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Access to the unstable Quake was supposed to be prohibited, but some very insistent travelers were determined to make the trip. Professor Darya Lang, who studied artifacts left by the long-vanished aliens called the Builders, had a hunch that she might find the Builders themselves. Louis Nenda and the Cecropian Atvar H'sial had their own interests in Quake, and would do anything to get there. And Councilor Julius Graves was hunting murderers - if they were hiding on Quake, he would find them.
Planetary Administrators Hans Rebka and Max Perry had no choice but to go to Quake - risking their lives to protect the others - and to learn, just maybe, the secret of Summertide and the Builders.
What listeners say about SummertideAverage Customer Ratings
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- Herve Bronnimann
Intriguing and leaving you wanting for more...
Fortunately, this is only the first volume of the Heritage Universe series. There are three more. I wanted to listen to this book because it's a classic. And it is well deserved. We are left with enigma of the Others, until the end (will have to read the next book to know more about that) but something does happen -- not unexpectedly -- at the end. While the background and indeed the whole intrigue of the book is tapestried on the Artifacts left by an ancient and disappeared civilization, the whole story is really about these five or six characters that pursue the enigma by being at the right place at the right time, a fact noticed by only the experts or by chance for some. It is a very serious story, there is not much humor in it. It's elaborate, consistent (scientifically and literarily), and has a nice ending point that at once concludes the current story and opens vast possibilities for the next three volumes. However, I wouldn't recommend this book if you're not ready to listen to the next three...
In passing, I should mention another old classic that treats exactly the same theme with slightly different point of view, and is a LOT more fun, in that it's written very wittily and funnily. It's the Heechee saga by Frederik Pohl (Gateway, Beyond the Blue Event Horizon, Hechee Rendez-Vous, and Annals of the Hechee). Now those are books that I would treasure in audio format. If you've enjoyed that one, this Summertide will feel a bit austere and just a bit belabored sometimes. But it's still good science fiction.
17 people found this helpful
- John A. M. Darnell
High Science Fiction - not for the faint of heart
Charles Sheffield believed in hard science and even harder science fiction. All of his stories are built on extrapolations from present day science to some future filled with incredible technological magic. Summertide is no different. The story itself will appeal only to those who enjoy technological fantasies, and if you are someone like that, then the mediocre performance of the reader will not trouble you. For all the rest, no matter who performed the work, you would find it wanting.
As for me, I strongly recommend it. When I have the time and the credit, I intend to get all four of these novels on CD (through Audible, of course).
10 people found this helpful
Many Sci-Fi Writers simply take everyday events and give them strange names, or name a planet after a town and tell an average story substituting "guns" for Lasers, etc.
This series of books is different. The author writes HARD sci-fi. He spends a lot of time describing (in detail) the technologies, aliens, etc.
If you like Hard sci-fi, this is an excellent series.. the narration is very good also. Each book is better than the last.
9 people found this helpful
- Old Hippy
Actually quite good - recommended
I really liked this one. Style and story done a lot like Peter F. Hamilton's Pandora's Star, one of mny favorites. Good characters, especially the aliens!! Can't wait to download the next in the series!
3 people found this helpful
I've read this author's stuff before and enjoyed it, but this is just an awful mismash of sci-fi cliches. Flat characters, despite any potential they might have had, stilted writing made worse by the narrator's delivery and manufactured drama that's not at all dramatic. Plus, lots of odd quirks, like the fact that the characters are almost always referred to by both their first and last names (trust me, it gets annoying quick). The characters, although they're supposed to be experts in various endeavors, generally act in mind-bogglingly stupid ways. The same events presented from the viewpoints of two different characters are often different. Not just different viewpoints, but they differ in the details. And no one talks like the characters do. Not in real life. Not ever. Contrived, dull, and ocassionally even painful to listen to (especially the narrator's interpretation of one of the alien characters as sounding like an obsequious stereotype of a chinese immigrant). Take a pass.
11 people found this helpful
- S. W. Brown
Great new sci-fi
A well crafted story with good characters and an original premise made "Summertide" a great read. This one made the miles go by so painlessly I hate to have to wait for the next segment. Without Audible I'm sure I would have missed this one and I'm very glad that I didn't.
11 people found this helpful
- James Arnold
I liked everything about this book, the story is good, the author really knows his science, the reader was good - he gave everybody their own voice, and the pace is great - I never got bored while reading it. It is one of the very best books that I have read on on Audible. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
5 people found this helpful
- K. Doug Allen
Unique concepts, developed characters.
Enjoyed this book from digital cover to cover. Though it is part of a series, it is fully able to stand alone is an interesting story. I greatly appreciate that in sci-fi writers. All too often these days, one book is simply a teaser to another. Having said that, I can't wait to rate the rest of the series.
1 person found this helpful
Sheffield Should Stick to Science
If you like to read technical reports and scientific articles, you may like this book. However, if you like to read about characters and human emotions set within a scientific fictional future, you will not like this book. The charaters are portrayed as dichotomous (either/or) variables that respond to an environment that constantly needs to be analyzed. Sheffield tries to make his characterizations central, but fails and the reader is left instead feeling quite detached. To further the insult of this book, the narrator (G. Howard) seems to feel the same way. He reads as if he is cramming for a freshman's final exam--in Latin no less. Pass on this one.
9 people found this helpful
- Amazon Customer
Enjoyed the storyline
I liked the characters. Made my day pass faster. Got some work done while listening