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GAME OF THRONES
First, you got to like a book that starts out with references to Game of Thrones, the best drama ever, with or without boobs. Although, I prefer with. This starts out a bit slow, but than about chapter 24 hits on all cylinders and Clines never lets up on the gas. At first I thought maybe Clines made a mistake going all hard Sci-Fi, but than he starts with the crazy stuff and it was great.
Throughout the book are references to Game of Thrones and Star Trek. If you are not familiar with these shows, you will not get some of the references. Course if you are not familiar with these, you probably would not be reading this. I enjoyed the book, as I have enjoyed most of what Clines has wrote and I hope he writes more along these same lines.
One of the best narrators. He does not do a lot of voices, matter of fact these characters all sound the same as the Joe Ledger characters. Porter is the master of inflection and tone. He knows how real people talk and does a perfect job of bringing across the meaning of the writer's words.
If you are a big fan of the theme of this story and a fan of Star Trek, you will want to check out Q-Squared by Peter David.
124 of 145 people found this review helpful
Have seen quite a few reviews praising this as being an original and even "out-of-the-box". It's not. It borrows heavily from the plot lines of several 1990's video games and ends with a scene ripped straight from a 1997 blockbuster sci-fi movie.
What it is, however, is a great opener, with an interesting mystery and a couple of initially intriguing characters. The setup is sort of trope-y (secret govt science, ominous signs of something going wrong, super competent hero-protagonist), but the prose, banter and character development of a genius English teacher are slick enough to make you feel that anticipation you get as you slowly climb to the first apex of a roller coaster.
Unfortunately, for me, it was all anticipation and no rush. The plot was close to transparent from outset, which of course dims the payoff, but it was really the characters themselves that really irritated me.
First, the protagonist was never really developed beyond the opening chapters. All we ever manage to learn about him is that: a) he likes being an English teacher, b) he's really, really smart and c) he has a perfect memory, which can be a burden. We are given the barest glimpses of the internal workings of a mind that, by all rights should be running NASA, but instead chooses to be a high school teacher.
Second, the conclusions and decisions of the characters do not prove out the premise that they are extremely intelligent scientists and a super-genius. With my middling IQ, I sorted out what was happening to the science team in the first chapter with little more than the title and cover graphic to go on. Yet, the super-genius protagonist couldn't rationalize it with several traditional clues, even as a far flung possibility, until much later on. This theme would run throughout the book, with the protagonist failing to make connections and manage obvious risk until it was too late to prevent bad things from happening. It started to feel like a Hollywood action script where characters are forced to make poor decisions for no better reason than to expedite the plot. Indeed, there were times when I actively disliked the characters I was supposed to be rooting for because their obviously terrible decision making was putting billions of fictional lives at risk.
If you are someone who easily suspends disbelief and don't get too wrapped up in the logic of how a story progresses, this could be a fun, fluffy, sci-fi romp. If you are looking for something equally lightweight and fun, but with intelligence, check out John Scalzi.
P.S. Vocal performance was excellent!
102 of 123 people found this review helpful
I got this book on the strength of Clines last book "!4" which was excellent. However, this book was a disappointment. It started off well, but as soon as we grasp what's happening with the "door" it descends into a load of shallow, rubbish action with little or no suspense and no reason to invest or care about any of the characters or their fates. I actually fell asleep and rewinded the end. Unfortunately, this only confirmed I really didn't care what had happened to any of the characters and it's no wonder I ended up snoozing.
It's a shame, as the beginning was so promising and I can't help but feel it could have been a really good book. I'm still hoping that Clines will find the magic of "14" again. he seems to lose it after he's built the crux of the story and introduced us to all the characters.It's almost like he doesn't know how to ride the wave and get us to shore - we almost get to stand up on the surf board and then we instantly drown.
If you haven't read "14", I'd highly recommend reading that first, then I'd opt for another place to spend your credit than on this novel. That said, I'm still holding out hope for Clines next book...
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
I was gripped until about halfway through. shame. after all the great pseudo science, the end just seemed silly to me. great narration though.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
First 2/3's great original story.
After that it turns bad, I couldn't stand hearing about the ants every five minutes.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
This is completely suspenseful and absorbing. I listened to it on a four hour drive one way, the four hour drive home, and a few hours either side of a long trip and it definitely kept me awake.
From some of the other reviews you might think its a rerun of '14' but there are enough variations and surprises to keep the plot interesting, while it's still in the same multiverse which is good too.
Promises a sequel, which I am definitely looking forward to.
If you like sci if horror with a Lovecraftian bent then this is the book for you.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful