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  • Melody

  • A First Contact Novel
  • By: David Hoffer
  • Narrated by: TJ Clark
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Melody

By: David Hoffer
Narrated by: TJ Clark
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Summary

A melody from the stars can save humanity, but only if Stephen can awaken the alien within....

Childhood therapy cured Stephen Fisher of disturbing visions and the delusion of having come from another world. But when his daughter obsesses over a star in the night sky, he fears that his genetic legacy may have burdened her with the same illness. His sanity is then shattered when he loses his child and the military abducts him claiming that she recorded a song broadcast from another world. 

A voice inside Stephen’s head convinces him that he can bring his daughter back to life. What he discovers instead is a stunning truth about himself, his child’s destiny, and fate of the entire human race....

Melody is a riveting and thought-provoking science fiction novel. If you like first contact scenarios and action-filled stories, then you’ll love David Hoffer’s otherworldly adventure. 

©2019 David Stangland (P)2021 David Stangland

What listeners say about Melody

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Listener received this title free

Enjoyable story, minor tweaks would elevate

Full disclosure, I received a copy of this book for free to review.

After a slow start where I was struggling to engage with the narration and story I ended up thoroughly enjoying the tale, and was desperate to find the time (and peace!) to hear how it was to finish.

Space and first contact books can be a difficult thing to keep grounded and relatable but the author did well to cover off the work well enough that it was ridiculous, not so far fetched as to be unbelievable, the story wasn't bogged down by science and barring some of the late stage situations around the often conflicting wider cast I felt everyone was believable and fairly true to their character.

The narration grew on me, but I did have to struggle through the first third or so of the book, the general narration was fine but there is a heavy emphasis on the 'he said', 'Steven said' portions after a character has spoken, which can be fairly jarring, especially in quick back and forths. That said, the wealth and consistency of accents for the characters was brilliant, great to hear distinctive voices for all the characters and TJ Clark handled this really well. Not sure if it was the editing that was causing the over emphasis but if that was dialled back slightly to be less obnoxious it would have made a huge difference.

All told, I was really impressed with the narration and story, and some minor tweaks could really have taken this from a 'check out if you fancy something new' to a 'read/hear this now'. Looking forward to further works from both!

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  • Robert E. Riedl
  • 25-03-21
Listener received this title free

Real Page Turner

I'm not a sci-fi regular, but this one kept me on the edge of my seat and got me thinking about things outside of the day to day!

2 people found this helpful

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  • N. Cottrill
  • 10-03-21

a different type of sci-fi

i really enjoyed this book. The plot was original and far from the mainstream. The characters were well developed. It was very engaging and a nice change from most sci-fi stories.

2 people found this helpful

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  • BookReader
  • 26-06-21

Melody

Plot. On the brain-warping side, Melody is true SciFi - suspend belief. A distant star has been heard to be emitting a haunting song that contains instructions. The first to hear the song is a little girl. Eventually, the sound is heard by others across the world. That plot sounds familiar ... Carl Sagan's Contact. But, that is pretty much where similarities end, The story tells us that there never has been, nor will be, a "first" contact and that we are all part of a timeless process. Interesting premise.

Liked. Once getting past comparison to Carl Sagan's book, found the concept to be very creative. Maybe we are all from another world, who knows? No clicking knees, no blood dripping down walls, no sex, no objectionable language, nothing offensive.

No so hot? Ethereal LSD-type imagery, think Arthur C. Clarke's 2001 A Space Odyssey. Melody is a huge stretch - really "out there". But, hey ... It's SciFi!!

Written by David Hoffer, narrated by T. J. Clark, just under ten hours of listening in unabridged audiobook format, released in March 2021, publisher David Stangland. As of this writing, cannot find a Strangland anywhere on the Internet - so, self-publishing service?

1 person found this helpful

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  • Prime Addict
  • 18-04-21
Listener received this title free

Great beginning of a possible series!

I read the book and them got the audible. The audible was another was to enjoy this imaginative story. I look forward to more from David Hoffer! Highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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  • birdchild
  • 12-04-21

About what I expected

This story took a bit long developing and as it continued the narrator's voice, trying to create character, became grating.
Some of the characters were flat, the general, Hudson, Francis but I overlooked that and listened onward.
I liked the story line quite a bit. To me it was new concept and interesting. Will likely enjoy more of this author but would like a better character voicing and developingment.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Valerie
  • 29-03-21
Listener received this title free

Mind bending sci fi with good characters

I really liked this story. The male main character has a wry sense of humor, and the narrator expresses that really well. The female main character is an older woman, a scientist, and her character and her relationships with her colleagues and enemies were very well done too. Also I’m always impressed by how male narrators can take the masculine out of their voice without sounding like they’re doing falsetto or a Minnie Mouse voice.
There’s lots of suspense and action, and a lot of things that will make you think deeper about the universe, humanity, reincarnation, and what form interplanetary travel might take.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jeffrey C. Hoyt
  • 23-03-21
Listener received this title free

Interesting story, takes a twist halfway through

Overall, entertaining. If you liked "Contact" you'll like the first half of the story - it has that real to it, but with its own take on it. About halfway through, it deviates pretty severely and comes to a very different conclusion. It's an interesting twist and I appreciated the new take.

Narrator was really good. There's a couple places where the tone clearly set down by the narrator doesn't quite fit the words, but I suspect that was a producer's decision - the narrator was really good at setting the tone.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Maria R Gladd
  • 26-02-22

Below average SF

Good SF premise. Poorly written, cardboard characters. Comical singsong narration.

xxx xxx xxx xxx xxx

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  • Nicholas Marson
  • 22-01-22

If you've read Contact you can skip this book

I struggled to finish this book. I found the situations frustrating, and the main character never showed any emotion. The opening scene showed a lot of promise... a character with latent psychic abilities struggling with mental illness. But main character lacked agency. Everything just happens to him.

The rest of the book pursued a lengthy political drama with the token dumb, war hungry American military versus the scientists. There are some brief shining moments when the story turns to science, but those moments are too brief and far between. Would not recommend.

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  • Matthew
  • 07-01-22

Thankful I came to know Melody!

This one checks all the boxes. First contact concepting, solid plot arc, great performance, and, above all, a high level of originality. Hoffer and Clark form a solid team here, with good pacing, unique and consistent voicings, and enough tension to keep the listener engaged. Granted, first contact novels have a difficult time avoiding being derivative, and I suppose you could argue this one is. That said, I found it unique enough to stay engaged, and give it a solid recommendation.