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one of the best Elite stories I heard so far are in here. not sure what els to say
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
There’s definitely a lot of unnecessary bad reviews for this. It’s very obvious lots of people tried and didn’t always succeed in nailing that Arthur C Clarke style of short story with a good story and great punctuating ending.
While some failed, there are definitely enough that nailed it to justify the listen or read. If “fan service” is your complaint, remember these are written by FANS, people who played Elite and got the kickstarter tier to write a short story. So of course they mention the fan favorite memes and lore bits, it’s THEIR favorite.
Easy recommend for Elite fans.
Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?
I'm a huge fan of the Elite: Dangerous game and have spent a crazy amount of hours flying around its digital universe. I decided on Elite: Tales from the Frontier audiobook with the notion that it might soothe my cravings for more Elite content and at the same time enrich the game and make me feel more connected to its lore. Unfortunately I feel, for the most part, that it failed. So many of the stories are so vaguely connected to the game itself that you could easily just swap out some of the buzz words (Ship names, factions, etc.) and it could be a tale from Doctor Who or Star Trek. Change an Asp to an X-wing and it could suddenly be a story from the Star Wars universe. It just really felt to me that quite a few of the 'tales' had just shoehorned in some Elite elements into a generic sci-fi story to make it into this book.
That being said, there were a few of the tales that were very good and felt genuine to the game. One or two of these I would have really liked to have continued on longer. There were also a few funny stories that were quite entertaining.
What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?
These are the 'tales' I enjoyed and would like to have been longer: Children of Zeus by Christopher Jarvis. Cat's Cradle by Rose Thurlbeck. A Game of Death by Allen L Farr. The Easy Way Out by Ramon Marett. The rest of the book was pretty mediocre.
How did the narrator detract from the book?
Toby Longworths performance was pretty good. His range of character voices and accents were decent. I found he had a solid grasp on how the characters would react and act in the situations they found themselves in and his narration really enhanced the story.
By contrast Penelope McDonald was absolutely dire. Most of her characters sounded like they had just come out of an episode of Blackadder or some other quirky voiced comedy show. I found it quite jarring how she would voice a character and felt that it was completely missing the point. It was the audio-book equivalent of terrible casting and bad, bad acting. Its hard to explain but for example if a character should sound mysterious and intelligent then Penelope would make that character sound high pitched and whiny. If a character should be aggressive and dangerous then they would sound like high pitched with a slow Tony Robinson drawl. I repeatedly felt like the characters sounded far different than I ( and probably the author themselves) imagined they should. She was utterly grating and really distracted from all the tales that she narrated.
Could you see Elite: Tales from the Frontier being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?
Well, going by Penelope McDonalds portrayals, then they'd all be played by Tony Robinson and Nicholas Lyndhurst. Even the female characters.
Any additional comments?
You would probably enjoy this more if you have never played the Elite: Dangerous videogame.
careful not to mention anything earth shattering the stories in this book add a colourful background to the elite games. the performances are mixed with some of the voice acting not fitting the tone of the narrative but generally the audio book is a good listen if you are a fan of elite dangerous