Review: Athena’s Choice (audio) by Adam Boostrom

Adam Boostrom: Athena’s Choice; Audible Audio; 7h29m; Narrator: Alex Ford

It’s been decades since I read feminist literature like, e.g., ‘Egalia’s Daughters’ by Gerd Brantenberg. I haven’t thought of the premise of a matriarchal society for a very long time, so this book came as quite a surprise.
Where in the books I read back then women and men only had switched roles, so to say, Adam Boostrom is taking it one step further: men don’t exist any more on earth. The whole population is female, and they are doing well.
However, some females want to bring back males, because they have fond memories, because they’re curious, or because they don’t feel complete without a male counterpart.
A renowned scientist is tasked with creating a genome that is resistant to the virus which killed all males five decades ago.
The catch is: somebody stole the genome before its completion.

Enter our heroine: young Athena Vosh.
She is somehow connected to the theft, and gets summoned before the AI who knows everything, and who is responsible for the well-being of the population — alas, the AI isn’t allowed to make decisions regarding life or death, which is why she needs somebody who is allowed to do this.

Athena agrees to help finding the thief, hoping she’ll at last find a purpose in life, and maybe even excel.

But things don’t quite turn out the way Athena had hoped. She makes acquaintances, and her dreams lead her in a direction I wasn’t sure was beneficial for ‘womanity’ — would she open Pandora’s box?

The characters are well formed out, and the world is fascinating and vividly described. I loved the occasional advertisements throughout the book, as well as the description of all the technical achievements this future holds.
I’m not sure I’d want any of that — well, maybe the massage thing — and I certainly don’t know what choice I’d make were I in Athena’s shoes.
From where I stand now, the choice would be simple, because I have two sons and a grandson (and I had a brother), but if I had grown up without ever knowing any males…

This books combines various subjects: a coming of age story, a utopia, a bit of dystopia, and a future which still seems like science fiction now, but is looming around the corner, what with all the scientific and technological advances humanity has made.
There are enough twists to keep you listening (or reading), and the outcome is totally unexpected.

It gives food for thought, and will certainly stay with me for some time to come.

The narrator does an excellent job, and I especially enjoyed the way she narrated the advertisements. Her enunciation was very good, so that even I, as a non-native speaker, had absolutely no trouble understanding every word.

I received a complimentary copy and I chose to willingly post an honest review.

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Rezension: Andreas Eschbach – NSA (Audio)

Andreas Eschbach: NSA, Sprecherin: Laura Maire, Lübbe Audio, 22:15Std; 16,99€ ISBN: 9783838789156

 

Inhalt:

Wir befinden uns im Deutschland des Jahres 1942. Hitler hat das deutsche Volk vollkommen unter Kontrolle, nicht zuletzt dank ausgereifter Computertechnologie, welche eine lückenlose Überwachung eines jeden Bürgers ermöglicht.

Helene ist eine Programmiererin, und eine sehr gute dazu. Sie schreibt mit Feuereifer alle möglichen Programme, ohne sich über deren Konsequenzen im Klaren zu sein.

Nach und nach geht ihr jedoch auf, dass ihre Programme dazu beitragen versteckte Juden und andere Flüchtlinge aufzuspüren, und da ein geliebter Mensch zu dieser Gruppe gehört, muss sie auf Wege sinnen, ihn zu schützen.

Um ihn zu retten geht sie einen Deal ein…

Meine Meinung:

Dies ist ein großartiges Buch. Sehr verstörend, da ist man froh, dass Hitler noch keine Computer und heutige Technologie zu seiner Verfügung hatte. Er hat ja schon mehr als genug Schaden angerichtet mit den Mitteln, die ihm zur Verfügung standen. Nicht auszudenken, was er heutzutage gemacht hätte — aber halt, genau das hat Andreas Eschbach ausgedacht.
Und es ist schrecklich.
Es ist auch beunruhigend, dass wir heutzutage so viel online machen. Unsere ganzen Daten sind dort, für alle Welt zum Missbrauch zugänglich, denn wir (bzw unsere Daten) sind auch nur so gut geschützt wie die Server auf denen sie liegen — und die werden ja ständig spektakulär gehackt.

