“Edge of the Future” is an action-packed military science fiction story with plenty of plot twists and turns that is written by Andria Stone. This is the first book in what is believed to become a trilogy of books. The audiobook edition was well narrated by Nicholas Barta with only a few slight blemishes discussed later in this review. If you like stories containing cyborgs, terrorists, military, medical, and procedural aspects, I think you will be pleasantly surprised listening to this audiobook.
The story takes place in the near future where humans have already colonized the moon (Luna) and Mars after a large war decimated much of the earth. A mission sent to colonize Europa failed and the deaths of over one-hundred and fifty people are a mystery that needs to be solved. Some of the aspects involving cyborgs reminded me of Battlestar Galatica where it was difficult to distinguish humans from machines. Not only was the threat from these non-humans, some of the characters were given neural implants which allowed our antagonist to take control of them to do her bidding. The action and story felt like the movies “RoboCop” and “Total Recall”, with a few bits of the Matrix thrown in to keep us on our toes. The story takes place mostly on the Moon at a special secret research base where classified information on creating a nanobot genesis system; or weapon. I enjoyed the many different medical and nanotechnology used in the story, and much of it seemed believable in the future time the book takes place.
Not only was there plenty of action, the book has a fair amount of mystery and suspense. You have murders, a hunt for terrorists, assassins being hired, and many of our main characters running scared until they can uncover and put a stop to the villain’s plot while at the same time protect the information she is attempting to steal. There is plenty of drugging, cyborg switching, and chase scenes to hold your attention. Even with all of this activity, the author does include a few scenes containing romance and deeper character interaction. Nothing explicit or over the top. Although the characters did not feel flat, I would have like to have had some more details around their backstories, etc. I wanted to care more for them than I found myself doing, and this may be coming in the future books in the series.
The book’s narration by Nicholas Barta was better than I would have expected from a newer narrator with five performances currently on Audible; at the time of this review. Overall it was a solid performance with only a few slight audio inconsistencies with the audiobook’s volume. I do not recall any other issues. For a newer narrator, I also found that he did a decent job narrating the many female characters found in the book, and I liked his ability to give unique accents and personalities to each character.
For parents and younger readers, be aware this book contains a fair amount of vulgar language. Some of the humor is crude or contains sexual innuendos which one might expect in a book containing military personnel. This is not saying that all military people speak using vulgar or crude language, but it is a way many are represented in books and movies. There are also a few scenes of graphic violence which again would not be of surprise with a military-focused book. Other than this, I do not recall anything that would exclude readers who are not easily offended by the above-mentioned items from reading this book.
To summarize, I think the book is a strong start to what appears to be a good series. If you like action, mystery and space, I think you will find that you will like this book. Again, be aware this is only the first book in a trilogy, so some of the plotlines are left open-ended for later books to answer. However, the first book is still worth a listen even before the others are released on Audible.
Disclaimer: I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.