Narrator: Marguerite Gavin
Series: Yesterday’s Kin Trilogy #1
Published by Blackstone Audio Inc on 11 July 2017
Length: 11 hrs and 3 mins
Genres: Science Fiction
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Aliens have landed in New York.
A deadly cloud of spores has already infected and killed the inhabitants of two worlds. Now the plague is heading for Earth, threatening humans and aliens alike. Can either species be trusted to find the cure?
Geneticist Marianne Jenner is immersed in the desperate race to save humanity, yet her family is tearing itself apart. Siblings Elizabeth and Ryan are strident isolationists who agree only that an alien conspiracy is in play. Marianne's youngest, Noah, is a loner addicted to a drug that constantly changes his identity. But between the four Jenners, the course of human history will be forever altered.
Earth's most elite scientists have 10 months to prevent human extinction - but not everyone is willing to wait.
©2017 Nancy Kress (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“Tomorrow’s Kin” is the first book in the “Yesterday’s Kin Trilogy” written by Nancy Kress and narrated by Marguerite Gavin. The series was taken from a short story first published by the author. For me, the book had a very unique premise and I was hoping the author could pull off such an impressive tale. The book consists of aliens, genetic research, and a mysterious cloud of death floating in space on a direct course towards earth. Our newly arrived visitors wanted to share information about how this mysterious cloud affected them thousands of years ago. The expectation was to band together each other’s knowledge and create a vaccine for the doom that was coming. I was excited to learn more about the reaction and interaction between both the humans and aliens. I wanted to discover more about the resistance or separatists who hated the alien population. I wanted to learn so much more about our alien visitors and their world, but that level of detail never really came. It may be something that is planned in future books, but I would have like more in this one.
Let me say, this is the only book I have read by this author, and other books might be better than this one. She currently, at the time of this review, has nearly twenty total books available in audio format and most are reviewed quite highly. However, many of my wants, my desires, and my hopes for this book did not come to fruition. The storyline often seemed too disjointed and fragmented for me to recommend it to a larger audience. It would build to a point and instead of releasing the tension, the author would take an entirely different direction that just did not seem to fit with the story or address the previous situation. I was often confused at what audience the author was intending to target with the book. There was a fair amount of vulgar language, drug addiction, and adult subject matter, yet the writing style and character retorts often felt targeted at a young adult (YA) crowd. It was a difficult book for me to complete and I do not think I will be continuing the series.
The characters felt flat or non-dimensional, yet the author threw in so many social issues that they seemed forced or unnatural most of the time. If you took all the various issues people try to tackle from a TV show like Intervention, this book seemed to include them all plus a few extras. The main character’s family seems just too dysfunctional to be functional. Again, it just felt like these issues were later added to the story to provide a level of complexity which was never achieved. Vulgar language was included in places that did not make sense, characters often were observed acting out of character; which for me felt more immature or young adult like.
I did like the initial setup for the story and it drew me in rather quickly once I stated to understand what was going on. However, once it got going, like a pressure cooker, the steam was released and never seemed to get back on track. I did like the chapter countdown and count-up timers at each of the chapter beginnings. That give you a good idea of the level of tension as the specific date of the cloud’s arrival. I also liked the author’s ability to build in some suspense with a few of the actions and activities of those who were against the aliens visit. These isolationists wanted to do whatever they could to disrupt the friendly interactions between humans and aliens and this often lead to some level of destruction. But in the end, I felt wanting more. Not more as in the second book in the series, no, I wanted more making me want to get the second book. However, that never seemed to come for me.
I often like when a female narrates a book where one of the main characters is a woman, and for this book it worked quite well. Marguerite Gavin is no newcomer to the audiobook scene. She currently has over three-hundred works currently available on Audible. It is often difficult to tell when a book itself is poorly written or if the narration is badly executed. I felt it was a little of both for this book. The audio was of high quality, but there seemed to be a few issues with inflection. I felt the story was often told in a more monotone way, and maybe this was the intention of the narrator to provide a sense of doom or heaviness to the story. Many times, a good narrator is often limited by the material they are given, and for me this appears to be the case here.
In summary, I feel the series as potential and I do not think the author is known for publishing disjointed works based on other reviews of her books. I will be one of those who will wait until others have read and reviewed her second book in the series prior to picking it up myself. I thought based on the book’s summary information that it would have been a more complex, deeper and fun listen than it was for me.
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