The Details:

Author: Jeremy Robinson

Narrator: R.C. Bray

Genre: Romance/Medley (Sci-Fi)

Runtime: 10h 21m

Summary:

You awaken from a cryopod out in the deep reaches of space heading to colonize a new world to save humanity, and you are murdered. Congratulations. Welcome to the beginning of William Chanokh’s journey toward the Infinite.

William has some things to worry about. A murderer on the ship, faulty systems, isolation, despair, and the fact that he is immortal and will never die. William’s death-count goes into the double-digits by book’s end and only adds to the growing desperation as his ship, the Galahad, plies through the universe. The only other survivor, Capria Dixon and William’s heavy crush, is the only other person on the ship and that relationship goes through several hurdles throughout the course of the book.

The book focuses on William’s growing despair at the nature of immortality, isolation in deep space, crimes past needing put to rest, facing reality and by book’s end, discerning what is reality (the “Infinite” referenced earlier). A book that is firmly in the sci-fi camp the book also doubles as a romance, a drama, part thriller and a mystery all at the same time as Will addresses the variety of conundrums that emerge on the Galahad not just with himself but those who cross his path.

Reaction:

I was pleasantly surprised by the book. At first glance (on a review like this one), it seemed very…traditional sci-fi with an immortality stint. I did NOT expect the multi-directional genre approach that Robinson provided. At it’s base it’s more a romance/love story than it is straight up sci-fi. It has robots and cryopods and FTL (faster-than-light) travel existential Matrix-style VR sims but unlike some other books of the Sci-Fi genre I have listened to it didn’t rely that much on the Sci-Fi genre. It was there but in the background. So for me? It’s a love story with a splattering of sci-fi.

The beginning of the book will get you hooked as it pertains to what happened on the Galahad and why Will dies and the momentum carries well into a third of the novel. The second third of the novel is where more of the action/mystery thriller aspect fades away more into the drama sphere as Will comes to terms with his disconnection from humanity, his immortality and Capria’s awakening from cryosleep. The last third enters the romance phase as the book prepares to give you it’s 1-2 knock-out-punch. For me I was not surprised but it was one of those endings where I knew it was coming…but I kinda hoped I was wrong! I wasn’t (hence the KO punch) but what I got in exchange gave me the fuzzies in exchange.

Infinite is a book with a little bit of everything. It is my first audio encounter with R.C. Bray and I have to say he did a pretty fine job. Deadpan when he needed to be (Will is kind of boring) then to scratchy frustration to self-depreciating humor (which makes sense for Will) are all conveyed smoothly. I may follow R.C. to other books, so keep an eye out as I try another dose of this narrator.

Final Score:

Story (of 5): 4

For good use of multi-genre, captivating storytelling (including sort of a monochromatic protagonist), interesting character dynamics and development.  

Narrator (of 5): 4.5

For good portrayal of emotional range, clear characterization and mood inflection. 

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