Category

Sci-Fi

Red Rising – Pierce Brown

Red Rising (Red Rising #1) – Pierce Brown

Red Rising

3 Stars (3 / 5)

I love a good bandwagon. Nothing I love more than getting all swept up in the hype for a popular book, and get excited along with others about how fantastic it is and how much better my life is because I read it! This is what was made pretty clear would happen when I read Red Rising – with its 4.26 average on goodreads which is AMAZING! But. Alas. I was not so swept up. Not quite so excited.

Without giving too much away, because the plot is such an important thing, and there are so many big twists and turns that I don’t want to ruin for anyone… But the central character Darrow, is a ‘Red’. Reds are pretty much the lowest of the low class, and the colours increase in class until we reach the ‘golds’ who are the top of the food chain. So Darrow and his wife are living a pretty miserable existence underneath in the mines of Mars. Darrow is a “helldiver” or miner of Helium 3 which is being collected so that one day Mars will be able to be terra-formed and people will be able to live on the surface. So we get to know a little bit about Darrow and his life and then some bad things happen and suddenly he is plummeted into a matrix-take-the-red-pill type of situation where he finds out the horrible truth of the actual real world. So eventually Darrow is taken in by a group who want to bring down the class system, so they make him a gold. Thus begins an epic hunger games type of situation, where ‘gold’ Darrow has to fight for his life in order to rise up the social system, to bring the whole thing crashing down.

I listened to the audio version by Tim Gerald Reynolds, which I thought would be weird considering I had just finished the fabulous Riyria Rising trilogy also narrated by Reynolds. But he puts on a bit of an irish-like accent in this one which made his voice almost unrecognisable. So it was no problem. His singing was a bit of a problem though… I am sure it is more the song than the voice.

I would class it is a cross between the wool series, the hunger games and divergent series, with a bit of other dystopian YA books thrown in there too. Although I’m not sure why this is classed as YA. There is NOTHING YA about it.

So, its quite an intricate plot, and I went into it knowing absolutely NOTHING about the book, except for how great it is supposed to be. So was pretty surprised with the epic hunger games situation which I was not totally expecting.
Its a enriched world that Mr Brown creates, and he does a good job about it. The whole book is well written, filled with extensive character development and vivid scenery. It has lots of blood and gore, action, betrayal, twists and turns, ups and downs. So why then? Why was I not so caught up in this one?

Without the haters getting all “BUT THIS IS MY FAVOURITE BOOK! F*** YOU MEL!”, I would like to disclaim that this is just MY opinion. And we can’t all like the same book! No hate mail please!

Darrow. I had major issues with Darrow. The first being, how on earth he could have been 16 years old. Just like one of my favourite fantasy novels Six of Crows, I had to willingly and purposely PRETEND that he was older so I could enjoy reading about him at all. I get that he kind of had to be that young in order for the story to progress, it just didn’t work. I couldn’t take it seriously, and it was an issue for me whenever I thought about it – so I pretended he was 25 year old Darrow, and even then it was a bit of a stretch, but it worked better for me.

The whinging. Yes, I get it. You’re all angst-y. “I’m really a red, bloody damn it!”. Yes. I get it. I don’t want to hear about it anymore. OH MY GOD HERE HE GOES WHINGING AGAIN! I did listen to the audio version, so perhaps the narration didn’t help with the angst situation, but BLOODY DAMN I was annoyed with him constantly whinging. I actually started listening to the second book too and it is STILL going on! I actually had to stop.

The women. Women in this book are pretty much objects that the male characters get to rape. The reds, rape. The gold’s in the game, rape. Rape everywhere. Even though there were a couple of stronger female characters, they were still at risk of – yup you guessed it, rape. I found it really unnecessary and almost offensive. I understand that its a tough world that they live in, but enough with the raping and pillaging already! And if they weren’t being raped, they were being spoken to or about like trash. It left a bad taste in my mouth.

I was somewhat conflicted. There were some things I really did enjoy about the book. I loved some parts even! Some of the twists were really clever, others were quite predictable. I really enjoyed how he wrote the novel and as you were reading (or listening to in my case), it was like you were listening to a book about war. I appreciated that. I really did. I just didn’t enjoy the book as a whole as much as I was hoping to.