Und obwohl ich mir all dessen bewusst bin, empfinde ich es als angenehm. dass ich z.B. meinen Stromzählerstand online übermitteln kann.
Im Grunde, und besonders nach Lektüre dieses großartigen Romans, sollte man sagen: wehret den Anfängen — aber natürlich rechnet niemand wirklich damit, dass seine Daten derart missbraucht werden.

Ich möchte dieses Buch jedem ans Herz legen, und ich wünschte mir, dass es ins Englische übersetzt würde, damit viel mehr Leute es lesen könnten.

Laura Maire als Sprecherin hat ihre Sache großartig gemacht — sehr eindringlich, ohne theatralisch zu sein.
Ein fantastisches Hörerlebnis.

Review: Uncanny Valley by C. A. Gray

Author: C.A. Gray

Narrator: Melissa Williams

Length: 8 hours and 45 minutes

Publisher: Wanderlust Publishing

Released: Mar. 27, 2018

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

Rebecca Cordeaux knows exactly what her future will hold: she will marry Andy, her crush of the last five years. Once Andy is ready to settle down, she’s sure he will discover that she is his soulmate. After several small parts on stage, Rebecca knows she can become a renowned actress. Her writing also shows promise as a future author. Robots perform most human jobs that can be automated, leaving many free to pursue their personal creative interests.

But Rebecca’s mother Karen fears the new world of robots, and insists her brilliant daughter join a university research team, studying the hazards of a complete robotic economy. Rebecca’s father Quentin was obsessed with the subject to a degree that even her mother considered absurd, prior to his untimely death. So long as she can
reserve enough of her time to pursue her true passions on the side, Rebecca half-heartedly agrees to join the research team, if only to please her widowed mother. There she joins a post-doc named Liam, whose conspiracy theories rival even those of her late father.


Liam is convinced that world Republic leader William Halpert’s worldwide challenge for researchers to develop synthetic creativity will lead not to the promised utopia, in which every kind of human suffering has been eradicated, but rather to an apocalypse. Rebecca, whose best friend is her own companion bot Madeline, writes Liam off as a bot-hating conspiracy theorist, just like her father was…until she learns that her father’s death might not have been due to mere happenstance.

With Liam’s help, Rebecca learns of an underground organization known as The Renegades, where Quentin Cordeaux was considered a legend. While Liam attempts to stop Halpert’s challenge if he can, Rebecca tries to unravel the mystery of what happened to her father. Did he and many of his contemporaries die for something they knew? Who is the mysterious informant who calls himself John Doe, and only seems to want to drive her out of harm’s way? And if Halpert’s challenge is answered, will it usher in a brave new chapter in humanity’s history… or were Quentin Cordeaux’s dire predictions right all along?

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The moment I saw that this audio book would go on tour, so to say, I volunteered. I love scifi, dystopies, fantasy etc, and the synopsis sounded promising.

 

Set in the not too far future, robots have taken over lots of work places, leaving those, whose places they fill in, poor and destitute.

As if this wasn’t enough, the world leader in robot technique, Halpert, challenges the intellectual elite to develop AI that can have emotions, and that can learn.

Data from Star Trek–The next Generation comes to mind. If you’ve followed this series, you’ll know that Data strives for getting the chip providing him with emotions, and ends up having to make a very difficult decision.

Here, the bots don’t have emotions, empathy or anything alike — yet — or have they?

Rebecca is about to find out. Is there actually a conspiracy going on? And what would be the consequences if Halpert & Co get their way?

 

The questions are answered within the book, although the ending promises a sequel.

It is not exactly an action story, lots of philosophical and ethical questions are raised and discussed, but there is some danger, and some action, too.

On the whole, it isn’t a predictable story, although I guessed who the ominous leader of the resistance was — and I guessed correctly.

I loved, that we have the pros and cons re:  AI in general, and empathic AI in particular.

Is one worse than the other? More dangerous to humankind? About to take over the world?

In our day and time, A.I. and Industry 4.0 are being broadly discussed, so the topic of the book is a very current one which concerns us all.

So, OK, we are being steered in a specific direction, but then, it is important to be aware of the consequences.

