Star Wars EU novel: Dawn of the Jedi – Into the Void (25,793 BBY)

After having read the Dawn of the Jedi comics trilogy, I was very excited to discover that there had also been written a novel with a storyline from that same ancient Star Wars period. I decided to try it in audiobook format, because in this very busy daily life, who has time to sit down and actually read a book? Life is short, many things have to be enjoyed, and if possible, combined 🙂

The novel Dawn of the Jedi: Into the Void was written by Tim Lebbon and narrated by January LaVoy. As an audiobook, it will take you 10 hours 27 minutes to finish, which is including an extra short story at the end of the novel, titled Eruption, which actually takes place before the storyline in the novel.

Publisher’s summary

On the planet Tython, the ancient Je’daii order was founded. And at the feet of its wise Masters, Lanoree Brock learned the mysteries and methods of the Force – and found her calling as one of its most powerful disciples. But as strongly as the Force flowed within Lanoree and her parents, it remained absent in her brother, who grew to despise and shun the Je’daii, and whose training in its ancient ways ended in tragedy.

Now, from her solitary life as a Ranger keeping order across the galaxy, Lanoree has been summoned by the Je’daii Council on a matter of utmost urgency. The leader of a fanatical cult, obsessed with traveling beyond the reaches of known space, is bent on opening a cosmic gateway using dreaded dark matter as the key – risking a cataclysmic reaction that will consume the entire star system. But more shocking to Lanoree than even the prospect of total galactic annihilation, is the decision of her Je’daii Masters to task her with the mission of preventing it. Until a staggering revelation makes clear why she was chosen: The brilliant, dangerous madman she must track down and stop at any cost is the brother whose death she has long grieved – and whose life she must now fear.

©2013 Tim Lebbon (P)2013 Random House Audio

My thoughts: Great narration but the story disappoints

What can I say, this story fell short for me. It was pretty anti-climactic after the thrilling adventure that was the Dawn of the Jedi comics trilogy. The characters felt very two-dimensional and the supposed heroine was, frankly, rather annoying and unsympathetic. Je’daii (pronounced correctly by the narrator with the emphasis on the second syllable) Ranger Lanoree Brock came across as endlessly harassing and nagging her brother, not accepting his making a different life choice. Now, this concept in itself I could understand, it is very human to struggle with choices close family members make that we maybe don’t get. And yes, we sometimes fall short and start nagging to them about it. However, the author did not succeed in writing a gripping story about it, nor did he give his heroine anything remotely resembling an interesting internal monologue; she simply kept repeating how the Force was with her, how much she constantly was aware of it, and, frankly, how awesome it made her. Quite boring. And intensly annoying.
The author fails to explain what it’s like to keep the Force balanced within you, since that is what it’s like to be a Force wielder in these ancient times. There are no Jedi and Sith as we know them, no Light and Dark side force wielders; everyone keeps Light & Dark in balance within them. Lanoree talks the talk but we never see her actually walking that walk, it’s only the Light side that she wields. Only in the bonus short story Eruption, that is included in the audiobook, we finally see a Je’daii choosing to wield the Dark side for a certain purpose, but still not Lanoree – and that short story is by a different author… What I liked about that short story as well, is that we meet Hawk Ryo again, we know him from the Dawn of the Jedi comics, where he was a master, but in Eruption he is still a Ranger, which I guess could be compared to what we know as a Jedi Knight.

As for the “bad guy” in the novel, Lanoree’s brother, the novel does not make clear at all how he reaches his point of Super Villainy. It starts out as him choosing not to have anything to do with the Force, and how he longs to explore the rest of the universe, which seem to me to be quite reasonable thoughts and wants. But why this is not acceptable in these Early Days is never explained (would have been interesting!), nor if he is even Force sensitive. It seemed to me he was not, or not much, which makes Lanorees harassing him even more irritating. Be that as it may, how all this turns him into a full-blown psychopath in the end, is never explained and therefore to me as a reader he is not believable as a villain.

Then there was the sidekick to the heroine. A supposed ‘real’ bad guy with whom she partners out of necessity, but somehow he turns out pretty darn ‘good’ for a criminal. Why he stays loyal to Lanoree confounds me, as she openly uses him and does not seem to care about his well-being at all. For instance, when he’s injured she promises him that he’ll get medical treatment once they reach her ship, but when they finally do, he doesn’t get any treatment whatsoever (sigh). Had I cared for this sidekick character at all, it would probably have bugged me.