Anyway that’s enough I think. I didn’t find it a bad book. 3 is still a good rating. And perhaps I’m overly critical because I was expecting so much. I don’t know. I am glad I read it. And I will eventually get to the second one after a bit of a break with books that aren’t quite so full on for a while.

Would I recommend Red Rising?

I think its definitely one that you have to experience if you enjoy this kind of fantasy, survival, dystopian sci fi type thing. You might be just like the majority and think it is the best book ever!

I purchased Red Rising at my own expense on audible.com


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The Diabolic – S. J. Kincaid

The Diabolic (The Diabolic #1) S.J Kincaid (2016)

The Diabolic

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

I have started to venture away from Young Adult a little bit. I’m just finding it a lot of the same. Generally a love triangle, some kind of dystopia, teenage angst… It’s just getting a bit boring to me. How many versions of the Hunger Games can one get through? So I was surprised when I found that I really enjoyed this one. When it started I was thinking “here we go again” but was pleasantly surprised. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of angst still, but I enjoyed the premise, the writing was great, and not exactly a love triangle.

Nemesis is a diabolic, a genetic human bred to protect one person who they have “imprinted” on them. Like ducks I suppose. Her charge, Sidonia is in danger and Nemesis has to pose as her to protect her from an evil Emperor, his evil family and unbalanced nephew, air to the throne. But things do not exactly go smoothly.

How GORGEOUS is the cover!! I wanted to read it just based on the beautiful cover, it was a huge bonus that it was a great read!

My favourite character would have to be the insane nephew Tyrus. Loved the twists and turns with his character. Nemesis annoyed me a bit, but overall I liked reading her story.

The whole story was full of twists and turns and I was surprised on more than one occasion, and it takes a lot to surprise me.

Would I recommend The Diabolic?

Yes for any YA fan. Or if someone is on the boarder of enjoying YA this may be the one that tips them over!

Big thanks to the author and publisher via Netgalley for a copy of The Diabolic to review.


If you enjoyed The Diabolic, you may enjoy:

Six of Crows   Artificial

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Children of Time – Adrian Tchaikovsky

Children of Time – Adrian Tchaikovsky (2015)

Children of Time

5 Stars (5 / 5)

Don’t you love those years where you think that you have read the best books of the year already, and then one book comes along and BLOWS THEM ALL OUT OF THE WATER!!!! ?

Its difficult to condense this extraordinary tale that spans thousands of years, into a single paragraph. Also, I don’t want to give anything away because it will spoil it. So ill be as simple, and as vague as possible. Humans go out of the solar system to colonise other planets. Things don’t exactly go to plan. There is a lot of fighting, a lot of evolution, a lot of characterisation, and a whole lot of INTELLIGENT GIANT KILLER SPIDERS!!!

I am glad I listened to the audio version of this. Not because it would be any better than the written version, but because I am struggling to find the time to read at the moment with work and looking after two small children (one being a demanding teething baby). So audio books are about the only way I am able to read at the moment. I listen to them while doing housework and cooking, while driving to and from work, and during any other spare moment I have during the week. And although I miss reading written words, audio books – GOOD audio books, have a magic about them that words on a page do not have. A good narrator can turn a good story into a great one, just as a bad narrator can bring down a great story to an average one. Well this one, my folks, is a GREAT narrator.

In case you haven’t realised, I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK! It had absolutely everything I love in a good sci-fi, but the writing my friends… The writing was absolutely superb! I cannot put it into words how this book resonated with me and touched me. It made me think about my life, space, and our place as humans in the universe. It absolutely BLEW my mind!

Would I recommend Children Of Time?

ABSOLUTELY!! Any Sci-fi fans, sci-fi novices or anyone with an interest in space, evolution, or just bloody good writing should try this one! I am sure I am going to read and listen to this many MANY times in future.

