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The Legacy Human Audiobook

The Legacy Human: Singularity, Book 1

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Publisher's Summary

What would you give to live forever?

Seventeen-year-old Elijah Brighton wants to become an ascender--a post-Singularity human/machine hybrid--after all, they're smarter, more enlightened, more compassionate, and above all, achingly beautiful. But Eli is a legacy human, preserved and cherished for his unaltered genetic code, just like the rainforest he paints. When a fugue state possesses him and creates great art, Eli miraculously lands a sponsor for the creative Olympics. If he could just master the fugue, he could take the gold and win the right to ascend, bringing everything he's yearned for within reach... including his beautiful ascender patron. But once Eli arrives at the Games, he finds the ascenders are playing games of their own. Everything he knows about the ascenders and the legacies they keep starts to unravel... until he's running for his life and wondering who he truly is.

The Legacy Human is the first in Susan Kaye Quinn's new young adult science fiction series that explores the intersection of mind, body, and soul in a post-Singularity world... and how technology will challenge us to remember what it means to be human.

©2015 Susan Kaye Quinn (P)2016 Susan Kaye Quinn

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  • K.Leine
    PA, USA
    31/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A(n Audio)Book of Halves."

    I was drawn to this audiobook because of the setting—a scifi, possibly dystopian future that touches on the Singularity—and stayed because of the narration. I wish Audible allowed you to put half stars because my journey through this audiobook was a very see-sawy one.

    I enjoyed the book for what it was: a YA scifi story with the usual romance, drama, and conflict thrown in. Romance isn't the main focus thankfully (though Eli's monologues about his crushes certainly get quite the airtime), camaraderie and family is, along with questions that venture into philosophical and religious territory. The questions aren't new, but I could certainly see myself recommending this book for the younger YAs in my life. There are likeable supporting characters, and there's generally tight enough pacing that the story did not feel like a slogfest.

    I am a newcomer to Nick Podehl, and I have to say, his variety impresses me. The first time he adopted the voice of Basha, a girl, I did a double-take wondering if I had remembered wrongly and it was a joint narration with a female narrator instead of a solo effort. That's how believable his voices are. Podehl changes seamlessly between different characters even during heated exchanges, and they are all distinct voices; I never had any trouble differentiating between characters, even Eli's internal and external voices.

    But this is where the halves come in: I enjoyed it whenever a character spoke, but the choice made for Eli's internal voice (a whiny, almost nasal, sometimes condescending one) was grating for me, requiring that I break up the listening into chunks. It is a choice I question because I know Podehl can do other voices, smoother voices, better voices, because as a first-person YA novel, there is a lot of Eli's monologuing going on. And for that, I wish I could give Performance a 4.5 instead. In the end, I decided that 5 instead of a 4 was appropriate because I loved Cyrus' and Marcus' voices. Cyrus in particular was the deciding factor, he was hands down my favourite character in this book, his voice a warm balm to the long stints of Eli's whining. It's made even better when Cyrus is the only one to call Eli out on his wallowing and whining.

    I give a 4 for Story because the story is fairly typical for the first half, with the side-characters carrying the weight of giving it individuality and life. I would've given a 4.5 for the first half as the introduction of new norms and information was well done, tiny chunks that did not feel like a lecture. And for all that Eli went on and on about Lenora, there was still a dry humour present in his internal monologue; just a couple of lines here and there that were so tongue-in-cheek that I'd burst out laughing, the friendly banter between Eli and Cyrus that just made me feel good for them. I didn't dislike him then. I thought he was a typical seventeen year old, but I didn't dislike him then.

    But then the humour vanishes, and the second half left me with a 3.5 because despite having more action and giving Podehl more emotional material to work with, it became increasingly dreary whenever Eli was left to his own devices (which at least thanks to Cyrus, isn't too much). The same issues would be turned over and over, which while potentially realistic becomes boring when exact lines get repeated. If this was a book, these would be the parts that I would skim over, but add in Podehl's choice of internal voice for Eli and those portions just became tiresome for me. I did not enjoy Eli. There was nothing that I particularly liked about him, he was an angry boy, condescending at times, holier-than-thou at times, self-deprecating and pitying when it suited him, and entirely far too self-absorbed with his perceived self-sacrifice.

