Still Falling (Solstice 31 Saga: Book 1) : Solstice 31 Saga

  • by Martin Wilsey
  • Narrated by Andrew Tell
  • Series: Solstice 31 Saga
  • 14 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Barcus is a working stiff looking for a good paycheck. When the Ventura and its crew enter orbit for a scheduled planet survey, the ship activates an automated defense system protecting the planet. Although the Ventura is destroyed in the attack, Barcus alone survives the harrowing fall to the remote planet surface. He struggles to remain alive and sane, and to discover why everyone he knew and loved on the Ventura was deliberately murdered.
Swinging between despair and fury, Barcus discovers that for every answer he obtains, there are more questions raised. Barcus is assisted by the Emergency Module, Em, his most useful tool. It is an artificial intelligence system contained in an all-terrain vehicle specifically designed to help him survive. Barcus soon finds himself in the middle of a planetary genocide of the local native population. He is unable to stand passively by as more people die, even if they are long lost colonists who fear "the Man from Earth" like children fear the monster under their bed.
Will Barcus ever find his way home? Will he find out who is responsible? Will his rage just burn this world down? Or will he find his soul in the eyes of a starving, frightened woman?

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Space Man Vs. Medieval Planet

When the Ventura enters the orbit of the planet Baytirus it is immediately destroyed by the planet's defense systems. The sole survivor (that we know of) is Barcus, and together with EM (his modified Emergency Module and the most creepy human-like AI ever with its own agenda) he must survive on a planet that mostly resembles the middle ages. He also discovers that many villages are being attacked with no one spared and he decides to intervene while trying to survive on the planet (since he has some pretty strong robotic AI controlled 'friends' along with him which prove very useful).

The story started off great and was very interesting but then its pacing slowed down considerably and I felt that I was showered with details that really don't impact the greater story much (or at all) and while these details do allow for a better imagining of the scenario I found them to be mostly distracting (since not much is going on during these rather tedious descriptions).
Halfway through the novel, the story picks up again and proper pacing returns.
Every chapter is preceded by a short investigation report of the historical events that occurred during the story, I really loved those little tidbits of information and I hope these will be kept for the subsequent novels.

The narration of Andrew Tell is excellent, his performance is spot on and I felt I was listening to more of an Audio Drama at times. His voice and words are crystal clear (even when using various accents for the various characters) and it was a joy to listen to.

This audiobook was provided by the narrator at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.
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- sbenrap

Advanced technology indistinguishable from magic

Martin Wilsey's Still Falling: Solstice 31 Saga is a sci-fi variant of A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, although by medieval standards, the Middle Ages were somewhat enlightened. A survey ship, on an undescribed mission to an inhabited planet is destroyed immediately upon entering orbit. The lone survivor, Barkus with the aid of an advanced, and heavily modified shuttle AI must survive and unravel the mystery of the planet where the culture is based around a high priesthood of "keepers" who control all the technology, which the rest of the population regards as magic and women are regarded as property, while most men are regarded as slaves.

The sci-fi elements are mostly confined to the AI variety. Spaceflight is feasible, but plays a minimal role. Implants and sophisticated medical technology is also on prominent display. A unique angle for the tale is that each chapter opens with a brief excerpt from a future investigation report that alludes to a judicial proceeding and sheds some insight into the current action. Something bad has subsequently occurred, but whether this involves a planet colonization gone wrong or some other event is unclear. Exactly what the survey ship was supposed to be doing is never outlined. Watching Barkus deliberately attempt to reset the planet's civilization is the main draw for the tale.

The narration is quite good, especially with the transition from human to AI.
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- Michael G Kurilla

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-21-2015
  • Publisher: Martin Wilsey