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The basis premise concerns 200 years in the future where faster than light drives have allowed some exploration of our galaxy. The startling discoveries have all been related to a mysterious alien race referred to as the Monument Makers (MM) from their habit of leaving gigantic sculptures scattered around including our solar system. At the same time evidenced is found of alien civilizations past and present, although none even at our technological level.
The major thrust is to understand what happened to the MM. This leads to archeological investigations that form the bulk of the action which in turn leads to solar system hopping. The plot twists are fascinating and unexpected.
Unfortunately there are several aspects that really detract from the overall story. The characters are largely forgettable. Most of their actions come off as a high school theatrical production. At the same time, the injected elements creating drama are forced, seem arbitrary, and aren't necessary to drive the plot forward. Finally, the authors drags out certain sections with too much detail that becomes dull and boring. The ending is satisfying up to a point, but leaves open much of the opening questions.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
Better narration. I really struggled to identify the different characters in this audible book. It was quite frustrating to the extent that I needed to stop and replay several times to determine who was who. In the end I have given up finishing this audible story. I have nearly all the other Jack McDevitt books and have not had this problem before. So definitely down to the narrator.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
What did you like most about The Engines of God?
It's an excellent story with believable characters. McDevitt is good on Big Ideas and his characters are believable, if not always likeable!
What does Tom Weiner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
Tom is a good reader, not trying to be clever, but has clearly prepared and knows how to pronounce the difficult words and names!
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes - Unfortunately not possible though!