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I can tell this is one of Asher's earlier attempts at writing a novel. A lot of boring inbetween stuff and filler material that feels like it could just as well have been left out of the book. Not much of the compact, action packed, to the point writing his later work is full of.
Still,at chapter 7 or so the story picks up momentum and I got sucked in anyway. All in all, well worth my time.
The true horror of this audio incarnation of a cyberpunk classic is the narrator. Oh, my, god!! Total amateur.
Not only does he not know how to use proper intonation and accents. He reads sentences in completely alien ways. Quote: "I want THEM watched al all times." thatvis rediculous! Every thrid grader can sense that the ephasis should be on the word "watched" and in my perference also on "all". Like this: "I want them WATCHED at ALL times." this narrator, of whom I refuse to look up the name, just invents random pauses and emphasizes words in a way that rips their meaning completely out of context. The result is that I keep reconstructing half the sentences in my head the way Asher must have meant them so I can understand what is actually meant. Is that horrible narration or what?!
Besides that his voices are unbearable. He lays on the voices in such an exaggerated way that characters just seem rediculous. Does he not understand that he is not the writer? Use voices to serve the story ffs, don't give them so much of your own influence that they can not possibly fit in anymore..
This man truly does not belong in this line of work.
Asher why? Whyyyyyy?!
Thanks for writing some of my favorite science fiction though ;).
In other reviews I've seen the author being favourably compared to Gibson or Stephenson. I wish I had read the reviews first, I wouldn't have wasted the credit. As it was I listened to the preview and was grabbed by the start. I thought I was in for a seriously interesting sci-fi/mystery.
What I got was badly structured prose trying to describe a future where all of humanity is ruled by AIs. Agent Cormac -- our "hero" -- is part of the ruling polity until he's un-linked because eh's forgotten how to be human. Sadly the more I read about Cormac the less I cared about him. The villains, at least the human ones, were more interesting.
Read well, with a great story with a huge backstory. Well worth paying for. Thoroughly recommended to hard sci-fi fans.
Read this book years ago and loved it then. Thoroughly enjoyed this reading. The narrator is top notch but the editing could have been a little better. Sometimes there was insufficient pause when moving from one group to another causing a little confusion.
The story introduces the main protagonists of this series well and introduces some interesting concepts.