Captain Jacob Thomas, USMC, is a divorced combat veteran just trying to get his life back on track. Returning to the marine corps after a failed attempt at reconciliation with his estranged wife, Jake volunteers for a DARPA experiment that catapults him into a future where humanity has been stripped of 200 years of technological advancements and more than half its population. With the help of a faceless benefactor named Alice, he escapes the confines of an abandoned lab facility and starts a journey to put Earth back on a path to recovery. Jake's path begins in the rich farmlands of central California and eventually places him in orbit and face to face with the very evil that started it all.
©2014 CW Lamb (P)2015 Tantor
The writing is terrible. I don't know how old the author is but i can only assume he is a teenager that never had an editor go over the book. Its beyond me how it became an audio book.
No, he cant write worth a damn.
The main character spends a decent amount of time arguing with the women about how he never wanted to create a harem and is 'uncomfortable' with it happening. I can only assume the author wrote this in to try and imply that the main character is a decent moral person who was pushed into the situation because the women all fell in love with him and just want to make babies with him-as well as how he can justly have a semblance of a relationship with each one based on the grounds that he is moral and not taking advantage of them. Its ridiculous. A teenagers sci-fi wet dream.
His vocal inflections and ques are a bit of a mess and monotone.
It just makes me sad that this book actually got through publishing. Sure - OK, if it wasn't so poorly written it wouldn't be quite so bad, but i'm so sick of the 'just and moral' hero who needs to be seen as good by everyone. One dimensional characters all around
Let the Wookiee win.
Ok so I was expecting a top selling sci-fi but instead I get a pandering poorly written teenage wet dream.
The narrator was ok but no way near as good as say Simon Vance.
If you want to read some decent sci-fi steer clear of this book and instead try something by Jack Campbell, Peter Clines or James S. A. Corey.
"5 star sci-fi, 1 star lame romance novel"
Narrator sounds like he should stick to reading to his grandkids. NO character differentiation. There is gender distinction, but everyone sounds the same, and the women are whiny and pouty trying to be sexy.
Absolutely hooked by the opening plot. Great sci-fi. Love Jake, love Alice, love the premise. I listened to the end just for that. I also love how it turned out and can't wait to read another.
That said, the conversion into a worse-than-B-grade romance novel destroys the quality of the story. It's like a 12-year-old trying to write porn. At this time in American history, there are more women than men so they are used to sharing. For some reason it is deemed necessary for Jake to reproduce, so he takes up with 5 or more women. They all handle it very well, they are not jealous (except when they are), rather they are supportive of each other (except when they feel they aren't getting enough of Jake). They cease being intelligent women and turn into sex kittens. All the women are beautiful and have perfect bodies with large busts, and no thigh lumps. It's okay for there to be love relations in sci-fi stories, but I didn't come here for Danielle Steel, and this stuff is so juvenile and over-written that you will roll your eyes, shake your head, and sigh.
I don't know who would enjoy this kind of stuff; it's not imaginative, not titillating, not grown up. For example:
* Jake (despairing of his responsibilities managing several computer sites): If we open more alien facilities, I'm screwed!
Female: Oh, I'm pretty sure that happened last night. [and the author can't leave it alone], and I was hoping it would happen tonight too! [still can't leave it alone] she said with a wicked wink. [sigh, shake my head]
*trite "sexy" lines like "I resemble that remark!" and "I barely rate "saucy wench"!
And. I get so tired of doing the editor's job. I get tired of talking to the recording, correcting grammar, tired of making word changes. E.g. He lay her on the couch. This writer uses only about 1/4 the past perfect tense and he should, even after allowing for individual choice. One of the worst examples: "Jake wore his flight suit that morning, and had not changed it all day." Any high school English teacher would change this to, "Jake HAD PUT ON his flight suit that morning, and had not changed it all day."
Anyway, I guess I have to accept that there are no editors anymore and that whatever sorry excuse for grammar the writer delivers is what gets published.
I really don't know how to rate this story. If the next one continues with such infantile, trite, gag-me "romance" drivel, I will have to go see Nora Roberts, or Lolita.
"Story limited by the booty call"
There is a large portion of the book detailing the main character's sexual escapades with multiple women that he recruits into "service" after he wakes up from stasis. I'm sure that "man from the distant past" meets "Earth rebounding from apocalypse" can generate some strange circumstances, but "Building a harem" wasn't one of them. The author even mentions "harem" and "booty call" in the book so I feel warranted in the headline for this review. I could even get onboard with the concept if he didn't make it such a main aspect of the book.
