This marks my first review of an audiobook. Since I’m not an auditory learner, this puts me in a difficult position, seeing as there is no way I remembered everything I heard. However, I will do my best. Spoilers.
As usual, I will start with the positives. Grant is a very talented world-builder. It is clear that a lot of time and effort were put into developing the company of SymboGen and the universe surrounding them. The use of magazine and journal excerpts as chapter transitions helped exemplify Grant’s skill, and helped to flesh out a vibrant near-future world.
The character of Nathan was also well-written and enjoyable. His interactions as a supporting character and as Sally’s boyfriend were highly believable, making him feel more real than many of the other characters. Christine Lakin also does a great job nearing audiobook, offering a highly engaging performance of Grant’s novel.
The biggest problem I encountered while listening to this was the pacing. For the first several hours, very little happens. In fact, practically nothing happens until the second half of the story, making for a rather lackluster experience.
I also found that I couldn’t quite get behind Sally as the protagonist either. Throughout most of the book, her primary skill seems to be calling for help, making it difficult to take her seriously as an active character in such a potentially high-stakes conflict. It wasn’t until the twist at the very end where we actually learn what made her special throughout the entire story (which I predicted about five chapters early, by the way). This wouldn’t be such a problem if the narrative wasn’t trying so hard to be character-driven. You could definitely argue that the narrative as a whole is mostly world-driven, but the sheer amount of focus placed on Sally and her self-discovery, if you will, definitely pushes the story in a more character-driven direction.
Overall, it was definitely an interesting concept, and I would love to see some short stories set in the greater world with a different protagonist. However, Sally simply isn’t interesting enough on her own to carry a book like this, in my opinion.
By the way, I’m trying out Dragon voice recognition software is my carpal tunnel has made typing difficult lately. This is my first session with it, so I’m still getting a feel for it and training it to recognize my voice. I’m totally making excuses for the number of typos that are going to be in this review, but nobody’s perfect.