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I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I got it because I like the narrator, Gary Teidemann, having enjoyed his work in some of Michael McBride's books. These authors were new to me. However, soon after getting this Audible started recommending a bunch of seriously hard core horror to me, based, apparently, on the fact that I now had a book in my library by Jeff Menapace. Maybe he tends to write a different kind of book? Since I am a fan of horror but not the gruesome, truly horrifying type, I worried a bit. But I needn't have.
This book was basically PG-13 as far as the disturb factor goes. Don't let that put you off though--it isn't a kid's book. It was quite interesting and a good read (listen). It took me until around the 50 minute mark to really get into it, but once that happened, I was there.
There are two main civilizations to speak of in this post-apocalyptic world: those who have continued to live above ground, in a harsh, lawless society in which people spend most of their time shooting each other in saloons (think the Wild West ruled by motorcycle gangs); and a completely different type of people who live below ground in ordered, close knit communities. These two societies exist essentially right next to each other, but have almost no contact. The differences between them are a sharp contrast, and part of what make the book interesting.
The above ground people have basically no education, and most can't even do addition. The average man's main motivation seems to be to steal enough money to get drunk and pay prostitutes until he dies. It's every man for himself. The below ground sort, however, are a disciplined bunch who fill their days with training of one type or another and performing roles in their communities. People become healers, protectors, cooks, leaders, and whatever else is required for their survival and comfort. They are educated, compassionate and civilized. Oh, and they eat bugs. Cooked and often ground into flour, of course!
It is this clear distinction of morals, lifestyle and values that makes for an interesting contrast of mood in this book. It is common for us to be able to experience one or the other, since we can find many post-apocalyptic stories with similar lawless themes, as well as many with ordered communities (which perhaps don't work quite as well). However, this is the first time I have come across one with both. It breaks up the tone of the book in interesting ways, and it allows us to experience, toward the end, what happens when these two worlds are forced to collide.
All in all, this was an interesting experience that I enjoyed.
Oh, and about the narrator? He nailed it. The lawless vagabonds and civilized mole people were both perfectly believable. Particularly impressive was his treatment of the mole people, who spoke in the sort of highly refined, though *minisculely* accented English of an Hispanic English professor. (I've known a few of these guys, and seriously, that's hard to do.) Even the female voices were seamless.
I was provided this audiobook for free at my request from the author, publisher, or narrator in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected the opinions I have expressed in this review. Really. It was a good book!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Wonderfully written. I enjoyed the character and world development. The story sucked me in and I was hooked all the way. The author really needed to explain some things better. Like the vague references to cling and clear left the reader to figure it out, and that was super annoying. Other than that loved it.
Great job on the narration. I enjoyed it.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I had never heard of this author before, but usually enjoy reading science fiction with a dystopian setting and would happily recommend it to any friends with a similar reading preference.
What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?
The overall quality of the world-building done by the authors was the strongest part of this book for me, the way they gave out information came across as happening quite organically, allowing the listener to draw a clear picture in their mind of the world and its issues.
The cast of this book were a little more mixed, some of them were easily interesting enough that you would be happy to read more about them in a subsequent novel, but others such as the main antagonist were rather more generic.
Have you listened to any of Gary Tiedemann’s other performances? How does this one compare?
This was the first time I had heard anything narrated by Gary Tiedemann and I found his performance to be a positive one that enhanced the story.
Any additional comments?
I was slightly surprised when I finished this book how neatly everything was tied up in the end, these days you very often get things being set up for a sequel, but this was a good self-contained novel, albeit in a well-realised world that I wouldn't be surprised to see the authors return to at a later date.
[Note - This audiobook was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.]
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
Cling is a strange mix of violence and tenderness. The surface dwelling population live in a desert Wasteland, facing a mix of juggling existence and staying safe from the gangs and their ruling war lords. But there are others, contemptuously known as moles, who live mostly in tunnels under the ground, existing on ingeneously conceived food items made of insects, farmed by these more gentle people. But illness is beginning to take hold. The moles need Clear. So they need a Martyr.
Sadie is a Martyr. But a silly slip up now makes her also on the Blue Warlord's hit list. She wants him dead. She's not the only one.
The listener is gently thrown into this new world by first meeting Sophie at a bar, but soon this complex habitat unfolds and new protagonists are introduced. It is well done, the alieness of the place slowly revealed as we experience it through the characters' eyes. It is a rich and interesting story, too. The narration by Gary Tiederman was excellent, helping bring to life the disperse peoples with individual voicings for each. Some nice character building is also reinforced with very plausible dialogue and there are surprises along the way, as much for the protagonists themselves as for the listener/reader.
A refreshing and unusual book which will stretch imaginations. My thanks to the rights holder for gifting me my copy of Cling, via Audiobook Boom. It is a world I will remember, along with the new slant on the word 'martyr.'