- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 11 hours and 39 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Gryphonwood Press
- Audible.com Release Date: May 11, 2012
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0082EHDC4
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Street: Empathy Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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A mysterious deal gone bad rockets Gina into a deadly cat and mouse game, one where she doesn't know the stakes or understand the rules--other than getting caught is a bad thing. Only her wits, quick learning and a bit of luck keeps her one step ahead of the bad guys (sometimes), all the while she strives to figure out exactly who involved is her friend, enemy, or simply using her.
The world and its depth that Ryan Span created to tell Gina's story holds together well, avoiding the inconsistencies (especially questionable logic) one sometimes encounters when reading science fiction novels containing future dystopian societies.
I'd give it a 4.5 stars, but since I can't do that here, bumped it up to five.
Hey, you know what? It's pretty good! The pacing is terrific, high body count and interesting characters.
I'm going to tag this book:Altered Carbon: A Takeshi Kovacs Novel (Takeshi Kovacs Novels) and Gideon's Fall: When You Don't Have a Prayer, Only a Miracle Will Do to give you an idea.
I'm going to buy the next book in the trilogy. Ah ha, it just arrived! The author has this entire series for free on his website but I want to support the author by buying the hard copies and giving them a permanent home in my library.
The first 7 or 8 out of the 18 chapters were very good. I was connected. I was engaged. The story showed a lot of promise, coating the reader in intoxicating murals of wildly imaginative mind trips painted beneath the feet of vulnerable characters that are reeled into potentially massive plot revelations.
The entire time, I couldn't wait to find out what it all adds up to. What equally satisfying bombs will the writer drop on me later? Sadly, it seems, that after the first seven or so chapters, instead of maintaining that ramp, the story dips into an extrapolation of redundant exposition just to fill out pages as a means to the end of the first novel. While the writing is generally great and very smart, the story itself leaves much to be desired. While that might be enough for some readers, as special effects and big explosions might be enough for some movie goers, it never seems to go anywhere that's very fulfilling.
With all that said, it's easy to see that the story came from a genuine place. The lead character, Gina, is a very well thought out and endearing young woman. I felt the sexual tension with her was a tad forced and a bit too influenced by the testosterone of the writer, yet never ventured into unacceptable territory and generally seemed innocent. If it weren't for Gina, I would have put this novel down three chapters in.
The remaining characters were serviceable with spikes of a charm peppered throughout. It's unfortunate that right when things start to get bigger for the cast the novel ends. It's understandable that there are more books in the serial, but I don't find it to be a great excuse to sacrifice a satisfying read just to expand the universe in the next outing.
The more suspenseful scenes, I hate to say, were held together by way too many conveniences, therefor dulling the intensity I wanted to feel. Without spoiling anything, there were a lot of moments like "This door is locked, how do we get through? Good thing I have insert-convenient-device-here to assist us while I explain why this can't be convenient because now there will be a small paragraph of exposition supporting the plausibility of said convenience." Remember, this example is not literal.
All harsh criticisms aside, the final two chapters had me glued, including a final scene that felt refreshing and open, just the way foreshadowing the impending big adventures should feel. Street: Empathy is a smart read with a strong lead carrying some engrossing visual treats along her ride through various wonderfully realized locales, however there lacks a tasty meal beneath the colorful candy shell with a great conclusion that comes too little too late.
Highly NOT recommended.
I found Street: Empathy to be an entertaining read, and, as is always my main evaluation question, it kept me turning pages. The characters were defined well enough for me to get a sense of them as individuals, and the writing is good. The premise is intriguing and unique, but in the end I was left feeling somewhat unfulfilled. That's likely to happen with planned series of books, though. There were a few times during the read when I got a bit confused, but not too many, and there were only a few "Wait, what?" sort of moments when actions or plot developments seemed forced and/or out of place.
Overall, a solid three stars with a bump of a half-star for intriguing premise and writing (though Amazon only allows full stars). I wanted to give this book that fourth star, but it just didn't quite make it for me. Bottom line: A good fast read, but not one you'll likely read twice. I will read the sequel, Street: Clairvoyance to see where the story goes.