Written by Neal Stephenson.
Narrated by Malcom Hillgartner
The Forthrasts are a diverse family hubbed in the heartland of America in the state of Iowa. They created war heroes, a draft dodger, an uber conservative recluse who moved to Idaho and a computer-geologist adoptee from the Horn of Africa. Their reunions are not the scene of friendly softball games so much as the group firing of the family armory of rifles, pistols, shotguns…redneck paradise.
The skills from this hobby will come in handy as they become embroiled in dealings with: Russian Organized criminals, Chinese Hackers using the Reamde virus to get rich in the Multi-person online game called T’rain, and Islamic extremists who want nothing better than a martyrdom opportunity on US soil.
As seems to be the genre for this author this is not so much a science fiction as it is a fiction with some science. The uses of the web, hackers, complex code used to make global impact are just some of the realms that are common to Stephenson’s works yet there is very little in this that is a …stretch. Where this book really sings is in the paths of action as Zula, Kongor(?), Solokov, Olivia and an impressive supporting cast engage the Russians then the extremists in rapidly changing environments. I was really impressed.
I’m giving the audio version of this work five out of five. That’s because I liked the storyline, liked the delivery, saw no hand waving on technical things and the whole product kept my interest. Time will tell if it is a masterpiece but I think it is well worth listening to. Enjoy.
Shattered Worlds: Book 4 in the Koban Series
by Stephen W Baxter
narrated by Eric Michael Sumerer
Book 4 involves Earth and hub space finally getting informed about Koban and the outlaw by necessity humans that are aiding against the Krall. The depiction of Earth politicians is unsurprisingly unchanging from the picture available in the present day. What is surprising is that the current Tor Gattrol (misspelling of alien title may have occurred, not an apology) has not figured out where the superior fighting humans have come from.
The narration was excellent. I’m giving this a four out of five and now I’m stuck waiting for book 5…some day.
Blood and Bane: The Dragon Sage Chronicles
Audible Audiobook version.
by CJ McKee
narrated by Wendy Anne Darling
The Realms of Arydd are ruled in cooperation between King Ra’saad and the Dragon High Council of Three. The go-between and stave mentor, Galddor, is hard taxed in this story by dealing with wayward pupils bent on creating chaos and exacting revenge. Elves, goblins, mountain dragons, sea dragons…plenty going on and all the sidelines are used in telling this tale.
Wendy Anne Darling’s voice is delightful to listen to as she narrates the story. This work is a great escape and I’m giving it five stars in this version. Well done.