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The Best of Us

Narrated by: Fred Tatasciore
Series: Galaxy's Edge: Nomad, Book 1
Length: 18 hrs and 35 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Half the world is a wasteland; the other half is on borrowed time. 

The West has been devastated by epidemics, bio-terrorism, war, and famine. Asia has shut its borders to keep the threats at bay, and some with power and influence have already abandoned Earth. Now an escape route a century in the making - the Nomad mission - finally offers hope to a small town and a secret research centre hidden in a rural American backwater. 

Shrouded in lies and concealed even from the research centre's staff, Nomad is about to fulfil its long-dead founder's vision of preserving the best of humanity to forge a new future. But who decides who's worthy? The mission is now in the hands of a unique AI called Solomon, and an encounter with a band of military veterans reshapes his plans for mankind's future after the arrival of a scientist with a grudge threatens the whole mission. 

Don’t miss this breathtaking new series from New York Times best-selling author Karen Traviss as she explores the dramatic origins of Jason Anspach & Nick Cole’s Galaxy’s Edge universe.

©2019 Karen Traviss & Galaxy’s Edge LLC (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Really liked the story, shame about the audio quality

I really enjoyed the story in this book. Unfortunately I found the quality of the narration and the voices sub par.

In standard narration Fred Tatasciore had a voice that was easy to listen to. When switching to using voices for characters this was cringeworthy and hard to listen to, a mix between the Simpsons and Family Guy ensemble cast. Sorry to say (as an Australian) the worst Australian accent of all time.

I also found the quality of audio editing very low. Very easy to hear a 2nd take

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, average performance

The writing was great but the performance was lacking, making it difficult at times to get into the story. I haven't heard previous readings by this performer but can't say I'll be seeking them out after this one.

Some of the dialogue felt forced and awkward, but that may be due to the way it was read, rather than what was written. The performance made it hard to connect with the characters, and this was compounded by the problem that some characters sounded similar - especially more noticable when those characters would have a conversation with each other and I'd have to rewind the recording to work out which character was saying what line.

Some lines of dialogue or narrative appear to have been either recorded at different times, on different equipment / locations, or have been mixed differently. It happens frequently throughout the book, but in the early stages it's highly noticable - within the space of a minute you can hear a number of different sounding lines play out, sounding disjointed and badly cut together. On the same note, some cut together lines clip slightly, whilst others have long, distinct, and at times awkward pauses.

Accents and character voices are definitely not a strong skill for the performer, and most character voices came off more as a parent reading to their small child with an overly exaggerated "different" voice to the one reading the story, as opposed to fleshed out and unique performances.

Of particular note: the Australian accents sounded more like a Simpsons parody (a mix of New Zealand, Scottish, South African, British, and random other accents) rather than a legitimate attempt at the accent.

4 stars overall because I still recommend the book for the story, but advise that at times the going is tough and especially cringe worthy if you're an Australian listener. Definitely had to force myself to power through this at times.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Best listen of 2019

Favourite sci-fi audio book of the year. Gripping from the first word.

Great narrator, want to hear more of Fred Tatasciore! If we see some regular content, RC Bray might have some serious competition.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Promising start to a new series

Overall it’s quite good. It’s definitely a bit different from other galaxy’s edge books but is a nice slower entry to the world which leaves you keen for more.

As others have said, some of the production is really jarring, I only noticed it in the first quarter of the book and then either forgot about it or it didn’t happen again until a couple of times right at the end.

But don’t let the handful of dodgy moments of production put you off unless you really can’t stand that sort of thing. The book is well worth pushing past those moments, especially if you enjoy the galaxy’s edge universe.

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    5 out of 5 stars

I wish there was a follow-up book

Great story love integration of AI morality.
My only hope is that there is follow-up books before and after sequences to the series.

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  • Gabe Boessen
  • 19-11-2019

OMG the bombshell at the end!

Having Karen Travis's write this triology was the right choice. The Galaxy's Edge universe and lore has been by far my favorite Sci-Fi I have ever come across. It's a rich build with plenty of action, military, humor, and wonder all mixed together.

So when I found out that the author of the Kilo-5 trilogy in one of my favorite Sci-fi universes, Halo, was writing the Nomad trilogy, I had to listen.

The Best of Us is a brilliant story. Real and heavy enough to feel the high stakes the characters find themselves in but not so bleak and depressing as to take away from the wonder and idea of humanity finally settling the stars.

Fred Tatasciore does an amazing job as well! A very good job voicing characters and bringing them to life, so much so that I'm going to be looking out for his other narrative work and see if anything sparks my interest. R.C. Bray has so far done all the main Galaxy's Edge books and I'd say Fred is right up there with him in performance value.

I can't wait for the next two books to see how the beginnings of humanity's jump into the Galaxy turns into the empire that struggles with the "Dumpster Fire” we were introduced to at the beginning of Legionnaire.

Can't wait for more Solomon, and to see how people find home and what comes of our special friends at the end.

