. A man would have focused on the mechanics......where did the virus come from, how was it spread, the minutiae of survival etc. this is simply wonderful, the nuances, the wY tiny things resonate across time and people, the invisible connections that are slowly revealed. This story has been crafted, not written. And the reading is spot on. Tempting it must have been to have an American what is after all an American novel. But the story is told so beautifully and the vocal dissonance makes this a story about all of us - maybe. Buy it, read it!

1 person found this helpful