One thousand years in the future, humans no longer rule....
In the early 21st century, humanity marveled at its greatest creation: artificial intelligence. They couldn't foresee the consequences of such a creation.
Now, in a world where humans must meet specifications to continue living, a man named Caesar emerges. Not meeting specifications - indeed, thinking things no human should - eyes fall on Caesar, eyes that could kill him or lift him up, lead him to tragedy or revolution.
Can one man stand against humanity's greatest creation?
A don't-miss epic science fiction novel that pits one man fighting for the future of all people!
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Good performance, less convincing world-building
...I'm on the fence with this one. I wasn't motivated enough to finish listening to the whole book, but I did enjoy as far as I got. The narration makes it a pleasant, easy listen, and Mr Hopkins does a good job of giving characters distinct voices and characteristics. The relationship between Caesar and Grace particularly benefits from this!
Unfortunately, while I enjoyed the performance, I've struggled to get past the world-building. I personally like to think that if an immensely powerful AI takes over the planet, and decides to run it for humanity's benefit using statistics to justify/inform its horrific decisions, that it probably wouldn't make decisions using completely wrong statistics: "Children will develop best if they have two married parents. Single parents - even if they were originally married and one partner tragically dies of accidental causes - are wrong and evil and will not be allowed children." I'm paraphrasing, of course.
Also, I'm fairly sure that it's really difficult to absorb (and pass on to your offspring) other people's DNA by drinking a soup made out of their liquified bodies, a la soylent green. (...again, I may have garbled the explanation somewhat, but I think that was the idea.)
This sort of thing may not bother you much - in which case, you'll probably enjoy the book more than I did - but I really enjoy the science part of sci fi, and love seeing how the invented tech informs the creation of a believable universe. Dan Simmons' Hyperion, Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice are two recent listens that drew me in; whereas David Beers' Heretic didn't.
This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.
- Matt G
"It's not going to end well, for anyone."
From the very beginning, the reader is sucked into this imaginative story with Caesar's recollection of seeing his "first liquidation" as a child, the description hinting at the scenes.more likely to be found in accounts of public hangings in the past than the expected sterile executions of the future. The supposedly almost perfect future, controlled by an A.I. for the benefit of human kind, free from war, hunger, loneliness, most disease and where everyone has a job most perfectly suited to their talents and dispositions. But there is a price to pay. It is one Caesar cannot face any longer.
I must confess here that I read David Beer's marvellous book ( and the rest of the following Singularity series) some time ago and when I saw that it was out on audio, I didn't hesitate. A chance to reconnect with the story, to hear it again from the beginning through a different medium. There were concerns: a narrator can enhance a story, or destroy it. Glad to say, Mr. Hopkins certainly comes into the former catagory. His well modulated reading was clear and evenly paced, and perfectly complimented the written text. His execution of the various character's voices was distinct. But above all, he became the unhappy Caesar.
The Heritic is action packed without being a mad dash from one incident to another.. Instead, it takes time to build ideas and tension. And it makes the reader think. A well written, inventive and exciting story with great characters and an excellent narrator - the perfect combination.
- Norma Miles