“Infinite” is a well-crafted, complex, romantic, science fiction story that is so much more than what it seems at first glance. It is written by Jeremy Robinson, who at the time of this review has nearly fifty books available on Audible. The audiobook edition is exceptionally well narrated by none other than R. C. Bray. Mr. Bray is ranked as one of the best narrators and he has a few quite popular titles under his belt; including “The Martian” by Andy Wier. I mention this because the book, for me felt, like a bit like “The Martian”, along with parts from the movie “Inception” and sprinkle in a few ideas from the movie “The 13th Floor”. If you enjoy science fiction books that have a fair amount of action, mystery, artificial intelligence, along with time and space dilemmas, I recommend you pick up this book and give it a listen.
I will admit that the book was a bit confusing at the start. You are dropped into a rather complicated and confusing scene with no real background allowing you to digest it. A few chapters in to the book, it opens up like a budding flower and you are able to see all the beauty of the story holds within. There were a few additional bumps along the way where I thought I had missed something, but the author was able to get me back on track rather quickly. Often this seemed like a writing technique the author implemented on purpose giving the listener a more unsettled feeling. As stated earlier, the book had a feel of “The Martian” on a space ship instead of taking place on Mars. That simplifies the story and background, but knowing this you will have a better idea of what you are in for when you listen. Like with that story, there were plenty of times the main character narrowly escapes death, has to perform undesirable tasks, and often just wants to survive this long and lonely trip in one piece.
What I liked was the author’s ability to blend many different genres without focusing too much on one. Don’t get me wrong, this is a piece of science fiction, however is also includes aspects of mystery, intrigue, romance, and endurance. At times the book feels weighty and even a bit gloomy based on its backstory details, but the author is able to throw in pieces of humor so the story does not feel too overwhelming. There was a fair amount of physics and space/time travel discussion I the book, but one does not need to be a rocket scientist to understand it; but if you are, you may enjoy it even more. The author provides you with all the necessary concepts along the way so anyone understand it. Things like the difference in time for someone on earth compared to time observed by a person in a ship traveling faster than the speed of light (FTL). I felt the research as solid, believable and informative. I enjoyed how the story unfolded and provided hints or clues on why such a tragedy occurred during the opening scene.
The narration of the book by R. C. Bray was what I would have expected from a veteran in his trade. The book was professionally voiced across the many different characters and I do not remember any audio artifacts while listening; swallowing, page turns, etc. The audio volume was consistent throughout the book. I have never been disappointed by any narration done by Mr. Bray.
For parents and young readers, this book does at times have a fair amount of vulgar language. There are also some quite graphic and violent scenes which may not be appropriate for younger readers. The book has some storyline focused on romance; but nothing I can recall that was overly explicit or sexual. There are a few scenes containing anti-religious pokes, but again, I do not feel the author was using this to get across some hidden agenda.
To summarize, I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a rather complex science fiction story involving artificial intelligence and time/space. However, being in space is only one small part of the overarching message that I think others will enjoy. There is quite a bit that will appeal to lovers of SciFi, but I would recommend it also to those who aren’t into science fiction but enjoy being challenged by a well-written story. If you feel lost at the start, that is not a bad thing. Stick with the book and buckle up as you will enjoy the flight.
Disclaimer: I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator.