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Summary

USA Today Best-seller Rhett C. Bruno's debut sci-fi series is a gritty, space-opera epic perfect for fans of The Expanse!

Earth is a dying planet. To survive, humanity founds the Circuit, a string of colonies across the solar system, dedicated to mining resources vital to preserving what remains of mankind. Here there are no heroes or villains, only those willing to do what's necessary to survive.

The New Earth Tribunal, a powerful religious faction, has risen to rule the Circuit. They believe a Spirit within the Earth will one day appear and welcome humanity back home. Following a string of seemingly random attacks, the Tribunal suspects its mortal enemy, the Ceresians, have again rallied to challenge their absolute rule. But a new, sinister threat has arisen - and it plans to bring down the Tribunal once and for all.

Join an unlikely band of would-be saviors - the Tribunal's best spy, a roguish Ceresian mercenary, a subservient android, and a disgraced general - as they are drawn into a conspiracy destined to change the Circuit forever.

"Bruno has crafted a complex, multi-dimensional story that combines the best of his genre with age-old truths - and quandaries - about humanity, politics, religion, family, and, yes, love." (Portland Book Review)

©2017 Diversion Books (P)2018 Podium Publishing

What members say

Average customer ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

This unit does not bleed.

Several centuries before, Earth had finally succumbed to mankind's abuse, killing millions and forcing survivors to find new homes in space, only made possible by the mined gravitum. The Circuit connected, protected and made travel possible between the numerous colonies. Many clans and factions had grown up but, after war, the Tribunes dominated with the religious beliefs about Earth itself and a far crude revival when the totally inhospitable homeworld would again be welcoming, green and filled with life, the atmosphere breathable, the ground not giving to ferocious upheavals. One man, Cassius Vale, had been instrumental in winning the war and had been rewarded by being made a Tribune, so becoming one of the four most powerful beings in the universe. However, the death of his only son so grieved him that he left his exhausted position and determined on a very different way forward. And he built a different son, ADAM.

Skillfully world building and breathing life into his characters, Rhett Bruno has written an enthralling story of the struggle to survive, political intrigue and double-cross, familial love and hate, friendship, courage, battles, murder, the threat of renewed war, new technologies and an android's coming of age. Narrator, Jefferson Mays, gives a pleasant, clear and well modulated reading, filled with understanding and giving differentiated voicings for all of the protagonists. His narration at first is in slow motion, which adds even greater strength to the action and emphasises the power of ADAM. However, this reader later increased the playback speed to 1.25, which in no way diminished the excellent performance.

The Circuit includes all three full length novels of the Circuit Trilogy - nearly thirty hours to explore the worlds, the people and their motivations as terror once again sweeps over the inhabitants inside the Circuit. Intriguing as well as exciting, and even better in audio, his book is not to be missed.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Intelligent Science-fiction

There’s intellectual thought behind this book is it All for the greater good for humanity to move forward ? To become the villain to force change ?

Good read and believable futuristic tale

And the narrator is brilliant one of the few American narrators I can listen to in science fiction

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A real masterpiece in the Sci Fi echelon

real masterpiece in the Sci Fi echelon. Engaging and complex, exciting and consuming. Itwas really great to have the whole.serues in on go and the hours of storytelling flew.by engaging us fully . Well done RC Bruno, and applause due for the excellent narration.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Wallace
  • London, Greater London United Kingdom
  • 11-11-18

Long winded and low depth

The narrator does a good job, but an awful lot narration feels like padding. The story is long and horribly drawn out. There is no depth to the main characters just declared caricatures. It is just a matter of fact that the robot has achieved sentience (uniquely in this universe), there is no dialog back-grounding the actions of main characters, the robot or truly the rage of Cassius.

Religion, Rome, and Robots all big subjects, all of it glossed over without any depth.

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  • Mr
  • 16-07-18

Narrator not for me.

I know it’s a matter of personal opinion but the narrator did not work for me at all. Seems at odds with all the other reviews but after 20 mins I returned the book.

