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Our Dried Voices

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Do you love classic dystopian novels like Brave New World and The Time Machine? Readers of Our Dried Voices rave: “This story calls to mind Huxley and Wells’ work, is frightening, exhilarating, and ultimately hopeful.” – Jason “Recommended for fans of H.G. Wells’ Time Machine and [Aldous Huxley’s] Brave New World.” – Licia F. In 2153, cancer was cured. In 2189, AIDS. And Do you love classic dystopian novels like Brave New World and The Time Machine? Readers of Our Dried Voices rave: “This story calls to mind Huxley and Wells’ work, is frightening, exhilarating, and ultimately hopeful.” – Jason “Recommended for fans of H.G. Wells’ Time Machine and [Aldous Huxley’s] Brave New World.” – Licia F. In 2153, cancer was cured. In 2189, AIDS. And in 2235, the last members of the human race traveled to a distant planet to begin the next chapter of humanity. Several hundred years after their arrival, the remainder of humanity lives in a utopian colony in which every want is satisfied automatically, and there is no need for human labor, struggle or thought. But when the machines that regulate the colony begin to malfunction, the colonists are faced with a test for the first time in their existence. With the lives of the colonists at stake, it is left to a bright young man named Samuel to repair these breakdowns and save the colony. Aided by his determined friend Penny, Samuel rises to meet each challenge. But he soon discovers a mysterious group of people behind each of these problems, and he must somehow find and defeat these saboteurs in order to rescue humanity. 2014 Foreword Reviews Science Fiction Book of the Year Finalist "A thought-provoking type of story that lingers... after you close the book." - Infamous Scribbler "Everything about this book is amazing." - Celebrity Café "Excellent new YA dystopian novel." - Foreword Reviews Pick up this new dystopian classic today!

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Do you love classic dystopian novels like Brave New World and The Time Machine? Readers of Our Dried Voices rave: “This story calls to mind Huxley and Wells’ work, is frightening, exhilarating, and ultimately hopeful.” – Jason “Recommended for fans of H.G. Wells’ Time Machine and [Aldous Huxley’s] Brave New World.” – Licia F. In 2153, cancer was cured. In 2189, AIDS. And Do you love classic dystopian novels like Brave New World and The Time Machine? Readers of Our Dried Voices rave: “This story calls to mind Huxley and Wells’ work, is frightening, exhilarating, and ultimately hopeful.” – Jason “Recommended for fans of H.G. Wells’ Time Machine and [Aldous Huxley’s] Brave New World.” – Licia F. In 2153, cancer was cured. In 2189, AIDS. And in 2235, the last members of the human race traveled to a distant planet to begin the next chapter of humanity. Several hundred years after their arrival, the remainder of humanity lives in a utopian colony in which every want is satisfied automatically, and there is no need for human labor, struggle or thought. But when the machines that regulate the colony begin to malfunction, the colonists are faced with a test for the first time in their existence. With the lives of the colonists at stake, it is left to a bright young man named Samuel to repair these breakdowns and save the colony. Aided by his determined friend Penny, Samuel rises to meet each challenge. But he soon discovers a mysterious group of people behind each of these problems, and he must somehow find and defeat these saboteurs in order to rescue humanity. 2014 Foreword Reviews Science Fiction Book of the Year Finalist "A thought-provoking type of story that lingers... after you close the book." - Infamous Scribbler "Everything about this book is amazing." - Celebrity Café "Excellent new YA dystopian novel." - Foreword Reviews Pick up this new dystopian classic today!

30 review for Our Dried Voices

  1. 4 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    "That's where I'm going. That's where it ends. That's where I will find answers." In a world where every disease is cured, the human population skyrockets and they are forced to colonize a new planet (Pearl). But what appeared as a promising start for the next era of human civilization, devolves into something...rather unexpected. They ran in no particular direction, a single mass exods from the hall, teeming out across the gay green meadows, up and over the soft, undulating hills, and their cr "That's where I'm going. That's where it ends. That's where I will find answers." In a world where every disease is cured, the human population skyrockets and they are forced to colonize a new planet (Pearl). But what appeared as a promising start for the next era of human civilization, devolves into something...rather unexpected. They ran in no particular direction, a single mass exods from the hall, teeming out across the gay green meadows, up and over the soft, undulating hills, and their cries rippled throughout... Samuel, one of the colonists, is one of the first to notice that something is wrong. Very wrong. In his society, everything from food preparation to bed-making is fully automated. Even the weather comes in distinct patterns. Two straight days was unprecedented in the colony's memory. Locked sleeping halls were unreal. When his world is thrown into chaos, Samuel decides to do something about this. Despite his triumphs over the Broken Bridges or the Locked Sleeping Houses, his actions bring about decidedly odd reactions from his fellow colonists. They shrunk against the walls, their eyes downcast, most of them alone. No one moved. No one said a word. In a world where the most basic thinking is shunned and abhored, what in the world is Samuel supposed to do? Apparently, the answer is everything. Overall - this one was pretty dang good! The plot felt fresh and exciting, the characters were underdeveloped (but in a good way!) and the overall theme was fabulous. I liked the alien-ness of Samuel's world - I think the author did a great job of creating a new world and a plausible future. After all, once all of disease and war has been eliminated, what is left? I found it interesting how the author took that concept to the extreme - that without conflict and something to fight against, that humans will devolve and lose that quintessential difference between us and animals. Samuel and Penny (his assistant of sorts) begin as severely underdeveloped characters but you watch them overcome the saboteurs, their personalities do take shape and become more fleshed out. I think that if the book continued a bit longer, they would have become well-rounded (fingers crossed for a sequel!). That being said, I do feel that there was a bit too much time spent on the tasks for Samuel to complete. Each task did reveal a bit more of the inner-workings of this fantastic colony (which was definitely cool) but I would have preferred for him to "escape" quicker. Then, the extra page space could've been used for Samuel (view spoiler)[ to take over the "rogue colony" and lead all of his people in the original colony out...rather than just save himself and Penny (hide spoiler)] ...but hey that could be addressed at a later time (*sequel*) (*hint* *hint*). (NOTE: Spoiler tag is my speculation based on events that happened at end, not what actually happened. ) Overall - really enjoyed this one. Entertaining and engaging from cover to cover! With thanks to the author for a free copy in exchange for an honest review. Blog | Instagram | Twitter

  2. 4 out of 5

    Leo .

    I read Our Dried Voices in A day. Once I started reading this morning, four coffee breaks and a piece of my mother in law's tasty carrot and wallnut cake, I finished the book an hour ago. Needless to say it was a breeze and once I began I had to finish. Luckily it is not a thousand page tome and the layout was easy on the eye. A Utopia, in the future. Or a Dystopia? The beginning of this book reminded me of The Time Machine. Also the video game Resident Evil 4. (Anybody who has played Res Evil 4 wi I read Our Dried Voices in A day. Once I started reading this morning, four coffee breaks and a piece of my mother in law's tasty carrot and wallnut cake, I finished the book an hour ago. Needless to say it was a breeze and once I began I had to finish. Luckily it is not a thousand page tome and the layout was easy on the eye. A Utopia, in the future. Or a Dystopia? The beginning of this book reminded me of The Time Machine. Also the video game Resident Evil 4. (Anybody who has played Res Evil 4 will know what I mean when, The church bells ring...) Humanity seem to live in bliss until the sound of bells and in a trance like state they head towards the sound. I also had a feeling of the Stepford Wives as the robotic people interacted. Limited speech and basic vocabulary. Everything is controlled. The weather. Nature. People. (Sounds like today's reality...Lol!) A reality in which, people are just milling around and everything is done for them. People are like sheep. A hive mentality. A future world of 'useless eaters'. That is the Duke of Edinburgh 's words by the way, not mine. Back to the book. A future with no variety. Sterile. Where all the people look similar; like the Miller Lite Ad from years ago; all living a repetitive robotic existence. A world of technology and AI, WALL-E springs to mind. As I continued reading, about half way through, I had a memory of the films 'The Village and The Island' where our main characters and their community live shut off, in a microcosm, unaware that there was a macrocosm outside of their hemmed in reality. Hey Greg, is Leomedes, a mashup of Leonardo da Vinci and Archimedes? Two of my favourites by the way. My cat is Archimedes, unfortunately we lost his brother Socrates when he was a kitten. 😢 Went off on one of my tangents then, I digress. We follow Samuel, we see how he begins to; for want of a better word and not giving away too much of the story; evolve. How he has to make certain choices. A true human trait is to help and aid others who are less able. Or to try and better one's own life and go where the grass is greener? I guess a good analogy would be to look at the whole instead of concentrating on the individual, or a piece. Through his repetitive mundane life Samuel begins to fathom that there is so much more meaning to his life than the fish bowl existence in which he currently resides. A good tale of a future where people are controlled and dependant on machines. A place of limits and the unknown history. I really enjoyed Our Dried Voices. Even though it feels like reading a story by other authors, H. G. Wells or George Orwell, Our Dried Voices still seems unique and tells the story the way Greg Hickey intended it to be. Well done Greg on creating an intriguing story from start to end. Our Dried Voices is a good title for the story. This book is a really good read indeed. If you like dystopian novels I recommend this book. 👍💓🐯

