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I downloaded this book on the recommendation of someone who had read the printed version and did so noting some of the earlier criticisms of this particular reading and the narrator.
I very much enjoyed the book. Brin's universe is one filled with political intrigue and trans-species rivalry. His inventiveness and descriptive powers of an environment as unlikely as the surface of the sun were excellent.
Like many, many sci-fi novels, I think it could have done with a slightly firmer editor's pen but, given the genre, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I also must respectfully disagree with the criticisms of the narrator's reading. Personally, I found it very well executed. I found the voices - which didn't seem silly to me at all - very helpful for keeping the panoply of aliens straight in my head.
All in all, I was very happy I'd bought and listened to it, and I have bought the other two in the series on the strength of my impressions of the first.
18 of 18 people found this review helpful
The first 4 hours of this book are pretty bad. Nothing much happens beyond finding out what "uplift" means. The main character, Jacob, goes from one place to another and talks to people and that's about it. To make matters worse Jacob is grief-stricken, making him detatched from humans, and has a kind of splintered personality; so there isn't any character development either. Dull.
After that things pick up a lot. Aside from the hard S.F. elements, and the world-building, there is a mystery- a pretty good whodunit- and the questions about what the aliens are up to, what's going on with the Solarians, and the revelations about Jacob's character. And some action too.
The narrator is terrific- especially considering he has to do 3 alien species, a dolphin, and a chimp. Talk about earning your pay!
That said, the first 4 hours are a real obsticle. Unless you are a Brin fan I'd advise getting "The Uplift War" instead. The "trilogy" is really 3 unconnected books set in the same universe. Execpt that "Startide Rising" is continued in the next "trilogy".
24 of 25 people found this review helpful
I am a sci fi fan. I have read almost everything from the 60's onwards but somehow missed Sundiver. Now I get my books in audio format to listen to in the car and most are brilliant.
This one is not. The narrator has the most boring awful voice I have heard. Dull, monotonous, rumbling, unclear and those are his good points. But that would be ok if the story was good. Sadly this is not the case. It is a sad and tired example of 70's/80's sci fi. 2d characters, boring overlong descriptions, totally unrealistic dialog and cringeworthy sex.
I gave up half way through - something I have never done on an audio book before.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful