As the age of the singularity dawns and artificial intelligence begins to rival mankind, the stakes have never been higher. Will robots and androids work side by side with mankind to make the world a better place or will they become our most bitter enemy? The Silicon World: Man vs. Machine contains three action-packed AI-cyberpunk novels. Included in the collection are the first two novels in the Silicon Series, Silicon Man and Silicon Dawn, plus the scifi thriller set-on-a-spaceship Crossing the Darkness.
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I've read all three of these stories separately and they were all amazing. Joe Hempel does a phenomenal job narrated them and bringing these books to life. If you enjoy good science fiction, horror, and dark fiction -- these books are definitely for you.
Silicon Man had me questioning my "being"
5 out of 5 stars
AI helps humanity with nearly every aspect of their lives. But some of these AI are looking for more. A movement is forming demanding equal rights for the AI not always doing so in the most legal ways. That is where AI-TAC comes into play. Cole's job within AI-TAC is to hunt down these "rogue" AI's -- and in doing so he will come face to face with more than just the movement.
Narration for this was done by Joe Hempel and he absolutely knocks it out the park. Joe is definitely a go to narrator for me especially when it comes to the technothriller genre. He just has the perfect voice and narration style to fit these fast-paced technical stories. As with the prequel that Hempel also narrated--this story was perfectly told and I'm actually glad that I listened to the audiobook version over reading it first.
I feel like I've been getting lucky with my reviews lately, the last few books (and a couple after this one) were all on my backlog that I was seriously interested in--but life and other reviews got in the way. I'm sincerely glad that I was given a shot to give this a listen.
The story is extremely well written and fast paced. Sometimes a story, even with good characters, story, and arcs can be drawn out. This is not the case with Silicon Man. The action scenes, story arc, and character development are tightly weaved into an immaculate web. Massa really does a great job making a story both interesting and totally believable. He had me actually covering my mouth in shock/awe a few times in this story.
This is definitely a story that I cannot write the review that I want, because I will give it away -- but just know this: if you like plot twists, great story turns, and and overall story that leaves you asking questions but feeling satisfied at the same time. This story is for you.
The setting wasn't clearly announced, but it definitely felt like the near future. I did find myself pulling some comparisons to the movie I, Robot (which I also said when I was reviewing Silicon Dawn). But, I didn't feel like this was a total ripoff either. Massa has a way of writing so that you feel familiar with something but doing it in a totally new and unique way.
Overall, I finished this in one sitting. It took me one night to listen to this, and I'm glad that I took the time to do so. A great story with great characters.
Prepare yourself for the incredible story before Silicon Man
Adam is an android tasked with helping out an investigation into what looks to be a serial killer. The catch is, the serial killer looks to be killing former employees of the company who makes the androids that are being used (including Adam). He is partnered up with a detective who doesn't seem to like "his kind" or in her words "its kind". Which makes for an interesting dichotomy.
Joe Hempel does the narration for this and he just keeps getting better and better. I LOVED his work on Surviving AI, and I didn't think it could get much better than that. But low-and-behold lies Silicon Dawn. What an incredible narration job done by Joe. His pacing is perfect. You can listen to it at almost any speed an understand him. The quality is amazing -- studio-quality with no issues at all.
The story was fascinating to me. It's a perfect mix of detective/murder mystery and a futuristic AI-laced science fiction tale. I have not read Silicon Man, and now that I've read Silicon Dawn, I'm kind of glad I didn't. Now I get to jump into Man with some expectations of what is to happen and a little more back-story to the events that go down. Now, because I didn't read Silicon Man, I cannot comment on how this story ties into the main story, but I assume it does so very well.
Adam is such a unique main character. His partner, Jane Malveuax doesn't like him at first, but seems to change as she works with him more and more. I think the most interesting part was just watching their relationship grown (and shrivel) throughout this book.
Massa is a wordsmith, I didn't feel like there was a single word out of place in this whole novel. Combine that with Hempel's ability to make you feel at ease even with the most intense situations, this book was a superstar for me.
It kind of reminded me a bit of I, Robot (the movie, I never read the book by Clarke), but more in the future and after solving the issues of the uncanny valley.
Overall, this Silicon Dawn is a must read for any Sci Fi junkie. And if you're a murder mystery fan, this book may surprise you.
I tell you how I know this was an incredibly well thought out book; in the last 30 minutes or so the book could have ended numerous times and I would have been okay with it. Honestly, I was waiting for Hempel to say "This has been Silicon Dawn" about 5 or 6 times before the book actually ended.
CROSSING THE DARKNESS:
A Horror Novel Inside of a Sci-Fi Story
4.5 out of 5
Faith Cadena wanted to get away. She wanted to leave her old life behind her. One full of regrets and sadness. She decides to sign up for a mining operation that will put her into cryo-sleep until it reaches its destination. Suddenly, Faith is awoken to find out that things aren't at all what they seemed.
Joe Hempel narrates Crossing the Darkness and, as always, does a great job. When the action picked up, Joe's narration followed the mood. When things got deep you could feel the emotion from him. It's awesome to listen to an audiobook that has so much emotion built into the narration.
William Massa is a great writer. The way that this story weaves back and forth and the amount of emotion that Mass is able to interject into it is amazing. I love a book that makes me feel. And Crossing the Darkness made me feel a lot of things. Dread, sadness, and fear were just some of the emotions I felt while reading this. Teamed up with Hempel's narration make this perfect.
Honestly, I really enjoyed the length of this. It didn't need to be 400 pages. The amount of action and emotion that Massa crammed into the size of this book is impressive. Usually, with shorter books, you feel like you're missing something. That was not the case here. There were times where I felt completely helpless, which is exactly as I assumed that Faith felt like.
Overall, I thought that Crossing The Darkness was extremely enjoyable. It's definitely more horror than science fiction, but fans of either should rejoice and go buy this book.