Darien is no longer a lost outpost of humanity, but the prize in an intergalactic power struggle. Hegemony forces have a stranglehold over the planet and crack troops patrol its hotspots while Earth watches, passive, rendered impotent by galactic politics. But its Darien ambassador will soon become a player in a greater conflict. There is more at stake than a turf war on a newly discovered world. An ancient Uvovo temple hide’s access to a hyperspace prison, housing the greatest threat sentient life has ever known. Millennia ago, malignant intelligences were caged there following an apocalyptic war. And their servants work on their release.
However, Darien's guardians have not been idle, gathering resistance on the planet's forest moon. Knowledge has been lost since great races battled in eons past, and now time is short. The galaxy will depend on the Uvovo reclaiming their past - and humanity must look to its future. For a new war is coming.
From the author: "Audible did a great job with the audiobooks of Seeds Of Earth and The Orphaned Worlds - and David Thorpe is one versatile guy, able to lend his vocal talents to every strange character I was able to think up. Just excellent!"
©2010 Michael Cobley (P)2011 Audible Ltd
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"Very good performance of an OK Book"
The performance of this book is very good. There are several characters and the story continuously jumps between them. The reader's voices make it easy to follow each scene change. The book itself is mediocre story telling and the kind of science fiction which is very easy to digest because it doesn't go well beyond current capability. The author appears to have read (from the terminology borrowed), very good Sci Fi writers such as Dan Simmons. If you are into deep sci-fi, I would skip it, but if you are up for something at the quality level of a good TV miniseries, this can be an enjoyable listen.
The author introduces too many characters that actually "Speak" throughout the story, and some of these characters are not at all human. So the plot is a little hard to follow even though the underlying plot is relatively simple. It's like if all of the aliens presented in the original movie Star Wars had lines. Also, with so many different characters, it's hard to care about any of them. It's likely why one of the most cogent characacters is the evil cyborg, who is more often presented alone. At one point the author even seemed to introduce God as a character, but thankfully didn't give God any lines.
I didn't hear the 1st in the series and I likely won't. But, The story did build to a climax that may deserve a final book.
"Another brilliant book."
Once again Excellent...loved every minute of it. The characters are well defined and bought to life, the twists and turns of the plot is like a 3D maze and the narration is excellent. I can barely wait for the next instalment!
"Brilliantly read 2nd part of excellent trilogy"
I picked this having read the first part (Seeds of Earth) following a recommendation by Audible (in fact for the 3rd book of this trilogy - The Ascendent Stars). I have to say that David Thorpe is an even better narrator than Michael Page who so excellently read Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora and Red Seas Under Red Skies.
This book really builds on the first part and the multi-layered Politics / participants lead to an increasingly complex but still coherent and understandable story. I've been racking my brains to try to come up with an equivalent - if you like the recent Battlestar Galactica TV series then this is like that, but more so. Also Iain M Banks fans will surely love this too.
"And a bit more ..."
Another enjoyable 18 hours spent with the wonderful David Thorpe narrating; his voice work is a pure joy. The story continues along in this second installment and gets progressively darker, and although it was slightly plodding in places, there were enough twists and turns to keep me going. As with the first book in the series the writing feels a bit dated but it's still worth the effort - I reckon - as this is one big old multilayered universe Michael Cobley's crafted and there are creatures and ideas worth exploring. Onto the third book now ...
"Excellent space opera"
A complex and long story, involving many characters of different races. Each chapter advances one of the main characters' stories a little further, interweaving the different factions and alliances, building to a grand crescendo.
The author's style is very descriptive, and the story is big - with many characters, locations and points of view. It requires concentration, and if your mind wanders you will find yourself hitting the rewind button! Some reviews have used these points in a negative way - it is a question of personal taste and I enjoyed the detailed narrative style, and the complexity and length of the audiobooks.
The narration is amongst the very best I've heard - David Thorpe has a remarkable variety of different 'special effects' and accents and does a great job of applying them consistently to the characters.
The only negative I have is that the editing could be better - I didn't count but I would guess I heard a retake of a line or paragraph at least half a dozen times across the three books. I'm not deducting any stars though, hearing a few words twice is hardly an issue.
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