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Frozen Sky 2: Betrayed by Jeff Carlson is the second novel in a series called Frozen Sky. Alexis Vonderach has facilitated contact between human beings and new creatures called Sunfish on Jupiter’s moon, Europa. With increasing interest in these creatures across Earth, Alexis Vonderach must both navigate her uncertain communication and culture differences with these aliens whilst attempting to prevent political and financial interests taking over the task of human beings first interactions with new life forms.
As with the first novel, there are a lot of high level issues addressed throughout the development of the story such as the difficulty of communication, cultural differences, artificial intelligence, and ethics. I liked this novel a bit more than the first because of the challenges regarding the political forces that were attempting to dominate the direction of all interactions with the Sunfish. It was frustrating to hear, but is likely close to how the interactions would play out in reality, unfortunately. It really was an exciting novel with enough action parts to keep the listener interested. One aspect of the entire expedition to Europa and the interaction with the alien life that struck me was the heavy reliance on technology. Naturally, humans cannot survive on Europa without excellent technology interfacing with everything that we do. But all communication with the Sunfish was also through a filter of technology. Assumptions had to made regarding any translations. There is a lot of room for error, which made communication precarious and dangerous. As before, I felt that why the characters had a lot of potential to be interesting, they were a little flat. The story was more about the action. However, I especially felt that the romantic relationships took away from the story rather than adding to it.
As before, the narration by Darrin Revitz didn’t help me enjoy the novel. A narrator more focused on accent and tone would have made it easier to differentiate between who was speaking, especially as many of the characters had different nationalities. The production quality was okay, a few skips, but overall well done. I would recommend this novel to any science fiction fan that enjoys action filled novels set in space and likes the political aspects of aliens.
Audiobook was provided for review by the author.
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This is a great continuation of Von's adventures and achievement of greater understanding. The writer created a truly alien race and Jeff Carlson has done it wonderfully. His aliens have no cultural or biological semblance. To anything here on Earth which truly makes for an interesting way of looking at first contact. The narrator was good reading this audiobook..