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gertie

    Short update note: This book has really stuck with me. I think that it is the kind of story it helps to have a little time to absorb. I suspect it will be underrated because it is unlike many stories and might in that sense make it difficult for some readers to get comfortable (and many may set it down early on without finishing it). I hope that folks give it a chance though - it is one of the more memorable books I read this year. ,............. This was a curious book. There is very little spoke Short update note: This book has really stuck with me. I think that it is the kind of story it helps to have a little time to absorb. I suspect it will be underrated because it is unlike many stories and might in that sense make it difficult for some readers to get comfortable (and many may set it down early on without finishing it). I hope that folks give it a chance though - it is one of the more memorable books I read this year. ,............. This was a curious book. There is very little spoken out loud through the greater part of the story. Atmospherically for a while it kept making me think of the segment of The Time Machine in the future, partially populated with simple, childlike beings who lived above ground. After reading a bit further, it becomes easier to see its own unique style without comparing it to anything else. Frankly, I'm a bit surprised I liked this - typically I like lively dialog and an active mind, whereas this book has little dialog, and when it happens the characters really struggle with it. They also have to work at simple thinking, as they have grown accustomed to not needing to give much thought to anything. However, I liked the main character and found the story interesting - it is really something of a mystery that keeps you trying to puzzle out the answers. Some parts will be obvious to you but not all. Our main character Samuel seems to be someone willing to accept a challenge, though unhappily thrust upon him, as if he has been placed upon a boat full of passengers and only he knows how to row. He wants to do the right thing, while a conscience seems to be something his fellows never find the need to consult anymore. He also seems to be a little bit of a romantic. I don't necessarily mean that in terms of wooing a mate, though there are some females in the story as well. (Everyone appears to be straight in this version of the world.) I mean romantic in the sense of his looking at the world with hope for more than just eat-sleep-screw, and looking at others people with a desire for a greater connection with them, a connection of hearts and minds, not just sharing space with one another. At the end he is faced with an important decision - it's interesting to wonder how many of us would have made the same choice as he did. Memorability factor: 9/10 Follow this author: Maybe - depends on the book, but it is worth a look.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    3.5 stars rounded up to 4. If I could compare this to something, I’d say it felt a lot like an unofficial sequel to H.G.Wells’s The Time Machine. It’s not framed from the POV of a distinct narrator, but the setting, the tone, and the characters all felt very similar. There isn’t a lot of action, or even dialogue in the beginning, but it does steadily increase as the story goes on. What pulls you in here is the intrigue. Why are the machines breaking down? Who are the people that fix them? What ar 3.5 stars rounded up to 4. If I could compare this to something, I’d say it felt a lot like an unofficial sequel to H.G.Wells’s The Time Machine. It’s not framed from the POV of a distinct narrator, but the setting, the tone, and the characters all felt very similar. There isn’t a lot of action, or even dialogue in the beginning, but it does steadily increase as the story goes on. What pulls you in here is the intrigue. Why are the machines breaking down? Who are the people that fix them? What are all these notes about? It felt like watching one not-so-smart person try to solve an escape room puzzle. The writing was great and the description was really pretty. I didn’t find a single proofreading or editing error, which is more than I can say for the past few books I’ve read. It’s also a very quick book. The chapters are short, there aren’t any side plots to contend with. I was able to read it all in the span of 24 hours. I appreciated that. (My tolerance for 40/50 page chapters, or worse, books without chapters, has been exhausted for the year.) I do think the reader will see the end coming long before Samuel does, but I also think that was half the fun. There is an art to foreshadowing and Hickey used it well. The characters are a little flat, but this is very much a plot driven story, so I was able to forgive it. I do have a couple critiques, but they are minor. Some of the world building was questionable. For example, the colonists drink their water straight from the river. They have a food machine that spits out food cakes, but no filtered drinking water system? It just seemed odd and I was sort of taken out of the story at any mention of drinking from the river. The other thing I found a little questionable, is that words were used that I’m not sure Samuel would have known, given his experience with the world and the people he had been living with. At one point, late in the book he says/thinks “technologies” and it felt very out of place. Overall, this is a very quick read that I think is well worth checking out if you were a fan of The Time Machine. Thank you to the author for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Cristian (The Bookish God)