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  • Scott R
  • Falkirk,Scotland, UK
  • 14-07-18

Space Fan-Tas-Tic

What a great book the circuit is full of an all to believable world with characters that appeal to the reader, or in this case the listener.
Who would think that a robot would be one you can feel for or that those who think there doing good can make us really think what would i do? and how I would feel. Rhett Bruno is starting to become a household k own popular sci fi author with good reason and this show cases why.
Although I think this worked better as a book rather than an audio almost 30hrs of a deep political epic is great and the skills of Jefforson Mays does great with his sonorous take on Cassius and Adam especially.
Some of the female characters i would of thought sounded different in my own head but he does a good job I think and i can see why he is so sought after.
For me the real skill is the political landscape and the insights into the characters that really grip you, something i think Rhett excels at.
For those new to his work then this is a great introduction to his work on audio and I'm sure will be the first of many as his name gathers followers and fans. Hopefully some of his other books follow suit as i think a lot of his work and characters need Audio and as an avid fan of good narration this is all good for us Audio fans.
This audio was requested and i have chosen to leave my thoughts on this.

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  • Alan McDonald
  • 03-07-18

An author who understands science fiction and true story telling!

I truly don’t know where to start in reviewing this tremendous work of sci-fi art. Because that’s what it is.
The narration is flawless! The narrator makes it seem like I’m really in the story.
This is truly a pure understanding of how to compose a story with rich characters along with intricate yet totally understandable backstories, unbelievable, but realistic environments, wonderful awe inspiring action at every turn, but I personally think that the real treat is the lesson the author and narrator have shown humanity.
This tale exposes all of our very real flaws as a supposedly civilized species.
It’s a mirror image of today’s horror here on Earth.
We lie to each other, cheat each other, kill one another and at the same time we’re destroying the only home we have.
Mr. Bruno, I hope I’m not reading more into your stories here than you wanted, but for me it was an exciting lesson.
I can’t give out spoilers, so all I can say to others is to read and or listen to this trilogy and if you love science fiction then this is for you.
Thank you Mr. Bruno and thanks to the narrator, Mr. Jefferson Mays.
Sincerely,
Alan McDonald
(note: my vision is impaired, so I was helped by my daughter to read this wonderful tale and I’ve managed to read most of his other wonderful works as well. The audiobook version provided me with no restrictions and was simply wonderful)

19 of 20 people found this review helpful

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  • Dr. Geoff
  • 05-07-18

Narration brings the story and characters to life!

I have both the Kindle version of The Circuit Trilogy and I have now listened to the narration expertly executed by Jefferson Mays on the Audible version.

Rhett Bruno is an expert at painting a story picture in words, and The Circuit Trilogy, comprising 3 volumes and 30 odd hours of listening pleasure is no exception. The Circuit is extremely professionally and well-crafted with a flair for imagery and extremely high quality writing and language usage. One of my favorite things about a Rhett Bruno piece is the quality of literary skill and enjoyment you get.

Adding the narration by Jefferson Mays, who is perfect for the characterizations and story-telling, only makes this near flawless gem all the more satisfying.

I read The circuit a while ago, so remembering the Frankensteinian awe of ADIM, the savage, ruthless pursuit of Casius Vale and his goals, yet at the same time his tenderness and love for what he cares about – this is a story full of juxtapositions, angst, and action. Casius is to all intents and purposes amoral and unethical in his single-mindedness of purpose. ADIM, for all that he is a lethal killing machine who flawlessly executes instructions demonstrates the innocence and naiveté of a child in some ways, yearning to express that machine-based love of his creator, wanting to be "loved", and exhibiting a sense of wonder in all things human.

There is a lot of action, violence, and immorality in this story. There are times when it will leave you gasping, crying, laughing and having to remember to breathe.

For me, that is what a good story is all about. Yes, it paints a dark – but very realistic – picture of humanity, with all its flaws, shams, and broken dreams, and yes, a very bleak future after we have decimated the planet. Yet somehow Bruno manages to find beauty, love, and some measure of hope for a better future. In a way it gives you that sense of morbid fascination like coming upon a horrific disaster or incredible work of art; it is terrible or wondrous to behold but you cannot take your eyes off it either way.

This is a very fast-paced story. It goes from subplot to storyline to action to alternating characters and points of view in such a flowing way that it never lags, and will always keep your interest. It will often keep you on the edge of your seat, and it will keep you up reading / listening long after you should turn out the lights and go to sleep.

Jefferson Mays was the absolute perfect pick for bringing this story to life, and he does so in a fashion that will keep you 100% riveted, attentive and absorbed. He was type cast for the roles, and does a masterful job at capturing the menacing immorality and the fragility of the human condition. Mays brings The Circuit to life.

