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Rick

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  • 24
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  • 16
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Stick with it, it gets better

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-08-2020

After the first 20 minutes or so I wasn't sure I was going to finish this book. It starts slowly but does get better, the mystery starts to show it has layers and there's more to everything and everyone than at first glance. There's action, romance (kind of), mystery, revelations, all set in a drought-stricken town that most Australians have at least passed through and some live in. My one minor criticism is the author's tendency to overexplain significant scenes - to tell after showing, as if not confident the reader will understand what has just happened and why. Some extra details are added during these passages, but I think they certainly could have been edited out with no loss. The performance is good, voices distinct enough, pauses placed well, so that you know who is speaking at all times and when there is a transition. Recommended if you like mysteries or Australian settings.

Fun low tech sci fi

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-01-2020

I've read a few android/cyborg books now, and enjoy the genre. This was a little different - funny, irreverent, more like 50s pulp sci fi with modern day humour. The science is iffy and secondary to the story. The protagonist Captain John Ryan is likeable for the most part, but a bit dim. I'm not a fan when the reader can figure out what is going on and the hero cannot, I find it frustrating, and this happens in lots of situations. It IS part of his character though - most people around him are smarter than he is. The narrator does a great job of the voices and telling the story. It was a lot of fun and I'm glad I listened to it. I didn't like it enough to continue the series beyond the first book though. As far as android/cyborg stories goes I preferred the Bobiverse series, the Murderbot Diaries, and the Imperial Radch series to this. Perhaps just a choice of style.

Loved it!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-05-2019

I've enjoyed the series so far, but as I got this book I was wondering how long this story can stay interesting. The answer is at least one more book. This was great, the characters continue to grow and change, not everything works out so you're always wondering, the narrator is awesome as usual, you always know who is talking even when it's not stated. I just liked everything about this book.

Good fun, well written, good main character

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-02-2019

So I've been on a bit of a binge of sentient AI stories over the last couple of years - the Bobiverse series by Dennis E. Taylor, A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers, The Imperial Radch by Anne Leckie, probably others. I wasn't sure I wanted to try another one, but the blurb intrigued me and all the others have been so different I gave it a go. I was glad I did. Not amazing writing, but Martha Wells strength is in her main character and her universe. There are a few negatives - I dislike when I feel like I'm smarter than the characters and can figure out the mystery (or most of it) ahead of them, but it wasn't too bad this time, I'm trying to avoid spoilers so won't say any more. Most of the supporting characters are very one (or maybe two) dimensional. The strengths are many. There's no unnecessary scenes, the author only gives as much info about her universe as is needed for the story, and I really enjoyed the likeable portrayal of the main character. The action wasn't over the top heroic - all violence had a cost to all involved, and - as I said before - no unnecessary scenes. I wasn't hooked at first on the narrator, he doesn't do voices well IMHO, but I got used to his voice after a while so no real issues there. Overall this is a great book if you love the sentient AI genre of sci-fi, and a good book if you're ambivalent. At three hours and 17 min it's a little on the short side, so if you hate it then your suffering won't last long. I'm definitely buying the next one.

9 people found this helpful

More of a soap opera than space opera

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-02-2019

Very different from previous books this one follows the lives of several people choosing to live on spaceships rather than a planet. The stories explore culture while following the lives of the protagonists but not a lot happens. If you're after action this isn't the book for you. It took a bit for me to adjust my expectations but I did it and just enjoyed what was on offer. The narrator was good and I liked her portrayal of the characters. Overall more like a soap opera or reality TV show than previous offerings from this author.

1 person found this helpful

Fast paced sci-fi

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 17-10-2018

Technically this is not a great piece of writing. The author breaks quite a few writing guidelines - for eg. telling rather than showing - and the character dialogue is so terrible in some parts it made me groan or roll my eyes. The first half of the story I disliked the main character - he was so thick. I get that he was used as a device to explain things to the reader, but we didn't need it spelled out for us so simply that made us think he is a dimwit. He did get better as the story went on, but then it was his love interest that frustrated me. For a soldier she acted extremely emotionally without thought for the greater picture of what they were trying to achieve. And Roland the stereotypical psychopathic soldier. Enough said about him. The three together reminded me of Han, Luke, and Leia. Not keen on the narrator, sometimes he changed voices for the same character in mid paragraph. But for all the story's flaws I followed it to the end which is more than I've done for some books. The plot keeps you engaged and I wanted to find out what happens next, or even if when I figured it out I wanted to find out how they would do it. The background story and universe is interesting, it has loads of potential for development, and there is LOTS of action. If you like your sci-fi in the style of Star Wars or Guardians of the Galaxy (without the humour) then you you'll probably find there is a lot to like about this book. I think it would likely make an ok movie. I won't be continuing the series, but I'm not sorry that I purchased this novel, it was worth my time.

1 person found this helpful

Good story, great performance

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 30-09-2018

Enjoyed this story a lot, there's a lot of changes in the plot over decades of time. I liked the pacing, the characters were interesting, capable and flawed. The narrator was great, there was never any doubt about who was speaking. I thought there was some odd editorial choices and it felt in a couple of places some scenes which I would have liked to hear about were cut and mentioned. Maybe it's the author's style, it's the first book of his I've bought. Overall great book and hoping there is a sequel.

2 people found this helpful

Slow paced but interesting

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-10-2017

Set in the same universe as the Ancillary Justice books, this story is a change of pace. It's more of a political / mystery story. The characters are interesting and many turn out to be more than they seem as the story progressed. I wasn't enthralled but I was entertained and I certainly have no regrets buying this book. If you loved Ancillary Justice trilogy you'll probably like this book.

2 people found this helpful

Great story, awesome performance

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 22-09-2017

What other book might you compare The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet to, and why?

This reminded me a little of Firefly, a little of Star Wars, but it has its own unique setting, aliens, rules and laws.

Have you listened to any of Patricia Rodriguez’s other performances? How does this one compare?

The performance was great, she does all the voices well - and without using accents to differentiate the characters - so I always knew who was talking and it added a great dimension to the characters.

Any additional comments?

The story is character driven - they all work on a starship that creates wormholes for other ships to use. Each character has their interests, their way of interacting, and their secrets. I've just started listening to the sequel.

Great story with moments of genuine suspense

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-06-2017

I bought this audiobook on the strength of The Girl With All the Gifts. At first the story didn't grab me, but as the story unfolded and the pace increased my buy in increased also. There are interesting characters, realistic interpersonal dynamics, and moments of genuine suspense. And there are tie ins to the previous book and a satisfying epilogue. If you loved the first book you will also love this one.

1 person found this helpful