Colony by Scott Reeves (Paranormal and Science Fiction)
This book is narrated by Martin Scott. Initially, the first eight minutes of this narration are so swift that you’ll probably know the same amount of information about that part of the story if you just fast forward and skip it. Once you’re past that rapid-fire section, the pacing is fine.
Throughout the reading, Martin sounds more like a commentator than a narrator, and he has no female voice. But his reading is strong and clear, and while there is little difference between the way each character sounds, he performs the dialogue in a style that conveys the characters’ personalities and feelings and that matches the speaker-tags.
Colony attempts on a macrocosmic scale what it should have attempted on a microcosmic one. Imagine having a bag of unpopped kernels of corn and deciding to expand each one separately in its own individual skillet. If you can yield to a suspension of disbelief for a story-line predicated on a scenario much like that popcorn’s, then you won’t have a problem with this one. At times, I had a problem with it; at others, I preferred just to ignore it and see what else was being offered.
The first hour or so required some adjusting to. There was a nagging feel of Anywhere-in-Outer-Space, USA. In addition, about thirty minutes into the story, based on the rules given by author, two incidents take place that simply could not have happened that way.
Still, the characters are interesting, even the villains, and the problems they face, both with each other and from the star’s environment, are entertaining enough. Plus, the narrative hooks (those unanswered questions introduced in the first part of the story) encouraged me to stay with this fiction.
I wanted to listen to this book because I was curious to see how an everyday issue like a gang lord trying to rule his turf would be handled in a colony located on a star. Why take this commonplace event into outer space? The fact is, Reeves does a good job with this angle of his story.
At about the two-hour point—50% into it—I was rewarded for my perseverance. The conflict is at the top of the peak, revelations are surfacing, and it turns out that most of the hooks are being answered. I especially like the author’s handling of the paranormal. The story has a noteworthy twist there towards the end.
With its high points and low points combined, and especially those popcorn kernels, Colony is not a story for relieving frustration. If bumper-to-bumper traffic or unavoidable waiting accompanied by looped elevator music bothers you, this audiobook is not the listening relief you seek. On the other hand, if your imagination doesn’t mind really, really stretching and you’re not opposed to some “Yeah, right” moments, you’ll be okay with it for the sake of some of the sci-fi and paranormal drama.
The story ends like there might be a sequel, and there was much in that paranormal stint that could easily carry a second part. A Colony Two might be worth investigating with some attention to the following:
One) The expansion or creation of setting and sensory details that give this star-colony its own uniqueness.
Two) A good dose of plausibility to the plot.
Bibliography: Colony by Scott Reeves
Length: 4 hrs. 12 minutes (unabridged)
Publisher: ©2001 Scott Reeves
A listening sample and download options of Colony are available.