We all want our data to be protected, yet here I am, having a blog, using social media sites, and doing online purchases, profiting from all the technology that makes life so much easier.

So, this is a great book about a subject that concerns us all.

Narrator Melissa Williams does a great job, although I didn’t enjoy the high-pitched voice she used for Rebecca a lot — but of course that is very subjective,since I generally prefer a deeper voice.

I recommend this book not just to young adults, but to everybody.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by C.A. Gray. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

By day, C.A. Gray is a Naturopathic Medical Doctor (NMD) with a primary care practice in Tucson, AZ, and she writes medical books under her real name (Dr. Lauren Deville). She lives with her husband, with whom she maintains a facetiously contentious movie review blog, and travels as often as they can get away. When not writing or seeing
patients, she does yoga, drinks red wine while eating dark chocolate, and consumes audiobooks like there’s no tomorrow!

 

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Narrator Bio

Melissa lives with her family, including two dogs and a cat, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains near Denver, Colorado.

After having a corporate job for most of her life, and as a self-proclaimed introvert, she decided to leave corporate America to work from home. Voice overs had always tugged at her heart as something she would like to explore, so she attended some classes and landed with a company that taught her how to break in to the industry.

Loving to read, she explored the fast growing world of audiobooks and fell in love with it. She has ten audiobooks under her belt and is currently working on the 11th. Understanding that she should always be learning how to improve her skills, she is currently working with Sean Pratt.

When not talking to herself in a padded room, she can be found walking her dog, singing or fishing the Arkansas River.

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Spotlight: Alec Birri – The Condition Trilogy Book 3

Author: Alec Birri

Narrator: Jonathan Keeble

Length: 6 hours 34 minutes

Publisher: Essential Music Limited⎮2018

Genre: Science Fiction

Series: The Condition Trilogy, Book 3

Release date: Jan. 17, 2018

The third and final part of a dystopian trilogy based on the author’s command of a top secret government unit.

So, Professor Savage has been unmasked as the monster Alex Salib always knew he was. But what was their agreement, and why is she still determined to see it through? The war on terror appears to be back on track, but why does President Kalten seem hell-bent on ramping it up – are the Americans seriously intent on starting World War Three?

And what of the treatment itself? Despite Savage’s arrest, the “corrections” go on, but to what end? The laws of unintended consequences are about to cause a seismic shift in the very nature of our existence. But then our new master knows that and won’t let it happen until we’re ready….

Ready to accept the unacceptable.

 

Alec Birri served thirty years with the UK Armed Forces. He commanded an operational unit that experimented in new military capabilities classified at the highest level (Top Secret Strap 3) and it is this that forms the basis of his novels. Although semi-autobiographical, for national security and personal liberty reasons, the events and individuals portrayed have to be fiction but are still nonetheless in keeping with his experiences.

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Narrator Bio

If you regularly enjoy listening to audiobooks then this Shakespearean actor will need no introduction. Winner of a 2016 SOVAS award, Jonathan’s voice is rightly recognized as being one of the best, and his narration of The Condition Trilogy is no exception.

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Book One

Mar. 6th:

Jazzy Book Reviews

Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews

Mar. 7th:

Hall Ways Blog

Mar. 8th:

AudioSpy

Mar. 9th:
The Writing Train

eBook Addicts

Mar. 10th:

Lomeraniel

Blätterflüstern

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Bound 4 Escape

Buried Under Books

Mar. 12th:

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Carolyn M. Walker, Fiction Author

Book Two

Mar. 13th:

Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews

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AudioSpy

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The Writing Train

Blätterflüstern

Mar. 16th:

Lomeraniel

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Hall Ways Blog

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Bound 4 Escape

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Carolyn M. Walker, Fiction Author

Book Three

Mar. 20th:
Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews

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Blätterflüstern

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Hall Ways Blog

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Lomeraniel

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Jazzy Book Reviews

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Bound 4 Escape

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Spotlight: Alec Birri – The Condition Trilogy Book 2

Author: Alec Birri

Narrator: Jonathan Keeble

Length: 6 hours 39 minutes

Publisher: Essential Music Limited⎮2018

Genre: Science Fiction

Series: The Condition Trilogy, Book 2

Release date: Jan. 17, 2018

The second in a dystopian trilogy based on the author’s command of a top secret government unit.

