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Publisher's Summary

One thousand years in the future, humans no longer rule....
In the early 21st century, humanity marveled at its greatest creation: artificial intelligence. They couldn't foresee the consequences of such a creation.
Now, in a world where humans must meet specifications to continue living, a man named Caesar emerges. Not meeting specifications - indeed, thinking things no human should - eyes fall on Caesar, eyes that could kill him or lift him up, lead him to tragedy or revolution.
Can one man stand against humanity's greatest creation?
A don't-miss epic science fiction novel that pits one man fighting for the future of all people!
©2014 Lee David Beers IV (P)2016 Lee David Beers IV
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By SpiegMan on 12-01-16

Patience is a virtue...

But this was too slow. It never got going despite decent narration and a great premise. Several hours in and I was still waiting. I would love to hear from author. But I am intrigued by his other 2 books. Are they more engrossing ? Book provided by author, editor or someone associated with book for honest review.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Flagnar on 11-29-16

AI Overlords vs The Rebellious Human Spirit

Would you listen to Heretic again? Why?

Did I regret listening to it? Absolutely not. Would I listen to it a second time? Probably not. Don't get me wrong, it was a great story. I felt like the story was told meticulously enough that I took everything in and do not feel I missed any of the story. So in that sense I do not feel I would gain anything by a second listen.

What other book might you compare Heretic to and why?

This book had a feeling slightly similar to A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley but not exactly. Both books portray a future where people are controlled and the governing body assumes responsibility of creating humans in a factory setting.

Have you listened to any of Sean Patrick Hopkins’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not listened to other books read by Sean Patrick Hopkins so I can not compare to his other performances.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

A story where Skynet decided human existence should continue rather than be exterminated.

Any additional comments?

Man creates artificial intelligence. Fortunately or unfortunately the initial programming for this AI is built with a foundation for compassion to humans. The AI's intelligence quickly outpaces humans and finds a way to exist independent of human technology. It becomes God like and people are powerless to stop it. Because of it's core programming it determines that humans should not be destroyed but should be managed and allowed to continue living. Wars become non-existent. Murder is unheard of for hundreds of years. Everyone is assigned a purpose. But no one is allowed to think outside the box and pursue their own ambitions. In order to do this the AI, called the Genesis, exterminated certain segments of the population and modifies human DNA over a thousand years to produce a sheep like people. No one is allowed to have an intelligence too high or too low. No one is allowed to have defects of any kind. Traditional reproduction is strictly forbidden punishable by death. Anyone deemed unfit is immediately bound by applications and liquefied in a large glass tube. It is almost impossible to avoid detection by the Genesis. It is everywhere. One man, Caesar, has an ability that has allowed him to hide his high intelligence from the Genesis. He is the only hope mankind has against the Genesis.

This story was extremely engaging. It was not non-stop action but rather more of a deep thinking story full of suspense. The character development is excellent and you really begin to feel what the characters are feeling. The story really makes you think about what the consequences of a truly violence free world might be like. What would be required to remove violence completely from humanity? To do that you would have to remove much of human free will and desire. To ensure people do not commit violence you would have to have complete control of everyone's lives. You could not have outside thinkers or leaders. You could not have anyone too low of an intelligence to not obey all the rules nor too high to piece together their constructed reality. You would have to be always watching and always ready to act and eliminate the problem the instant someone gets out of line. And after that erase the possibility of that person's essence infecting the rest of the population.

Sean Patrick Hopkins did a very good job with the narration. Out of 10 I would give his performance a 9. He kept the character voices unique, energetic, and enjoyable. His performance is definitely near the top tier and keeps you engaged. I can't give a ten though as I've heard a very impressive narration or two that is hard to beat.

Definitely a great book to enjoy. It feeds the mind. I look forward to the second book.

"This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review."

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Matt G on 12-09-16

Good performance, less convincing world-building

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

...I'm on the fence with this one. I wasn't motivated enough to finish listening to the whole book, but I did enjoy as far as I got. The narration makes it a pleasant, easy listen, and Mr Hopkins does a good job of giving characters distinct voices and characteristics. The relationship between Caesar and Grace particularly benefits from this!

Unfortunately, while I enjoyed the performance, I've struggled to get past the world-building. I personally like to think that if an immensely powerful AI takes over the planet, and decides to run it for humanity's benefit using statistics to justify/inform its horrific decisions, that it probably wouldn't make decisions using completely wrong statistics: "Children will develop best if they have two married parents. Single parents - even if they were originally married and one partner tragically dies of accidental causes - are wrong and evil and will not be allowed children." I'm paraphrasing, of course.

Also, I'm fairly sure that it's really difficult to absorb (and pass on to your offspring) other people's DNA by drinking a soup made out of their liquified bodies, a la soylent green. (...again, I may have garbled the explanation somewhat, but I think that was the idea.)

This sort of thing may not bother you much - in which case, you'll probably enjoy the book more than I did - but I really enjoy the science part of sci fi, and love seeing how the invented tech informs the creation of a believable universe. Dan Simmons' Hyperion, Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice are two recent listens that drew me in; whereas David Beers' Heretic didn't.

Any additional comments?

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Kindle Customer on 12-04-16

"It's not going to end well, for anyone."

Any additional comments?

From the very beginning, the reader is sucked into this imaginative story with Caesar's recollection of seeing his "first liquidation" as a child, the description hinting at the scenes.more likely to be found in accounts of public hangings in the past than the expected sterile executions of the future. The supposedly almost perfect future, controlled by an A.I. for the benefit of human kind, free from war, hunger, loneliness, most disease and where everyone has a job most perfectly suited to their talents and dispositions. But there is a price to pay. It is one Caesar cannot face any longer.

I must confess here that I read David Beer's marvellous book ( and the rest of the following Singularity series) some time ago and when I saw that it was out on audio, I didn't hesitate. A chance to reconnect with the story, to hear it again from the beginning through a different medium. There were concerns: a narrator can enhance a story, or destroy it. Glad to say, Mr. Hopkins certainly comes into the former catagory. His well modulated reading was clear and evenly paced, and perfectly complimented the written text. His execution of the various character's voices was distinct. But above all, he became the unhappy Caesar.

The Heritic is action packed without being a mad dash from one incident to another.. Instead, it takes time to build ideas and tension. And it makes the reader think. A well written, inventive and exciting story with great characters and an excellent narrator - the perfect combination.

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