The Phantom of the Earth

  • by Raeden Zen
  • Narrated by John Lee
  • 41 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Herbert's Dune meets Banks' The Player of Games in The Phantom of the Earth, a spellbinding science fiction epic set deep underground after the fall of civilization on Earth's surface.
Here are the five thought-provoking postapocalyptic stories that lovers of science fiction can't stop talking about, gathered together in one volume for the first time. The futuristic theories, conspiracies, political maneuvering, and characters within these visionary tales will stay with you long after you finish.
In the Great Commonwealth of Beimeni, a subterranean civilization in North America, expansion long ago gave way to peace and prosperity in the face of the history's most devastating plague. Immortality is the reward for service and loyalty in Beimeni, a place where the physical blends with the metaphysical and power consolidates in the hands of those with a genetic edge. The fissures first spread slowly, then swiftly, until now the Great Commonwealth finds itself on the brink of economic devastation, challenged by forces from within that know its secrets and its crimes.
At the center of the conflict lie the Selendias of Piscator, founders of the resistance with an uncanny connection to the zeropoint field; and the BarĂ£o Strike Team, three researchers tasked with finding a cure to the Reassortment Strain, the plague that nearly wiped humanity from the Earth. Traveling from the uninhabitable but pristine surface to the habitable but inhospitable underground, this is a story about dedication to dreams, battle for survival, discovery and connection, song and celebration, undoing past misdeeds, and sacrifice for the greater good.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Journey to the center of the Earth. ..Sort of

I had a hard time finishing this book. I'm used to out of this world sci-fi epics, but this one was hard to follow. Explanations came late in the book, and it felt like some motivations for key characters and societal structures were nonexistent. As for the narater I like his voice acting in other productions, but some names became hard to understand and differentiate because of either pronunciation or accent. As I write this I'm still unsure if one of the main characters is "Baron" or "Barrow." I enjoyed the different aspects of genetics, material science, and quantum mechanics that the author brought forth. Not sure if I'll be listening to this anytime soon, but a second time might allow me to pick up on more of the story.
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- T. J. Long

Space opera of subterranean proportions

Raeden Zen's The Phantom of the Earth is a massive five book collection that delivers an epic space opera, oddly enough set underground. In some distant, but vague future, mankind has been forced underground due to contamination by a deadly, man-made infectious agent. Humanity has hacked its own genome, along with technological implants and upgrades to regard themselves as "transhuman," but living on the surface still eludes them. A complex society has evolved into a totalitarian state with an active resistance movement. In classical space opera fashion, there are dozens of characters with multiple plots from the overall big picture to the mundane.

The range of sci-fi elements is vast including genome hacking, artificial, designed organisms with specific properties (called "synisms"), alien life forms, access to and utilization of the "zero point field," as well as cryogenic preservation and even time travel. Along with the menagerie of science fiction, there are also well developed power struggles with a fledgling resistance movement and shifting alliances. The variety of characters is almost overwhelming and most are quite well developed.

John Lee's narration is simply outstanding,especially given the broad range of characters. For lovers of a straightforward plot, obvious conflicts, and satisfying resolutions, this may not be a good choice. On the other hand, for lovers of grand storytelling, this is a full course feast that covers all bases. One minor point: the listed description suggest five separate stories, but although this is five book collection, there is one overarching tale that proceeds in sequence. Also as a result, with each successive "book" there is a bit of rehashing as would be expected with separate offerings.

Note: At the end of book 5, there is a series of appendices that provide some explanations (such as the science underlying zero point fields) and background history in the societal evolution prior to book 1. Listening to those sections from the start may be regarded as a spoiler, but useful context can be quite helpful.
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- Michael G Kurilla

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-20-2016
  • Publisher: Podium Publishing