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Destination Void (Pandora Sequence Book 0) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 291 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Easy for you to say, Bickle! You lost me after "Listen".
I was listening to the Audible audio book version of Destination Void when I realized something sounded familiar: I had accidentally started thirty minutes before my last point and despite careful listening (this book demands full attention) I barely recognized what I'd just heard. Frankly, I barely understood it anyway.
Herbert's tackled a difficult subject - the nature of consiousness and the creation of a conscious AI - and the resulting novel, while interesting, is a tough nut to crack. There's the subject itself and there's the dense techno-babble (most of which sounds outdated but likely was obscure and idiosyncratic even when first written) which combine into a dense treatise that is only intermittently intelligible. Personally, I had to get the Kindle ebook and re-read the novel slowly and carefully.
I enjoyed Destination Void but it's hard to recommend. If you're interested in sci-fi novels involving space travel, consciousness and intelligence there are other more recent novels like Peter Watts' Blind Sight.
If you're continuing with Herbert's Pandora series, the books do get friendlier.
That said, there seemed to be some minor issues with the transfer to digital, based on the overall quality versus specific instances. I'd give the transfer 4 stars.
The story itself brings up and considers a few physics and computer theories while refraining from hand-holding. I appreciated Herbert's restraint by not spelling it all out in a redundant fashion. Instead he takes the time to develop explanations and use them as tools for plot momentum and foil. The character development also carries well.
Overall, I read for pleasure and simply enjoy how Herbert elevated the story past mindless drivel while keeping it fun.