However, I did not care for any of them. I finished the novel because I kept hoping it would get better, it being Star Wars after all, but when it finally reached its so-called climax, I felt robbed – of time I would never get back…

In conclusion, if you’d like to find out more about the early Je’daii, skip this novel and get your hands on the comics, for they are truly awesome examples of ancient Star Wars lore, with gorgeous graphic artwork.

Narration was good however, and I also liked the Star Wars music and sound effects, although it was a bit weird to hear the same sound effects for the Light side of the Force as were used for the Dark Side in Darth Plagueis and Darth Bane.

Audiobook: 12 Rules for Life – by Jordan B. Peterson

To hear me read this review, check out episode 530 of the Spiritblade Underground Podcast, go to timestamp 30:17.

Dr. Jordan Peterson, for those of you who don’t know, is a Canadian clinical psychologist, cultural critic, and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. His main areas of study are the psychology of religious and ideological belief, and the assessment and improvement of personality and performance.

Christians: Some discernment is in order

The reason I’m reviewing this non-fiction book on my mostly christian geek blog, is that this book, among others, has a definite spiritual viewpoint. The author speaks about god (little ‘g’ because I don’t know which god he actually means), references the bible frequently and believes in judeo-christian values, but also explores some buddhist and new age concepts, some Jungian ideas and goes back to religious and spiritual archetypes that date back to ancient civilizations and religions. The book has an overall gnostic aspect to it that I can’t exactly place my finger on but is definitely there.

This audiobook is narrated by the author himself and will take you 15 hours and 39 minutes to finish.

Publisher’s Summary

Penguin presents the audiobook edition of 12 Rules for Life, written and read by Jordan B. Peterson.

What are the most valuable things that everyone should know? Acclaimed clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson has influenced the modern understanding of personality, and now he has become one of the world’s most popular public thinkers, with his lectures on topics from the Bible to romantic relationships to mythology drawing tens of millions of viewers.

In an era of unprecedented change and polarising politics, his frank and refreshing message about the value of individual responsibility and ancient wisdom has resonated around the world.

In this book, he provides 12 profound and practical principles for how to live a meaningful life, from setting your house in order before criticising others to comparing yourself to who you were yesterday, not someone else today. Happiness is a pointless goal, he shows us. Instead we must search for meaning, not for its own sake but as a defence against the suffering that is intrinsic to our existence.

Drawing on vivid examples from his clinical practice and personal life, cutting-edge psychology and philosophy, and lessons from humanity’s oldest myths and stories, Peterson takes the listener on an intellectual journey like no other. Gripping, thought-provoking and deeply rewarding, 12 Rules for Life offers an antidote to the chaos in our lives: eternal truths applied to our modern problems.

©2018 Jordan B. Peterson (P)2018 Penguin Books Ltd

My thoughts: Food for thought, inspite of the commercial title

This book has the same feel as Peterson’s lectures; it’s organized in logical and easy-to-follow yet worth-listening-to-again chapters. I have listened to 90% of the author’s online lectures and watched many of his interviews, so I was expecting a lot of rehashing of his older material. Which in part is true, and yet this book still offers more insight, even to the seasoned interview-listener and lecture-watcher. I guess that is because in his lectures Peterson has a different goal, to educate his students on their way to their PhD’s, so he presents his points in different order and highlights different things. And in his interviews he (understandably) often offers a limited number of roughly the same main points, not quite oneliners but close.
This book, differently organized and ordered by 12 life rules, really offers new insights on top of his known material, inviting you to comtemplate them at your leisure – as long as you’re honest about yourself (or at least are not lying).

I particularly enjoyed his analyses of several well-known fairytales. I’d heard his elaborate analysis of Pinocchio in his lectures before, plus short insights into Sleeping Beauty and Hansel & Gretel, but this time he shortens Pinocchio and dives deeper into the other two. Plus the Little Mermaid and some others.

Below: the first of Peterson’s three (long) lectures in which he analyses Pinocchio to provide a specific example of the manner in which great mythological or archetypal themes inform and permeate narrative. 

I really wish Peterson would write a book in which he explores many more of the old fairy tales we all know and love! “12 Fairytales to Remember” or some such; I would immediately buy such a book, his analyses of those are astonishingly insightful.

