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An unusual and somewhat dark story where society confines any telepath they find to an isolated mountain town called Brightside. Accused of stealing thoughts, they are taken away from all they love, stripped of all they own and sent to live in a controlled society where everyone can read your every thought and breaking the rules can have drastic consequences. The main protagonist, Joe Nolan, is an interesting man who does not always make good choices, but you can not help but feel empathy for him as you follow his story as it seamlessly flips back and forth between the past and the present. It is a well written, dark, gritty novel with scenes that tug at your heart and others that make you shudder. The characters are engaging and the plot is unique and keeps you captivated with its action and twists. The narration fits the characters well, he generally moved the story along at a good pace but did tend to have some pauses that were far too long. I would have liked to have seen an epilogue that told us how things went for everyone, but then maybe there is going to be a sequel that will tell just that. I received this audiobook from the author at no cost in exchange for an honest review.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
I was captured by the synopsis of Brightside by Mark Tullius. Sounding like a great and fairly unique science fiction story. I mean could you imagine if there were people that could hear your most intimate and private thoughts? And at all times!
As you can imagine the general public didn't like this very much, they could get all of the nation secrets! The government rounds up all of the thought thieves into, essentially, a large concentration camp. This "camp" was the town called Brightside, were the populous had jobs and apartments, relationships, go out to eat at restaurants. Making it seem as much as possible like nothing was wrong with the "camp". Aside from the enforcers roaming around to keep those that can hear everyones thoughts in line. Until one man can't take it any more.
The story starts off on day one hundred since Joe has been at Brightside. Giving a brief rundown of what has been going on, what thought thieves are and what Brightside is. Then the story jumps around a little bit giving key backstory to Joe. His childhood, how he came to Brightside.
For me, one the most entertaining parts of the story was when Joe interacted with women and when he would try to have a relationship with them. After all Joe, like most men, is a pig. Within a community of telepaths there is no way to hide it. Often times this gets him into trouble. However I found that the story, in parts, just didn't seem to move anywhere or moved along very slowly. And there were times where I was on the edge of my seat with anticipation. I thought there was going to be more action and science involved.
Brightside was a intriguing reimagining of concentration camps or refugee camps but with a science fiction spin on it all. If you want something unique and more of a cerebral sci-fi experience, you should check this out.
This was my first listening of Tee Quillin. He has a quite deep and booming voice that is also, strangely, velvety and soothing. He was able to bring identifiable voices to the different characters. I found that his reading pace was slow for my ears and increasing the playback speed made it worse, so I listened at normal speed. There were two instances of repeating sentences. While this does not really take away from the story. It does however take away from the overall audiobook experience. First on was in Chapter 10 at approx. 3:48, a sentence about a can of Lysol. First sentence was fine, then a longer than usual pause and then the second time instead of "Whoosh" Quillin made spraying sounds. The next was at approx. 7:09 "Because we knew, long pause, All because we knew...". On to something that I liked about the performance was the use of what I can only call a dreamy quality to the actual thoughts of the characters. Giving an immediate queue that it was a thought and not something said out loud, although in the end it didn't matter which the characters did.
Audiobook was provided for review by the author.
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11 of 14 people found this review helpful