I purchased Children of Time at my own expense through audible.com

 


If you enjoy Children of Time, you may enjoy:

The Threat Below   

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One Fell Sweep – Ilona Andrews

One Fell Sweep (Inkeeper Chronicles Book #3)

One Fell Sweep

5 Stars (5 / 5)

I’m going to take a minute to appreciate just how FREAKING good this husband and wife author duo are. Seriously, when these two sit in front of their computer or however they get the words down, MAGIC happens. One Fell Sweep is the third instalment of the Innkeeper Chronicles, and in my opinion, the best of the lot. I’m not sure how they manage to keep getting better and better, book after book… But somehow it just happens. After this series and the Kate Daniels series, which I recently re-read because I love it so darn much, I am going to make it a mission to read every word they have ever written.

Dina is the inn keeper in Gertrude Hunt, the magical inn in Texas that is a pit stop for some very interesting creatures from all sorts of planets. Dina’s job is to keep the guests of the inn safe at all costs, and her job is near impossible with the arrival of a malodorous guest who has an unusual bounty on his head. Many of our favourite characters are back from the first two books, including one frustrating but seriously hot werewolf. Will Dina be able to keep everyone safe?

OH MY GOD I LOVE THIS AUDIOBOOK! I loved everything about it. The writing, the story, and the narration! Renee Rauldman and her Southern accent is SO EASY to listen to! The audio version was magical. I’m sure I would have still adored the paper version, but I just loved this audiobook!

I have no idea where they come up with the ideas in their stories. World killers?? Nano ants?? Seriously!! Obviously in this case two writers are better than one. Its just one awesome idea after the other which leaves you thinking, “HOW THE HELL DO THEY COME UP WITH THIS!!??”

Like the Kate Daniels series, the romance is like lighting a big fireplace in a living room. You start out shivering a bit, warm up quite comfortably, and then suddenly get so hot you start sweating! I love the way that they build the romance up over numerous books. It may start off as attraction between two people, but then it grows into something much deeper, with an actual RELATIONSHIP where people DO THINGS other than swoon over each other. In this case they kill things together and talk together. They don’t just make it a quick attraction with a happy ending, and although the wait for the pinnacle of the romance is frustrating, its SOOOOOOO much better for it!

Would I recommend One Fell Swept??

YES YES YES!! Read the above! ALL THE ABOVE!! You will start with Clean Sweep and Sweep in Peace first, or some things might get a touch confusing.

I purchased the audio version of One Fell Sweep on audible, at my own expense.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Ilona Andrews

 

 

Ilona Andrews is the pseudonym for a husband-and-wife writing team. Ilona is a native-born Russian and Gordon is a former communications sergeant in the U.S. Army. Contrary to popular belief, Gordon was never an intelligence officer with a license to kill, and Ilona was never the mysterious Russian spy who seduced him. They met in college, in English Composition 101, where Ilona got a better grade. (Gordon is still sore about that.)

Gordon and Ilona currently reside in Oregon with their two children, three dogs and a cat. They have co-authored two series, the bestselling urban fantasy of Kate Daniels and romantic urban fantasy of The Edge (GoodReads).

 

ABOUT THE NARRATOR:

 

 

Renée Raudman is a multi-award-winning audiobook narrator. She has earned a number of AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for The Last Secret by Mary McGarry Morris and Wesley the Owl by Stacey O’Brien, as well as a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award for Joe Schreiber’s Chasing the Dead. She has also performed on film, TV, radio, and stage, including the recurring roles of Jordon on ABC’s One Life To Live, Phyllis on NBC’s Passions, and guest-starring roles on prime-time TV. She has been heard in cartoons (The Simpsons, Billy & Mandy), videogames, and on the E! channel. Her narration of Homer’s Odyssey by Gwen Cooper was selected by Library Journal as one of the best audiobooks of 2009, and her reading of Marthe Jocelyn’s Would You was selected by the ALA as one of the best young adult audiobooks of 2009 (GoodReads).

 

 


If you enjoy One Fell Sweep, you may enjoy:

Clean Sweep   Sweep in Peace   Magic Bites

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Starflight – Melissa Landers

Starflight – Melissa Landers

Starflight

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

Oh this book was SO MUCH FUN! I know in a lot of reviews for this book they compare it to Firefly, and I hate to jump on the bandwagon, but it is definitely like the YA version of Firefly. It does have a lot of similarities, however I found it original enough to not care at all! Just so much fun!

