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Axiom's End

A Novel
Series: Noumena, Book 1
Length: 16 hrs and 2 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The instant New York Times best seller

The alternate-history first-contact adventure Axiom's End is an extraordinary debut from Hugo finalist and video essayist Lindsay Ellis. Truth is a human right.

It's fall 2007. A well-timed leak has revealed that the US government might have engaged in first contact. Cora Sabino is doing everything she can to avoid the whole mess, since the force driving the controversy is her whistleblower father. Even though Cora hasn't spoken to him in years, his celebrity has caught the attention of the press, the internet, the paparazzi, and the government - and with him in hiding, that attention is on her. She neither knows nor cares whether her father's leaks are a hoax and wants nothing to do with him - until she learns just how deeply entrenched her family is in the cover-up and that an extraterrestrial presence has been on Earth for decades.

Realizing the extent to which both she and the public have been lied to, she sets out to gather as much information as she can and finds that the best way for her to uncover the truth is not as a whistleblower, but as an intermediary. The alien presence has been completely uncommunicative until she convinces one of them that she can act as their interpreter, becoming the first and only human vessel of communication. Their otherworldly connection will change everything she thought she knew about being human - and could unleash a force more sinister than she ever imagined.

A Macmillan Audio production from St. Martin's Press 

"Axiom’s End is one of the most unique science fiction novels in years. It’s a heartfelt story of alien first contact, but, luckily, unlike so many 'big idea' sci-fi books, it’s utterly unpretentious." (SYFY.com)

©2020 Lindsay Ellis (P)2020 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about Axiom's End

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Great story

Loved this story so much, great narrators. Epic story with intense, well developed characters. Will definitely read again.

2 people found this helpful

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solid new adult sci-fi

I enjoyed that relationships between the characters was complex and nuanced, and I found the book made me feel invested in the decisions of the protagonist

1 person found this helpful

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An interesting and unique relationship.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I'm usually a fantasy fan and have little experience in sci-fi. I had to really push myself through the start, as I struggled to connect with the main characters. I quickly found myself invested in the relationship between Cora and Ampersand and the end of the story was so compelling I stayed up till 2am to finish!
The cadence of the female narrators voice annoyed me, I felt she over emphasised certain words to add drama, but that it actually took away from the authors written descriptions. However, she did a great simulation of a computerised voice, which must have been challenging!
This book was well worth the time and I congratulate Lindsay Ellis on her first novel.

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  • Ben
  • 03-08-2020

listen to the sample before purchasing

I'm unsure if the story is good. I could not tolerate the narration style - imitating a teenage girl and a bit over-acted for my taste. I would suggest listening to a sample before purchasing.

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Axiom's End

This book made me very anxious at times due to the existential horror of humans being so fragile and meaningless. The quite moments were such a needed break in this fast paced novel and I wish there were more of them. Overall, I really enjoyed this story and feel the void that finishing a good book leaves.

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  • Umar
  • 23-07-2020

A Well Done Character Driven First-Contact Story

This is a great debut book, not filled with the usual traps a lot of first-time authors fall into. It's not a spoiler to say it's a first-contact story. We sci-fi fans read a lot of those and so few stand out. Axiom's End stands out because it's an epic story with so much personality you find yourself caring. It's a character-driven story that brings up so many interesting questions about life, ethics, love. Lindsay Ellis has some balls imagining this story at a specific period of time we will all recognize and going "what if this happened.) At first, the time-period seems innocuous and for a few pages, you worry a story like this could become dated. But as the story plays out and you're carried along the journey with the protagonist you realize that this is one of those stories that might last the test time. We've got ourselves a fresh face in science fiction and can't wait to see what other things she has in store for us in the future.

Fan note: If you know Linsay Eliis work, get ready to crack up at a reference you just know she sat with her manuscript and went "I HAVE to put this in here." And it worked.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Lisbet Barrientos
  • 22-07-2020

Not usually a sci fi fan but...

