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Publisher's Summary

The sun is bloated, diseased, dying perhaps. Beneath its baneful light, Shadrapar, last of all cities, harbours fewer than 100,000 human souls. Built on the ruins of countless civilisations, Shadrapar is a museum, an asylum, a prison on a world that is ever more alien to humanity. Bearing witness to the desperate struggle for existence between life old and new is Stefan Advani: rebel, outlaw, survivor. This is his testament, an account of the journey that took him into the blazing desolation of the western deserts and into the labyrinths and caverns of the underworld. He will meet with monsters and mutants. The question is, which one of them will inherit this Earth?

Humanity clings to life on a dying Earth. 

Epic, far-future science fiction from an award-winning author.

©2019 Adrian Tchaikovsky (P)2019 Head of Zeus

What listeners say about Cage of Souls

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic from start to finish!

I purchased this book after listening to the Children of Time books hoping it was similar.. It wasn't, but that's not in any way a bad thing. I loved how each stage of his life was completely different from the last, but all meshes together beautiful at the same time.

Adrian may be my favorite new writer!

EDIT: months on and I've come back to listen to this a further 2 times. This is without a doubt my favorite book.

13 people found this helpful

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  • MM
  • 20-11-2020

QUALITY +

Not my usual choice of sci fi as I usually am drawn towards more scientific and/or philosophical premise. This is my first experience with Adrian Tchaikovsky.
Excellent author though. Uses very interesting language that makes your mind work a little. However this does not make it an easy read/listen and takes some concentration.
The narrator is outstanding, seems natural and has obviously put the work into this brilliant performance. The gestalt of the narrator, including accents, pitch, pronunciation, style is superb for this story. I will look into more of David Thorpe work.
It takes several chapters to immerse yourself in this world, not like the more obvious, predictable and bland, but be patient and put the work into it, it's worth it.
It is also refreshing that the author has published this fairly lengthy work as a single book. To often I have seen, what should be a single volume split apart into multiple books. It is all too obvious that it was done purely as a marketing exercise to extract more money from the reader. My thanks to the author, this did not go unnoticed.

3 people found this helpful

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Excellent narration

This book was full of nteresting ideas, enjoyable prose, and had fantastic narration. Highly recommended.

3 people found this helpful

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brilliant performance. top quality writing

my only draw back is that the story is a common one, we don't find out a lot of interesting points, and the story, while wondrous, doesn't make me think about anything greater than myself in the same manner that children of time / ruin / dogs of war does

3 people found this helpful

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Doomed Humanity

This took so long to finish. I liked some of the voices but some was just annoying like the head warden and the mutant that lives in the underworld.
Didn't know how to rate this, there were good and boring moments in this story. What I got from this was that the world environment was changing and humanity was not doing well.

2 people found this helpful

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A First Person Plodder

A one person narrative in a far future world. a little one dimensional and hard to listen to on long drives. Action sequences blandly described. I really wanted to like it but the story just plods along and ends without much purpose or resolve. Narration was excellent.

2 people found this helpful

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Wow.

I loved every second of this. What a story. Great narration too. All around superb.

1 person found this helpful

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Fantastic

I absolutely adored Cage of Souls and most books by Adrian. This was an especially interesting look into an imagined future for humanity.

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Another amazing novel by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Somehow dark but funny, meandering yet fascinating, CoS is worth more than one listen.

1 person found this helpful

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Wow

I need more. I have an unbelievably ravenous thirst for more. I will wait. I just need more.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-06-2020

Perfection

I love sci-fi and this is a Pearl of it's genre.
The 'timeless' world build here by the author, is most i spiring. Perfectly open.

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  • Matt
  • 22-06-2019

Surprised by a good book

judging this book on the one review it had, I was expecting a boring tale. instead I found something of a hidden gem. it loved it, the story and the narration. the upbeat and chirpy voice of the narrator annoyed me at first and then I came to understand the he was perfect and that his characterizations were also spot on. Adrian Tchaikovsky is quickly becoming a favourite author of mine as I have yet to listen or read a book of his that I didn't like or enjoy.

49 people found this helpful

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  • Thomas Rosin
  • 28-09-2019

An amazing world to visit again and again.

If a character from a Jack Vance novel wrote a first person account of weird prison economics, it may read something like this. Thorpe perfectly evokes narrator, Stefan Advarny, as a pompous academy boy stuck in a vile and dangerous prison at the end of the world. The other characters like rogue, Peter, and the chilling underworld characters/creatures are equally on point.
I loved Tchaikovsky’s Children series so took a chance on this. They could be in the same universe, but they are very different in tone. I think I liked this more, as there is as much humour as weird, unsettling horror, and I will carry these characters with me for some time.