Narration: passion and emotion

I almost always like it when an author narrates his own work, for the author knows exactly what he wanted to say through his specific sentences and chapters, and will accentuate and highlight the words and phrases he wants to emphasize. Peterson does that very well, and makes sure that we know exactly what he thinks about certain issues – “and that’s that!” That in itself does not necessarily earn it five stars from me. What was truly unique about Peterson’s reading however, is his emotion. After all, this is not a novel; I don’t expect any deep emotion while listening to non-fiction, other than, perhaps, some light humor. But in 4-5 different moments in the book, the author is deeply moved by what I suspect are his own memories, sometimes painful and sometimes very beautiful and touching. It must have been his conscious choice not to edit those narrated passages out and re-do them, but to leave the more emotional readings in as they are.
A unique choice, that took some getting used to; for me it sometimes bordered on cringe, especially when I could not follow him into that same emotion – for instance when his emotion was evoked not by a personal memory but by an abstract concept such as “what is the meaning of life” or some such.

Coda: Gnostic tendencies

His coda at the end is of a different tone. Peterson quotes the bible a lot but as far as I can see he’s not a born-again christian. He seems to treat the bible as a precious book of wisdom, not the Word of the living God. I suspect it’s all a bit Jungian in that it’s a mix of New Age concepts, gnosticism, buddhism and several other spiritual influences, even some freemasonry; together with, of course, psychological, historical and cultural insights. It’s this odd mixture that made it different from the entire rest of the book, and for me personally was the least insightful as gnosticism, New Age, freemasonry etc. mostly bring confusion instead of wisdom (imho; n=1).

Recommendation

In conclusion, I really liked the book and will most likely be repeat-listening to it regularly – especially for the psychological insights. I am also looking forward to the sequel, which the author has announced in the media he’s seriously contemplating – as apparently he has in fact 40 rules for life and these were only the first 12 🙂

Review: Ahsoka (a Star Wars new canon novel)

To hear me read this review, check out episode 513 of the Spiritblade Underground Podcast, go to timestamp 22:42.

By now I’m pretty much dedicated to the Star Wars Expanded Universe – or rather Star Wars Legends, as it’s called now. However, my dedication only grew firm after having tried several works of the new Star Wars canon as Lucas Story Group now publishes it. Among which were two novels, which I both tried in audiobook format. The first was Tarkina review of which I posted a couple of months ago. The second novel was Ahsoka, which I’m reviewing today. And as with Tarkin, I was underwhelmed – to my own disappointment.

The novel was written by E.K. Johnston. In audiobook format it takes 7 hours and 8 minutes to finish, and is narrated by Ashley Eckstein – who also voices Ahsoka in both animated series!

Publisher’s summary

Fans have long wondered what happened to Ahsoka after she left the Jedi Order near the end of the Clone Wars and before she reappeared as the mysterious Rebel operative Fulcrum in Rebels. Finally her story will begin to be told.

Following her experiences with the Jedi and the devastation of Order 66, Ahsoka is unsure she can be part of a larger whole ever again. But her desire to fight the evils of the Empire and protect those who need it will lead her right to Bail Organa – and the Rebel Alliance.

©2016 E. K. Johnston (P)2016 Listening Library

My thoughts

The SW new canon novel Ahsoka was high on my wish list, for I’m both a huge Star Wars Clone Wars animated series fan, as well as a Star Wars Rebels fan. Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker’s padawan, was one of the new characters that were invented specifically for the SW The Clone Wars series, and quickly became a fan favorite. Many viewers who watched the Clone Wars were thrilled to see her return as an adult force wielder in the more recent series Rebels. Many fans – me included – were wondering what happened to her in the years between both series. How did she grow up, was she still in contact with the Jedi order or did she maybe return to them, and, most importantly: how did she get two colorless white light sabers? Ahsoka the novel promised to answer these questions and more, so I purchased it with anticipation.

Of course the audio effects are, as always, awesome, they really add to the story and the “feel” of the SW universe.
I found that this novel was clearly aimed at a young adult audience, for it wasn’t as exciting nor as deep as I had hoped. Possibly this may also be due to purely commercial deliberations by the publisher, simply wanting to keep on ‘milking the SW cow’ and making some easy money by throwing the fans a bone with an aluring title. Perhaps this sounds harsh and overly dramatic, but the novel left me with a sense of betrayal – well, kind of anyway; I mean it’s only a novel. But It’s like with the new Star Wars movies (parts 7 and 8, and even Rogue One): I’m beginning to feel the soul that was in the original Star Wars storylines, including the (Lucas-approved) Expanded Universe, has been ripped out by the now Disney-owned Lucas Story Group, leaving me as a fan nothing but some empty shells and no substance. (Hence, my recent exploration of the Legends content, formerly known as the Expanded Universe – but more on that in future posts).