Solara is looking for a new life on the outer realm. She has a piece of land with her name on it. She just has to get there. She must indenture herself to a wealthy traveller in order to pay for the 5 month passage. When her old school nemesis Dorin is the only one to offer her passage in exchange for her servitude – she RELUCTANTLY accepts. And when they find themselves stranded, the only opportunity they have to get there is to jump aboard the Banshee, a run down, ugly ship with an interesting and hilarious crew who have a lot of secrets.

I loved all the characters, they were all so funny and entertaining. And I ADORED the banter between Solaris and Dorin. A slow burning romance that was worth EVERY TORTUROUS SECOND!

I loved the bad guys, I loved the action and the story. I loved it all!

I listened to the audio book which was narrated by Amanda Dolan and I thought she was FANTASTIC! My main problem with a lot of female narrators I have listened to (sorry to be sexist), is their portrayal of male characters. So many times I have commented that they sound all the same and totally robotic and annoying. Not in this one my friends, Dolan does a great job making all the characters unique, and of course the writing helps with that too. I didn’t get annoyed once at the portrayal ANY character, and that is saying something. Superb!

Would I recommend Starflight?

Yes, if you are a sci-fi fan with an addiction to the TV show Firefly like myself, you will absolutely enjoy this. If you haven’t seen Firefly, if you area a fan of sarcastic humour, light-hearted comedy and space-action, with a splash of romance, give it a go!

I purchased the audio version of Starflight from audible.com at my own expense.

PURCHASE:

AUDIBLE | Booktopia AU | Book Depository


If you enjoy Starflight, you may enjoy:

Zero World   Fortune's Pawn

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Dark Matter – Blake Crouch

Dark Matter – Blake Crouch

Dark Matter

5 Stars (5 / 5)

Well, this one is a MAJOR contender for my favourite book of the year! This book was right up my alley, I love nerdy science stuff, and the concept of this book really appealed to me. I was trying not to expect too much as it is very hyped. But in the end, I was totally swept away by this fabulous sci-fi adventure.

Think Schrodinger’s cat as a novel if you can… Jason Dessen is a brilliant scientist, leading a very happy, yet average life as a science professor, wondering what would have happened if his life led him on a different path. He is abducted by a masked man at gunpoint, drugged, and awakens in a world that is not his own. His house isn’t his own, his wife isn’t married to him, and his son doesn’t exist. What the hell is going on?

This is all the plot I am going to give you. It gets strange, then weird, then weirdER, then FREAKING CRAZY!

I listened to the audio version of dark matter and i LOVED IT! Jon Lindstrom was the absolute PERFECT narrator for this book, he made every minute of listening to it extremely enjoyable.

This book made me think, it made me laugh, it made me go WHOA!!!!! Absolutely bloody brilliant!

Its not often i’m finished talking about a book in only 200 words, but I’m done. I don’t want to ruin anything else for you, read it or listen to it. ASAP! Its absolutely fantastic!

Would I recommend Dark Matter?

YES! Even my friends who HATE sci-fi absolutely LOVE this book, and that’s saying something! Highly recommend the audio version, but I am sure it would be just as good with words!

 I listened to Dark Matter through audible.com, at my own expense.

PURCHASE:

AMAZON | AMAZON AU | AUDIBLE | AUDIBLE AUPanMacmillan AU


If you enjoy Dark Matter, you may enjoy:

The Fold   14   Ready Player One

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Nexus – Ramez Naam

Nexus (Nexus #1) – Ramez Naam

Nexus

5 Stars (5 / 5)

I listened to the audio version of Nexus and let me tell you, it was 13 hours of nerdy-fun-brilliance!!!

It has an intricate plot, basically it is set in the not too distant future. Technology has surpassed what we could have ever imagined. The new nano drug Nexus works by linking minds together, it is also extremely feared and illegal. Young budding scientist Cade is caught improving it, and is made to work for the government as a spy, to bring down others who would use and distribute this technology. But not is all what it seems. Are the government the good guys? How can linking human beings together be a bad thing?