    It's sad because I enjoyed the rest of the story, almost the entire rest of the cast, the setting and the situation that it posits, and the varied accents that Podehl pulls for the different characters. I want to find out more about the backstory, more about the ascenders and how things must be like for them, how things happened for them from their point of view. I want to find out if Cyrus is okay, how he deals with the new circumstances that is being thrown at him by sheer virtue of being Eli's first and best friend. I enjoyed this world, but I'm not sure that I can take another novel of Eli's internal whining and wallowing. I'm still undecided if I want to take that plunge. But that's me, maybe you can?

    I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mary
    20/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Artistic and Positive version of the Hunger Games"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. This was a great listen that offered a glimpse into our possible future. Any friend that enjoys post apocalyptic distopian/ utopian books would enjoy this read.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed the aspect of human and robot interaction and the idea of the eventual population of AI ruling the world. I also liked the Olympic games surrounding the arts; painting, singing, spoken word and dancing. This offered a great artistic element to the book whereas other similar books (Hunger Games) were brute strength and force.


    What about Nick Podehl’s performance did you like?

    The narrator did a great job with the various voices, especially the females. Most male narrators have trouble with the female voices but Nick did a great job.


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

    I would not listen to this in one setting. I listened to this over the course of a few days, mainly while driving. The similarities to other books necessitated the need to stop listening a bit. However, after a while the book took on its own form and finished very well.


    Any additional comments?

    I am eager to listen to the next book in this series. I would like to find out how characters deal with the various curve-balls they were thrown towards the ending of this book. <br/><br/>I was gifted this audio book by the author in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Kitty ranma
    02/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable sci-fi"

    I wish we could give half stars as well, I'd have given this story a 4 and a half. For me there was a little too much teen angst and teen crushing. But otherwise I loved it.
    A little about myself I'm a woman in my mid 50s, and I really enjoyed this so I would not consider it just a young adult book.
    The narration is great, Nick Podehl really brings the story to life. He differentiates between characters wonderfully.
    This audiobook was given to me for free at my request from the publisher or author or narrator and I provided this voluntary review.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Michelle H.
    06/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A good read"

    This was a great story once I got past the first chapter. I have found that the best books are hard to dive into but reward the reader well throughout the rest of the story. The narrator was awesome with his ability to bring individuality to each character, both male and female. All in all, it was a good book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • HD
    Crestview, FL
    20/05/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful story with awesome narrator."
    Would you listen to The Legacy Human again? Why?

    I think I will because I like to go back to really good stories after a while. Some I revisit yearly.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Legacy Human?

    When the two boys and Eli's mom were in the bathroom together. That was a touching scene.


    Have you listened to any of Nick Podehl’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Not sure about other audiobooks but he did a great job narrating this audiobook.


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

    Mom in the bathtub to reduce her fever.


    Any additional comments?

    I received this audiobook as a gift from the author and I voluntarily leave this honest review. I really enjoyed listening.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eric Reeves
    Raleigh, NC
    19/05/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A wonderful Science Fiction novel!"

    Ascending into a form greater than human was the result of man creating the singularity. However, not all humans received that privilege. Eli will do anything to help his mother rid her body of an illness that threatens to kill her. He'll break Ascender law, trade on the black market, or compete in the Ascender Olympics for a chance to ascend himself and his mother. But trouble finds Eli and his friends.

    This was an engaging book from the very beginning. Susan Quinn did a great job creating a world for me to live in and engage with for a while. I went through a range of emotions listening to Eli's journey. I felt the characters were nicely developed. The dialogue was very good and flowed nicely.

    I really enjoyed the narration. Nick did a wonderful job differentiating the characters by slightly modifying his voice. It was easy to tell who was speaking at any point in the dialogue. The pace was nice, and he threw in some laughs and whispers as demanded by the author. Very nicely done.

    I am excited to listen to the next entry in the Singularity Series!

    I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alicia
    23/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "OH MY GOODNESS"
    Would you listen to The Legacy Human again? Why?

    Yes!!!! A million times YES!!!!! <br/><br/>I loved it, as an artist this was especially intriguing to me as the descriptions of the art and techniques were so well done, but also because it just appealed to me.<br/><br/>The story is so fun, the idea of humans being transferred to machines is not an old one but I so enjoy the take on the science and technology behind it. The author doesn't try to act like it just happens, she takes the time to come up with a HOW.<br/><br/>I am soooo mad that it left me wanting more... I WILL be buying the sequel next month.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ohhhh....that's a hard one.....<br/>Sirus.... he has such a way to looking at things from all angles. He can tell both the negative and positive and be able to tell what will be the most beneficial to support. <br/>And he cares so much about what will happen...