Your doing amazing work Karen.
Glad you were the one trusted with this triology!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tankie Benjamin
  • 19-11-2019

How We Got From There To Here

Explore the origin of how we got to Galaxy's Edge in the first part of this new series.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Ethomas
  • 06-12-2019

what the hell? not galaxys edge. total retcon.

yeah not galaxys edge. suprising Jason anspach let this in.
the US government is gone 100% because they asked Asia to nuke them for some reason because defoliants dont work except at the end of the book. So no NASA discovery of FTL and of course that means Casper cant join NASA, also no US Army so No Tyrus joining the Rangers.
Solomon is kind of a neat character at first and then collapses into an idiot who despite being a super intelligent AI is out smarter by a bumbling CEO. the story is awkward and jerky. For some reason the only company left in the US was able to send people to another world created a SUPER intelligent moral AI and a wormhole but then quit preparing for the next phase or advancing wormhole tech "FTL" l.
It doesn't fit, not Galaxy's edge.
The story is ok to listen to on a free credit dont spend money on this.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Link
  • 15-11-2019

Niice.

Its nice to get learn the orgins of the colony that started it all. Definitely look forward to part 2

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Jason
  • 15-12-2019

How does this tie in?

I thought this was a Goth Sullus or Rechs origin story. Turns out it's just a way-too-detailed look at pre-colonization Earth. I might have slept through parts of it, but I didn't see the point nor were any burning questions answered. Also, the narrator is amazing, but the volume mixing and engineering is the worst I've ever heard. Loud then soft, weird splices, totally distracts from an already lackluster story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 21-11-2019

worth the listen

fantastic narration. a little slow at the start but quite amazing and gripping by the end. cant wait for the next one!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Scott Tilmann
  • 20-11-2019

An amazing change of pace in GE

Kate Traviss did an amazing job of welcoming us into a new adventure in the Galaxy’s Edge universe and giving us new characters and a story that we can care about.

My only complaint is with the production crew. I apologize that this count as a bad rating for Fred Tatasciore. There were at least 20 points in the book, more dense in some chapters than others, where there was retake of a line. The problem is the production team didn’t synchronize the volume of the retake to the before and after. This results in choppy parts with spikes and drops in volume. Fred did a great job reading it, but there is definite room for improvement in production.

Looking forward to the next one!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • ChrisK
  • 20-11-2019

Good Prequal to GE Saga But the Performance...

The Good. Though the pacing is much slower than the other GE story's, I liked the destitute Earth Traviss created and the society and characters that live there. A small, simple farming society living peaceably alongside a high-tech one seemed odd but was pulled off convincingly. The story built up with just enough growing threats and plot twists despite there being no real "bad guy" or evil antagonist - just characters making tough, questionable decisions.

A number of future-tech was introduced; sentient AI, cryogenics, wormholes, etc., and even though they were present throughout the story, there really wasn't any attempt to explain how they worked, which I would have liked.

Having read all the other GE stories, I know that the FTL breakthrough came from the "nerds" and was eventually provided open-sourced to the rest of the world to use, so I'm interested in how the twist (or wrench) thrown in at the end will be explained later.

The Bad. I guess I've been spoiled by all the other Galaxy's Edge audiobooks, RC Bray and the clean, professional productions (I even got use to Ray Porter's performance). I honestly don't know how this production was allowed to hit the streets. The narrator, Fred Tatasciore was a horrible choice. He's clearly talented, but his wheelhouse, and what he's best known for is with cartoon voice overs and not with epic military sci-fi stories. His inflections and range of dialects makes it often difficult to keep track of what character is actually talking. He also likes to end just about every characters dialogue with varying degrees of exasperation. If you have a collection of classic Christmas stories you need narrated, he's your guy.

Then there's the audio production/editing. The first dozen chapters are littered with really bad audio patches of varying tone/volume. It is so bad. fortunately, they clean up a lot more later. More frustrating than the audio patches, are the "breaks/pauses" between the dialogue of two characters can be agonizingly long, awkward and frustrating (I listen at 1.15 speed and it's still bad) and continue throughout the whole listen. Whoever edited the audio needs to be fired.

Again, the story is a good one. If I had the attention span to sit and read a book like a normal person, I might have nothing but good things to say about it.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Kevin White
  • 22-11-2019

This was a chore.

This was seriously tough to finish. The narrator, the story, the editing of the recording, all of it. I don't know what all goes into making an enjoyable audiobook but this wasn't it. I'm a huge fan of the Galaxy's Edge series and I was really hoping to get some cool backstory on the beginnings of this universe. I didn't expect it to be non-stop fan service or anything but damn, I would have had zero idea this was a Galaxy's Edge story if I hadn't looked at the cover. Whoever is responsible for this, please stop. Please don't make another one. I'm begging you.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jeff
  • 11-12-2019

Not part of the series really.

Written by a person who admires the military... but very obviously has never served.

Shallow. This story tells... it doesn’t show.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Peter Odukwe
  • 26-11-2019

Great beginning to Galaxy's Edge

I found this to be a well thought out, intricate and cleverly constructed opening book in what will be a great series. Full of the things that makes human beings weak and shallow but also showing us at our best in adversity. I liked the narrator- there is more to life than RC Bray people!! Really looking forward to what comes next.

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  • paul sparks
  • 20-11-2019

Great addition to the GE universe

Nothing like previous books in the GE universe but very very good, highly recommended, great narration too