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3.5 / 5 for story
The description for this book mentions that "Ark-13 can best be described as Lost meets Interstellar". This is setting the expectations mark fairly high (at least in my opinion), something that I don't feel the book reached. I can see the Lost references to an extent, as the book has a mysterious corporation controlling things with the characters are trying to get answers from and is told both with the present and with flashbacks. But that's where the similarities end - there is no supernatural weirdness etc that is in Lost. This is one main mystery (around Genesis) not the perpetual strangeness and mystery of Lost. Part of that is probably due to length and what can be told in the short space of this book.
As for Interstellar... not so much. Unless you go with the bare minimum of they are in space and Earth is uninhabitable. That's about where the similarities end.
I could think of one very well known movie/book that this story is like, but even saying the name would be giant spoilers. So I won't.
The book follows Jake, who is part of the judicial system on Ark-13. The 13th of 13 arks used to save some of humanity from a destroyed Earth. When evidence appears that the ark controllers, GENESIS, are manipulating people and oppressing the population Jake investigates, while being pulled into a slowly forming rebellion.
The story is interesting and quick paced. The flashbacks - told through journal entries - eventually come to a point but for the majority of the book just serve to slow things and take away from the main story. There is pay off to them, but at least initially they are a drag (as much of a drag as a quick, short book can have - which isn't that much).
The story goes into a bit of discussion on the man/machine divide, with each person on the ark having a cybernetic implant. Are these being used to control people or report false data and thus convict innocent people? This is fairly interesting and weaved throughout the story.
The themes also touches on rule of law and rights of the individual. However with these there is no real discussion about them except that Jake takes the position of each person has right of x, y and z but never really questions where these rights come from. I would have been interested in seeing more of the "bad guys" side, where the opinion is GENESIS is not oppressing people but actually managing resources and looking after people. There is an automatic assumption that Jake's way is correct, that any sort of control is bad (ignoring the fact that GENESIS just saved them, when they didn't have to, and is likely continuing to work to save them) with any presentation of the other side of the argument being framed as "the bad guys".
If you are looking for a fun, sci-fi thriller then this is great.
If you are looking for a story on what it means to be man and what rights we should have etc - which is what I found both the blurb and the other reviews to suggest this book is - then I found it a little lacking in that department.
Narration by Kevin Gallagher is good. Initially I thought I was in for a rough ride, with the first minute or so being pretty monotone, but this is a journal entry and appears to be a conscious choice to speak that way for the section. Once we move off of the journal entry into the story Kevin does well, imparting emotion and energy into the narration. While not exactly having different voices/accents for all different characters Kevin does provide enough differentiation between character voices to make it clear different people are speaking (except, again, during journal entries where all characters are flat). Narration is easy to follow, enjoyable and full of energy.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of audiobookboom dot com.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Post apocalyptic sci fi with a HUGE plot twist. Steve jobs/bill gates like tech company. Giant meteors. Spaceships. The destruction of earth. New society in space. Big brother is always watching. Well written and well read. Enjoyed it thoroughly. I received this audiobook from the author narrator or publisher for free via audiobookblast in exchange for an unbiased review
3 of 3 people found this review helpful