About the only plus about the novel is that it does indeed explain where and how Ahsoka got the two uniquely white light sabres we know her to have in Star Wars Rebels.

So, hardcore Star Wars fans, be warned and only add this piece of new SW canon to your collection if you’re an absolute completist.

Also follow my reviews on Audible.com! (where I am Katarina – if you’re an Audible listener, simply bookmark my Listerner page once you’ve found me)

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Review: The Temporal Void by Peter F. Hamilton

This was my fifth very lengthy title by Peter F. Hamilton, all of which in the same universe, and I have to say, this is the best one so far! And the rest got 4 stars from me as well, mind you. I don’t know if I finally acquired the taste needed to fully appreciate these stories, or if this one was actually really better than the previous ones. Whatever the case may be, I was engrossed. Again.

Publisher’s summary

From one of the world’s best-selling science-fiction writers….

The Intersolar Commonwealth is in turmoil as the Living Dream’s deadline for launching its Pilgrimage into the Void draws closer. Not only is the Ocisen Empire fleet fast approaching on a mission of genocide, but also an internecine war has broken out between the post-human factions over the destiny of humanity.

Countering the various and increasingly desperate agents and factions is Paula Myo, a ruthlessly single-minded investigator, beset by foes from her distant past and colleagues of dubious allegiance…but she is fast losing a race against time.

At the heart of all this is Edeard the Waterwalker, who once lived a long time ago deep inside the Void. He is the messiah of Living Dream, and visions of his life are shared by, and inspire billions of humans. It is his glorious, captivating story that is the driving force behind Living Dream’s Pilgrimage, a force that is too strong to be thwarted. As Edeard nears his final victory the true nature of the Void is finally revealed.

©2009 Peter F Hamilton (P)2009 Tantor Media, Inc

My thoughts: “Best one yet!”

Of course you’ll need to take your time with this one again. As always this more than 25-hour-listen requires your undivided attention, which is why I can’t listen to the entire trilogy in a one-week-long binge. Nevertheless, I always come back to the next one in the series, because these novels have definitely captured my imagination.

This second book in the Void trilogy really deepens both stories of this novel-within-a-novel, in an exciting way. There’s the scifi story with several well-loved characters, and then of course there’s the fantasy novel about Edeard, living his life on a planet in the Void.

The climax near the end of the novel is awesome, I have to say I thought “OMG Hamilton pulled a Game of Thrones!”. I won’t spoil what I mean by that, but you can give it a guess in the comment section 😎

And as if that weren’t enough, he also manages to add a third (sub)genre to this one novel, namely the superhero archetypal story. And on top of that, there was even a hint of Western this time. I loved it, it was so well done!

This story has everything I want from my novels: a thrilling plot, my three favorite genres, well fleshed-out characters, romance, adventure, high tech, magic, and some very, very skilled writing.

Narration, as always with John Lee, was absolutely superb.

Can’t praise this novel enough – money well, well spent!

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The Land: Founding – a LitRPG Audiobook review

As is fitting for an audiobook review :-), you can also listen to me reading it out loud, on the Christian Geek Central podcast, episode #510. Go to timestamp 17:35.

Having wet my appetites with the Awaken Online series, I recently tried the next title on my ever-growing LitRPG wish list: The Land: Founding. This is part 1 of the by now six-volumed Chaos Seeds series, written by Aleron Kong. The 9 hours 49 minutes long story is narrated by Nick Podehl.

Publisher’s Summary

Tricked into a world of banished gods, demons, goblins, sprites and magic, Richter must learn to meet the perils of The Land and begin to forge his own kingdom. Actions have consequences across The Land, with powerful creatures and factions now hell-bent on Richter’s destruction.

Can Richter forge allegiances to survive this harsh and unforgiving world or will he fall to the dark denizens of this ancient and unforgiving realm?