That was the wildest ride I’ve been on in my most recent memory and it’s 2020

9 people found this helpful

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  • Miss Gibson
  • 25-07-2020

a tedious story even more tediously narrated

this reviewed well however after an hour I found I was skipping to the end of chapters as the story progression was incredibly slow, even worse the narrator was speaking so slowly seemingly trying to build tension with elongated pauses. speeding the app read speed up to 1.4 helped but after 2 hours the story just wasn't engaging enough. I think I was expecting more sci-fi and less 'days of our lives' drama.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-07-2020

Stellar debut for Ellis

I would be very surprised if the Hugo Awards didn't include this for next year. The book remains strong throughout, and has an interesting lead in for futher books.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-07-2020

it's fine.

The protagonist is a little too whiny at points and repeats herself a while lot. the aliens are interesting overall and the ideas around the world building are all solid, if not spectacularly original.

Oliver Thorn thinks he can do an American accent. He cannot.

Overall a decent first effort. B-.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-07-2020

More than surface level sci-fi

This is not a story set in a sci-fi setting, it's more like the classics where it takes your reality and explores would happen if X was introduced. The book did not only deal with both the immediate response and the long term effects but also a expanding viewpoint after the realization.
Another point on the book not beeing surface level: it feels like the world already exsists and we are just takeing a peek into it, knowing there is much more behind the veil.
The world feels realistic. I can see how this could have happened in reality.

The narrator did a good job portraying emotions through the robot voice but there were instances when there was lot of robot talk where it could get tedious.
Didn't like the begining but after that it keept me interested all the way through.

10/10 well done, would recomend.
Sequel plz

3 people found this helpful

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  • Rj
  • 23-07-2020

I am a big Fan of Ellis

I love the Ender series. I love Old man’s war, and I liked this.

I was enveloped by the story throughout. I enjoyed Ellis’ writing style and the characters overall. I was surprised at times and I was correct at others which is nice. I don’t always want my expectations subverted.

I will definitely be waiting for additional books from Ellis and likely devour them just as quickly.

Some of the references felt a little too hard hammered. I didn’t care for the family relationships nor for how.... intense ... things were. There was a bit of an over dramatic pacing.

Despite this. Enjoyable. :) Ellis is worth a listen. It’ll go by quickly.
The narrator Stephanie Willis is fabulous.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Em Mul
  • 21-07-2020

Pretty good.

It's pretty good. I'm one of the people who have a hard time remembering which character is which but I didn't really have the problem. Cora, Demi, Mills, etc were easy to distinguish.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Stephen Connolly
  • 04-08-2020

HOW DOES SHE NOT KNOW THE BATMAN THEME?

This narrator should stick to voice-over work if she is too lazy to look up the Batman theme from the 60's. Who edited this before dumping it here?

And Pulitzer is pronounced "Pull-it-sir." That's direct from the Pulitzer website... I didn't make it up. This is the kind of stuff that drives listeners like me crazy. I'm only a couple hours in, and all the characters sound super bored. This Narrator is driving me to actually read. (But of course I won't.)

Guess I'll trudge through this and hope she finds her footing.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sarah
  • 01-08-2020

Most excellent, dude.

The story is great, and Ellis is amazing in all things, so why not science-fiction novels? I hate her.

No, but seriously- fantastic book. Unfortunately the main narrator reads like Kristen Stewart acts - or just is, in general. It makes for some notably frustrating pacing, but overall can't take away from the story-telling, which remains most excellent, dude.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-07-2020

A wonderful interpretation of first contact

I want to prefix this by saying that I thought the narration, and especially that of Stephanie Willis, was fantastic and that I thoroughly hope she's able to narrate further increments in the series.

With that out the way, I came to this novel with an appreciation of Lindsay Ellis's work in video essays and a genuine curiosity of her view of what her own story would be. I came away not just with a better understanding but a desire to know more.

I struggle to say exactly what sort of novel this is, other than sci-fi. It has elements of action, drama, mystery and even romance that all work together to tell a well crafted story and it's only in retrospection that I've been able to see how poignant the dual story-lines of first contact and whistle-blower father are, and the themes of loneliness and identity are explored.

The general reading experience was good, Lindsay Ellis's authorial voice is very familiar to fans of her video essays and while at first it was jarring, by the end of the novel I wasn't thinking about it as much as I was about any other author I've read's authorial voice. It took me an hour or so to get really hooked on the book but once I was I didn't want to put it down. The ending wasn't a surprise but it was very good, and left me hungry for more.

