In 2034, the stars went out. An unknown agency surrounded the solar system with an impenetrable barrier, concealing the universe from humanity’s gaze.
In 2067, Nick Stavrianos is hired to investigate the disappearance of a mentally disabled woman, Laura Andrews, from the institution where she was being cared for. Aided by a skull full of neural modifications, he follows her trail to the Republic of New Hong Kong, where an organization known as the Ensemble has uncovered Laura’s extraordinary secret: An ability that could transform the world.
Adam Epstein brings a conversational, offhand delivery to a neurologically-enhanced gumshoe named Nick Stavrianos in Quarantine.
Greg Egan’s science-fiction novel is set in the year 2067 in a world where the solar system has been enclosed by an unbreakable barrier put in place by an unknown extraterrestrial force. Andrews is hired to find a brain-damaged woman named Laura Andrews, who has disappeared from her institution. Following her to Hong Kong, Stavriano’s case leads him closer to the mysterious force that’s "quarantined" the solar system.
Epstein performs Stavriano’s narration in a world-weary tone, his voice modulating in his nuanced renditions of the story’s many characters.
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Fantastic Story Let Down by Narration
In terms of narration, the worst so far.
In terms of story, up in the top 20%
The great ideas, like the priming, quantum mechanics, behavioral mods, and the quarantining of earth. The first part of the book, before it got into the quantum mechanics side of it, really reminded me of the Ghost in the Shell universe.
Yes, but only as I'm a Greg Egan fan, and no other option sadly.
I was able to "get used to it", but it was a conscious effort...
Not so much moving, but the lead character's discussing the behavior mods as a means of avoiding grief, and rationale behind it, on humans having always strived for behavioral modification, and a hardware mechanism of doing it being no less valid.
I've been a long term Greg Egan fan and was excited to see his books getting audiobook releases. However, the narrator they have chosen really is not very good, and it makes it a struggle to listen to. But if you can get past it, persevere, the story is worth it. If you still read written books though, I'd recommend just getting the written version. It is hard to pass up the convenience of audiobooks though...
- Michael Oberhardt
Another great book killed by narrators pacing.