Discovering an infamous Nazi doctor conducted abortions in Argentina after the Second World War may not come as a surprise, but why was the twisted eugenicist not only allowed to continue his evil experiments but encouraged to do so? And what has that got to do with a respected neurologist in 2027? Surely, the invention of a cure for nearly all the world’s ailments can’t possibly have its roots buried in the horrors of Auschwitz?
The unacceptable is about to become the disturbingly bizarre. What has the treatment’s “correction” of pedophiles got to do with the president of the United States, the pope, and even the UK’s Green Party?

As if the Condition trilogy wasn’t unsettling enough….

Alec Birri served thirty years with the UK Armed Forces. He commanded an operational unit that experimented in new military capabilities classified at the highest level (Top Secret Strap 3) and it is this that forms the basis of his novels. Although semi-autobiographical, for national security and personal liberty reasons, the events and individuals portrayed have to be fiction but are still nonetheless in keeping with his experiences.

WebsiteTwitterFacebook

Narrator Bio

If you regularly enjoy listening to audiobooks then this Shakespearean actor will need no introduction. Winner of a 2016 SOVAS award, Jonathan’s voice is rightly recognized as being one of the best, and his narration of The Condition Trilogy is no exception.

LinkedInIMDB

 

 

 

Book One

Mar. 6th:

Jazzy Book Reviews

Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews

Mar. 7th:

Hall Ways Blog

Mar. 8th:

AudioSpy

Mar. 9th:
The Writing Train

eBook Addicts

Mar. 10th:

Lomeraniel

Blätterflüstern

Mar. 11th:

Bound 4 Escape

Buried Under Books

Mar. 12th:

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Carolyn M. Walker, Fiction Author

Book Two

Mar. 13th:

Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews

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AudioSpy

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The Writing Train

Blätterflüstern

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Lomeraniel

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Hall Ways Blog

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Bound 4 Escape

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Buried Under Books

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Carolyn M. Walker, Fiction Author

Book Three

Mar. 20th:
Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews

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Blätterflüstern

Mar. 22nd:

Hall Ways Blog

Mar. 23rd:

Lomeraniel

Mar. 24th:

Jazzy Book Reviews

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Bound 4 Escape

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Review: The Condition Trilogy Book One by Alec Birri (Audio)

Author: Alec Birri

Narrator: Jonathan Keeble

Length: 6 hours 32 minutes

Publisher: Essential Music Limited⎮2018

Genre: Medical Thriller

Series: The Condition Trilogy, Book 1

Release date: Jan. 17, 2018

The first in a dystopian trilogy based on the author’s command of a top secret government unit.
What if all brain disorders were treatable? Few would lament the passing of dementia or autism, but what if the twisted mind of a sex offender or murderer could be cured too? Or how about a terrorist or maybe a political extremist? What if we could all be “corrected”?
It’s 1966, and RAF pilot Dan Stewart awakes from a coma following an aircraft accident into a world where nothing seems to make sense anymore. Not being able to recall the crash might be expected, but what about the rest of his life? And what’s stopping him from taking his medication? Is it brain damage that’s causing paranoia about the red pill, or is Dan right to think something sinister is going on?
His horrific injuries don’t make any sense either – a post-crash fire caused him to suffer almost 100% burns. How is it even possible to survive that? Are the hallucinations and strange dreams trying to tell him something? They are, and he’ll soon find out what, but not before his doctor’s sure the shock won’t kill him.



Alec Birri served thirty years with the UK Armed Forces. He commanded an operational unit that experimented in new military capabilities classified at the highest level (Top Secret Strap 3) and it is this that forms the basis of his novels. Although semi-autobiographical, for national security and personal liberty reasons, the events and individuals portrayed have to be fiction but are still nonetheless in keeping with his experiences.

WebsiteTwitterFacebook

Narrator Bio


If you regularly enjoy listening to audiobooks then this Shakespearean actor will need no introduction. Winner of a 2016 SOVAS award, Jonathan’s voice is rightly recognized as being one of the best, and his narration of The Condition Trilogy is no exception.

