Pell's Station, orbiting the alien world simply called Downbelow, had always managed to remain neutral in the ever escalating conflict between The Company, whose fleets from Earth had colonized space, and its increasingly independent and rebellious colony worlds. But Pell's location - - on the outer edge of Earth's defensive perimeter - makes her the focal point in the titanic battle of colony worlds fighting for independence.
Hugo Award, Best Novel, 1982
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Narrator kills that book
I love all of C.J. Cherryh's Union/Alliance books (except maybe Cyteen) and was totally thrilled to finally see Downbelow Station as audiobook available here. Didn't even bother to listen to the sample - just clicked and downloaded it.
But what a disappointment !
This narrator manages to turn a great book into a dull, boring monologue that drags along. He is totally unable to convey the thrill of a situation, manages to make any description sound tedious.
The various voices he attempts are so wide off the mark that he makes those characters ridiculous. Just listen to how he butchers Mallory and Graff ! Mallory and Graff, two of the toughest characters in the series with whiny, high-pitched voices ? Hello ?
All I can say is that this narrator does not deserve even 1 star and that I will avoid him like poison from now on.
C.J.Cherryh's Union/Alliance universe is one of the most interesting, most probable and believable universes in SF. All of the Company War books are exciting, intelligent and most satisfying to read.
By using a decent narrator !
I LOVE this book and am very, very sorry to see it killed by that narrator.
This is an Audible Frontiers book, isn't it ? So if you produce any more of C.J.Cherryh's books, PLEASE PLEASE use good narrators ! Her books certainly deserve the best !
- K. Krieger
Great Space Opera!
Humans care for and love (Platonicly!) another intelligent species of aliens, while the enemies are humans in this story. I liked the political situation, and how even the people who were supposed to be good guys, were put into situations where they had to make hard decisions! The quick exposition on the history of space flight was believable, and gave just enough details to set the perfect stage for this story.
Damon Konstantin, arguably the main character of the story, shows a deep compassion for humans, and alien life alike. His losses and triumphs made the story for me.
The part where Emilio on Down Below sends away the guards, due to mistreatment of the Q people, and suddenly realizes he has no security personal at his base. This realization that people from Q can be trusted seems a turning point in the story, and is a testament to man's ability to trust others, and form the bonds of society.
Several of the scenes with downers moved me, as they showed their reverence for certain humans, and their simple caring/loving attitudes. Also the flip side of humans showing compassion for the downers, seeing them as different but equals.
Many people complained about Brian Troxell's narration of female voice. I have to agree they were nasal and not particularly good, but I managed to look past that and enjoy the story. I had been looking for a story like this, and Down Below Station fit exactly what I was looking for.