Seveneves: A Novel
- Written by:Neal Stephenson
- Narrated by:Mary Robinette Kowal, Will Damron
- Length:31 hrs and 55 mins
- Release Date:05-19-15
- Publisher:Brilliance Audio
- Reviewed for AudiobookReviewer.com
this is my first Neal Stephenson story…..and maybe it was a bit much to start with but the blurb sounded interesting and it was available for review so I thought I would dive in……I would like to start out by saying that while I am in awe of his imagination to create such a story to be honest I think you could have cut out about 20(ish) hours of the descriptive narrative, the how and why’s and the incredibly detailed explanations (I don’t think I want to hear the word trajectory again) most of it was greek to me and for me made no difference to the story at all other then wanting to make me scream when it interrupted that actual character interaction of the story. So now to the actual review…..
Review Part 1
If I don’t do this review in parts I’m never going to remember enough to properly review by the end.
I would like to start off by saying I do find this story very interesting, but OMG……is it wordy…and technical….and over descriptive…did I mention wordy? I felt like the Charlie Brown cartoon where when the teacher is speaking it’s just “wawwaaa…. wawwaaa ….. wawwaaa” (is there really a way to spell that??) through a lot of it, talk about information overload. I get that there needs to be world building but it’s a bit overboard for me. I would actually love to see an abridged version as it might make it more interesting for me. The narration by Mary Robinette Kowal is what is really making this easier to get through. She is doing a fabulous job on all the voices, male and female and very good on the different accents. Each character has their own distinct voice.
So the first part is the build up to show what the world is doing to ensure some of humanity survives the coming “hard rain” 2 years +/- from the explosion of the moon. The hard rain will destroy everyone and everything on the earths surface and mankind’s only hope is space. Lots will be cast and drawn for a certain number of young people (a girl and a boy) from every country in the world to start training to survive on the Space Station Issy and to ensure mankind has a future. So far I am really enjoying the main characters in particular Dinah and Ivy, while I do like the others as well for some reason these two stand out to me. Where I left off for this part was at the two year mark and the hard rain could hit at any time…..and there is another 20ish hours to go….
Part 2 (some partial spoilers)
So the hard rain has come, the arkers are in orbit around Issy and now it is time for survival and there is even more loss as characters we have known start to die off, there are more politics’ and disagreements amongst the general population on Issy and the arkers…..at one point there is separation and then there is the “big ride” to settle the space station on one of the moon’s rocks, there is a war fought via social media….some years into the “big ride” the number of humans have dwindled and once they land and secure themselves to the surface of one of the moon’s rocks we have the final survivors who are the Seven Eves.
Fast forward some 5000 years and there are several space stations and colonies with seven distinct races of humans descended from the Seveneves…..
So we have a whole new cast of characters, a new narrator (who did a great job) but I have to say story wise….while the concept was interesting the telling of this was incredibly boring and just seemed to plod along. It got to the point that I just did not care what happened I just wanted the book to be done…..and then it just ends and unless I missed it being overloaded with other details we never do find out what caused the moon to explode.
While Will Damron did excellent job on the narration for the second part of the book, between the two narrators I did enjoy Mary Robinette Kowal much more, she seemed to give more life to the characters. I would love to listen to more from both narrators.
So my final thoughts – I don’t know if I will be trying another Neal Stephenson book anytime soon, this one kind of burned me out….it took a month to listen to because for once I had to set an audio aside to “take a break” or go crazy. Awesome narration….and lastly I would bet that if there were an abridged version of this, a lot of what I had issue with would be cut out and would make it an excellent listen.