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I feel bad that I didn't enjoy this book more, since it was a potentially interesting mix of hard near-future SF and spelljammer Georgian sailor/astronauts - even writing that description shows the potential! And it isn't a bad book at all - the story relies on some nice elements of familiar Golden Age science fiction puzzle solving, mixed with more fantastic and swashbuckling adventures. So, there is fun to be had.
Unfortunately, the author can't quite pull off the audacious storyline, mostly, oddly, because of failures of imagination. The overall setting is terrifically good, especially the alternate version of Master and Commander-style swashbuckling among the stars, but Martinez doesn't really do enough with it. Given the initial imagination, one wishes that the author would give us more exotic settings, but instead we get a moderately clever one-to-one translation of the world of the late 18th century to the solar system - Venus as Africa/South America, Mercury as Australia, etc. Similarly, the characters are rather stock, and the worldbuilding just sketchy enough to be distracting (the geopolitics and technology seem remarkably stagnant in the future, for example). This is coupled with clunky descriptions (a mining robot is described as looking like Curiosity rover, a vehicle is described as looking like a 20th century pickup truck, etc.). The overall effect is a book that you wish was written by a bit more capable writer to fully deliver.
The reads are similarly almost good enough. A few accents are flubbed, some readings are a bit off - again, nothing horrific, but you wish for just a bit more.
I certainly don't mind the time I spent with the book, but I kept waiting to get blown away and it didn't happen. In the end, solid enough, but it could have been much more.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Fresh, clever and interesting. In the first couple of chapters I thought this simplistic. As it moves forward, however, it picks up speed, becomes more complex and is a great deal of fun.
Someone said it is Master and Commander crossed with a near-future Martian colony -- but that HARDLY describes what goes on here.
I can't say too much without giving it away -- a wonderful first book ! Well worth the listen !!!!
Superb performances by both Ms. Kalbli and Mr. Clark !
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
This review really relates to all 3 volumes of this series.
A wonderful mash-up of lots of sci-fi and fantasy tropes, fleshed out with the occasional appearance from real-life historical characters. Initially a bit confusing but after a while one can just relax and wallow in the pure fun of the story. Very well-written, the author easily masters juggling several story-lines at once. As I'm British I'm particularly pleased that life on board a circa 1800 Navy battleship is so well evoked and there's plenty of hard sci-fi mixed up too.
Fabulous performances from both readers, Kristin in particular manages a really good cut-glass British accent, somewhat reminiscent of Downton Abbey's Lady Mary.
Top class entertainment!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up The Daedalus Incident in three words, what would they be?
Marvelous, exciting, imaginative.
What other book might you compare The Daedalus Incident to, and why?
Not sure it does compare to any other book I've read. This is like a mash up of Master and Commander In Space meets The Martian Chronicles.
Two universes: Ours but a 100 years or so in the future and another parallel universe where time has run slower so it is only 1780 or so and they have working alchemy which allows them to fly sailing ships in space to the other planets in our solar system which actually support life. The story runs in parallel but the characters in the two universes eventually meet to combat a common enemy.
Which character – as performed by Kristin Kalbli and Bernard Clark – was your favourite?
They're all excellently portrayed. Some slightly dodgy English accents and pronunciations from the American readers but not bad enough to be off-putting. They both give excellent performances.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Its all exciting stuff. Couldn't wait to get back to listening to it.
Any additional comments?
I initially found it rather odd having sailing ships in space and this put me off a little. However, give it a chance and you'll see it totally works in the context of this novel and the two universes. It builds up into an exciting story with characters you'll get to really root for. The sequel is also excellent and I'm really looking forward to book 3 which is surely coming.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful