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The Killing Star

Narrated by: Jay Snyder
Length: 7 hrs and 48 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Summary

The opening chapter of an incredible adventure that includes the destruction of Earth by ten thousand relativistic bombs launched by an alien race. This science fiction thriller follows the desperate struggles of the remnants of humankind to survive in a hostile universe.

©1995 Charles Pellegrino and George Zebrowski (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

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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

Interesting, but not gripping.

It's essentially an essay on a possible doomsday scenario. Not a happy novel, but some interesting ideas on how and why an alien intelligence might exterminate us.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

mixed views

The novel struggles to build on its elemental premise, I.e, a space fairing human race is a threat to other civilisations and must be eliminated. Most of the book is ham fisted thrusting of this viewpoint which does little to aid the plot. The authors constantly reiterate the importance of the relativistic bomb in a manner which implies they are proud of it and terribly clever. Such character development as exists consists of long winded anecdotes which serve as little more than mouthpieces for the authors views. I don't buy the absorption bomb idea which is crucial to one plot line. There is a general lack of conclusion but that is acceptable in the context of the story arc. Having said all this the book is still worth reading and raises some interesting questions.

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Great Start - Not-So-Great End

Would you try another book written by George Zebrowski and Charles Pellegrino or narrated by Jay Snyder?

If other books were longer or more complete- then yep

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

Flesh it out more - beyond an intriguing premise, it whittles out to nothing. Aliens come - destroy man. Some of man survives. The end.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Opening Scene

Any additional comments?

The story flows well but ends abruptly and without a sequel - feels as if it is simply constructed from one idea - the first chapter, where humanity is destroyed. The rest of the book leads up to the reason why and leaves it at that. Quite disappointing.

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  • Josh
  • 14-11-19

Absolutely terrifying!

Imagine yourself taking a stroll through Manhattan, somewhere north of 68th street, deep inside Central Park, late at night. It would be nice to meet someone friendly, but you know that the park is dangerous at night. That's when the monsters come out. There's always a strong undercurrent of drug dealings, muggings, and occasional homicides.

It is not easy to distinguish the good guys from the bad guys. They dress alike, and the weapons are concealed. The only difference is intent, and you can't read minds.

Stay in the dark long enough and you may hear an occasional distance shriek or blunder across a body.

How do you survive the night? The last thing you want to do is shout, "I'm here!" The next to last thing you want to do is reply to someone who shouts, "I'm a friend!"

What you would like to do is find a policeman, or get out of the park. But you don't want to make noise or move towards a light where you might be spotted, and it is difficult to find either a policeman or your way out without making yourself known. Your safest option is to hunker down and wait for daylight, then safely walk out.

There are, of course, a few obvious differences between Central Park and the universe.

There is no policeman.

There is no way out.

And the night never ends.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Erich L. Swafford
  • 25-03-17

The best Sci-Fi you never read

I have no idea how I missed this one back in the 90's. Let me assure you, it is not dated in any way (except for the dates on a few discoveries that seem not to have occurred!).

It's a profoundly great book that everyone with even a twinkling of interest in speculative fiction should read.

If you haven't yet, then I envy you. I wish they had done a sequel.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tyler M
  • 01-01-20

Great concept, good story.

Explores a lot of the same concepts as the three body problem, but years earlier. Story not as well executed, but worth the read/listen.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 23-08-19

A good book then and a better one now

I recall reading A Killing Star back in the mid 90s right after it first came out. Looking back I foubd it interesting then, an insightful "What of..." look at what could now be considered the near future.
Now more than 25 years later and after the development of many of the technology this book featured, it makes me wonder if this hard science fiction tale wasn't a harbinger for the late Steven Hawkings comments about boot announcing our presence to local space. One could speculate he might have read this book and them thought on it long and hard before coming to his own conclusions.
Regardless I would recommend this read for anyone who loves hard sci fi and doesn't mind a philosophy take tied in.

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  • Cody L Martin
  • 28-09-16

Good book, but reads more like a thought experimen

The narrator was great. Overall the story was ok. It seemed more like a thought experiment than a story. I was interested in the last quarter of the book and wished the authors had gone into more detail about the alien race.

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  • Mika
  • 15-03-15

Good story, chilling ideas, well narrated

There were some unrelated excursions from the story, but otherwise excellent scifi audio book. There is thinking be done for those who think ET are good.