What a ride! It was exciting, thrilling, action packed and so darn interesting! The technology in this book is WOW, however still not incredibly far fetched. There is so much action in this book! It doesn’t really let up! The way that the characters all communicate in their heads and use their brains as an internet of sorts, allows the plot to develop in really unique ways. It was SO MUCH FUN!

The characters are all fantastically written! They have depth and all have other special qualities, whether it be physical upgrades, or if they have surpassed human intelligence all together. I thought Cade was a great character, however I felt he didn’t have quite the depth as some of the other characters. Sam was my favourite character, and we find out a lot about her and where she came from, and why she is the way she is. I enjoyed the way the story was written, with extracts, interviews and articles in between chapters to set the scene of the technologically advanced world and the challenges that it has encountered.

I thought the audio version narrated by Luke Daniels was FANTASTIC!! I loved the way he portrayed all the characters and at times it really felt like I was watching an action movie in my head because of his talented and gripping narration. If you are looking for a good audio book I would highly recommend you try this one!

Would I recommend Nexus?

YES! If you like sci-fi I am almost certain that you will enjoy this book! Loads of fun and there are two more! YAY!

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If you enjoy Nexus, you may enjoy:

Zero World   The Darwin Elevator   14

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Steelheart – Brandon Sanderson

Steelheart (Reckoners #1) – Brandon Sanderson

Steelheart

3 Stars (3 / 5)

I was expecting to enjoy this one more than I did. I felt quite underwhelmed unfortunately. It had an extremely promising start but for some reason it started to fall a bit flat for me. However, I still mostly enjoyed it, what nerd like me wouldn’t enjoy a story about super villans and super heroes?! Now I know a LOT of people adored this book, so please don’t hate me if you are one of them!

David was only 10 when the world changed. “Calamity” came, and the Epics arrived. Supervillians with terrible powers, all evil and murderous. Steelheart was the worst. He killed David’s father, and now David wants revenge. He has to somehow join the resistance known as the Reckoners to bring down the epics. And destroy Steelheart.

Points to the audio version narrator MacLeod Andrews. He was fantastic! I am glad I listened to the audio version for this one. I think he made it more enjoyable in my ears than I could have made it in my head!

This is the first Sanderson book that I have read and I didn’t realise that it was YA. Not that I would have had a problem with that, I love a good YA. However I think maybe I should have stuck with his more adult fantasy books.

I found the main character David to be exceedingly annoying. He was a pompous little upstart and I just couldn’t bring myself to like him. When he wasn’t doing stupid things, he was dreaming about a girl. Because that’s all YA characters can do you know… Its all superheroes and girls. The language that all the characters used was the most annoying part of the whole book for me. “Calamity” and “Sparks” are the new swear words, and they just made it sound so stupid. Whenever I would hear the narrator say “Calamity!” I would roll my eyes.

Sure, some of the epics were well plotted, however I was still a bit bored. There was just something missing for me. Perhaps it was the atmosphere. It didn’t feel like humanity were slaves to epics now and the whole world had changed. Maybe it needed more than the viewpoint from some annoying young character to give it a bit more depth for me. People died but the atmosphere didn’t really relay that. It felt like all the awful things that happened in the book were superficial. If that makes sense.

There were a few redeeming factors, besides the awesome narrator… It had a good twists at the end. I totally saw one of them coming but the other one blindsided me. Despite the “Calamity” and “Sparks”, it was fairly well written. It was easy to get into and had a great premise. The other characters were not quite as annoying as David, and I enjoyed the way the whole thing ended.

Would I recommend Steelheart?

Maybe… If you don’t mind the corny language and annoying main character you may enjoy it more than I.

Add to goodreads


If you enjoy Steelheart, you may enjoy:

image    Poison    The First

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The Darwin Elevator – Jason M. Hough

The Darwin Elevator (Dire Earth Cycle #1) – Jason M. Hough

The Darwin Elevator

4 Stars (4 / 5)

I immediately purchased this audio book after I finished Zero World. I loved Zero World so much and wanted to read (or listen to) something else by Jason M. Hough straight away! I heard great things about this series and wanted to delve straight in. While I did not quite enjoy it as much as Zero World, it certainly did not disappoint!

