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In 2088, humankind is at last ready to explore beyond Earth's solar system. But one uncertainty remains: Where do we go? Astrophysicist Reggie Straifer has an idea. He's discovered an anomalous star that appears to defy the laws of physics and proposes the creation of a deep-space mission to find out whether the star is a weird natural phenomenon or something manufactured. The journey will take eons. In order to maintain the genetic talent of the original crew, humankind's greatest ambition - to explore the furthest reaches of the galaxy - is undertaken by clones. But a clone is not a perfect copy, and each new generation has its own quirks, desires, and neuroses. As the centuries fly by, the society living aboard the nine ships (designated "Convoy Seven") changes and evolves, but their mission remains the same: to reach Reggie's mysterious star and explore its origins - and implications.
A mosaic novel of discovery, Noumenon - in a series of vignettes - examines the dedication, adventure, growth, and fear of having your entire world consist of nine ships in the vacuum of space. The men and women, and even the AI, must learn to work and live together in harmony, as their original DNA is continuously replicated and they are born again and again into a thousand new lives. With the stars their home and the unknown their destination, they are on a voyage of many lifetimes - an odyssey to understand what lies beyond the limits of human knowledge and imagination.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Dr. DonnaJeanne on 12-20-17
Interesting premise, pedestrian execution
This is a story that spans millennia and incorporates exploration, AI and cloning among other interesting, if not new concepts, but unfortunately is hampered by an immature writing style. When I say the writing is immature, what I mean is that there was potential in the ideas. Unfortunately the dialogue was clunky and lacked nuance. We learn about characters' feelings and motivations because they baldly state them rather than living them out. I stuck around to the end of the book because I was hoping all of the disjointed elements were going to come together a la' Neal Stephenson and was ultimately disappointed because the story didn't really go anywhere new or very interesting.
I want to be fair in this review, so let me say there may be a few factors that effected my enjoyment of "Noumenon". The first is that I purchased the Audible version of this book because the description touted it as having elements of Neal Stephenson's "SevenEves" and Hugh Howie's "Wool". Having enjoyed these books very much I was expecting a certain level of inventiveness, sensible scientific elements, interesting descriptions of daily life in the world of the novel, and likable characters. I think "Noumenon" suffers greatly by this comparison. There is little inventiveness, how the "science" or "speculation" in this fiction is expressed comes no where near Stephenson or Howie, and most characters were shallow and annoying. There is little depth in what descriptions there were of life during the mission or back on Earth. The second factor that likely impacted my impression of this audiobook was the narrator. She made half the characters sound like they were on the old Speed Racer Cartoon (think Spritle). Too many characters sounded too similar while the narrator also didn't keep accents or voices consistent within characters. Voice inflections were awful and often did not even match the emotion written clearly in the text. So if you do give this book a go I suggest reading it yourself and avoiding the audio version.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By Amazon Customer on 02-13-18
barely covers the event
Would you try another book from Marina J. Lostetter and/or Celeste Ciulla?
no, she barely went into the whole premise of the book. Noumenon was what they were going to discover, but she took the easy way out and made it all about the human experience. If all I wanted is that, I'd read a non sci fi book.
What could Marina J. Lostetter have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?
actually delve into the science or title of her book. she barely touched on the whole premise of the book at all.
Would you listen to another book narrated by Celeste Ciulla?
yes, good narration.
You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?
too mad to compliment this book. read this whole book waiting for anything to come of the main premise. nothing!
Any additional comments?
horribly placed in the wrong genre.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful