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Summary

The Firstborn, the mysterious race of aliens best known as the builders of the iconic black monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey, have inhabited the writing of science fiction master Arthur C. Clarke for decades. In the first two books of his acclaimed Time Odyssey series, Clarke and co-author Stephen Baxter imagined a near-future in which the Firstborn seek to stop the advance of human civilization by employing a technology indistinguishable from magic. That fate was narrowly averted, at an inconceivable price. But now, 27 years later, the Firstborn are back. This time, they have sent a "quantum bomb" speeding toward Earth, a device that human scientists can barely comprehend, let alone stop or destroy. But when shocking new insights emerge about the nature of the Firstborn and their plans, an unexpected ally appears from light-years away.
©2007 Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Firstborn

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A very good tale!

Referring to Stuart's comments above I concur entirely. Excellent storyline following on from the first two books. The death of Clarke recently should not have any bearing on the next (hopefully) installment. These books are very much Stephen Baxter, with all his softscreens and nano engineering. His is a very distinctive style also including his odd names for the main characters. Others include an astronaught called Malenfant, and a Morlock (Time Ships) called Nebogopfil ! Bisesa Dutt is another funny name.
The ending of this third book very much leaves the door open for another one with lots of softscreens ,funny names and Kensington (London) locations!!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I just hope there will be more

A great listen that kept me gripped all the way through. This book is definately worth a listen if you have enjoyed the rest of the Time Odyssey. However be prepared for the unresolved story. The final chapter hints at a much greater plot to be unveiled and a resolution to the Firstborn but since the death of the Arthur C. Clarke this year we may never get to read it. I just hope Stephen Baxter decides to continue the series.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing!

A Journey of imagine............ Three books had me absolutely engaged from start to finish. Great Work, thank you.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Spectacular end to the trilogy

What other book might you compare Firstborn to, and why?

Having listened to the first two in the trilogy (from my library) I wasn't disappointed by the finale.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not necessarily.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MR
  • 27-10-13

What sci-fi should be!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Excellent narrative, completely believable plot and fabulous storyline. Clarke and Baxter have created a world which draws the reader in and delivers again and again.

What did you like best about this story?

Perfect balance between sci-fi story and scientific reality.

Any additional comments?

Book 4 please, Mr Baxter.....

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Ultimate SF

A very original story complex but enthralling, well worth hearing several times. Very well read.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Is this being read by a robot?

I was looking forward to enjoying this book through Audible as I had read (the old fashioned way) and enjoyed the 2 previous books. Sadly I couldn't get past the narrator's voice. At first I thought the narration was automated but then the faux northern accent started. I did try to persevere but couldn't make it past chapter 2.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

It's not ended

There's another book in this. Have Steve and Art written it? Have audible 'published' it?

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

They get better

Book on book. But Audible UK don't have book 4 or 5 poor service in Europe. Just the same poor blank answers from them.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Disapointing

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Well, for super intelligent ancient Aliens, the first born! their pretty useless at wiping out emergent intelligent life.

Has Firstborn put you off other books in this genre?

Only Steven Baxter

What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

Good voice would listen to him again

Was Firstborn worth the listening time?

Only just, i'll try listening again, only to see if i can find a bit more of Asimov in it.

Any additional comments?

Partnering different authors together, or planting a new author with and older much loved science fiction series is not working for me

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Gregory A.
  • 09-02-16

Is this the end of the series? (Potential Spoiler)

I enjoyed the first book and continued on to book 2 because I wanted to see what happened.

I didn't enjoy book 2 as much as I enjoyed the original, but the plot was still able to keepy attention.

I moved on to book 3 thinking, as the title suggests, this would be where mankind confronts the First Born, but what I got was a lot of pointless dialogue and slow storytelling. The writing has drifted far away from that of the first book. Unlike book 1 (and even book2), I struggled to get through to the end, and only did so for the payoff of having concluded the series.

If you're reading this you're probably too deep in the series to quit now (something about curiosity and cats), but if you're reading comments on the entire series before digging into book 1, be warned, book 3 is a let down.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kristi R.
  • 30-06-12

The end to the Trilogy!

What did you love best about Firstborn?

The way the story all tied together. The three books are very different but the main message seemed to be the indomitable strength of the human spirit to never give up.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Give it a happier ending? Then it wouldn't be the same book though, right?

What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

He is always wonderful, his nuances on different words and characters he portrays are certainly his greatest strengths.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The ending. Three women coming together, all I can say without being a spoiler.

Any additional comments?

Arthur C Clarke was able to take all of his works and tie them into this trilogy. The firstborn from 2001 and the space elevators from Fountains of Paradise and even a bit of Rama thrown in.
I am very happy I took the time to listen to this trilogy, it helps me to remember that maybe humans aren't the greatest things in the universe, but we may be the most tenacious!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Nicholassmith
  • 21-04-15

Really 'meh' ending...

I was hoping for a little bit better ending than that. No real resolution to any of the plot archs in the book. Feels like they got tired of writing and just decided to stamp a "The End" in the middle of the page. A real let down.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Terrance Hanna
  • 14-06-12

Believable Time Travel and Aliens Great Books

The story starts with a reminiscing of 2001- A Space Odyssey and moves into a world of puzzles and paradoxes. Then folds neatly into a chronicle of mysterious aliens and an apocalypse threatening humankind. To comment on the story would give away the twists and turns of the plot, so I won’t, but all three books are worth owning. I encourage getting all three in the series.
One point of contention...as in most all space faring Sci-Fi books, Canada is conspicuous by its absence in this story. As a prominent space faring nation with long ties to NASA and the ESA, Canada contributes to the exploration in space as well as any other country and more. Canada is never really mentioned. Egypt, Sri Lanka and African nations are held up as more predominant in peaceful space exploration ...really? And Russia – always the “sort of” poor cousin that shows up family dinners. Maybe it’s a marketing decision for the U.S. audience.
Still a worthwhile series of audio books to have.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • SAMA
  • 04-05-09

Intriguing

An excellent finale for the trilogy.

Let's be honest: If you followed the story so far, you might as well finish it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Brian
  • 07-04-09

Good book

Excellent read. A little over my head with some of the scientific theories, but still an enjoyable read. Can't wait for the next book in the series.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Brenda Livengood
  • 18-10-20

Snooze fest implies more action than actually in book

I wanted to like this and really tried. I liked the whole idea and waited...and waited. Slower than molasses, drug out forever, and promises there is a big mystery to be revealed around every corner which never is. I work nights and zoom through books like lighting. Cannot recall last time I kept checking the time counter to see how much more time I had to get through. Narrator was fantastic though, only reason I stuck it out. But had I known ending was practically a 60’s TV show predictable ending I’d have not wasted my time. Should of known when there were only 15 reviews when I started and seemed to be mostly just avid followers of the author I should have waited. Read the book or watch paint dry...same experience.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jason Williams
  • 01-10-20

Amazing story

This amazing story was well thought out using certain historical facts and was an amusing blend of fact and fiction.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Aldea W.
  • 29-09-20

Amazing story

This amazing story was well thought out using certain historical facts and was an amusing blend of fact and fiction.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Abass
  • 02-09-20

Enjoyable

it's a shame there is no sequel. the story just doesn't feel finished, such a shame