    REVIEW UP @ HTTP://THEBOOKISHGOD.WORDPRESS.COM I went into this book with high expectations; the world it promised, the intriguing plot and the thought-provoking description of society made this book a decent contender to be as good as classics like Animal Farm. The story promised to be a social criticism with a twist and it sadly felt short, losing the point of the story along the way and being incredibly tedious to get through. I did finish the book because it isn’t very long but I did skim thro REVIEW UP @ HTTP://THEBOOKISHGOD.WORDPRESS.COM I went into this book with high expectations; the world it promised, the intriguing plot and the thought-provoking description of society made this book a decent contender to be as good as classics like Animal Farm. The story promised to be a social criticism with a twist and it sadly felt short, losing the point of the story along the way and being incredibly tedious to get through. I did finish the book because it isn’t very long but I did skim through a chapter or two. The story begins very well; I sped through the first 50-or-so pages. It kept me reading and all the facts it gives about the future are very interesting but as I got deeper into the book I started to lose interest real soon. The story has little dialogue and I usually would’ve been fine by that but the author didn't execute it effectively enough. It was interesting to see how the main character changed his thought process and to see how he slowly was able to feel love for a fellow human. If you guys are interested on the evolutionary process of the human race, give it a try but I did not enjoy it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Crooked English

    Book in short: Utopia turned Dystopia with a happy ending. The approach of Our Dried Voices world is different in the idea that humans progressed so much that there was nothing left to progress at. The result? Zombie-humans in the new world. One of the popular books in Utopia-turned-Dystopia genre is The Giver. I couldn't help but compare protagonists struggle through the snow from that in The Giver. There must be something redeeming in walking through snow and freezing yourself to death. (view sp Book in short: Utopia turned Dystopia with a happy ending. The approach of Our Dried Voices world is different in the idea that humans progressed so much that there was nothing left to progress at. The result? Zombie-humans in the new world. One of the popular books in Utopia-turned-Dystopia genre is The Giver. I couldn't help but compare protagonists struggle through the snow from that in The Giver. There must be something redeeming in walking through snow and freezing yourself to death. (view spoiler)[Except this guy didn't freeze to death. He actually found what he was looking for and we get a happy ending. I prefer my protagonist from Dystopia world to not get a happy ending. Its mainly because it doesn't make sense for a happy ending to be there! (hide spoiler)] So, I'll say its a light read with not my preferred ending. Therefore, 3 stars. ***I received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Koeur

    https://koeur.wordpress.com/2015/02/0... Publisher: Scribe Publishing Date: November 2014 ISBN: 9781940368931 Genre: SciFi Rating: 3.5/5 Publisher Description: In 2153, cancer was cured. In 2189, AIDS. And in 2235, the last members of the human race traveled to a far distant planet called Pearl to begin the next chapter of humanity. Several hundred years after their arrival, the remainder of humanity lives in a utopian colony in which every want is satisfied automatically, and there is no need for hu https://koeur.wordpress.com/2015/02/0... Publisher: Scribe Publishing Date: November 2014 ISBN: 9781940368931 Genre: SciFi Rating: 3.5/5 Publisher Description: In 2153, cancer was cured. In 2189, AIDS. And in 2235, the last members of the human race traveled to a far distant planet called Pearl to begin the next chapter of humanity. Several hundred years after their arrival, the remainder of humanity lives in a utopian colony in which every want is satisfied automatically, and there is no need for human labor, struggle or thought. But when the machines that regulate the colony begin to malfunction, the colonists are faced with a test for the first time in their existence. With the lives of the colonists at stake, it is left to a young man named Samuel to repair these breakdowns and save the colony. Review: This was a well written novel with really good characterization as Samuel slowly becomes aware of things and processes greater than what exists within the colony. Inhabitants only exist to eat, sleep and play and when troubles in the form of breakdowns begins to plague the colony, Samuel slowly begins to find himself through processing the malfunctions and creating solutions. The plot was a hard one to get on board with. How is it that a creative and galactic spanning race finally finds a new haven and over time thought processes dwindle to those of cattle as all basic needs are provided for? I guess that’s the big question. Will a utopian state shift creativeness and cunning to a formalized structure of passivity. I don’t think so. As long as the mind and all its manifestations of identity and ego prevail, there will always be the impetus to have more whether taking, creating, finding or going to…..things. All of which are developed from ideas and a sense of self (ego). Can’t really say too much more as it may give the novel away. Get this. It is superb writing and despite my shjtpicking of the premise, it really is a solid 4 stars.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Apratim Mukherjee

