Written by Ben L. Hughes
Humans, in our current state are frail, prone to diseases and for the most part free-thinking. Dr. Stone and his ego planned to improve on all that with the blessing of DARPA and the Joint Chiefs. Excellent setup for the down fall.
The story is a tale of survival in an environment where an active biological agent is seeking to enslave the human race. It is well told as characters develop, some get killed off, and the internal workings of clan leadership are explored. Every bit of this story is scientifically feasible.
I’m very happy with the quality of this book. Four out of five enjoyment units are thus awarded.
Written by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.
Narrated by Marc Vietor.
Tim Hamner is a wealthy bachelor living off of the residuals from his family’s soap business and playing seriously at being an amateur astronomer. Invoking the word “seriously” I mean that he has built his own professional grade observatory high in the Sierras and staffed it with a disgruntled graduate student. Harvey, an ex-war correspondent, wants to make a documentary about Tim’s co-discovered new comet. This leads to lots of people taking an interest, and a lot of others laughing it off…right up until it hits the earth and civilization evolves.
Natural disasters as aftershocks, rioting, Lord of the Flies situations, desperate couplings of frightened people and cannibalism are just some of the areas the story lines brush up against. The folks who were interested from the start coined the phrase “Hot fudge Sundae but on a Tuesday”. As the date approached the survivalists preparing were said to have “Hammer Fever”. After impact, those remaining were reduced to a kernel of civilization and a whole lot of savagery.
The effects of impact were well thought out in this story yet I sense that they were scaled down from what really would have happened. I’m certain the co-authors argued back and forth about how much mayhem would leave them anything to work with in the aftermath for the story line. They did manage to produce an excellent work of Science Fiction. The Narration was well done also with voice range and delivery. Four units of nerdy satisfaction are thus assigned. Carry On!
The Twelve: A Novel, Book 2 of The Passage
Written by Justin Cronin.
Narrated by Scott Brick.
The original virals from The Passage are still making the rounds a century later with a type of human, Red Eyes, helping them. These Red Eyes, aka collaborators shortened to Cols are a special type of depravity. The sacrifice their own species for snippets of power.
In Texas, the Expeditionary is about run out of wind for the hunt and destroy missions. The government there feels that it is almost more important to keep the fossil fuel sources protected than to go on the offensive against the remainder of the Twelve. There are some dissenters however. Survivors of The Colony, Amy the ageless hybrid, Alicia Denardio – protégé of Col. Coffey and others. They know there can be no end until patient zero and the eleven other original virals are ended.
Book 2 is quite a bit more raw than the Passage in some respects but you knew it would have to be. The blending of fiction and science to paint this post-vampire-apocalypse North American quarantine zone is top notch world building. One detractor for me was the author trying to juggle so many story-lines at once that the reader, or listener, can easily become confused in time and place.
This one gets four out of five entertainment units of your choice. Enjoy!
Koban: The Mark of Koban, Book 2
by Stephen W. Bennett
narrated by Eric Michael Summerer
The first book, Koban, left off with the Krall leaving the captured and tested Humans to die on Koban. After, Par Kur, I probably screwed up that spelling, blew out all the structural protection keeping the native predators away from the his sentient prey why would he bother to think of them after that?
The Mark of Koban shows that humans adapt to survive because we have seldom had natural defenses such as claws and size. Genetic modifications that threaten them with execution if they ever re-enter human space are the order of the day. Blending in exotics hardly seems worthy of mention while throwing out all arbitrary safeguards. The Koban humans take possession of a second dome near the sea they call Hub city which is where all the “shitheads”, my label for the abstainers from the genetic mods are living.
Without spoiling too much, the Primes get a hold of a Krall ship by massacring the crew in hand to hand and close range gun fighting. They secure knowledge of their still being alive after twenty years because “Dead Krall tell no Tales”, Muahahahahaha.
This is a great addition to the series written and narrated with some humor and appropriate shock and awe. Other than the author being hung up on space faring humans using English standard measurements I thoroughly enjoy this series. Yes, feisty aging Maggie is still around thumping Dillon on his cod piece. Four out of five enjoyment points are awarded from me.
Koban, Book 1
by Stephen W. Bennett
narrated by Patrick Freeman
I had my doubts when I first saw this title on reduction sale and I was hesitant to try it as audio books are so much more expensive. I’m glad that I took the risk
The Flight of Fancy, of the ‘I forget the name’ star liner company, was ferrying a roster of Biological Scientists to a newly established world to set up a research station beyond the rim. They didn’t even make it to the orbital habitat. Being swarmed by unknown ships that robbed them of their jump capability they submit to the boarding by…aliens. The Krull, being a warrior species that constantly competes for status within their society-clans which equates to the privilege of breeding, are stocking their training planet Koban with potential adversaries to test prey species. They want to see who is worthy to attack and who just needs extermination on their path to Galactic rule.
The crew of the Flight of Fancy and previous captives need to find a way to work together to defeat the Krull in their testing days. They need to prove that humans are worthy of battle, not just extermination.
I really enjoyed the book so much that when it was over I went and bought the next three installments. A detractor from the work itself was the use of English units rather than metric but the overall science portion was not hand wavy. Well done. My expectations are high now…just saying. The narration of this work was well done; I especially liked the mimicry of the Koban wildlife sounds and the ranges between characters. That being said I think the conversational related chuckles could have been used more conservatively but it did not detract from the overall performance. Four out of five satisfaction units go to this.