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Species Imperative, Book 1
Written by: Julie E. Czerneda
Narrated by: Angele Masters
Length: 17 hrs and 3 mins

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Publisher's Summary

Herself a biologist, Julie E. Czerneda has earned a reputation in science fiction circles for her ability to create beautifully crafted, imaginative, yet believably realized alien races. In Survival, the first novel in her new series, Species Imperative, she draws upon this talent to build races, characters, and a universe which will draw listeners into a magnificent tale of interstellar intrigue, as an Earth scientist is caught up in a terrifying interspecies conflict. Senior co-administrator of the Norcoast Salmon Research Facility, Dr. Mackenzie Connor, Mac to her friends and colleagues, was a trained biologist, whose work had definitely become her life. And working at Norcoast Base, set in an ideal location just where the Tannu River sped down the west side of the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Coast was the perfect situation for Mac. She and fellow scientist Dr. Emily Mamani were just settling in to monitor this year's salmon runs when their research was interrupted by the unprecedented arrival of Brymn, the first member of the alien race known as the Ohryn to ever set foot on Earth. 

Brymn was an archaeologist, and much of his research had focused on a region of space known as the Chasm, a part of the universe that was literally dead, all of its worlds empty of any life-forms, though traces existed of the civilizations that must once have flourished in the region. Brymn had sought out Mac because she was a biologist - a discipline strictly forbidden among his own people - and he felt that through her expertise she might be able to help him discover what had created the Chasm. But Mac had little interest in alien races and in studies that ranged beyond Earth, and as politely as she was capable of, she tried to make it clear that she was unwilling to abandon her own work.  

However, the decision was soon taken out of her hands when a mysterious and devastating attack on the Base resulted in the abduction of Emily, and forced Mac to flee for her life with Brymn and the Earth special agents who were escorting him. Suddenly, it appeared that Earth itself might be under attack by the legendary race the Ohryn called the Ro, the beings they thought might be the destructive force behind the Chasm. Cut off from everything and everyone she knew, Mac found herself in grave danger and charged with the responsibility of learning everything she could that might possibly aid Earth in protecting the human race from extinction....

©2004 Julie E. Czerneda (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

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  • 05-03-20

I study salmon!

“I study salmon!” is more a question than an exclamation. Why would someone who studies salmon migration be the key to saving all the worlds? Well it took a long time to get that answer. It was a journey that was at times interesting, at times frustrating and for some may be boring. But if you enjoy world building, albeit slowly, this book may be enjoyable. I was satisfied with the ending even though it was not truly an ending. I will be checking out the next book.

I really enjoyed the writing style. Not being a professional critic and not great with descriptions, I’ll just say it was smooth, colorful and relatable.

However, because the narrator spoke so slowly, which at first I enjoyed, I did notch up the speed near the end and I found that helpful to move the story along at a better speed. I did feel the narrator did an excellent job except for two things: the slow speed of narration and the male voices. Usually badly done male voices don’t bother unless they are done in that deep gravelly voice which most men unless they are 100 years old, don’t speak. This narrator did actually have one male voice that worked for me. Unfortunately it was a minor character. This narrator needs to listen to other female narrators who are able to subtlety change the voice to make it be male without going down to the deep gravelly fake voice. (In other audiobooks, male narrators doing absurdly high almost ear piercing tones are annoying too.)

Generally I liked the book.