28 people found this helpful

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  • Constantgardner
  • 26-09-2019

Strange tales from a strange world

While lacking the epic quality of Children of Time/Ruin books this quickly draws one into its bizarre end-of-times world. Set way into the future as the last remaining city awaits the death of the Sun, the unreliable and deeply flawed narrator recalls his banishment and incarceration in a hellish prison located in an even more hellish jungle. The author revisits his favourite themes of intelligence, evolution and language, again interweaving them in a plot full of intriguing characters, vivid landscapes and action. He's rapidly becoming my favourite sci-fi author and the reader does a good job too.

15 people found this helpful

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  • AReader
  • 07-11-2019

Excellent listen

This audiobook creates a whole world which is coherent and full of incident. The fantasy somehow has enough resonance to make it feel real. The behaviour of the characters, once set up, is believable. There is humour and (unless I am oversensitive) some implied commentary on society and politics in our own world.

The reading brings the whole thing to life - each character has a different voice which suits them perfectly. I really rooted for some of them against others, though as in real life the nicer people frequently lost out to the more selfcentred and the protagonist Stefan - as he himself admits- is far from all-seeing or unbiased.

I enjoyed the whole 23 hours.Looking forward to more of the author and the narrator.

9 people found this helpful

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  • mr
  • 23-10-2019

Satisfying far future tale.

Stylistically similar to Rosny and Mieville, a decadent setting richly detailed. Hopeful, desperate. Wryly humorous.

9 people found this helpful

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  • C. Hampson
  • 10-07-2019

Slow but solid burn

Tchaikovsky's main goal in this book seems to have been world building. He does a fantastic job building up a scifi/fantasy world that is engaging, imaginative and quite unique. He does a great job filling this world with colourful and likeable characters that are a joy to follow as they meander about this fascinating world he has dreamed up.

The strong emphasis on world building does slow the plot down however, and it takes a good few hours before we start to see any progression in the story. The plot ends up being fairly simple, and I found a few of the pay-offs slightly disappointing, but I still very much enjoyed my time in Shadrapar and it's environs.

Thorpe does a fantastic job narrating. I was unsure of him initially, he came across as a little too light-hearted in comparison to the bleak world he was describing. He quickly won me over however, and managed to imbue almost every character with a unique voice that fitted them perfectly. A commendable achievement considering how twisted and abnormal many of the characters are.

All in all, another fantastic romp around a sinister but brilliantly crafted world from the mind of Adrian Tchaikovsky, who is rapidly becoming one of my favourite authors.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 02-09-2020

Not for me

The story jumped around randomly. Narration grated too.
But I liked 'Spiders-in-space' book... Children of Time

6 people found this helpful

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  • Dodgey
  • 17-04-2020

Not sure how I fee honestly.

A long long journey. Read wonderfully well once you get over the narrator's long pauses between sentences. This reduces as the book goes along. He grows on you and becomes the main character. The narrator.

It's not so much of a "novel", more a "diary", a recollection. It's not a thriller, and I'd call it fantasy rather than sc-fi.

I enjoyed it once past an hour or three. Fascinating in places, but I always felt it wasn't really going anywhere, and it didn't really. BUT, I really really enjoyed the journey, with one massive caveat. I listened to it whilst working (physical work). I'd not have sat through 23 hours solely listening with nothing else to do.

Some great concepts, and it was fun noticing references to our technology that the character did not recognise.

I've marked the story as 3/5 because to me it felt like lots of little stories stapled together. The ending was underwhealming, but, it matched the pace of the rest of the book. I was not disappointed.

6 people found this helpful

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  • rokas
  • 27-09-2020

Meh, poor sci fi

I give it 1/5 as sci-fi. (sci- 0.5/5, fi- 1.5/5).

Stopped at 1/3 of the book. It is just... well, boring, really really boring. Never ending story about a guy in the horible, gulag like prison in a wild jungle full of horible mutant creatures. My description, however, sounds more interesting than the book actually is.
You can skip first 11 chapters with no loss whatsoever. It became a tiny bit more interesting after, but just meh... waste of time.

5 people found this helpful

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  • John
  • 03-04-2020

cracker from the author of "children of time"

well the first week of self isolation passed without a hitch thanks to this great book. Author builds a world full of really interesting people . book glides along at a nice pace very suitable to long walks on the high hills of Ture. if you liked this try Children of Time. Another cracker.

4 people found this helpful

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