Perilous Waif

  • by E. William Brown
  • Narrated by Mare Trevathan
  • 16 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

My name is Alice Long, and I've always known I was different.
When I was little I used to climb up to the highest branches of the housetree at night, and watch the starships docking at the orbital stations high above. Forty meters off the ground, watching ships 30,000 kilometers overhead, with senses that could pick out radar pings and comm chatter as easily as the ships themselves. It all seemed perfectly natural at the time.
There were other kids with mods at the orphanage, but nothing like that. I learned fast to downplay my abilities, keep my mouth shut, and try to blend in. Even as a kid I knew not to trust the Matrons. What would they do if they realized the Adjustments that were supposed to make me a meek little herd animal didn't do anything?
Then I messed up and gave myself away.
Now I'm on the run, hoping against hope that the Matrons won't try too hard to find me. Hoping to survive all the awful things that can happen to a girl on her own in space. Kidnappers, slavers, pirates, and yakuza - no matter where I go, trouble always seems to find me.
Good thing I'm not as helpless as I look.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Amazing.

This audiobook was quite a ride, thinking about it this story reminded me a lot of the movie Treasure Planet (not the plot though or aliens – more of the feel). Treasure Planet that is for mature audiences (there are no explicit sex scenes) which include an interesting take on AI and Genetic engineering, also has a neat implementation on interstellar travel, and the protagonist is just a bit overpowered (I think some would say Mary Sue-like qualities). (No aliens in the book as far as I could tell). This book is fun – action packed, and most of all an interesting perspective on humanities future.

Overall (4.5/5)

The performance was good, but I think the narrator got a bit excitable in places. I noticed this at the beginning, but there were a few instances in which the narrator speeds up when something exciting is happening – the speed is up all right, but it felt like some of the words were not being enunciated correctly or wholly. I usually listen to books at 2x speed but had to lower the speed to 1.7x to cope with the bursts of excitability. The voice of the narrator fits rather well with the story, and production was good. Note – I am not saying that emotion is bad – I am saying that enunciating each word at the same pace and speed of the last is important – having half the sentence end at double the speed of the first half is not good.

Performance (3.5/5)

The story is told from one perspective, Alex. This is quite an adventure story, from escaping a mind control regime, visiting strange new places, criminal organisation(s), treasure ships, chase scenes, blowing stuff up – sometimes with small nukes, and a few learning montages. People in this society are in some ways designed; there is a fascinating exploration of AI development and also Nanotechnology + some genetic engineering. The story explores these technologies – but I would not classify this as hard science fiction. Alex is different – but does that mean she is not human or is it just a next step? While this book has a lot of cool concepts going on and is very imaginative, the author gives a well-paced story, that is the story came first the cool ideas second.

Story (4.5/5)

Having read both the Kindle version and listened to the audiobook – I feel like both are mostly on par with each other.
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- Michael "I Enjoy Science Fiction and Fantasy."

Not what I expected!

I was looking for some "light reading" before falling asleep. I chose "Perilous Waif" because I thought it would be a fun YA sci-fi, which it was, but it was much more. It had far more sexual content than I expected. I usually expect some teenage type fantasy so it was not a problem to start with, however the sheer volume of sexual innuendo was a bit too much. I am no prude, but there should be a warning somewhere that there is not only sexual content, but homosexual content to boot.

The story is not bad, and features a strong female lead character who occasionally falls into the day in distress weak female. The story would have been much improved by more fully developing the early part of the story where Alice is in the orphanage. Also Alice has most of her problems solved by "magical" tech that just happens to show up when she needs it. There are a number of secondary characters who could have been quite interesting and helped in the story development, but the author continually resorts to the near magical technology.

I reached the "gimme a break" point in the second book where after 28 chapters of Alice being an orphan, the idea that she is not an orphan after all was just a bit much. The author introduces a new character who fills in years of back story a number of times in the book which also becomes tiresome. So, in short, if I knew how thin the storyline was, how much sexual innuendo the author used to try to keep the reader interested, and the lack of character development, I would have given this book a pass. It's too bad really, this book had great potential but left me disappointed in so many ways.

My advice, save your credit!
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- Dianne "I'm pretty sure I'm addicted to audio books! It's a good thing they don't weigh much and don't take up much shelf space."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-03-2017
  • Publisher: E. William Brown