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text 2017-10-16 22:57
Reading progress update: I've listened 461 out of 461 minutes.
Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas (Audible Audio) - Wil Wheaton,John Scalzi

My head hurts from trying not to cry over this book while listening to it at work, even though I already knew what would happen. Pff.

 

The idea that

the actors and their characters would have such a deep connection

(spoiler show)

still bugs me, though.

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text 2017-10-13 20:06
Reading progress update: I've listened 359 out of 461 minutes.
Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas (Audible Audio) - Wil Wheaton,John Scalzi

In some ways the first coda is even better in audio than it was in the print version. Wheaton reads all the x's used in place of identifying information. Example: "Mr. Ecksecksecksecksecks." My favorite was the very forceful "ECKS ECKS ECKS ECKS" at the part indicating that a restraining order would not be filed at this time.

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text 2017-10-10 15:36
Reading progress update: I've listened 121 out of 461 minutes.
Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas (Audible Audio) - Wil Wheaton,John Scalzi

I previously read this about four months ago. This is my first time listening to the audio.

 

Notes:

 

- Oh yes, Scalzi's dialogue tag problem is way more noticeable to me in audio than when I'm reading - I think my eyes just skip over it. Now that it's really sunk in, I can't stop noticing it. Scalzi may have to be a "read first, listen later (or never)" author for me from here on out.

 

- As much as I like Wheaton's voice, he exacerbates the problem in Scalzi's books of all the characters sounding alike. Because they literally do all sound alike when Wheaton is reading them. That said, his "drunk Kerensky" was hilarious.

 

- Despite these issues, I'm enjoying this first part of the book, when everyone's still trying to figure out what's going on and avoid dying on away missions.

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review 2017-10-04 16:28
#Audiobook Review: Redshirts by John Scalzi
Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas (Audible Audio) - Wil Wheaton,John Scalzi

 

As a fan of the original Star Trek, all spin offs, and the movies, I was giddy with the very concept of Redshirts. Primarily following Ensign Andrew Dahl as he begins serving on the UU Capital Ship Intrepid, the story takes listeners on a wild journey that both mocks and glorifies the original TV show. From ridiculous situations that are solved with a mysterious “box” to an abnormally high death count of the newest recruits, the story follows Dahl as he tries to figure out why such ludicrous events keep happening on the Intrepid

 

With so many references to the original Star Trek, and the overall atmosphere of early science fiction shows, I do not recommend Redshirts to the casual listener. The book bases its entire story on being able to find the humor in some of the situations provided from the original show, and if you cannot understand that, the book may seem pointless. Additionally, the “science” of the story becomes quite involved and difficult to follow, especially if you have no interest in the concepts behind shows like Star Trek. In fact, the characters even joke how they are using the shotty world-building to benefit them. However, I am one of those types who find this all entertaining, so I enjoyed the adventure, laughing out loud at times.

 

One thing that did disappoint me was that the larger picture was left so vague. I know it was written to be deliberately obtuse, but the engineer in me wanted more explanation. Also. The codas. I’m not sure why they were included. The last three sections of the book are told from three different points-of-view of off-ship characters. They don’t have any impact on Dahl and his timeline. However, it was interesting to see how they all connected.

 

As for the narration, I was on the fence about Wil Wheaton. I mean, come on! It’s Wesley himself, bringing to life characters on a star ship. I love that aspect. And Mr. Wheaton does have an entertaining, engaging voice. However, he doesn’t perform the story as much as he reads it. He doesn’t really make much attempt to change voices for any of the characters. He adds some emotions, but I’ve heard better. And a huge issue with Mr. Scalzi’s writing style which comes out in audiobook format, is the shear volume of dialogue tags. I was SO ANNOYED with the “Dahl said. Duvall said. Dahl said. Jenkins said. Dahl said…” you get the point. Mr. Wheaton did nothing to soften those tags.

 

In the end, I enjoyed Redshirts and strongly recommend it to fans of the original Star Trek and the zany antics of the USS Enterprise. Funny, strange, and mostly entertaining, the concept is just too much fun to not give it a go!

 

My Rating: B+

Narration: C

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review 2017-05-20 20:17
Redshirts by John Scalzi
Redshirts - John Scalzi

Redshirts stars Ensign Andrew Dahl, newly assigned to the starship Intrepid. It doesn’t take long for him to notice that something weird is going on. Everyone reacts strangely to any mention of away missions, and the Intrepid’s crew has a much higher than normal mortality rate. In an effort to avoid a dramatic and untimely death, Dahl works together with several other new crew members and discovers things that seem too impossible and bizarre to be true.

I went into this book expecting it to be a combination black comedy and Star Trek parody. It started off that way, but then it morphed into something that packed more of an emotional punch than I expected.

This is the third book by Scalzi that I’ve read, and I think it’s the best of the bunch. The premise was interesting and fun, even though the characters themselves admitted it wasn’t terribly original. As with Scalzi’s other books, I felt that the characterization was very thin - I kept forgetting who certain characters were and had to flip back to their introductions for reminders - but even if I had trouble caring about them as individuals I was still riveted by their situation. Was a solution even possible? I couldn’t stop reading because I just had to find out.

I spent most of this book approaching it like a weird adventure, which is part of the reason why the “ending” threw me off so much. My copy of the book was 317 pages long, and the story’s apparent ending happened on page 230. Honestly, readers could technically stop at that point. It’d leave a few questions unanswered, but the result would be an okay sci-fi adventure with a reasonably happy ending. (The brief fake-out pissed me off. I wish Scalzi hadn’t done that - it was upsetting and annoying.)

I vaguely remembered hearing about the Three Codas but, since I’d read reviews ages ago and hadn’t bothered to look any up prior to starting the book, they still took me by surprise. They dug a bit deeper into characters I hadn’t expected Scalzi to spend much time on, and answered a few questions I had thought Scalzi would avoid dealing with. Then again, I’d also thought he’d avoid any direct mention of Star Trek and the Enterprise, and I was wrong about that too.

I can’t say too much about the codas without including major spoilers, so please excuse the vagueness from here on out. I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about them. I enjoyed them, I think, but aspects of them also annoyed me. The first one was my favorite, because it answered one of the questions that had been foremost in my mind. The answer the character arrived at in order to keep functioning and moving forward didn’t quite work for me, but it was better than “he quit” or “these discoveries had zero effect on his emotions or behavior.”

All three of the codas had some amount of emotional manipulation in common, but the second and third codas were the most obvious about it. I was relatively okay with the second one, because it at least gave me a peek at how one aspect of the big plan had worked out. The third one struck me as being more forced. This woman had a complete stranger show up on her doorstep, give her something that was either highly creepy (if she viewed it as coming from a deeply obsessed fan) or impossible (if she believed it), and then leave without an explanation. She handled it all way better than I felt was believable.

One thing in particular that bugged me about the second and third codas (and here I get into “unavoidable spoilers” territory): the way they

emphasized that the connection between the characters and their actors went deeper than surface level. I don’t have the words to fully explain why it bugged me, but the idea that the characters and their actors were essentially the same person didn’t sit well with me.

(spoiler show)


All in all, I liked this book a lot more than I had expected I would. Although I’ve seen quite a bit of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Voyager, and Deep Space Nine, I don’t consider myself to be a Trekkie and was worried that that would impede my ability to enjoy this book. Happily, that wasn’t the case.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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