A tale to shake “The Land” itself, measuring 10/10 on the Richter scale, how will Richter’s choices shape the future of The Land and all who reside in it? Can he grow his power to meet the deadliest of beings of the land? When choices are often a shade of grey, how will Richter ensure he does not become what he seeks to destroy?

ps – Gnomes Rule

©2016 Tamori Publications (P)2017 Tamori Publications

My thoughts

This was my first audiobook narrated by Nick Podehl, and I’m an immediate fan! This is truly awesome narration, with great voice acting for each character and many different voices to distinguish between them. His female voices are among the best, maybe the best, I’ve heard by a male narrator. So from now on, Podehl may read anything and I’ll listen to it. Which means I’m probably going to get this entire series.

That being said, the first book of this many-volumed series was okay. It was entertaining enough, and I’m even willing to try the second book in the series. However, I’m not sure when since it won’t be the highest on my wish list. The Land: Founding only gets three stars from me, because I’ve read and listened to much better books. By which I mean, better fleshed out characters, more conflict or striving in the plot (everything comes pretty easily to the main character), and a far more complex and thrilling storyline overall.
I had difficulty caring for the main characters, they were so two-dimensional. The plot had a definite YA feel, and I’m not even sure the author was aiming for that.

I had another issue, which were the many game stats. They were too many, too often. Maybe it would have helped if they’d chosen a completely different narrator to be the game computer reading of the stats (like in Awaken Online), but still. I lost interest every time they were read.

Another issue I had was the way the main character leveled up. It was not exciting at all, to me it seemed he gained level points for about anything he did, said or looked at. Which took away any kind of thrill the listener may have felt. Again, Awaken Online does a much better job there.

But:
1. since this is only volume one;
2. since the main premise is still interesting (certain in-game humans are permanently trapped in the game);
3. since I was absolutely positively intrigued by the first couple of prologue pages (which I won’t spoil but which offer a kind of “behind the scenes” viewpoint of some greater ‘powers that be’),
I am – probably – going to continue with the next volume. Also, the already mentioned great narration is a not unimportant deciding factor there.

The book is long enough to be worth the credit, and I can appreciate it as (very) light entertainment in between more ‘heavy’ works of literature.

This was only my second series in the LitRPG genre, but as it stands now, this is my Top Two:
1. Awaken Online series
2. Chaos Seeds series

So, to be continued I guess!

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Audiobook review: Mission Trip

Recently I was contacted by Christian Geek Central to see if I would be interested in reviewing a scifi audiobook by a Christan author, for the Christian Geek Central podcast. Which of course I was, so I was given a free review copy audiobook and have voluntarily written this review. I was not required to write a positive review and this reflects my honest opinion of the work.

In the spirit of this being an audiobook review, you can also listen to me reading it on the aforementioned podcast, episode #511! Go to time stamp 20:07.

I have not read or listened to many Christian scifi novels yet, so I’m not very familiar with a broad spectrum within this genre – if there is one. So I was very curious about Mission Trip, a novel by John Theo, which will take you 6 hours 41 minutes to finish in audiobook format.

I had never read anything like the novel’s concept before, as far as its Christian characters are concerned: in the near future the USA has grown increasingly left-wing totalitarian, the constitution has been abolished, and the persecution of Christians was so harsh that they fled the country, following a tech genius who found Christ and built a large underwater city. This is only the backdrop; the actual story takes place decades after that, near the close of the 21st century. By that time the USA as we know it doesn’t exist anymore. The world, or at least the former USA and something called New Europe, is filled with sin and ruled by evil, there are no more personal freedoms and the only law seems to be Survival of the Fittest. In this story, unexpectedly, it’s the Christians who are doing fine. They have high tech & state of the art science departments, personal liberties, weapons and they are living isolated from the rest of the world. Or, as the publisher’s summary reads:

In the year 2077, the United States has become a post-apocalyptic footnote in the world history books. The only place freedom still exists is in a shielded underwater city called The Atoll, where a group of Christian refugees are trying to start over. The Atoll inhabitants are hated for their freedoms and hunted for their technology, but even in their protective bubble, treachery still finds a way in.

©2016 John Theo Jr. (P)2016 Clean Reads

My thoughts: “Intriguing concept”

As I already stated above, I was intrigued by the concept of a world where Christians for once were not the weak ones. With such a concept the story could have gone in several directions I think; in this case, the Christians are just like they are today.
When they are severely persecuted they withdraw into a utopian society they’re trying to build and maintain, seemingly unaware of history’s many lessons that there are no such things as man-made utopias. They of course still have to struggle with their own fallen natures, raw emotions, sinful thoughts, secularism, etc.