All in all I think that this is a book that you can tell a lot of work has gone into. It feels clean and polished once the action begins. A fantastic debut novel by Lindsay Ellis. I eagerly await more in the series.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-08-2020

Great story, terrible narration

This would have been a great audiobook but the delivery was appalling. like a 3rd rate B movie for young teens. Sadly, the narration spoiled the whole experience.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-08-2020

It's good!

From reading the blurb I don't think I would have bought this book normally, but I have been a long time watcher of Lindsay's videos and wanted to support her. I figured if I didn't like it, then it's still money well spent. Turns out that didn't matter, because the book is excellent.

The book was very good at keeping me interested, particularly in the second half. Pacing and editing were good, I can't think of any moment that was unnecessary or overlong. The concept was interesting and the characters were mostly well rounded.

The only thing that caused some friction for me was that our protagonist was a little too much of an everywoman. It does kind of make sense that she has very little agency in the first half considering the plot, but it nonetheless makes it a little difficult for me to relate to her. This is remedied in the second half where she makes many more decisions for herself, often against the wishes of others and consequently I found the second half significantly more engaging.

She is good at knowing the morally right thing to do and being brave enough to follow through, which is good, but doesn't seem to have any particular technical expertise or knowledge. Most people have something, and I felt she was intelligent enough that it felt odd to me that she didn't.

The narration is great, no complaints. I did not have to spend time getting used to it, I just started listening and never noticed the narrator(s) again (a good thing).

Anyway, good book, I recommend it. The criticisms I had are minor stuff and it's still a 5 star book for me. I like audiobooks because I can do other tasks while listening but at times with this, listening was the only thing I was doing because I couldn't bring myself to to turn it off and go to bed. That doesn't happen very often.

Well done Lindsay. I look forward to the next one, hopefully before 2030.

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  • Sharon Barron
  • 03-08-2020

A curate's egg

The good points: quite an original take on First Contact, some strong characters, excellent storytelling. Gripping to the end.

The bad points: too much hyperbole, everyone's emotions go from 0-60 in 4.2 seconds. The narration by Willis is not to my taste, although she gets it right when she isn't trying too hard for dramatic effect.

The meh points: why did the alien refugee group need someone to rescue them? The hyper intelligent alien "&" is pretty dumb as are the entire CIA.

This was recommended by a screen writer who I respect and is getting a lot of plaudits I don't really share. Maybe the OTT narration makes a good novel something less in its audiobook incarnation. Whatever, I was glad when it was over.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-08-2020

Axiom's End exhaustive review deep dive

It slaps!

(Amazon for some reason requires 15 words in a review, not needed imo)

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  • SiCon
  • 03-08-2020

Excellent story and performance

A brilliant first novel from Lindsay Ellis. The engaging performance from the narrator kept me riveted throughout. I did find the final climax a little jarring as it seemed out of time with the novel overall, but that is a small critique of an otherwise great audiobook. I look forward to the inevitable sequels that have been teed up. I can’t wait to discover more about the universe the author has created.

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  • Robert Hamilton
  • 02-08-2020

First novel I've been able to get into in years

Excellent writing and voice acting for very relatable characters, some interesting themes as well.

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  • Kathryn
  • 01-08-2020

Enjoyable science fiction

Good story but found the narration took a bit of getting used to. Overall would recommend.

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  • Joe
  • 31-07-2020

(Awesome Read) Alien Love 👾

Alien emotions, human motivations coupled with a great plot. The characters of this story are really well written the themes are interesting despite my stupid review title. This is a seriously good listen.

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  • Georgina
  • 30-07-2020

I Ate The Whole Plate

I am not usually a fan of Sci-Fi but this story pulled me in. The text displaying a nuance that didn't abstract tropes simply for the sake of appearing counter to genre norm. There is true depth here, layers of detail that craft an Alien race that appears organic rather than derivative. The entire thing wrapped in a series of looming questions that kept me up listening.

As I'm not American, I feel like some of the significance of certain events may have flown over my head, but the general atmosphere of the culture dealing with this spanner in the countries gears is pervasive.

I am happy to have supported this wonderful creator.

She does video essays on YouTube, it's neat ^-^

And also Oliver Thorn at Philosophy Tube, who I am thrilled to hear reading in this audiobook.