Susi's Reviews > METAtropolis: Cascadia

METAtropolis by Jay Lake
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's review
Nov 28, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011, 2011-02, audiobook, science-fiction
Read from November 28, 2010 to February 10, 2011

This is my very first audiobook review so please bear with me. I asked some other reviewers for advice and tried my best. When I got the chance to review Metatropolis: Cascadia I just couldn't say no. Science Fiction narrated by Star Trek cast? Do I have to say more? This audiobook is an anthology written by different modern science fiction authors BUT all the stories are set in the same world. They are connected by more than one character but all the stories can be listened to independently.

1. The Bull Dancers by Jay Lake, read by Rene Auberjonois - 4 bookies

Cascadiopolis, a green encampment, was destroyed 40 years ago. The world is a mess, to say it blandly. We go on a journey on the tracks of Tygre Tygre and his death, meet the mysteious terrorist Bashar and watch the last days in the life of the free market capitalist William Silas Crown who tries to leave his mark on the world in his last few hours. 

The Bull Dancers has it all- a great plot, a intriguing characters and the perfect pace. I was drawn in from the first word and was glued to my headphones. In the middle the story confused me a bit but Odo's...ahem..Mr. Aubergjonois' voice kept me listening- his narration was great. The way he interpreted the different characters gave this story a special touch.

2. Water to Wine by Mary Robinette Kowal, read by Kate Mulgrew - 5 bookies

Emma and her father are wine makers- not only as a profession, they live it with all their heart and soul. They believe in the traditional way of  doing it and no matter how more convenient the new methods are. When faced with potential buyer who won't take no for an answer they have to stick together to find a way out.

This was probably my favorite story of this anthology. The story was intriguing, down to earth and it just clicked with me. The characters were vibrant and even more so because of the outstanding narration. I adore Kate Mulgrew and her voice is made for this.  The way she brought this story to life was brilliant. Emma's character just fits her perfectly. This is an absolute re-listen story (okay so re-read sounds better *wink*).

3. Byways by Tobias S. Buckell, read by Wil Wheaton - 4 bookies

Reg, short for Reginald *rolls eyes*, seems to be a demolion-crew worker. Their job is to go from abandoned city to the next to break down what's left behind when the civilisation left. He's actually on a mission for the mysterious Mock Turtle to prevent some evil plan to destroy a nuclear facility. This is a real conspiracy story full of twists and turns and more than one surprise. The characterisation in this story was fascinating- everything was a bit rough and this made the whole setting more real. The conversations didn't seem staged and they just flowed right.

Perhaps I should mention that I always had a little girl cruch on Wil and I adore his voice. He caught the mood on the spot. He made Reg real, a guy I could actually picture from the start. This was actually the sexiest story just because of his voice. Eargasm! *fangirl rant over*

4. Confessor by Elizabeth Bear, read by Gate McFadden - 2 bookies

A cop for hire is on a mission tied to a weird murder case. In her investigation she discovers the worst kind of genetic manipulation and extremely rare species that make your heart stop. Through the story our heroines remembers a past mission which went horribly wrong and ruined her marriage.
This story unfortunately failed to grab me. This really surprised me because the setting seemed to be the most "romancy". But it had too much drama for me, or better said a too much detached drama. I couldn't relate to the heroine- all her problems centered about regretting the past. Her inner struggle wasn't fleshed-out enough and the overall plot wasn't engaging enough to make up for it.
Perhaps I also didn't like this story as much as the others because of the rather clinical and detached way Ms McFadden read it. Her voice seemed too cold to transport enough emotion.

5. Deodand by Karl Schroeder, read by Jonathan Frakes - 4 bookies

This story was so much fun to listen too. We meet the interpol investigator Gennady Malianov who's currently having an immigration problem. He doesn't have a valid pass or visa and his only oppurtunity to get one makes him face some rather complicated moral problems which are a result of the ever increasing technological advancement.
The charm of this story is mostly created by Mr Frakes. I loved how he imitated the Russian accent of Gennady- this put a smile a my face through the whole book. He really put much work into differentiation of the characters. The story itself was really thought provoking and reminded me of Asimov.

6. A Symmetry of Serpents and Doves by Ken Scholes, read by LeVar Burton - 3 bookies

I have to say Religion is not one of my favorite topics so this story hard a rocky start with me. We are thrown into a complot of different Religious faiths, murder and a vanished son of a senator. We meet many different characters and also get a glimpse at their believes or non-believes. The story itself was okay- the story starts rather slow but it got more and more interesting at the end. Mr Burton has a way with the spoken word. He gave each and every character a special touch. A job well done.

All in all this was a great fangirl adventure for me. I loved to dive into science fiction again and what better way to do so with your favorite Star Trek characters as narrators. The overall plot of Metatropolis: Cascadia wrapped up through all the stories and I will make sure to get the first book who started creating this world.

I give Metatropolis: Cascadia 4 out of 5 bookies.
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Reading Progress

7.0% "Actually I'm listening to it...Star Trek actors reading scifi *g*"
20.0% "I love Kate Mulgrew's voice and the story isn't bad either =)"
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Shellie (Layers of Thought) I like the bookies!

Susi LOL oooops. Was lazy and just copy/pasted from Our rating there ;)

Shellie (Layers of Thought) I like it... fun!

message 4: by Laurent (new) - added it

Laurent Cocea Wish a print version was available. I enjoyed reading the first book (Metatropolis), audio books are just not my thing.

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