The Great Symmetry

  • by James R Wells
  • Narrated by Mitchell Lucas
  • 9 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Exoarchaeologist Evan McElroy has made a discovery about a long-extinct alien race. But his sponsors realize they can make huge gains if the new findings are kept completely secret. Step one of their plan is to kill the entire research team - starting with Evan.
As Evan flees for his life, his trajectory awakens a long-buried struggle. The Infoterrorists, who believe all ideas are screaming to be free, have waited years for the right moment to take on the seven great families that control all of civilization. This could be their opportunity. Or it could be time for millions to die.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The equivalent of an enjoyable scifi popcorn flick

Would you try another book from James R Wells and/or Mitchell Lucas?

I'd definitely read another book by either the author or narrator. The author had believable characters and a moved the story along at a nice clip. The narrator did well. He kept it varied without venturing into voices that get irritating.

If you’ve listened to books by James R Wells before, how does this one compare?

I have not listened to one of his books before.

What about Mitchell Lucas’s performance did you like?

The narrator's tone matched the tone of the book well. He could convey a decent set of characters without resorting to screechy voices or etc.

Could you see The Great Symmetry being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

It could go either way. You could trim a few things and have something better than 'Jupiter Ascending', but maybe not as good as '5th element' or leave everything and do it as a 6 part BBC series. Ending lends itself to TV show more, I suppose.

Any additional comments?

I'd just be interested to hear more about lead to the middle section in the tunnels. It turned survivalist for a few chapters when the rest of the book was so scifi. And can we please get a different unit of distance than 'Parsec', so unoriginal, not meta as others would have you believe.

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- Kendra

Occasionally reminded me of the movie “Serenity”

SERIES INFO: This is Book #1 of what is currently planned as a trilogy with a prequel. According to the author, Volume II “will be released late in 2016. The audio book will follow shortly afterward.&rdquo

“You can’t stop the signal.” (Mr. Universe, Serenity), but these corporate madmen with their out of control “spin” and willingness to reach for the nukes are sure going to try.

There are too many characters to discuss them all here (although I didn’t have any problem keeping track of them). Our central trio of Evan, Mira, and Kate are well balanced and each bring something different to the table. I am looking forward to seeing what’s next for them.

In this universe, the 7 major “families” (i.e. corporations) that run everything control the media by inventing and disseminating the “True Story.” And if you don’t fall in line they will “zero” you, leaving you homeless and outcast. And all you people who don’t read every word of the Terms when you sign up for something (does anybody) had better beware. Something as innocuous as signing up for a grocery discount card can ruin your life.

My favorite piece of tech was Evan’s spacesuit. In most SF novels, the suit has a limited computer with basic readouts or maybe a battle HUD. This one was fully interactive. And it had removable gauntlets (with an inner glove), which allowed for manipulation of small objects. (Kip from Have Spacesuit, Will Travel would be extremely envious.)

I appreciated the linear storytelling and felt that the backstory was presented at a good pace. I did think that Evan’s story about what started all this was more than a bit anti-climatic considering how long it was held back. I think it would have played better if it had come earlier.

NARRATION: I liked it. Good pacing and production. / His deep voice prevented him from doing natural sounding female voices. I appreciate that he didn’t try, but just went a bit higher. / A bit slow in the non-action scenes, I occasionally listened on 1.5 speed (instead of my usual 1.25) / The one negative was that his very low voice challenged my $5 earbuds. It was much better on the external speaker.

"Those, my friend, are carrots. Never seen one before?" Mira grabbed the tongs and snagged a few for herself.
"Of course I have! But those are not carrots. Carrots are straight, are twenty centimeters long, and deep orange. And smooth. These are pale yellow, and lumpy. With purple splotches. Look, this one splits in two! And what is that white fibrous stuff?"
"They're actual carrots, the kind that grow in the ground." She held up a pair of the roots in the serving tongs and offered them to Evan.
"In the ground? As in, dirt? Worms? Oh, that is so unnatural. Mira, this mutant food isn't going to work for me. Is there any Certified Safe food here?"
The sense of anticipation during the climactic scene where the crazy general is preparing to unleash destruction and several people are working independently to stop him

I COULD HAVE DONE WITHOUT: a new name for wormholes / mild infrequent swearing / Evan & Kate’s “unmarried” state
OTHER WARNINGS: one of the major female side characters has a wife & kids

Enjoyment: HIGH
Re-readability: AVERAGE
Narrator Impact: AVERAGE

I received this book free in return for an honest review, courtesy of Audiobook Blast dot com.
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- Got My Book

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-29-2015
  • Publisher: James R Wells