Narrator: William DeMeritt
Published by Audible Studios on 17 February 2017
Length: 2 hrs and 23 mins
Genres: Science Fiction
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If you could re-create a day, what dark secrets would you uncover?
From New York Times number-one best-selling author Brandon Sanderson comes a detective thriller in a police beat like no other.
Anthony Davis and his partner, Chaz, are the only real people in a city of 20 million, sent there by court order to find out what happened in the real world 10 days ago so that hidden evidence can be brought to light and located in the real city today.
Within the re-created Snapshot of May 1, Davis and Chaz are the ultimate authorities. Flashing their badges will get them past any obstruction and overrule any civil right of the dupes around them. But the crimes the detectives are sent to investigate seem like drudgery - until they stumble upon the grisly results of a mass killing that the precinct headquarters orders them not to investigate. That's one order they have to refuse.
The hunt is on. And though the dupes in the replica city have no future once the Snapshot is turned off, that doesn't mean that both Davis and Chaz will walk out of it alive tonight.
©2017 Dragonsteel Entertainment, LLC (P)2017 Audible, Inc.
Snapshot by Brandon Sanderson is a novella set in the near future. Police forces are using a technology that duplicates any day exactly as it occurred complete with all actions and people recapturing the day exactly as it was in this Snapshot technology. Police officers enter this recreated world in order to track suspects, observe and generally figure out how a crime took place. Anthony Davis and his partner are assigned to Snapshot Duty, which is not a particularly sought-after assignment. Davis and his partner work small time cases during each Snapshot, but he dreams of working on larger cases, doing real police work. Without permission, Davis diverts their mission from their menial task to follow a lead that ends up taking him on the trail of a dangerous criminal. Davis must determine if they are in over their heads or to move forward without any support from outside of the Snapshot.
Sanderson has written a masterpiece of a novella in Snapshot. Even though it is short, there is so much packed into the story. It’s a story about purpose, identity, and consequences. And all of this is packaged into a really good detective story with a cool technology being used for fact-finding. I really liked how well the use of the Snapshot was integrated with police work. While the entire story takes place in one Snapshot, the realities of using Snapshots to solve crime are taken into account. Not only is it about finding the facts, but it’s about facts that can be used in court. And in this situation, how will officers’ actions causes changes to the Snapshot and how will this affect the integrity of the facts collected? Overall, the concept of the Snapshot technology is incredibly intriguing and while the mechanism of action is only hinted it, it is fascinating. While there are really two main characters, each of the characters introduced has well defined backstories with pieces of their lives being introduced naturally and masterfully to make the story move forward. The story takes some interesting turns and it’s filled with equal amounts action and reflection. I was definitely surprised by the ending and found it to be delightfully dark and caused me to reflect on the entire novella!
The narration by William DeMeritt was really well done. The gritty world is reflected in the characters and Demeritt captures them and their voices masterfully. The dialogue and narration is well paced. The production quality was good as well. I would recommend this novella to anyone who enjoys stories about future technology driven police work and really great science fiction.
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