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Summary

Conservation has spent the past four decades leading humanity out among the stars.

In 2034, the Universal Mining Agency launched a ship full of eager potential colonists. Conservation provides its passengers with everything they need as it sets off for their new home on a distant, habitable planet.

As the decades go by, the optimism and hope that surrounded its launch dissipate, and certain members of agency staff begin to have their doubts about the project. Conservation was meant to be a microcosm of humanity, minus the cruelty and ill health. Society has degraded into a violent, fascist regime built on slavery and famine, but this time, things were supposed to be different.

Zoologist David Kingston, who consulted on the original mission, becomes more and more anxious about the fate of the ship. A direct video call with a strange crewmember does nothing to quell his worry. Instead, David realizes that there may be something evil aboard the huge vessel.

Then, suddenly, everything goes dark. Conservation stops transmitting reports. As David investigates the mysteries of the famous ship, he will discover the horrifying truth about its journey.

©2017 James Flynn (P)2018 James Flynn

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

Slightly odd mix of scifi and conspiracy

This book was an interesting mix of a Noah's ark kind of generation-ship scifi story and an earthbound conspiracy, that former part of the book focused on a period after the ship Conservation had been underway for some time and the state the crew were in, this part of the book was an interesting take on this kind of voyage.

The earthbound portion of the book focused on a number of characters including David Kingston, a zoologist who had donated most of the animals onboard the ship along with a number of people connected with the Universal Mining Agency who were responsible for launching the ship in response to the decrepit state of the planet's environment. The conspiracy side of things of the book is best learned about organically as you read the book, so I will not go into details about that part of it other than to say that some of it could have progressed a bit more logically, but it did work in general.

The narrator gave a good performance overall, the main cast all had sufficiently distinctive tones to them that nicely enhanced the overall book.

Overall, this was an enjoyable listen, both for the basic story and the performance in a book that could be part of a larger universe if the author so chose, but was perfectly self-contained as written.

[Note - I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.]

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Sci-fi premise sprinkled with shocks - excellent

I really enjoyed this. The premise laid out in the synopsis had me interested and I jumped in and loved it. It's thought provoking in many ways all around the human condition, are we really deep down good people or are we just the best predators around who are obsessed with our own goals and eager to pursue power over others.

I love the way it's written. The book feels fresh and different and I think it's the way the author has written the book. I felt really invested in the story and the characters.

Will we ever reach for the starts - this book takes you down the path of what might happen and in ways we take our evils with us.

I don't think you have to a sci-fi fan to love this book its really good!

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Matthew
  • 21-02-18

Not sure quiet where to go with this.

The Good: Simon Wright does his usual, highly professional and unique job of bringing this book to life. He employs unique, sometimes highly passionate voices and emotions to the story.
The Challenge: Not quite sure where the author wanted to take this story. There were several plot arcs, and they all didn't align as well as the listener would have hoped. Still, some of the concepts were unique and thoughtful.
The Truth: I received my copy in exchange for this independent review. I can recommend this offering, with the caveats offered here.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Christine Newton
  • 08-03-18

3.5* - good ideas in a complicated story

My two cents are similar to several other reviews here. When I read the summary blurb, I had the impression that the ship would be the focus of the story. I really enjoy science fiction, so I was looking forward to reading about societal issues on board a generational spaceship as well as some hard science fiction about launching and operating a generational ship. Well, it turns out that the ship plays a supporting role in the story but the main activity is happening back on Earth. So, this isn't specifically a science fiction story; the author could have used a number of substitutes interchangeably (e.g., a cruise ship, an isolated research station such as Antarctica, a oil drilling rig, etc.) and left the other elements of the plot relatively intact.

I agree with other reviewers who were challenged by the complexity of the plot. There was a really big 'deus ex machina' moment at the end of the story, which turned out to be a wee bit of a letdown. There were other characters in the story that (in my opinion) could have been written differently so that the significant coincidence could have been avoided. I don't want to clutter this review with spoilers, but I'm thinking, for example, that the author could have beefed up the role of Paul's executive assistant and created a plotline with her that would have helped bring the story full circle rather than semi-surprising us with the big coincidence reveal at the end. I'm also thoughtful of some of the behaviours of the characters, which seemed to me to be illogical but were necessary to move the plot forward in certain directions. (Mild spoilers: Terence couldn't plant the equivalent of a 'poison pill' - or two, or three - somewhere on the ship or among the crew?? Terence turned his back on the entire project after the ship had launched, even though the ship was still in contact with folks on Earth? The shadowy organization was an enormously huge threat for a few of the characters, but then this source of menace essentially disappeared?)