Over 200 years from now, an alien plague has taken over the earth and it is in ruin. All except Darwin, Australia of all places. Darwin was saved because a few years before the plague hit, an alien space ship arrived and put an elevator up into space. On the ground it emits a “aura” keeping all who reside in this area free from the symptoms of the disease. While outside the aura, the disease leaves humans in an angry “kill everyone they come across” state. But the elevator has started malfunctioning. Its up to Skylar, the leader of a scavenger group who are all mysteriously immune to the alien disease, to save the remainder of humanity.

I just thought this was such an interesting and original concept. And set in Darwin! Awesome! I really enjoyed the setting and the atmosphere of humanity striving to survive. I loved the politics and power plays, and thought the elevator and the aliens were just awesome. I was hooked!

Thought the characters were all fantastic, I loved the bad guys in this! They were horrible, in a good way! Skylar and Tania were awesome and there were so many awesome secondary characters!

There were a few slow parts and a lot of detail at times, but overall I really enjoyed the writing. The narrator was great, and the audio version was fabulous. I did get a bit annoyed with the narrators attempt at Australian accents, however I was able to let this slide as I got used to it!

There were twists and turns, deceit and deception, and a touch of romance. Unfortunately just a touch mind you. I am super excited to read (or listen to, I haven’t decided which yet) the next one! I really want to know what happens with the characters and those darn aliens!

Would I recommend The Darwin Elevator?

Yes for any sci-fi fan or any fan of dystopian/apocalyptic/futuristic books. Well worth the read!

Add to goodreads


If you enjoy The Darwin Elevator, you may enjoy:

Zero World   Artificial

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Zero World – Jason M. Hough

Zero World – Jason M. Hough

Zero World

5 Stars (5 / 5)

WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW!!!! Oh what fun!!!!! This book is the reason I love Sci-Fi! I can’t believe it is not more popular! It was AMAZEBALLS! I only found out about Zero World through GoodReads Sci-Fi recommendations, and I am so glad I bought it! I listened to the audio version on Audible and it was FABULOUS! – One of the best I have ever listened to!

Peter Caswell is a secret agent. A super-spy! He is altered and advanced so that he can do a lot of cool stuff thanks to an implant in his brain. However this implant also activates after a set time, to wipe the memory of his mission. So when he is sent to find a scientist who escaped a space ship after killing the rest of the crew, he only has a short time before his brain is wiped and he forgets doing it. However the scientist seems to have disappeared through a wormhole near the sun, and once Caswell is on the other side, he soon learns that everything is not what it seems.

Oh man this book was an awesome ride!! Full of action, adventure and mystery! The audio version with Gideon Emery was FANTASTIC! I LOVED his voice and his portrayal of all the characters! They all had a different distinctive voice and man, I could listen to that voice all day long! I am going to find other audio books he has done!

The characters were FABULOUS! I loved Caswell and the premise of him not being able to remember his previous missions. And with a HUGE twist at the end I had NO IDEA was coming! Loved it! And Melnie, with her spiky hair and purple eyes!

I loved the twists and turns through the book, the thing I love about Sci-Fi is that it can be as unimaginable and unrealistic as the author wants because anything is possible! Without giving too much away, it was a great story, had loads of science elements and was SO IMAGINATIVE! Hough created an awesome universe and I really hope that he does more with the premise and this isn’t just a one off! I WANT MORE!

My ONLY criticism is that there wasn’t enough romance! There was SUCH opportunity for a bit more romance, and that would have made it even better for me, cause I love that crap!

Would I recommend Zero World?

ABSOLUTELY! For any Sci-Fi fan, or any Sci-Fi novice who wants a great place to start! Thoroughly enjoyed it! One of the best books I have read (or listened to) this year!

*I purchased Zero World myself on Audible.com

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PURCHASE

Zero World does not appear to be available on Audible AU! Bummer! But check out the kindle version.

AUDIBLE US | AMAZON | AMAZON AU | PAPER


If you enjoy Zero World, you may enjoy:

14    Fortune's Pawn

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