LinkedInIMDB

I’m a huge fan of Dystopias, so when I read the synopsis of the Condition series, I  asked for a copy to listen to. I wasn’t disappointed. The story of book one, along with the author’s background, makes you chill to the bone. Are such things even possible?

We’ve all profited from medical research and progress at some point in our lives, and I, at least, tend to not think about where a certain medication came from overly much.

We’re aware that new medicine is tested on animals, and on human volunteers before it is declared ‘safe’ from whichever board is in charge. There are numerous films about viruses developed (and accidentally set free) by the military — and if we are to believe the press, there are secret military laboratories researching very dangerous viruses.

It never seemed as close to home as in the UK, though, and after listening to this book, I really don’t want to know what the Germans are up to in that regard.

This book is not about viruses, however, but it begs the question:

Are we all doomed, not from Mssrs Trump or Kim Jong Un firing nuclear weapons, but from secret medical experiments?

The book makes you ponder these questions and more. It is a topic I’d rather put firmly in the science fiction corner, but alas, it is only too real.

In this regard, the author managed to make me think, and, let’s face it, to frighten me. However, the way the book is written takes some patience to keep listening. For a long while, the reader, as well as the protagonist, doesn’t have a clue what the heck is going on. It takes ages before some light is shed on the whole affair and you get an idea what this could be about.

There isn’t a lot in way of character development, as all the characters remain quite distant. I couldn’t build a relation to the main character, because he was so confused most of the time, and it was all so weird. Even though much of it is revealed later on, there isn’t any character who really got me rooting for him or her.

Still, the idea and the topic are well worth being known by a wider public, and there are two more sequels which might well change my mind about some of the characters.

Jonathan Keeble is a very gifted narrator. His character interpretations, his pace and narration were perfect. He is certainly a new voice in my library of audio books. I have to listen to more of his narrations.

 

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Alec Birri. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

Book One

Mar. 6th:

Jazzy Book Reviews

Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews

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The Writing Train

eBook Addicts
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Lomeraniel

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Bound 4 Escape

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Carolyn M. Walker, Fiction Author

Book Two

Mar. 13th:

Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews

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The Writing Train

Blätterflüstern

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Lomeraniel

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Bound 4 Escape

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Mar. 20th:

Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews

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Hall Ways Blog

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Lomeraniel

Mar. 24th:

Jazzy Book Reviews

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Bound 4 Escape

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Anomalies – Sadie Turner & Colette Freedman

Anomalies, Sadie Turner & Colette Freedman, narrated by Lucinda Clare; Punch Audio, 8:04h

 

Synopsis:

Keeva lives in a peaceful world. After the great technology war which eradicated large parts of the earth, Sobeck rescued what was left, cleaned the earth and oceans from pollution, and built a peaceful society where everybody has his/her place and is happy. Or did he? …

Keeva is looking forward to being imprinted with her intended life partner — however, she’s sorted out as an anomaly, because said partner is no more. She and six other anomalies undergo a variety of tests, and all seems to turn out well after all. But then she suddenly finds that her life as it was has ended. She is in danger, and now she must find out why, and she must find help. But who to trust?

 

This is certainly a series to watch out for. I don’t think there’s a sequel yet, but I hope there’ll be.
This drew me in right from the start, and it kept me glued to my earphones until the end. Yes, it is a YA dystopie, so I’m not among the target group, but then I love YA novels, and this book is no exception.

The idea itself isn’t novel, I was reminded of other well-known novels with the same topic, but that doesn’t mean the story is old. On the contrary, it is a very refreshing tale of what happens if you don’t fit the norm. Keeva needs to find out who she is, what she is supposed to do, what is truth and what are lies, who is friend and who is foe. It’s a coming of age story, and so much more.
There are very many twists and turns, and some of the truths Keeva discovers are completely unexpected.
Lucinda Clare did a fabulous job at narrating the story, bringing all the characters to life, as well as the world. It was like watching a film (I can absolutely imagine this on the screen).
The authors as well as the narrator were new to me, but I’ll watch out for other books by them, and I really hope I won’t have to wait for the sequel very long.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher. As always, this did not affect my review.