Narrator: Gabrielle de Cuir
Series: Adventures of Viktor & Julia #1
Published by Skyboat Media on 15 December 2014
Length: 15 hrs and 10 mins
Genres: Science Fiction
Source: AudioBookJukeBox.com, Submitted
From the Nebula Award-winning author of Timescape and Foundation's Fear comes a hard-science thriller about the race to Mars.
When an explosion of the rocket launching the Mars Transit Vehicle kills four crewmen, the US decides to redirect its energies to near-Earth projects, killing the manned mission to Mars. But tycoon John Axelrod assembles a consortium to fund the project, and he expects to net billions. But a European-Asian airbus will make a similar expedition. Now, the race is on to get to the Red Planet first.
©1999 Abbenford Associates (P)2014 Skyboat Media, Inc. and Blackstone Audio, Inc.
ABR received this audiobook for free from the AudioBookJukeBox.com, Submitted in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the audiobook or the content of our review.Buy from Audible Buy from Downpour.com Buy from Amazon.comAdd to Goodreads
The major governments of the world want to send men to Mars, but they don’t want to pay for it. So they put up a big cash prize ($30 billion) for the first successful manned mission to and from Mars. Initially, there is only one group, led by a billionaire businessman. Then a second team, led by a partnership of the Chinese and German governments, makes it a race. They get a later start, but have a faster rocket.
The science in the novel is well researched and recognizable to any who have enjoyed the many non-fiction books on manned missions to Mars. It reads more like a documentary than a novel and is quite engaging, exciting much of the time. The first team flies out underfunded and runs into many technical problems in flight and on Mars, all are quite believable. Six months in flight each way and 15 months on the planet are daunting technological challenges for a manned mission to Mars. You feel very much a part of the many decisions and challenges the crew goes through.
The story is from the point of view of Julia, the Australian biologist/astronaut chosen for the first team. She is strong and serious and capable. Stuck in confined quarters with her three male counterparts, the listener feels the claustrophobia, comradery and respect the crew feels for each other. It rings true, how highly trained professionals would act in difficult circumstances.
Gabrielle de Cuir narrates the novel and drove this listener crazy. She is obviously a skilled and talented performer, but often reads at a snail’s pace. When there is action or dialog, she picks up the pace and brings the story back to life. But far too often she slows the story down so much it became difficult to stay with it. She is superb with accents and character voices, putting drama into the voices, sighing appropriately, etc. If only she would have read the narrative at a normal pace.
This is a fascinating book with real science to back up the author’s story. If you have read the Red Mars trilogy or The Case for Mars, this is a must read; or if you ever dreamed of being an astronaut as a kid, or would just like to see mankind explore the planets, this is for you. It is recommended that you listen to the sample audio to see if the narrator’s pace is a deal breaker for you.
- The Next Chapter by Bryn T. Jones - July 14, 2017
- Shoot the Dead by Steve Wetherell - July 7, 2017
- Family Reunion J (An Apocalypse Family Book 2) by P. Mark DeBryan - July 6, 2017
- Cyber Crisis: It’s Personal Now by William Keiper - June 26, 2017
- Refuge Planet – Part 1 of 2: For Sale by Owner by D D Godley - June 21, 2017