    Have you listened to any of Nick Podehl’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not, to my surprise because the name seemed familiar. <br/><br/>But I did really enjoy his performance and hope he also did the sequel.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed... a LOT... I was very drawn in and came to care about the characters and what would happen to them.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved this book. It is all I have been able to talk about the last few days. <br/>As I got to the last two hours I started to realize that there was going to be a sequel and looked around to make sure I would have access to it.<br/><br/>I truly loved this book and am so glad that I found it.<br/><br/>I was provided a copy of this book for free in exchange for my unbiased opinion/review.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Eddie Mittelstedt
    Baltimore, Md
    20/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A case where the narrator ups the game"

    I really enjoyed this book. The opening scene just blew me away, and that emotion carried through for its entirety. Pair that with the amazing voice-over talents of Nick Podehl, and you have the recipe for an outstanding audio book.

    The entire concept of the Singularity is fascinating. Humans have evolved into "Ascenders" - computerized artificial bodies that humans have upload their consciousness into. Those that chose to remain human are now considered lower caste, and are treated like pets or worse.

    An Ascender may choose to be a "backer" to a lowly human if that Ascender sees artistic potential in that human. We see that's where the flaw in Ascending lies: that creative aspect of humanity is lost. The protagonist Elijah is backed by female Ascender Lenora, who sees great potential in him as a painter. Elijah is head-over-heels in love with Lenora - infatuated almost. And he wants to be an Ascender. This book is about that journey.

    As a fellow narrator, I'm always interested in how others handle transition states in books. In this case, Elijah enters fugue states at different times. Mr. Podehl handles this transition by speaking in a slower, deeper voice. I found this worked very well and was a great idea. Kudos, sir!

    Susan Kaye Quinn is an extremely talented writer. This whole package was a joy to read. This first book sets up so much material that many sequels could and should be written by Ms. Quinn.

    This audio book was gifted to me by the author at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jennifer L.
    14/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic Dystopian Story!!!"
    Where does The Legacy Human rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is a fantastic audiobook! It's at at the upper end of all the books I've listened to.


    What other book might you compare The Legacy Human to and why?

    I don't know of a good book to compare this to. The story is fairly unique and well written.


    Which character – as performed by Nick Podehl – was your favorite?

    I really like how he performed Eli, the main character. He captured the young, unsure voice perfectly.


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

    The moment when the veil is lifted was very powerful. Finding out what the question was and who the answer is...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Voracious Reader
    USA
    13/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Looking forward to the next book!"

    WHAT IT'S ABOUT
    Seventeen-year-old Elijah Brighton wants to become an ascender—a post-Singularity human/machine hybrid—after all, they’re smarter, more enlightened, more compassionate, and above all, achingly beautiful. But Eli is a legacy human, preserved and cherished for his unaltered genetic code, just like the rainforest he paints. When a fugue state possesses him and creates great art, Eli miraculously lands a sponsor for the creative Olympics. If he could just master the fugue, he could take the gold and win the right to ascend, bringing everything he’s yearned for within reach… including his beautiful ascender patron. But once Eli arrives at the Games, he finds the ascenders are playing games of their own. Everything he knows about the ascenders and the legacies they keep starts to unravel… until he’s running for his life and wondering who he truly is.

    MY TAKE
    Loved it! I was intrigued by the storyline anyway, and the book itself didn't disappoint. I listened to the audiobook, and Nick Podehl did a fabulous job. I love when the audiobook enriches the reading experience.

    It does take a definite religious bend, so if that kind of thing bugs you then this is not the read for you. But I didn't find it preachy at all. Heck, Eli's not a believer either.

    I really felt for Eli. He's such a great kid with a wonderful heart. Everything he goes for in this story is to help save his mother's life. The worldbuilding was great, showing a very dystopian future after some people "ascended" and then decided to preserve the genes of the "legacy" humans left behind. First, making sure that only a very limited few would have to option to ascend but also setting up a world where to preserve the DNA of those "legacy" humans lifesaving healthcare might be denied, as in the case of Eli's mother.

    But, hard as life has been for him, there's a lot more going on. Not just in the ascender world that he hopes to join to save his mother, but within himself, in his very DNA.

    The romance with Kamali is sweet, and I loved how they each wanted to help the other achieve their goals.

    The ending is kind of cliffhangerish, but only mildly so. The pressing danger in the first book is mostly resolved at the end, but you know there's way more to the story. I'm looking forward to the second book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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