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Publisher's Summary

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.
©1981 C.J. Cherryh (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

Hugo Award, Best Novel, 1982

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By K. Krieger on 07-11-12

Narrator kills that book

Would you try another book from C. J. Cherryh and/or Brian Troxell?

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.

What did you like best about this story?

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.

How could the performance have been better?

By using a decent narrator !

You didn???t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

I LOVE this book and am very, very sorry to see it killed by that narrator.

Any additional comments?

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 !

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40 of 43 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Wayne on 11-30-12

Great Space Opera!

What did you love best about Downbelow Station?

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.

Who was your favorite character and why?

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.

Which scene was your favorite?

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.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

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.

Any additional comments?

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.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Christie on 09-21-12

Well worth persevering with

I almost gave up on this audio book - I found the narrator's voice extremely irritating and the book gets off to a very slow start as the author sets the scene for the story from the point of view of each of the main characters. I found it all very dense and confusing and it was so hard to stay focussed that I ended up listening to the first 4-5 chapters over and over again trying to make sense of what was going on.

Fortunately I persevered and kept listening. Once past the first few chapters, the story picks up pace considerably. The action continues to move from the viewpoint of one character to another as events play out both on and off-station, giving the story a cinematic quality. As I became more familiar with each of the characters, I got hooked in and started to care about what happened to them. I will definitely read this book again.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Ruth on 04-07-13

Good but confusing

A quite enjoyable book let down by a less than great narrator, Downbelow Station is full of interesting characters, plots and intrigue, but is very dense and takes a lot of concentration to follow the story completely. I feel like I'll get more out of this one on a re-read when I've got clear in my head who all the characters are, since I got lost rather a lot on a first listen.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 01-22-16

Richly detailed worlds and well written hard scifi

What made the experience of listening to Downbelow Station the most enjoyable?

The world is much more carefully detailed than most novels, and in many cases it's the circumstances that steal the scene. The chain of events feels a lot richer and a lot more real than is typical in a book. This is a world well imagined, and carefully thought out.

What three words best describe Brian Troxell’s performance?

"Radio News Broadcaster". He reads the story almost like a documentary, which loans a very matter of fact aspect to the story and suits the subject matter quite well. His rendition of different character voices left something to be desired though, not horrible but not on par with everything else.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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