I liked the realism of this scenario. I found it perfectly believable that, once Christians successfully retreated into a literal safe bubble, one of their main spiritual issues would ultimately become a lack of love for the rest of fallen mankind. The same goes for the differences in character and belief. Christians in secular stories are often painted as if from one template, and usually not a very positive one. Not so in this book. There are people who are strong in their belief, people who have doubts, and people who are tempted by (and have fallen to) secularism and atheism.

I also had some issues with this story. The characters remain fairly two-dimensional, by which I mean there isn’t a lot of character development. Most of them are of one opinion or mindset and they stick to it throughout the novel; people do not seem to learn anything that results in actual character growth. I liked the main character well enough, although he too wasn’t really fleshed out, but it made it difficult for me to root for any of the other characters. There were several decisions made by characters that seemed mainly convenient as a plot device (I can’t say more about that because I don’t want to spoil anything). And lastly, the novel doesn’t seem to have made up its mind about whether it’s a study of certain political and philosophical issues, or an action scifi adventure. Both could be interesting; focussing on one or the other would have helped the story gain its feet, imho.

Narration by Karey James Kimmel was fine, I liked the narrator’s voice and the tone he chose. There were some issues with accentuating the right words in sentences, which tended to distract me, though not for long. His portrayal of female characters could be better.

In conclusion, on the one hand the characters could have been more three-dimensional. On the other hand, the concept deserves praise for its originality and may lead to very interesting sequels.
All in all this story was perfectly fine.

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Check out the trailer for Mission Trip:

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Audiobook short: The Dispatcher (narrated by Zachary Quinto)

As is fitting for an audiobook review :-), you can also listen to me reading it out loud, on the Christian Geek Central podcast, episode #504. Go to timestamp 40:59.

Sometimes you just want to listen to something nice for about 2-3 hours. You don’t feel like a podcast or some audio course, and who listens to Talk Radio anymore? No, you really want an audiobook, you just want a finished story this time.

It’s for occasions like these, that there are the really, really short audio books. Recently I listened to a great find in this category, called The Dispatcher. It’s written by John Scalzi, narrated by Zachary Quinto (yes, the one and only.). The unabridged version of this audio novella will take you only 2 hours and 19 minutes to finish.

Publisher’s Summary

Zachary Quinto – best known for his role as the Nimoy-approved Spock in the recent Star Trek reboot and the menacing, power-stealing serial killer, Sylar, in Heroes – brings his well-earned sci-fi credentials and simmering intensity to this audio-exclusive novella from master storyteller John Scalzi.

One day, not long from now, it becomes almost impossible to murder anyone – 999 times out of a thousand, anyone who is intentionally killed comes back. How? We don’t know. But it changes everything: war, crime, daily life.

Tony Valdez is a Dispatcher – a licensed, bonded professional whose job is to humanely dispatch those whose circumstances put them in death’s crosshairs, so they can have a second chance to avoid the reaper. But when a fellow Dispatcher and former friend is apparently kidnapped, Tony learns that there are some things that are worse than death and that some people are ready to do almost anything to avenge a supposed wrong.

It’s a race against time for Valdez to find his friend before it’s too late…before not even a Dispatcher can save him.

©2016 John Scalzi (P)2016 Audible, Inc.

My thoughts

This is a lovely palate cleanser between giant sagas and other enormous works of fiction. With a very original main premise to begin with, the author succeeds in turning the story into an interesting whodunnit. The atmosphere reminded me of a nineteen fourties black & white murder mystery, complete with a set of rather 2D characters that are, however, archetypal enough to pull you into the story.

Archetypal, and yet still ’21st century’ as well, with a protagonist whose shady morals are only somewhat uncovered as the story unfolds and cleverly leaves the rest to the listener’s imagination. Also not very ‘last century’, is the main character’s somewhat unwilling partnering with a slightly-manipulative-but-sympathetic-nonetheless female police detective. Think Misty in Marvel’s recent tv series Luke Cage.

It is not the most exciting of stories I’ve ever read or listened to, nor did it keep me glued to my couch. Nevertheless, the narrator is what makes this novella a great listen. Not only would Quinto’s voice make virtually any book enjoyable, he also employs some of his acting skills to give you different character voices, and more importantly, different emotions. That was a real treat.

All in all I enjoyed this down to earth murder mystery in its subtly present contemporary scifi setting enough to recommend it. However, for me personally it would not have been worth full price, it’s really too short for that.

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