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This is the first book I've ever had to put down half way through (I managed three hours, 15 minutes) because I got fed up with it. To be honest, I'm amazed I got through the 3rd hour. This has a lot of literary problems. The Sci-Fi doesn't make sense, the characters aren't interesting, drama is force-fed, explanations are overdone and yet somehow still don't create a universe that makes sense. This is just not fun to listen to.
Here's some examples of the book's issues:
1) The Escape Pod has the capability to do nearly everything yet has some questionable silly in capability. It can create gold, download information from the Internet/TV/Radio/etc, can completely change the appearance of the main protagonist right down to the DNA (I think?), change its own appearance like some sort of Transformer, is clearly intelligent and so on. Yet when things are mentioned, it's completely confused as if it had never heard that before. And somehow we build a shield for it that protects it from all of the 10,000s of ships in space. What?! Speaking of which, I call BS on the thousands of ships. There is absolutely no way we wouldn't detect at least one of those ships. To say nothing about the logistics of this setup.
2) Ships can detect the lifesigns of people but somehow can't detect that our main protagonist isn't human. Yet for some reason can figure out that his kid is abnormal. I.....can't....even...what?! There are some really confusing powers/technological capabilities at play in this book.
3) Advanced Alien Guardian race who seem to be one step away from leaving our plane of existence are completely confused by the actions of our main protagonist (in that he acts like a Good Human Being) and the AI of the escape pod (who acts like a friend). I'm sorry, this doesn't make any sense given how they're built up and how we're introduced to the various alien species. It makes this guardian race look extremely stupid. Yet they aren't supposed to be.
4) Main protagonist has a computer in his head. I think. It's not very well explained but it seems like he can access any and all information on Earth from his head. How this was managed is not explained and he has some really odd gaps in knowledge. Like, he knows about our culture, yet doesn't understand our culture's idioms. I don't know how that's possible when you download the entire Internet to your brain.
5) Conveniences galore. It's awfully convenient how our protagonist just happens to get to Earth, just happens to land in Boston, just happens to land in the right neighborhood, just happens to get work at a restaurant where a College Professor is working on a new math algorithm for a new shield technology that he just happens to be ready to go that just happens to give the invading alien races the legal excuse to invade the planet and just happens and happens....I could go on at long length how many conveniences this book has. It's not even just this main plot thread but there are a ton of them, mostly tied into the problems I have up above.
6) There's way too much hammering on Humans being both Really Awesome and Really Awful. We get it. We're humans and we're great/awful. You do not need to inform us about over 20x in a single book. This is pedantic and pandering to the nth degree.
The narrator Al Kessel does a pretty good job of voicing the characters but I think it's entirely weighed down by the material he's reading. There's so many problems that I'm not even sure where to begin working on them. Look, if you're not going to explain the Sci-Fi and that's a completely reasonable thing to do: don't try even remotely explaining it. Furthermore, establish the rules of what can and can't be done from the outset. Far too many times it felt like things were magically solved because X technology exists or Y person just happens to be in the area. It never felt like the character's own wits or capabilities were why he succeeded for as long as he did, it just happened. Finally: you cannot kill off side-characters like you did and expect an emotional response. The killing of one of the restaurant workers felt forced, that we were supposed to sympathize with the main character's feelings. Except it backfires because we know very little about him. Except where he works.
I can't recommend this book.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
the babys name was not willow it was elana danion willow wafgood was warick davis. but still a great book i highly recommend this book
1 of 1 people found this review helpful