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The dictionary.com definition of the word exigency is as follows:
[ek-si-juh n-see, ig-zij-uh n-]
noun, plural exigencies.
1. exigent state or character; urgency.
2.Usually, exigencies. the need, demand, or requirement intrinsic to a circumstance, condition, etc.:
the exigencies of city life.
3. a case or situation that demands prompt action or remedy; emergency:
He promised help in any exigency.
The title of this book by Michael Siemsen immediately made me interested in listening to it. It’s catchy, feels fast paced and lured me in. Narrated by Julia Whelan Exigency is the story of a team of scientists in the far future who are in orbit studying a developing planet. They observe flora and most… urgently the fauna. There are two species of note on the planet, the Hyanka and the Threck. Both species are intelligent and are developing societies, science and such.
Calamity of course strikes the space station they are on and they must evacuate. Their escape pod lands in a dangerous region of the planet and the exigency begins. They can’t survive for long on their own, and they now must enlist the aid of the aliens.
The main character in the book is a neurotic, ill scientist named Minnie(Minerva) I found her to very well developed and deep as a unique character but ultimately unlikable. The remainder of the book’s human characters are fairly shallow and don’t add much other than skill sets or dialogue partners for Minnie. The aliens in the book are very alien and are well done. They don’t feel anthropomorphized in the least and they’re spoke in such a way by Julia that they feel like they’re not just ‘other humans.’
In audio the book suffered from the back and forth written communication style. There’s a messaging system the humans use that’s essentially like modern day texting and on paper I can imagine that it’s far easier to read. In audio however I felt irritated by the prefacing of initials, abbreviations and the ‘l33t sp33k’ feel of it. It didn’t register as entertaining or particularly clever to me, though I can see how it would be much better in the written book.
Despite its anything but urgent start, and lower level of the action I expected out of a book about scientists stranded on a dangerous alien planet Exigency is entertaining. It seemed far more about cultural clashes and the language barrier of meeting new civilizations, and I found that element well written and interesting. If you’re into hard science fiction and the future of space exploration Exigency has something to offer you.
Julia Whelan’s performance of the title is entertaining and well done. Her fluid dance between character voices and species becomes easy to follow very quickly and makes the book a pleasure to listen to.
Audiobook was provided for review by the publisher.
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28 of 33 people found this review helpful
it's a good book, good story, and we'll read by the narrator. it is not quite what I expected but I was still glad I read it
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
My first experience of Michael Siemsen story-telling and will definitely not be my last. Fascinating, exciting and richly detailed, I have nothing but praise for Exigency. Julia Whelan was a wonderful narrator and I could not imagine anyone more accomplished in bringing the diverse characters to life.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
once you get over the disorientation of the opening scenes its a rattling good story