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Summary

The sun is bloated, diseased, dying perhaps. Beneath its baneful light, Shadrapar, last of all cities, harbours fewer than 100,000 human souls. Built on the ruins of countless civilisations, Shadrapar is a museum, an asylum, a prison on a world that is ever more alien to humanity. Bearing witness to the desperate struggle for existence between life old and new is Stefan Advani: rebel, outlaw, survivor. This is his testament, an account of the journey that took him into the blazing desolation of the western deserts and into the labyrinths and caverns of the underworld. He will meet with monsters and mutants. The question is, which one of them will inherit this Earth?

Humanity clings to life on a dying Earth. 

Epic, far-future science fiction from an award-winning author.

©2019 Adrian Tchaikovsky (P)2019 Head of Zeus

What listeners say about Cage of Souls

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    4 out of 5 stars

Surprised by a good book

judging this book on the one review it had, I was expecting a boring tale. instead I found something of a hidden gem. it loved it, the story and the narration. the upbeat and chirpy voice of the narrator annoyed me at first and then I came to understand the he was perfect and that his characterizations were also spot on. Adrian Tchaikovsky is quickly becoming a favourite author of mine as I have yet to listen or read a book of his that I didn't like or enjoy.

57 people found this helpful

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An amazing world to visit again and again.

If a character from a Jack Vance novel wrote a first person account of weird prison economics, it may read something like this. Thorpe perfectly evokes narrator, Stefan Advarny, as a pompous academy boy stuck in a vile and dangerous prison at the end of the world. The other characters like rogue, Peter, and the chilling underworld characters/creatures are equally on point.
I loved Tchaikovsky’s Children series so took a chance on this. They could be in the same universe, but they are very different in tone. I think I liked this more, as there is as much humour as weird, unsettling horror, and I will carry these characters with me for some time.

32 people found this helpful

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Not for Gen Z Readers

I really tried to love this book but 15 odd hours in and I admit defeat. All female characters are overly sexualised and have no purpose but to further the male characters storylines. I appreciate the concept of a world on the brink of collapse seen through the eyes of a prisoner but the main characters were very unlikeable. Not my cup of tea.

20 people found this helpful

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Strange tales from a strange world

While lacking the epic quality of Children of Time/Ruin books this quickly draws one into its bizarre end-of-times world. Set way into the future as the last remaining city awaits the death of the Sun, the unreliable and deeply flawed narrator recalls his banishment and incarceration in a hellish prison located in an even more hellish jungle. The author revisits his favourite themes of intelligence, evolution and language, again interweaving them in a plot full of intriguing characters, vivid landscapes and action. He's rapidly becoming my favourite sci-fi author and the reader does a good job too.

18 people found this helpful

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Excellent listen

This audiobook creates a whole world which is coherent and full of incident. The fantasy somehow has enough resonance to make it feel real. The behaviour of the characters, once set up, is believable. There is humour and (unless I am oversensitive) some implied commentary on society and politics in our own world.

The reading brings the whole thing to life - each character has a different voice which suits them perfectly. I really rooted for some of them against others, though as in real life the nicer people frequently lost out to the more selfcentred and the protagonist Stefan - as he himself admits- is far from all-seeing or unbiased.

I enjoyed the whole 23 hours.Looking forward to more of the author and the narrator.

11 people found this helpful

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  • mr
  • 23-10-19

Satisfying far future tale.

Stylistically similar to Rosny and Mieville, a decadent setting richly detailed. Hopeful, desperate. Wryly humorous.

9 people found this helpful

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Slow but solid burn

Tchaikovsky's main goal in this book seems to have been world building. He does a fantastic job building up a scifi/fantasy world that is engaging, imaginative and quite unique. He does a great job filling this world with colourful and likeable characters that are a joy to follow as they meander about this fascinating world he has dreamed up.

The strong emphasis on world building does slow the plot down however, and it takes a good few hours before we start to see any progression in the story. The plot ends up being fairly simple, and I found a few of the pay-offs slightly disappointing, but I still very much enjoyed my time in Shadrapar and it's environs.

Thorpe does a fantastic job narrating. I was unsure of him initially, he came across as a little too light-hearted in comparison to the bleak world he was describing. He quickly won me over however, and managed to imbue almost every character with a unique voice that fitted them perfectly. A commendable achievement considering how twisted and abnormal many of the characters are.

All in all, another fantastic romp around a sinister but brilliantly crafted world from the mind of Adrian Tchaikovsky, who is rapidly becoming one of my favourite authors.

9 people found this helpful

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Not for me

The story jumped around randomly. Narration grated too.
But I liked 'Spiders-in-space' book... Children of Time

8 people found this helpful

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Not sure how I fee honestly.

A long long journey. Read wonderfully well once you get over the narrator's long pauses between sentences. This reduces as the book goes along. He grows on you and becomes the main character. The narrator.

It's not so much of a "novel", more a "diary", a recollection. It's not a thriller, and I'd call it fantasy rather than sc-fi.

I enjoyed it once past an hour or three. Fascinating in places, but I always felt it wasn't really going anywhere, and it didn't really. BUT, I really really enjoyed the journey, with one massive caveat. I listened to it whilst working (physical work). I'd not have sat through 23 hours solely listening with nothing else to do.

Some great concepts, and it was fun noticing references to our technology that the character did not recognise.

I've marked the story as 3/5 because to me it felt like lots of little stories stapled together. The ending was underwhealming, but, it matched the pace of the rest of the book. I was not disappointed.

7 people found this helpful

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Meh, poor sci fi

I give it 1/5 as sci-fi. (sci- 0.5/5, fi- 1.5/5).

Stopped at 1/3 of the book. It is just... well, boring, really really boring. Never ending story about a guy in the horible, gulag like prison in a wild jungle full of horible mutant creatures. My description, however, sounds more interesting than the book actually is.
You can skip first 11 chapters with no loss whatsoever. It became a tiny bit more interesting after, but just meh... waste of time.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-02-22

Just enough

Bit of a slow burn book for me. Narration was excellent. I was unsure for the first quarter if the book would hold my attention. It did. The main character and narration probably the main reasons.

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  • zach
  • 30-07-21

Very good, some personal issues exist though.

Very cool worldbuilding, if not that original. left too many unanswered questions for me. Worth multiple listens, I think. WTF is Gaki?

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-06-20

Perfection

I love sci-fi and this is a Pearl of it's genre.
The 'timeless' world build here by the author, is most i spiring. Perfectly open.