Agent of Change : Liaden Universe

  • by Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
  • Narrated by Andy Caploe
  • Series: Liaden Universe
  • 11 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Fleeing the scene of his latest mission, Val Con yos'Phelium finds himself saving the life of ex-mercenary Miri Robertson, a young Tarren on the run from interplanetary assassins. Thrown together by circumstances, Val Con and Miri struggle to elude their enemies and stay alive without slaying each other - or surrendering to the unexpected passion that flares between them.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

At long last we have the Liadan stories on Audible

Among my favorite authors are Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. Their first three novels, Agent of Change, Conflict of Honors, and Carpe Diem were released in paperback form in the last 80s, which is when I purchased my copies. While other books have been placed and then removed from my bookshelves, these books have remained among my favorites. The characters are familiar friends and I always reconnect to them with pleasure.

After these novels were published, Lee and Miller were dropped by the Del Rey after they were asked to write books according to someone else' formula and they declined. It was a loss for their fans and their books fell out of print. Fortunately, Meisha Merlin picked up their catalog in the late 90s and started publishing new novels from them as well. Now, they are being published by Baen. As new readers pick up their novels, they need to realize that the writing is not consistent through their oeuvre, a fault that may be due to different editors. Consequently, I recommend that readers begin with the first three novels published and continue with the books in the order published instead of following the space opera's chronological order. Don't abandon the series because one or two novels aren't as good as the others. This is space opera at its finest and I highly recommend the series.

As for the audio versions, some of these novels were previously recorded and released as audiobooks. Of these, only one, Local Custom, was released by Audible. Now many of the older novels have be rerecorded as the new ones have been recorded and the sound quality is much better. The narrator Andy Caploe does deliver in terms of delivering some of the subtleties of Lee and Miller's writing style. The best narrators tell the story as if they are sitting around the kitchen table talking to you personally. Unfortunately, Andy Caploe delivers the narration in this novel with a slow weightiness that tends to weary and he doesn't do well with the women's' voices. Every word does not need to be treated as if it is the most important word in the world. And while he does a fairly good job with Val Con and Edger's voices, he fails completely with Miri's voice. She comes off not as a young, strong, smart woman, but as a whiny, old woman from New York who smokes and whose voice is lower than a mans. It is a complete miss in terms of representing her character.
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- Claire

More Romance than Sci-Fi

I should have known from the image that Agent of Change would read more like a romance novel than sci-fi. If I have to hear another time about his haunting green eyes or aching beauty I'll slit my wrists. If that's your thing you may like this book, but if I'd known there was a ship whose drive was an aphrodisiac and there'd be lines like the following, I wouldn't have purchased the book: "His SHIrt caressed CHEst and AAARMS with EVery MOOOVE as he deLIGHTedly slid his PAlms down LEATHered THighs."

I have to agree with others on the narration problems. Looking at some other random samples of Andy Caploe's narration seem to have the same problem. He puts strange pauses in the reading and emphasizes unusual words or syllables making it seem melodramatic, almost like a caricature of Captain Kirk but more annoying. Listen to the free excerpt and sample to see if it annoys you. "The MAN who was NOT Terrence oGRAdy". I hadn't really noticed it in the sample and it didn't bother me much at first, but after hours of listening it annoyed me to no end. I could see using it as a way to distinguish characters through their dialogue, but it doesn't belong in the narration. Most of the characters are okay, but I thought Miri and Watcher's voices were poor fits. I'll not be getting another book read by him if I can help it, but maybe it won't bother you as much.

Finally I'd like to note a similarity to Twilight. I hadn't noticed in Twilight until it was pointed out, but it probably isn't good to have tweens reading romantic fiction glorifying an abusive relationship. Like Twilight, Agent of Change has a female protagonist falling for a dangerous man-child whose nature it is to kill and whose every instinct tells them to kill her, but she is able to change him into a more sensitive, caring person through her love and by sticking by him even though it puts her in danger. I've seen this mentality where it isn't really the abuser's fault and they're sorry but they just can't help themselves and it isn't right and shouldn't be idealized.

As for the story, I'd give the plot a three but the writing a one so I averaged to a two.
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- Jason

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-04-2012
  • Publisher: Audible Studios