Review of Survival: Species Imperative #1 by Juile E. Czerneda

March 30, 2005
Filed under: Reviews 

Science Fiction Audiobook - Survival: Species Imperative 1 by Julie CzernedaSurvival: Species Imperative #1
By Juile E. Czerneda; Read by Christine Marshall and William Dufris
1 MP3-CD, 16hr [UNABRIDGED]
Publisher: Paperback Digital
Published: 2005
ISBN: 1584390050
Themes: / Science Fiction / Alien Life / Biology /

Survival is the first novel in the planned trilogy entitled Species Imperative. It’s science fiction in the grand tradition – written by a scientist, it contains plenty of science. As I was listening, I likened it to Clarke’s Rendezvous with Rama in the way it is a constant detailed unfolding view of an alien mystery. But the comparison would have to stop there, because in this book the aliens are right there; in Rama we never got to actually see them.

The story’s main character is Dr. Mackenzie Connor, who honestly wants nothing to do with aliens. Her thing is salmon, and we first meet her while she’s studying salmon at a research facility in northwest North America. Then, a Dhryn arrives. A Dhryn is a six armed, blue, intelligent alien who seeks out Dr. Connor specifically to share some archaeological information with her. But shortly after the Dryhn arrives, strange things start to happen at the research facility, which propel Dr. Connor into a partnership with the alien as they unravel an enigma. Event by event and discovery by discovery mysteries unfold.

Christine Marshall and William Dufris turn in excellent performances. The two narrators tell the story seamlessly in a masterfully edited dual narration. The Dhryn’s voice (performed by Dufris) is very effective, and is a great example of how audiobook narration can add depth to an author’s character. Marshall has the bulk of the narrating duties here, and she sets a good pace for the prose, which contains much expositional material.

Overall, this is good hard science fiction that like all good hard science fiction leaves us much to consider; in this case about humanity, nature, and the relationship between the two.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

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