Beyond addressing the obvious, I would say that the author needs to present the motivations of the characters in a better way. Danger doesn't really present itself until the last 25% of the book. There seems to be no urgency for much of the story. It seems to progress as a function of the needs of the "AL:ICE" computer(?) system.
No scene was my favorite. The sci-fi aspects were good. I really liked AL:ICE. Who wouldn't like an artificial intelligence with a self preservation agenda who was willing to manipulate people to get her(?) way? It might have been done before, but that part of the story was enjoyable none-the-less.
No it doesn't need a follow-up. Even if it were to explore some of the alien races and further push out mankind into space, I fear that were
I like the concept / premise. I like the sci-fi ideas. If you just want to put your brain on hold and don't mind a lot of teenage fantasy thrown in then this book is fun.
Story is a collection of simplistic "perfect" scenarios working to elevate humanity ( US centric) toward galactic superiority. Thrown in is a healthy dose of adolescent soft porn scenes. I felt sorry of the narrator wading through much of that. Narrator was reasonable. Overall: Stay away from this unless you are a spotty teenager.
"Not deep, or even epic but still enjoyable and fun"
Lately I've been searching for a good Military Scifi Book like "Old Man's War" or "The Prince Roger Series", when I came upon "Alice". While this book won't be in my top 10 list, I definitely had fun with it...
The author's writing style really reminds me of John Ringo but lacking any technical detail. The setting/world is written in broad strokes with little of the details actually being filled in. Being a rebuilt post apocalyptic world, it's relatively easy for the reader to kinda fill/make up the details for themselves. The big thing in my personal opinion that is missing from making this a great book is the technical details/explanations. Authors like John Ringo, David Weber, Travis S. Taylor know how to add those parts in and create great books. This story is more along the lines of "well we recovered alien power cells that allow us to create ships that can travel over 3,000 miles in 20 minutes". While all Scifi books by there very nature require some suspension of disbelief, this book just kinda ignores that step and keeps plowing along. Normally I'd hate that but the pace of the story makes you wanna keep going. Kinda like John Ringo's Troy Series, starting off with a guy cutting fire wood for odd jobs and following him building a Death Star (cough, cough). This story is very wide encompassing but like I mentioned before, it's missing that technical details/explanations that allow for the reader to have that suspension of disbelief. That being the case the story gets predictable and even campy at times. The book is very formulaic with an interesting but stretched premise, a basic plot and decent spots of action. I do want to emphasize though, I did find this book fun and entertaining. I can't really put my finger on what kept me hooked. I was trying to explain this to a friend and I found movie comparisons worked the best. If you had fun watching movies like "The Core", "Battleship", "Waterworld", Battlefield: Los Angeles", & "Independance Day". I think you will have will have fun with "Alice". Just don't go in expecting "Black Hawk Down" or "Inception" or you will be dissappointed.
Now that I've completed this book it will definitely go into my easy listening category. It will be one of those books I turn on when I need background noise or use to fall asleep since. I will be watching for future books from this author. If he just adds that technical detail he's missing, I think he could become one of my favorite authors. Two things I will add is that while the book does not end on a cliffhanger, it definitely leaves many plot lines incomplete (Like the 1st "Divergence" movie, sorry haven't had a chance to read the book or see the second movie). 2nd the book does deal with the main character being involved in polygamy or maybe a willing harem is more closer description as the protagonist doesn't technically marry anyone. The book does give a explanation for this but it pretty much that after an apocalypse there are more women then men and our protagonist genes are encoded to access secret items and things can't be changed to accept others DNA. It's a little more detailed than that but its supposed neccesities reasonings felt extremely shallow to me. It personally made me a bit uncomfortable and to me it felt like it was something the author wanted to include for their own reasons and kinda just shoe horned it into the story but thankfully the story doesn't contain graphic sex scenes or anything I would consider too explicit neither does he really get to preachy on it in either direction.
"Hollow, shallow, but only mildly annoying overall."
First off, I've read (or listened, as it were) far worse. For all of its inherent storytelling flaws, the actual wordcraft of the author is not at all bad. Additionally, even though this is a post-apoc piece, at least it's a positive rebuilding type rather than the doom and gloom hipster bull sjit that's so common now.
