Narrated by George Guidall
I have always thought that I should try this author but just never picked up one of her books. Then, a couple of weeks ago, this one popped up on the Audible Daily Deal and I saw the narrator is George Guidall and I just couldn’t resist. You all know how much I enjoy George Guidall’s voice. George Orr has become a drug addict in the process of trying to avoid sleep. Why does he avoid sleep? Because when he dreams the outside world changes. He ends up in the care of Dr. Haber, a psychiatrist who claims that he can teach George how not to dream using an experimental machine he is developing. George gradually begins to think that Dr. Haber may have an ulterior motive in treating him and this leads to a disturbing series of events.
I don’t often dip into science fiction but I’m so glad I picked this one, and now I know what all the fuss is about with this author. This story is very unique and fascinating. The book was originally published in 1971 and if I had read it at a younger age I think I would have found it inconceivable, but reading it now, with all the technological advances since the 70’s, it doesn’t seem all that far-fetched. Dr. Haber was of great interest to me because of the way he starts out as being the benign “Sure, I can help you” kind of doctor from whom you don’t really expect much. He’s assigned to George, doesn’t see very many patients, and at the beginning seemed to see George as more of a bother than anything else. But then he begins to realize just what George can do and his transformation, while not unexpected, was nevertheless startling. George also goes through an amazing transformation as the story progresses. The story touches on some very intriguing topics, such as, where does a person’s value lie? What happens when an individual’s power goes unchecked? And, is there any such thing as a perfect society?
I also really enjoyed the pacing of the story. It was not rushed but moved along at a steady rate. Finally, of course, George Guidall again does an excellent job with the narration. He really knows how to present a dramatic story without forcing the drama. He doesn’t over-characterize with his voice but uses subtle changes to differentiate the characters. As you’ve probably guessed I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book and I definitely would recommend this one.
Alinefromabook’s rating: 5 stars!!
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I am probably the last member of my generation to read this book, but better late than never, as they say. Of course this is a classic and I have no new critical insight to add. I started out listening to the audiobook version and ended up reading it on Kindle. I am not a big fan of it as a story. I found it really hard to relate to the characters and the storytelling just felt stiff to me. What I liked about this book is the look it gives into societal issues that have been with us forever, like discrimination, and the issues that could very soon become a reality, like cloning. Regarding the science portrayed, I think it is important as individuals and as members of a larger society, to consider the potential future implications of the scientific developments that seem to be coming at us fast and furious. In this book, the government has become the parents of every member of society and children are trained to do one thing and one thing only. Is that something we really want? The idea expressed of “peace at all costs” seems to be too high a price to pay. And yet, I fear that some of our current leaders would take us down just that path. If nothing else, this book provides a jumping off point for some very important discussions. But most importantly, it gives a glimpse of a future that is not so far-fetched in the 21st century as it was when the 1930’s.
The discrimination issue also stood out to me very strongly. It seems like we have been talking about this issue forever and yet it never goes away. In my lifetime, I’ve seen the employment discrimination laws passed and affirmative action go in and out of favor. I also know that one of the ways that our brains organize our world is by “discriminating” red from blue, and apple from orange. In my opinion, it’s not the concept that’s wrong but the application. The way it is used in this story, to dictate the path of an individual’s life, is blatantly wrong and a violation of what it means to be human. The value of this presentation is that it gives the reader an opportunity, if they take it, to evaluate their own ways of discriminating and determine if they go too far. Because we are individuals, we should always be evaluating each other as individuals, not groups.
I appreciate this book for the issues it addresses, and the thinking that it engenders. I think it is still relevant for readers of today and I encourage anyone who hasn’t yet picked it up to do so.
Alinefromabook’s rating: 4 stars!!
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Another journey into the steampunk world and this little book does not disappoint. I don’t read much in this genre but I cannot pass up an Anne Renwick story. This one is book 2 in the Elemental Web Tale series and at a little over 100 pages, is perfect if your short on time. The story is set in Wales and tells the story of Dr. Piyali Mukherji, an Indian woman who is a medical doctor and a Queen’s Agent, and Evan Tredegar, a pharmacist to whom she was once engaged. When a young lady develops an infection which is turning her skin blue, Dr. Piyali is sent to investigate. When she arrives in the Welsh village she finds herself in the presence of Evan whom she hasn’t seen in 4 years. Now they must find a cure and sort out their fractured relationship.
I really enjoyed these two and the side characters who are woven into the story. As with her other stories, the author has created characters with depth and humanity, and in some cases a little more than a touch of evil. I also enjoyed the village she created for the story. I was really drawn into the setting and the time period. As usual, there are some good science lessons incorporated also which lend an intellectual component. Great characters, a well-developed story line, and a charming setting all make for a story I highly recommend.
Alinefromabook’s rating: 4.5 stars!!
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Thank you to the author for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.
I doubt if there is anything I can say about this book that hasn’t already been said, except that I loved this story much more than I thought I would. I’m never very confident going into science fiction because I tend to either love it or hate it more than any other genre. Jules Verne, of course, is classic science fiction and I found it thoroughly intriguing. The level of creativity and imagination displayed in this book astonishes me given the time period in which it was written. Perhaps that’s why I tend to enjoy the older science fiction more than the new stuff, because I can see how much of it has come to pass and realize the genius of the author who wrote it. This one has a pretty dramatic cliffhanger to boot, which is going to force me to adjust my reading schedule to fit in the sequel. I can hardly wait! In summary, this story deserves its place on the list of classic science fiction and I am sad only because it took me so long to get around to reading it.
