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It's an ok story, kind of run-of-the-mill sci-fi characters and a lazy ending. I was expecting more from Baxter.
The first half of the book is very nice. Combining several story arcs that are interesting to follow, and seem like a nice build up, even if a bit heavy on the descriptive side.
Then the book finished the story lines quite abruptly, and just goes on with the descriptions. They are very detailed descriptions but they seem to lead nowhere.
The story lines don't combine with each other. They are replaced with new stories that don't make much sense - except that they give the author more opportunities to describe stuff.
I counted 3 episodes where the narrator describes what is seen outside the window of a moving car.
I kept on listening hoping for the stories to come together. They don't. Maybe in the sequel they will, but I won't bother finding out.
I found the story gripping, and had no problem ploughing through this audiobook to find out what happened next.
However, what added an element of strangeness to this was the narrator, Kyle McCarley. Another reviewer here suggests that he may have a "speech impediment". I'm afraid it's much worse than that: he's an American attempting to do an English accent.
Unfortunately, I've been able to work out which English accent he's trying to do. He is at least consistent: "hot" sounds like "hawt"; "water" sounds like "wotta"; "marrow" sounds like "merrow"; and "calm" and "phantom" just sound strange; but at least it was like this all the way through.
The closest accent I could think of is Received Pronunciation, but this strikes me as an odd choice nowadays, as even the BBC abandoned RP decades ago.
A couple of the characters have northern accents, though I found find these neither consistent nor convincing.
I feel it would have been better for the narrator to have used his native accent, or if an English accent was required, then for an English narrator to have been used.
That said, his narration was very clear. But the odd pronunciations did detract from that somewhat.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
This is a really gripping story, great characters, fast moving yet absorbing plot lines and very descriptive. Only one thing jars however and that is unfortunately the narration. Don't get me wrong it's not all dreadful but what lets it down is in the pronunciation of a lot of the words. I understand that the narrator is American and is for the main part attempting to do English or British accents however he has completely failed to understand the round, long vowel sounds used by the majority of English accents. For the main part he sounds like somebody attempting to do a posh English accent and getting it wrong a bit like Margaret Thatcher really.his northern English accent is vaguely north but is no way Mancunian . It's a good effort but only worth six out of ten I'm afraid . It's a shame they didn't use an English voice-over artist. Know for those of you who are thinking "Well do you think you could do better?" the answer is yes, a great deal better being an English voice-over actor myself. It's a shame has from other reviews many peoples enjoyment seems to have been spoiled by the narration I've nothing against American voice-over actors but quite frankly I think publishes need to get the right person for the right job. I will however be buying a second volume of the story is I really want to see what happens next
22 of 23 people found this review helpful
What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
If the characters were not completely loathsome. If the plot didn't borrow from some of the dumber elements of "Lost". If anything remotely plausible or interesting happened.
What will your next listen be?
After this I listened to "The Medusa Chronicles" by Baxter and Reynolds. MUCH Better
How did the narrator detract from the book?
This was a HARD book to narrate. It called for maybe 25 different accents. Unfortunately Kyle McCarly wasn't good at any of them and narrated down his nose. I thought he was ok at the English and European voices "Ewen McGregor" for our protagonist but there are plenty of complaints from the Euros about THOSE accents. His Aw-sees and Hispanic characters were laughably bad.
If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Proxima?
Well lets see, the idea of sending prisoners to populate new planets was incredibly dumb. All of the dialogue was laughable. I am trying to think of a plot point that was remotely plausible or interesting but I can't. The scene where Mardeena describes herself as a "full blooded Aboriginal" is particularly offensive to Aboriginals.
Any additional comments?
Avoid avoid. Baxter is a good writer but this turned me off of him for a while
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
At first i wasnt sure. Then it carried me away with its characters and i could not put it down!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful