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Summary

In a sequel to the much-praised Dogs of War, Honey the genetically engineered bear takes a ride in Jimmy the Martian's head and starts a revolution on the Red Planet.

Mars. The red planet. A new frontier for humanity: a civilisation where humans can live in peace, lord and master of all they survey.

But this isn't Space City from those old science-fiction books. It's more like Hell City, built into and from a huge crater. There's a big silk canopy over it, feeding out atmosphere as we generate it, little by little, because we can't breathe the air here.

I guess it's a perfect place to live, if you want to live on Mars. At some point I must have wanted to live on Mars, because here I am. The money was supposed to be good, and how else was a working Joe like me going to get off-planet exactly? But I remember the videos they showed us - guys, not even in suits, watching robots and bees and Bioforms doing all the work - and they didn't quite get it right.

©2021 Adrian Tchaikovsky (P)2021 W F Howes

What listeners say about Bear Head

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    4 out of 5 stars

Strange choice of two narrators

Overall I enjoyed Bear Head from a story point of view, which built nicely on the world and ideas in the (thoroughly enjoyable) previous novel, Dogs of War.
However, this audio book alternates between two narrators who have very different styles. They are not reading different characters or story threads, but simply different chapters containing the same characters.
Neither narrator is bad, but the way they read the character dialogue is very different. This includes different accents for the same character, and more annoyingly whenever a conversation is happening over "comms channels" (essentially personal radio), one narrator does this in normal speech, the other in a strange robotic voice.
The overall effect of switching between narrators is very jarring and really detracts from the story.
Why they chose to do this I have no idea...

29 people found this helpful

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Great story, slightly sketchy narration.

I really liked the story but the way the narrator changed depending on who the chapter was from the perspective of meant that the same characters had different people performing them each time which was a little jarring at first. This might just be me but I always think that if you're going to have multiple readers for an audiobook, you might as well just do it like an audio play with them playing the same people the whole way through.

9 people found this helpful

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A fine sequel

It is not in my opinion as good as Dog Soldiers which still remains as one of the best audiobooks I have listened to but it is a worthy sequel (of sorts)

6 people found this helpful

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Good story, muddled performance

Good story, interesting ideas. Unfortunately, the performance is let down by the poor choice to use two different voice actors depending on which character narrates each chapter, however, as each actor ends up voicing most of the characters they each have two different voices depending on the current actor. There also appears to have been no agreement between actors about how stylised text (e.g. digital messages) are read; one actor reads them in a normal voice and the other like text-to-speech, which is very jarring as the actor changes each chapter.

5 people found this helpful

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bad title, great book

was sceptical it would be as good as dogs of wear. it is very much better. explores some complex and interesting ideas in a compelling way. also very well read.

4 people found this helpful

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Kept me listening

Another take on uplift from Mr Tchaikovsky and another I enjoyed. I particularly like the adherence to the rules of the Universe he sets out so that there's no cheating deus ex machina to save the day even though there is a deus ex machina to save the day - if you see what I mean..

This one is a bit heavy on the allusions to present day concerns and helps us liberals expiate some of our angst about some of those areas in a nice safe zone with enough future proofing to keep it from feeling too real.

All in all worth anyone's time if you are already on the Adrian animal parade.

One criticism of this narration compared to the Dogs of War story is the female narration when speaking for Bees and Honey on their closed channels - was there any need for the staccato presentation of their voices - for me it took away from the experience and collapsed my suspension of disbelief - only a minor wrinkle though.

If you like this try Children of Ruin.

4 people found this helpful

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Horrible narration

This book has a male and a female narrator. That’s usually great. But in this case, both narrators alternate chapters, doing voices for all the characters. So in one chapter the main character sounds like a guy from New York, and in the next he sounds like he’s from Louisiana. It’s very confusing and completely pointless.

3 people found this helpful

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Excellent sequel to Dogs of War

Really enjoyable book a worthy sequel to Dogs of War. Can't imagine which current day politician inspired Warner S Thompson a vile man that only cares about himself and has no morels whatsoever. I love how the story unfolds and how AT's able to bring the whole thing to a satisfying conclusion. Adrian Tchaikovsky is one of the best SF writers around and if you haven't read any of his books you are really missing out on a superb storyteller.

3 people found this helpful

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Too difficult for me

Some very novel ideas and I think I might try again sometime but at present I need the familiarity of something fairly straightforward. 😏

3 people found this helpful

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Excellent Sequel

An absolutely excellent story! The characters feel very relatable, and moral issues are handled in interesting ways.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Eivind
  • 24-01-21

Doesn't live up to the original

Narration was good, despite some minor editing mistakes.

Not Tchaikovsky's best writing. Although the portrayal of the demagogue as political parasite is interesting, the novel fails to engage me completely; it simply lacks the emotional weight of Rex's story. Decent world building of Mars and its inhabitants, and overall not a bad sci fi work. While it kept me entertained and I don't regret the purchase, this book is mostly just that: almost idle entertainment. Perhaps expecting it to live up to dogs of war isn't entirely fair, but I was hoping for more.