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It seems like my preference is the exact opposite of the majority, because once again I love a book that no one else is wild about.
This is my favorite Hugh Howey novel so far - better than Wool, better than Sand. It reminds me of a sci-fi Lord of the Flies, but with a happy ending. Sometimes I thought I was listening to a Gregory Benford story because the feeling it gave me was reminiscent of the Galactic Center series.
A ship destined to colonize a distant planet carries a few hundred human children, growing in pods. They are hooked up to the ship's computer, Colony, and being trained for their future jobs through a virtual classroom. Unfortunately the computer suddenly decides to self abort the mission when the children are 15 years old. The children awake before they are fully mature and must fight their way out of the ship that is engulfed in flames. Less than 50 children struggle out of the burning ship, realizing they have not completed their training, and are therefore not fully equipped to survive on the strange planet. Because of the arrangement of the pods, the humans with the highest rank were located closest to the flames and died first. The children that are left have the lowest ranking jobs.
Hungry, naked and afraid, the children try to take advantage of the training they have received in their short 15 years. But not all the survivors have the best interest of the group at heart, and a pecking order begins to develop. The strong start to overpower the weak and groups want to splinter off. Things get violent. A democracy quickly becomes a dictatorship. In the background looms the creepy presence of Colony, the computer that decided to kill most of the children off, and manipulates the remaining children into building a rocket for an unknown purpose. Why did Colony abort the mission? What is wrong with the alien planet they have landed on? A group of friends escape the group and begin to discover secrets about the strange planet.
I thought this story was sensitive and intelligent, showing excellent character development. Howey built an alien world that is complex and interesting, and touches on themes such as homosexuality and vegetarianism. I fell more deeply into this world, in a shorter amount of time, than I did with his other novels. I wish there was a second book!
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
Who the hell decided that this whiny, emasculated Woody Allen wannabe is a good choice for a Sci-Fi book?? What a turn-off!!
Should have listened to a sample before purchasing... :-/
still really interested in the novel itself, going to read it instead.
10 of 13 people found this review helpful
A long short-stpry. Usual Howey style - action, adventure, easy to read. No real sub-plots.
The audio is strange, with lots of what sound like patches - a few words or a sentence out of place, different intonation, different volume. Almost sounds sometimes like a different narrator. Not so bad as to spoil the experience, but strange.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
quite short. maybe aimed at a younger demographic. not as amazingly good as Wool