The primary failings of this story are: 1) Linear plot, 2) Male Mary Sue main character, 3) Cardboard characters, 4) Rote alien villains, and 5) Overall amateurish structure.
My assessment is that this author has some capability, but needs more learning and mentorship in the story crafting that goes beyond mere technique of words.
"A little lighter than most."
Alice, as a book, reminds me of some of the fiction that Robert Heinleine wrote towards the end of his career. And I don't mean that in a negative way. This story is much more fiction and less science so requires a degree of acceptance that may be difficult for some hard-core science fiction types. And like Heinlein, there is a degree of misogynistic condescension.
The story is suitably fast-paced to hold your interest. If you don't mind multiple busty female characters fawning over the male lead character within a very accepting and cordial polygamist setting, this is an entertaining read. Don't expect literature and I think you'll enjoy the book.
This series has very high reviews, I can only imagine that is because 11 and 12 year olds are enjoying it. The story is simply a string of uninterrupted victories for the protagonist punctuated by poorly written sex scenes between the same and his 8 wives...
"Good story line, goofy delivery"
The story line was pretty good but the author uses a lot of goofy come backs and colloquialisms between characters that make the story a little silly. The performer in how he delivers it makes it even worse in my opinion. The story focuses way to much on sexual contact between the main character and his female associates, or harem however you want to look at it. I would be willing to be it consumes 25% of the story line.The engagement between the enemy and Earth forces is borderline ridiculous. Not to give away the story but no galactic empire would or could achieve galactic empire status being defeated so easily, especially using the method Earth uses. Keeping all that in mind it was interesting enough that I'll probably invest another credit to get the next book. If you like these types of books where Earth goes from normal to technological super power type, try the Star Force series by B.V. Larson.
Science Fiction with no science.
I`ll try almost anything from Audible as long their return policy remains so liberal.
I would be hesitant to do so.
All had totally unrealized potential.
This writer has a basically descent plot but treats it as a teenagers fantasy.
"Hanky Panky in a Future world"
The story started out okay with some interesting concepts and just about when it came time for the real mark of a good story to begin, here come the sexcapades. This story could have gone so many directions, but sex with multiple partners with an explanation as to why it okay... Give me a break . Give me a science fiction fantasy not a sexual pervert running a future world
"Shallow and testosterone fuelled."
Cool ships, cool guns, ai, future technology, lots of unnecessary sex, shallow, weak story.
A bit of a teenage boy's fantasy. Insignificant plot with problems mostly solved by things outside of the main characters control. Very little science in the fiction. More than a little white knight misogyny with the main character collecting a small Herem and having no emotional depth to his relationships with these weirdly loyal mothers of his children. The beginning was great, really interesting premise... but then it gets a bit dry with some fun (short) action scenes. There is minimal discussion of the culture of the societies that have developed since the apocalypse, the attacking aliens and there is minimal discussion of the infrastructure and economics necessary to restart a space aged US military from scratch. It held my attention to the end for the most part, but I'm not going to listen past this book.
"A chance to start again."
What a great listen, this novel is a fantastic gradual unveiling of a planet thought lost. With the resourcefulness of Jake and Alice and the rapid assimilation of available planetary resources the rebuilding of Earth can begin. I loved every minute!!!
"Great sci-fi story"
A terrific book, and one of the best I've heard in years. Absolutely worth getting.
"Loved the ebooks. Bought to listen as well."
Different take on the usual apocalypse novels, most of which I don't like. This has good AI's (artificial intelligences) who work with our hero to restore Earth. Given the author's world setting, the story line is believable, though helped (of course) by AL:ICE.
The development of the A.I. into more than just a computer, but one who actively helps Jake (the hero and main character).
Despite being apocalyptic in nature, the AL:ICE series books are optimistic. Sure, with plenty of obstacles for AIs and humans alike, but with help from the AI's, ingenuity and hard work by the humans, all are tackled resolutely. Some characters are not the naturally 'gung'ho' types, but that only adds to the realism. Jake and his companions manage to overcome obstacles set before them, and as I say, hope runs through this series. Also, no nasty cliffhangers at the end of the books, even though this is a series.
"not sure what all the fuss was about"
i thought the characters were pretty weak, very superficial and quite boring. the story was ok but ive listened to far better. try the FEAR sarga for a similar style but far superior.
"is this a sex book or a sci fi book. more a sex bo"
my 10 year old kid managed to download a copy. boy did I have to answer some awkward questions. That was before I had read it.
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