Winter World (audiobook) by A.G. Riddle

Winter World

By: A. G. Riddle

Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini, Amanda Leigh Cobb

Series: The Long Winter, Book 1

Length: 11 hrs and 4 mins

Unabridged Audiobook

Release date: 02-26-19

Language: English

Performance:

Edoardo Ballerini 4/5

Amanda Leigh Cobb 3/5

Overall

story/execution: 4/5

Winter World is the first in a series of sci-fi/apocalypse books written by A. G. Riddle and performed by Edoardo Ballerini and Amanda Leigh Cobb. I read a bunch of the reviews for this book before I made the plunge and bought it to read, I have read other books by A. G. Riddle and find his books clear and easy to read especially when working out at the gym or doing other things. Before we go any farther, I think we should address the complaints about the political nature of this book, which I did not find to be the case. The story deals with a new ice age, and I think some took this to be a political statement about climate change – which I did not personally get.  If you are on the climate change fence one way or the other then this perhaps might not be the book for you. On to the review!

Publisher’s Summary

The ice is coming. It was the last thing we expected, but the world is freezing. A new ice age has dawned and humanity has been forced to confront its own extinction. Billions have fled the glaciers, crowding out the world’s last habitable zones. They can run from the ice, but they can’t escape human nature: a cataclysmic war is coming.

In orbit, a group of scientists are running the Winter Experiments, a last-ditch attempt to understand why the planet is cooling. None of the climate models they build make sense. But then they discover an anomaly, an unexplained variation in solar radiation…and something else. Close to the burning edge of the sun, they catch a fleeting glimpse of something that shouldn’t be there….

Suddenly humanity must face the possibility it is not alone in the universe. And the terrifying possibility that whatever is out there may be trying to exterminate us. 

The performance

The first thing you will notice about this book is the flip flopping during each chapter to each of the main character’s perspective. The actors deliver a performance that I found compelling from the first chapter to the end. I did prefer the performance of the male actor to the female, but overall, both actors did a good job portraying their parts. Before reading the story, somehow, I missed that there were two voice actors, and I was not aware of the way the story would be switching back and forth between characters. To be honest, the way the first chapter ended and abruptly switched from the female to the male actor, felt disjointed and I was pretty sure I was not going to like the story, but I persisted and ended up enjoying the read.  

The Story

I liked the premise and execution of the story, and I also kept in mind that this is the first book in the series. Based on the other books I have read from A. G. Riddle, I headed into Winter World expecting some hardcore tech-driven sci-fi and ended up with a love story. I liked the nods to the inherent difficulty of space travel compared to other similar books. Many online reviews of this book complain about the characters feeling flat and underdeveloped overall. I think this comes from the inherent issues surrounding the telling of two concurrent stories that eventually meet up. It feels that the negativity seems to be leveled more toward the female voice actor than the actual writing.  

I found Winter World to be overall not as good as other AG Riddle books, though I am currently reading the second in the series and will report back in a future review. The story while a bit simple and predictable was still easy to binge listen to. Plot points were predictable, and  nothing special but still a good read and well narrated. I cared about the characters right away, and found the story interesting without being overly detail oriented.

But did you have fun?

I did have a good time reading Winter World. Two actors rather than one doing all the voices made it a bit tougher to initially get into, but within a couple chapters I was hooked and enjoyed the story. I tend to save my listening times for when I go out for a walk or work out. If I find myself motivated to go out and walk then I know it is a good story, and that was very much the case with this book. 

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