When 17-year-old Toby McGonigal finds himself lost in space, separated from his family, he expects his next drift into cold sleep to be his last. After all, the planet he' s orbiting is frozen and sunless, and the cities are dead. But when Toby wakes again, he' s surprised to discover a thriving planet, a strange and prosperous galaxy, and something stranger still - that he' s been asleep for 14,000 years.
Welcome to the Lockstep Empire, where civilization is kept alive by careful hibernation. Here cold sleeps can last decades and waking moments mere weeks. Its citizens survive for milennia, traveling asleep on long voyages between worlds. Not only is Lockstep the new center of the galaxy, but Toby is shocked to learn that the Empire is still ruled by its founding family: his own.
Toby's brother Peter has become a terrible tyrant. Suspicious of the return of his long-lost brother, whose rightful inheritance also controls the lockstep hibernation cycles, Peter sees Toby as a threat to his regime. Now, with the help of a Lockstep girl named Corva, Toby must survive the forces of this new Empire, outwit his siblings, and save human civilization. Karl Schroeder's Lockstep is a grand innovation in hard SF space opera.
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A Great Idea, Poorly Served
I would need to read the text to get a better feel for it - the performance is sufficiently bad that I cannot even be sure if it is the reader or the prose I'm most disappointed with. That said, what I can say of a certainty is that someone was telling this story *at* me.
The universe that Mr Schroeder has developed here is original and fascinating - sufficiently, in fact, for me to gut through the most disinterested and perfunctory "performance" I've encountered yet. It helps, of course, that this is a very short commitment.
I've not encountered Jonathan Todd Ross before, but the fact that he has been employed to read more than one audiobook can only suggest to me that this is by far his worst performance. Anyone who had only this credit to their name would never work in the industry again. I cannot for the life of me figure out how the producer allowed this recording to see the light of day, nor how the publisher had the gall to release it.
I will be returning this audiobook and purchasing the kindle version. The value and originality of the underlying 'lockstep' concept is fascinating - irregardless of whatever extent the author is responsible for poorly serving that concept with his prose. I can only recommend against the purchase of the Jonathan Todd Ross narrated audiobook.
- D. M. ROBISON
Worth a listen.