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I felt compelled to write a review opposing this book's high rating, because I rely heavily on reader ratings to choose my audiobooks, and the average rating on this book really mislead me this time.
I am a big fan of John Barnes, and for those who aren't familiar wtih his solo work I would strongly recommend his novels, especially "Mother of Storms" and "Candle". When I saw that he had collaberated with Buzz Aldrin, I thought that this book could be a real winner, combining Aldrin's familiarity with real space exploration and Barnes' imagination and style.
Unfortunately, this book is a mess. I would call the book one giant cliche. The plot is unoriginal and predictable. Conflicts are only sketchily created and resolved without any tension or suspense. The characters that you suspect turn out to be the villians, all right. The entire first half of the book revolves around a lawsuit, and the whole plot involves the characters' legal plotting, PR maneuvers, and spin manipulation. It was mind numbing! If I wanted that, I would just get a book about the OJ trial. When some action *FINALLY* begins (only after about 5 hours), it apparently has nothing to do with the events of the first part of the book and it gives the feeling of two separate plots. They are woven together eventually, but in a cursory "wrap up" manner that is just too pat. At the end of the book, the image I had in my mind was that of the villain at the end of the Scooby Doo cartoons saying "the world could have been mine if it weren't for you meddling kids!"
Then there is the dialogue. It uses every trite phrase I can think of, and reminds me of the way people write when they send out letters in their holiday cards. I started to laugh trying to count them.
I couldn't help thinking that this book was written by a complete novice to wordcraft(Aldrin) and minimally "cleaned up" by Barnes. If you ever read Barnes on his own, you will see what I mean.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
There are very few books (audio or otherwise) that fall into the category of 'can't put down' for me. This was one. It moves quickly, is believable, has entertaining and likeable characters, and is just plain a great story. Aldrin and Barnes have created a contemporary United States that I wish I lived in.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful