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“Edge of the Future” is an action-packed military science fiction story with plenty of plot twists and turns that is written by Andria Stone. This is the first book in what is believed to become a trilogy of books. The audiobook edition was well narrated by Nicholas Barta with only a few slight blemishes discussed later in this review. If you like stories containing cyborgs, terrorists, military, medical, and procedural aspects, I think you will be pleasantly surprised listening to this audiobook.
The story takes place in the near future where humans have already colonized the moon (Luna) and Mars after a large war decimated much of the earth. A mission sent to colonize Europa failed and the deaths of over one-hundred and fifty people are a mystery that needs to be solved. Some of the aspects involving cyborgs reminded me of Battlestar Galatica where it was difficult to distinguish humans from machines. Not only was the threat from these non-humans, some of the characters were given neural implants which allowed our antagonist to take control of them to do her bidding. The action and story felt like the movies “RoboCop” and “Total Recall”, with a few bits of the Matrix thrown in to keep us on our toes. The story takes place mostly on the Moon at a special secret research base where classified information on creating a nanobot genesis system; or weapon. I enjoyed the many different medical and nanotechnology used in the story, and much of it seemed believable in the future time the book takes place.
Not only was there plenty of action, the book has a fair amount of mystery and suspense. You have murders, a hunt for terrorists, assassins being hired, and many of our main characters running scared until they can uncover and put a stop to the villain’s plot while at the same time protect the information she is attempting to steal. There is plenty of drugging, cyborg switching, and chase scenes to hold your attention. Even with all of this activity, the author does include a few scenes containing romance and deeper character interaction. Nothing explicit or over the top. Although the characters did not feel flat, I would have like to have had some more details around their backstories, etc. I wanted to care more for them than I found myself doing, and this may be coming in the future books in the series.
The book’s narration by Nicholas Barta was better than I would have expected from a newer narrator with five performances currently on Audible; at the time of this review. Overall it was a solid performance with only a few slight audio inconsistencies with the audiobook’s volume. I do not recall any other issues. For a newer narrator, I also found that he did a decent job narrating the many female characters found in the book, and I liked his ability to give unique accents and personalities to each character.
For parents and younger readers, be aware this book contains a fair amount of vulgar language. Some of the humor is crude or contains sexual innuendos which one might expect in a book containing military personnel. This is not saying that all military people speak using vulgar or crude language, but it is a way many are represented in books and movies. There are also a few scenes of graphic violence which again would not be of surprise with a military-focused book. Other than this, I do not recall anything that would exclude readers who are not easily offended by the above-mentioned items from reading this book.
To summarize, I think the book is a strong start to what appears to be a good series. If you like action, mystery, and space, I think you will find that you will like this book. Again, be aware this is only the first book in a trilogy, so some of the plot-lines are left open-ended for later books to answer. However, the first book is still worth a listen even before the others are released on Audible.
Audiobook was provided for review by the author.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.
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2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Actual rating 3.5 stars.
There were things I liked and things I didn't in this novel.
The things I liked include:
- Strong women characters in the supporting cast as ranking officers - I really wish there were more novels like this. This is especially true for those that take place in the future.
- The world set up
- The opening action sequence
I would have given this book 4 to 4.5 stars if not for that the writing shifts back and fourth between showing what's happening and telling. I'm with the story when it's showing me what's happening, my eyes glaze over when it's telling. Sometimes it's a combination of both... we see something happen, and then there's a recap.
There are some descriptions of people being unusual without saying how, and sometimes the men didn't seem to think or talk like men... for example one talks about being able to do a bunch of crazy combat stuff without messing up his hair. Most army guys don't have much hair to mess up, and for most guys, hair is the last thing on their mind when they are fighting for their lives.
Overall, it's an OK listen, but it would have been stronger if it was longer, and during the editing process someone circled all the instances of telling, and asked the author to flesh them out, paint a picture, or show us how the characters came to such and such conclusion rather than just announce that they had. The entire novel is not like this, but there's enough of it to bump it down a star rating.