This is one incredible story, one incredible performance, and left me saying to myself, if Bruno writes it or Mays performs it, I’m in! I want it!

This is not one to be on the fence about. Push the button. This is one not to be missed.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Willis Burns
  • 03-07-18

Some of the best Sci-Fi on Audible!

This is some of the best SF on Audible. The three books found within are set in the distant future. Its a true space opera in the sense that there's a need for a bit of disbelief suspension, but that's not a bad thing. Bruno does a great job of shifting between characters and plot lines and then back again. he built a wonderful world with the Earth uninhabitable and human settlements on the Moon and Mars, as well as on asteroids. It is violent, however not too graphic.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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  • Daniel O.
  • 13-07-18

Surprised and disappointed (in a good way)!

I hadn't read or listened to any works by Rhett C. Bruno before this title nor have I listened to any works narrated by Jefferson Mays. I was happily surprised at how much I enjoyed this book (compilation) and was disappointed when it finally came to a conclusion (I wanted more!). The publisher's summary compares it to The Expanse and I can see some similarities but I also got a slight "Red Rising" by Pierce Brown vibe (books 2+). I feel like if you enjoy either of those series this book would be a great addition to your reading/listening library.

The story took a bit to get going while it introduced characters and the universe (i'd say about 20 chapters or so before I was moved from interested to thoroughly hooked) but once it hooked me I couldn't stop listening! I think what I found most interesting about this book was that, despite some pretty clear indications that some 'bad' decisions were made (i.e., serious negative consequences for many), I really liked all of the 4 main characters! It was (for me) a unique experience where you start rooting for the 'bad guys' alongside the 'good guys' and find yourself at odds with who you really want to 'win'.

I was pleasantly surprised by the wonderful narration by Jefferson Mays and would not hesitate to pick up additional works narrated by him! Excellent performance and character variation throughout!

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

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Tm
  • 19-08-18

Arrrrggghhhhh

I just can’t continue. How did this book get so many 5 star ratings? The other critical reviews are 100% correct in my opinion. I’m about 4 hours into this book a could not care less what happens next. I am sending this one back. Btw Mays did a fine job. I don’t think he was a good choice for this book. His performance didn’t help or hurt this book it just is.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mike the mailmam
  • 05-07-18

Just as good to listen to with me ears as with my.

This is one of my first books that I have listened to after I have read the book or series I and I have to say the adventure was just as exciting and enjoyable to listen to as it was to read, the book was narrated by Jefferson May’s he did almost as good a job as Rhett Bruno in his reading or if you prefer narration of the books. I could feel the characters come alive thru his voice and the excitement that he transmitted with his telling. While this was one of my first it will not be my last the partnership between Mr Bruno and Mr Mays succeeded in making. Great series even better. I believe you will find the investment in money paid for the adventure and the time listening the series to be well spent.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Ecualegacy
  • 04-07-18

An Ugly Yet Beautiful Gift to Space Opera

Rhett delivers a fast-paced, dystopian, gray-morality thriller in the Circuit Trilogy. Having read science fiction for over 30 years, it is refreshing to find new authors with the talent to create characters that you'll remember after putting their books down. Rhett delivers here: from a broken-hearted megalomaniacal savior, to a brain-hijacked, religious assassin to a pirate father who is desperate to save his innocent daughter, you'll find gems of humanity in this story about so much inhumanity.

The fact that Podium picked Jefferson Mays, narrator for the wildly successful Expanse series, tells you all you need to know about the confidence that they have about how much you will enjoy this story.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Shane
  • 14-10-18

yep. it's a space opera

it's really awful. bad dialog. painful characters. no understanding of the physics of space travel. it made me want to scream.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • adam smith
  • 18-07-18

Great storytelling

Bruno delivers hard-hitting emotional impacts and tangled webs of the best intentions. His characters aren’t just tropes or archetypes, they are fully fleshed out people with real failings who just try to get by. His stories are driven by characters and their struggles for goals so you don’t need to worry about crappy plot devices and deus ex machina every other chapter. But he isn’t always gentle, so beware falling in love with those characters because he may bruise your heart (in a meaningful and acceptable way, unlike the nihilism of George R R Martin). If you enjoy excellent storytelling with a satisfying conclusion, grab this series. Then get ready to binge the rest of his whole catalogue.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • R Dillman
  • 15-07-18

Great SciFi

I loved the written book and very much enjoyed the audio version. Great production of a great book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful