Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The Rookie, by Scott Sigler

This audiobook came from Scott Sigler's Podshow Page, was 26 episodes long, and includes a lot of author's extras.

I have been hesitant about reviewing these audiobooks because they are not just audiobooks. Each episode is a show, with some chatter from Scott, and promos of other podcasts. However, I just got done listening to another dog of a book that was published the conventional way, and realized that some of these books were much better.

"The Rookie" is set hundreds of years in the future, when the known Universe has been conquered by an alien race. In a new twist, human beings are not the only planetary race that has been subjugated. Several other alien races are now part of a greater empire, and that master race has found a pacifying replacement for war: American style football.

Scott Sigler has created a universe in which all the alien races have something to bring to the field. Some make great linemen, some receivers, but the Ionath Krakens have a great rookie quarterback named Quentin Barnes.

Barnes grew up in the quarries, an orphan in a slave labor camp, where they only had really big stones to use as the ball. He is recruited by a scout for the Krakens, a team that is owned by an alien organized crime boss. This is Quentin's ticket off the rock pile. But it's a dangerous game in this new universal order. It is not all that unusual for players to be killed in the game.

Sigler has given us alien creatures with flaws and foibles as well as loyalty and honor. Religion, politics, crime and prejudice have not been bleached out of the story; overwhelming us with technology. I am NOT a fan of science fiction, but this was an episode I waited eagerly for every week.

Books that can do that get 4 stars.

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