So, this story was a bit challenging for me to listen to. I was intrigued by some of the ideas as well as the description of the dystopian world that Earth had become. (I also appreciated the irony of the 'free for all's, taking place both on Earth and - in a slightly different format - on the ship.). I guess I wish the author had written the book differently, however. I agree with some comments here, that there were some very slow parts during the first part of the book. And then we'd suddenly get bursts of exposition where the author described some pretty intense and potentially quite interesting activities, written almost as an aside (I'm thinking about the description of what ultimately happened to Dolph and the people on the ship, for example, or ways in which society was devolving, or the absence of government order and the rise of corporate supremacy). In other words, the things that would have had me hanging off the edge of my seat weren't given much air time. Mildly frustrating, because this could have been a really, really compelling thriller for me if the plot lines had been simplified a bit and other aspects of the story were given more air-time. Still, I'm glad I listened to the audiobook because the author gave me some kernels of ideas that I can think about, mentally permute the storyline a bit when daydreaming, come up with alternative endings or plot twists...

As for the narration, I really enjoyed this narrator. In other audiobook reviews, I can be pretty tough about narration because the storyteller plays such an important role - in transporting listeners like me to fictional worlds, and helping me construct mental images of scenes, actions, and characters. The narrator is instrumental in engaging me with the story, the narrator is the author's partner-in-crime. Mediocre narration can wreck an otherwise great story. In the case of this audiobook, I enjoyed the narration. I increased the playback speed a wee, wee bit (perhaps to speed up the slower parts of the story). I liked the narrator's voice because it was gritty. This story has gritty tones and it's set in a grey and gritty world. There wasn't much dialogue involving female characters, but the author didn't create fake falsettos for those characters and I'm glad about that. The only reason why I didn't give this narrator 5 stars is because he voiced a character (who had significant PTSD) with an understandably panicky/anxious tone, but it was a bit too panicky for me and was hard to listen to for extended passages in the story. I'd most definitely listen to this narrator again.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Jess
  • 07-03-18

Meh

The narration was ok. The first part of the book was slow and tough to get through. Then it started to get interesting, then it got too murky. Too many threads. It felt like it should have been several different books.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Bikram Agarwal
  • 28-02-18

Slow start and then predictable.

What was most disappointing about James Flynn’s story?

From the synopsis, I was getting "The 100" and "The Expanse" vibes and I was really pumped. But as I started listening to it, I was getting disappointed rapidly. The start of the book was very slow and it took a lot of effort to stick to it. Once the different arcs started taking shape, I thought now it's getting interesting. But then all of them became very disjointed and I was confused with where it all is going. The characters didn't grab my attention either. As far as twists go, there weren't any. Few of the story lines follow a formula and I could see what will happen next. I had to give up after a while.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

The narration was mostly alright. Only at certain places the inflections were overdone.

Any additional comments?

I received this audiobook for free from the author / narrator / publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rayc
  • 26-02-18

An unusual sci fi book

An unusual tale which I struggled with at times, but overall enjoyed the experience. Rated it 4* because it deserves it.. The storyline is excellent, and the author has developed strong characters with lot of depth.
The narration is good (not sure about the accents).
I can recommend this book too anyone who likes a mystery/thriller and science fiction.

I received a copy of this audio book at my request and voluntarily leave this review.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jacqueline Hicks
  • 24-02-18

Humans never learn!

What an interesting story with a different take on a common scifi theme! I don't want to give away any spoilers but maybe they should've sent a bunch of Native Americans up there, lol!

The concept was really cool and I'd like to know what happens after the end, again no spoilers.

The story had exciting, angry, and sad parts. I really liked it. The narrator did a great job also. I will recommend this book to others.


I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • norman
  • 14-02-18

SLow start, gets better

This novel warmed up slowly, but got much better as it progressed. This particular slant on the generation ship is one I haven’t seen. Overall the story was entertaining.
I was given a free copy of this book and gave a voluntary review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Rebecca Azizov
  • 13-02-18

I had a problem with the book

as a suspence lover I may have to say this was too much unfortunately the storyline was good and you could have seen the potential of the book but it was too much you couldn't concentrate on the characters because you always thought what would happen What would happen I didn't feel the characters as characters and it bothered me as a suspense book this book is good and by the way maybe the narrator didn't help the book I don't know what made this book not my cup of tea because I just love suspense books but this particular one how to say it without spoilers I was waiting to feel the characters to know about them not only about the situation and I would love to read more books from this author or listen to them because I'm sure I would enjoy them and maybe this specific book didn't Capture Me but I did see the potential of this author the writing abilities of this writer are incredible don't get me wrong and only because I want to listen to another books of him I'm giving this book an overall four stars

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lonnie-The GreatNorthernTroll-Moore
  • 13-02-18

Lots of suspense...

This is a well crafted story, with lots of suspense... and unfortunately, I didn't really care for it... It's not that I wasn't driven to get to the end and find out what was going on, because I was (obviously good writing)! It's just that, even though I read a lot of dark fiction, I'm less of a Shakespearean writing style fan and more of an HEA kinda girl.
I loved Simon Wright's narration and he read it with all the nuance that this fine prose called for.
If a dark ending doesn't distress you, this one's for you!

I was given this free review copy at my request and I have voluntarily left this review...

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 11-02-18

has potential

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

I was really hoping this book would have had more of the storyline be based on the ship life and less about some of the main earth characters. Besides that, there is a lot of potential for this author.