Audiobook Review: The Singularity Trap by Dennis E. Taylor

I received a review copy from the publisher. This does not affect the contents of my review and all opinions are my own.

The Singularity Trap by Dennis E. Taylor

Mogsy’s Rating (Overall): 3 of 5 stars

Genre: Science Fiction

Series: Book 1/Stand Alone

Publisher: Audible Studios (June 5, 2018)

Length:11 hrs and 22 mins

Author Information: Website | Twitter

Narrator: Ray Porter

After completing his Bobiverse trilogy, Dennis E. Taylor tries his hand at something a little deeper and more serious in The Singularity Trap. Despite the slight drop in humorous moments and the pacing being a little uneven in places, it was still a very entertaining read complete with an old-school sci-fi feel and plenty of nods to hard science.

The story begins on the mining ship Mad Astra where readers are introduced to protagonist Ivan Pritchard, the most recent addition to the crew. With no other options left for him on Earth, Ivan has risked everything he has left on this venture in the hopes of providing a future for his wife and kids. But the asteroid mining business can be risky too, and if the Mad Astra can’t pull off a successful run this time, Ivan will be even worse off than when he first started.

Against all odds though, the miners wind up hitting pay dirt, finding an asteroid loaded up with all kind of valuable materials…among other things. While investigating an anomaly on the rock, Ivan unwittingly triggers an extraterrestrial booby trap which releases an unidentifiable substance onto his arm. Despite the crew’s best efforts to cut off the contaminated parts of his suit before returning him to the Mad Astra, the next morning Ivan wakes up to a shocking sight. The affected arm has been transformed completely into living metal—and it doesn’t seem to be stopping there. Even amputation is no use, as it is discovered that alien nanites have infected Ivan’s bloodstream, and they would simply strip the ship for resources to rebuild the missing limb.

Little by little, Ivan becomes replaced by the new alien technology. Soon, he even begins hearing a voice in his head, the one belonging to the artificial intelligence that has taken over his body. It reveals it mission: to convert and upload all life it encounters for its masters—and unfortunately for humanity, it’s next on the list.

If you enjoyed the Bobiverse books, the good news is that The Singularity Trap will scratch a lot of the same itches. It’s another unique premise offering a few twists on some classic ideas, and it also presents hard sci-fi concepts in an fun and accessible package.

However, it’s also clearly meant to be a more serious endeavor. For one, it’s not as light as the Bobiverse books, with less action and humor. There’s also a lot more exposition as the author waxes on about technological and scientific concepts. All this is interesting stuff, though admittedly not as engaging when it’s constantly hampering the flow of the plot. The book suffers pacing issues near the beginning, taking a long time for the story to get started, and then again in the middle as the parties involved in determining Ivan’s fate are locked in tireless discussion over what to do with this nanite-infested self. I won’t lie; staying focused was a struggle at times, and Ivan as a character was nowhere near as likeable or endearing as any of the Bobs. He didn’t seem to do much either, playing a relatively passive role for much of the book until the very end.

Still, despite my gripes, I suppose The Singularity Trap was enjoyable enough. The ending was satisfying, even if the climax was not as intense as it could have been. I think I had expected something a bit more from Taylor, after seeing what he was capable of in his previous trilogy, but overall I had fun.

Audiobook Comments: I was really happy to see Ray Porter on this project, because anyone else narrating a Dennis E. Taylor book would be a travesty. His reading was brilliant as always, adding an extra layer of immersion to the story. Sound effects were also a pleasant surprise and a nice touch!

Advertisements

18 Comments on “Audiobook Review: The Singularity Trap by Dennis E. Taylor

  1. It’s a pity that such a gripping premise was offset by too much exposition, because the story sounds like one I would enjoy (reading about the nanites taking over the character made me think of a slow-motion Borg assimilation, which was a terrifying concept…). I will keep this on my radar, though, for one of those times when a lighter story is called for 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

    Like

    • Maybe reading this book might be better than listening to it, I don’t know. Seeing the words written down might give the reader more of a chance to digest them, appreciate them more. I guess we’ll find out once the print hits stores.

      Like

  2. I liked the sound of this one – until you got to the bit where the pacing was slowed by too much exposition about life, the universe and everything… I’ve read too many sci fi reads where that riff has compromised what would have been a cracking read, so I’ll pass on this one, I think. Thank you for a detailed and informative review, Mogsy.

    Like

  3. It’s a shame that such a cool premise didn’t live up for you. I haven’t read anything by the author, but I can imagine going from fun to overly slow and serious would make a book less appealing. Great review though! 🙂

    Like

  4. Pingback: Mogsy’s Bookshelf Roundup: Stacking the Shelves & Recent Reads | The BiblioSanctum

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: