NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Award Winner!
The Starchild Compact is an epic tale of beginnings, roots, what might have been, and what might be. It is an adventure of heroic proportions, commencing 500 light years away, arriving here just a few years from now, and ending in the distant expanses of the Universe.
Jon Stock takes his international exploration team to Saturn's moon, Iapetus, which Earth scientists have determined may be an artifact. Following launch, they discover Saeed Ismail, a Jihadist stowaway, who hopes to sabotage the mission.
They arrive at Iapetus, determine it is a derelict starship, and eventually meet with the Founders, descendants of the starship builders. Their revelations impact the entire Solar System with momentous implications going backward and forward in time, paving the way for a joint push to the distant reaches of the Galaxy.
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"Talk to me, John old buddy, talk to me."
A very long listen, at almost fifteen hours, this would have been better divided into two books: the journey to, arrival at and exploration of Iapetus in the first book, terminating at the point where the crew is transported to an unknown destination in the clear sided pod crafts, and the subsequent third or so of the book, possibly with a further 'return' as an H.G.Wells glimpse into the future added.to round it off. It would certainly have made the starring award much simpler.
The first 'book' as detailed above, if a little juvenile boys' wet dream in it's approach to the female astronauts aboard the craft sent to determine the nature of Iatecus, is still fascinating in the facts given. There are excitements aplenty, too, as long as the reader isn't looking for fast action battles. The second part, however, is mostly jingoistic rubbish, with good guys squaring up to save the world, at the same time denegrating an entire religious movement and it's millions of adherents worldwide. Such a pity. I salute the narrator for being able to read to the end of this inflammatory rubbish without bursting into sobs or hysterical laughter. Instead, Trenton Bennett continued his steady narration without undue verbal excitement, actually breathing life into the otherwise rather two dimensional characters portrayed. Had I been reading, rather than listening, to this book, I doubt if I would have managed to reach the end. It was only the narration which kept me going.
I received my copy of The Starships Compact, as a gift from the rights holder, via Audiobook Boom. My thanks for that. I did enjoy, with small reservations, the initial part, itself alone longer than many other books, but this enjoyment was complete!y nullified by the later writing. Because of that, this is definitely not a book I could recommend.
- Norma Miles