Alinefromabook’s rating: TWO THUMBS-UP!!
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This book has a very interesting plotline. Some form of intelligence is living 4 different lives, at 4 different periods in history, all at the same time. Every time he falls asleep, he wakes up in a different lifeline. The story is told from the perspective of the person the intelligence is occupying in each timeline. This book is first in a series and will leave you with some unanswered questions. I haven’t yet read the subsequent book but I assume there will be answers coming.
My favorite character in the story is the young teenage girl Vicky. I found her to be the easiest to relate too, in part I’m sure because her timeline is the most like the 21st century. I think the author did a really good job of developing all of the characters. At a certain point in the story, the four lives start to bleed into one another which added another layer of depth to the overall plot line. Overall, I found the story to be an enjoyable read and great beginning to what I hope will be an intriguing series.
Alinefromabook’s rating: THUMBS-UP!
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I found this book fascinating not only because of the complex storyline but also because of the glimpse at the possible future of technology that it provides. The characters, who play their parts excellently, are the frosting on the cake. They are intriguing and believable, especially the good guys, and well developed throughout the story.
Will Stark is the richest man in the world, a brilliant entrepreneur and developer, who lives with his wife, Hope and his young son, Josh, in a secure community with guards patrolling 24 hours a day. As the story opens the community is being attacked by the Hunters of the Aliomenti and their target is the Stark family. Their house is burnt to the ground in a huge explosion and all three are presumed dead in the fire. But Will is not dead. He has been rescued by the Alliance, the enemies of the Aliomenti. What follows is Will’s journey as he discovers who he really is. But what has happened to Hope and Josh? Pick up a copy and find out. This book is the first in the Aliomenti Saga series. Bonus: the Kindle version of the book is free – click here to download.
Alinefromabook’s recommendation: THUMBS-UP! This is science fiction and will appeal to lovers of the genre.
An incredibly gripping thriller! I read this book in record time because I just had to know how it was going to end.
Someone has created an artificial intelligence which is breaking through the firewalls of every electronic device on the planet. The U.S. government has in place a directive which says that if an intelligence breaks through the nuclear warhead control systems than a series of nuclear bombs attached to GPS satellites will be detonated in the atmosphere, creating an EMP wave which will knock out all electronics and send society backwards 200 years.
Kraut has assembled a team of experts to try and stop this new intelligence. As the clock ticks down to detonation of the bombs, will the team be able to find a way to destroy it? This story is full of twists and turns as the investigators undercover clues, hit dead ends, and continue to persist till the bitter end. One of the things that made the story so compelling is that it is set in 2015 and the technology portrayed is very realistic. The reader can easily imagine these events taking place in the not too distant future. This story is fun to read but also a wake-up call for Americans that technology may also have a very scary, dark side if not managed properly.
If you’re looking for a mystery, you will enjoy this book. If you’re a sci-fi fan, you will enjoy this book. I have previously read “Tuna Life” by the same author and I think this one surpasses it in its creativity. This is definitely a 5 star book.
The universe has been reduced to a grouping of spaceships gathered around a star they call Beacon. The remnants of the races live here but reproduction has ceased among all of them. It’s been 20 years since a child was born. Then twenty-year old Tersias and nineteen-year old Mally find out that Mally is pregnant. Within hours all the remnants of civilization have their eyes on this pregnancy. A grand celebration is planned, but will all go as intended?
This short story is the first in a series. I really enjoyed this one and hope to read part 2 soon. I particularly liked the characters of Tersias and Mally. Even though the short story format doesn’t allow for a huge amount of character development, I found these two totally likable. They were totally overwhelmed by all the attention but handled it with grace and calm. The occurrence at the end makes me especially curious to see where the author intends to go with the world he has created. I recommend “Beacon” for lovers or dabblers of sci-fi.
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A brilliant piece of sci-fi fiction! I found this book to be a well thought out and expertly plotted story.
The story explores the what-if scenario of a meteor crashing into, and potentially destroying, planet Earth. When scientists become aware of the impending doom they begin planning a way to remove a selected portion of the human race to another planet to start over. They estimate they have about 12 years until impact and the American space program has been all but abandoned after a disastrous attempt to land on Mars.
The story is told as a series of vignettes each focusing on a different character. As the plot thickens, we get a view into the arduous process of selecting those who will be on the spaceship, we listen in on the political machinations going on behind the scenes, and we follow the Exodus as she travels through space bound for an unknown planet called Aurora.
This book is the first in a trilogy and definitely leaves you wanting to read the next one. This book is everything a good sci-fi book should be.
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A brilliant twist on the time travel theme! “The Traveler” had me fully engaged from the very start. Fredric Shernoff has created a fascinating time travel story. Daniel Wells is your average, everyday guy. He’s married, somewhat unhappily, lives in a nice house, and drives a nice car. Then one day he discovers that he can travel in time. After a few tries he gains some control over the process and travels back in time 20 years to when he was a middle-schooler. His intention is just to observe and revisit his childhood, but something goes terribly wrong. Now he has created a major disturbance in time and in his efforts to correct his mistakes verges on disrupting the whole universe. There is adventure, romance, and even murder in this story. I would highly recommend “The Traveler” to readers of sci-fi or fantasy. There is also a theme of coming to terms with who you are and Daniel revisits his past. You should definitely give this one a try.
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