    First of all thanks to the author for giving me this book for free in exchange of an honest review.Now,this a dystopian novel which is set in 2300s on a different planet.So lot of things,which might seem nonsense today, have been imagined and a story has been constructed around these incidents. The theme is good but the story drags for about 70% of the book and when it picks up,it is abruptly ended.The good thing is the author's imagination and the last chapter. Its not a great novel but can be re First of all thanks to the author for giving me this book for free in exchange of an honest review.Now,this a dystopian novel which is set in 2300s on a different planet.So lot of things,which might seem nonsense today, have been imagined and a story has been constructed around these incidents. The theme is good but the story drags for about 70% of the book and when it picks up,it is abruptly ended.The good thing is the author's imagination and the last chapter. Its not a great novel but can be read once.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kris

    Humanity's main problems in this particular dystopian novel come in the form of overpopulation and too much coddling. Emphasis on the coddling. Two hundred years from now, after many trials and tribulations, mankind sends a colony ship to an exoplanet. At least three or four hundred years after that (exact time never given) the Pearl colony consists of people who are much like the Eloi of H.G. Wells' The Time Machine but with no Morlocks in sight. They are fed, clothed, and cleaned up after by h Humanity's main problems in this particular dystopian novel come in the form of overpopulation and too much coddling. Emphasis on the coddling. Two hundred years from now, after many trials and tribulations, mankind sends a colony ship to an exoplanet. At least three or four hundred years after that (exact time never given) the Pearl colony consists of people who are much like the Eloi of H.G. Wells' The Time Machine but with no Morlocks in sight. They are fed, clothed, and cleaned up after by hidden machines that they never have a single thought about. When those machines start to break down our protagonist is there to puzzle things out. It was this puzzling out that kept me reading through to the end. I love a good puzzle. He finds scraps of paper with drawings on them, sees people that he calls the heroes acting more intelligently than others and seemingly saving the day but soon the heroes stop showing up and Samuel is left to figure things out on his own. But the puzzles and the way he figures them out don't always make complete sense. In fact, there are several things that bothered me about the story. First of all, the idea that having all needs met and no adversity in life means society becomes so lazy intellectually that language devolves and people become like placid, empty animals. I think all that time would be spent in the pursuit of art, relationships, basically all the things everyone feels there is never enough time for. There would finally be time. That's assuming that every problem can be solved which in itself just seems silly. Well, that's just my opinion but how long it takes for a species to evolve/devolve so considerably isn't just my opinion. Let's just say it takes longer than a few hundred years. I was also bothered by clunky writing in general but especially when it came to describing how Samuel, a man with very limited language skills, perceived the world. I know that it's a difficult task, one the writer took on with risks, but this was such an obvious case of too much telling, not enough showing that I really couldn't stand it at times. Describing technology the way Samuel would have seen it first and foremost - using his limited language skills and knowledge and then elaborating for the reader if necessary - would have been much better. Speaking of technology, there is a machine that controls the weather so perfectly that it turns a blizzard into a warm spring day in seconds. This machine would absolutely not have switches and dials like something out of a bad scifi movie from the seventies.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Billy Roper

    I won this book in a giveaway contest through goodreads.com, and it took me a while to get to, a delay which I regretted, once I began. Accept that there is almost no dialogue. That's the point, thus the title. This science fiction novel presupposes the continued technological progression of humanity, an optimistic view which requires the suspension of disbelief...but then, that IS what science fiction is all about. As medical and scientific advances promise a bright future, humanity's progressive I won this book in a giveaway contest through goodreads.com, and it took me a while to get to, a delay which I regretted, once I began. Accept that there is almost no dialogue. That's the point, thus the title. This science fiction novel presupposes the continued technological progression of humanity, an optimistic view which requires the suspension of disbelief...but then, that IS what science fiction is all about. As medical and scientific advances promise a bright future, humanity's progressive reliance on the crutches of civilization instills a sense of foreboding. Especially if the reader is cynical about the reliance on the tenuous threads of the grid, already. I won't give away the ending, but it turns out that machines are not, as the Terminator movies and Luddite paranoia, night portend, our greatest enemy. Instead, it is ourselves. It's only fair to give this book a bold four out of five possible stars. I withhold the fifth solely because the events alluded to before the humans leave Earth, I find implausible according to my own particular worldview and geopolitical prognostications. That aside, this book tells more about the human condition, than it does about speculative political developments, so in that vein, it deserves a high recommendation. Especially because I'm the stepdad of a 16 year old who is so addicted to technology, that it's like pulling teeth to get him to leave his bed, where he has his laptop 24/7. Yeah. So, extrapolate a couple of centuries forward, and I can see the future, darkly, too.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ana

    https://anaslair.wordpress.com/2015/0... Our Dried Voices first presents us to a chronology depicting the evolution of current day society into one which, amongst a couple more world wars, actually manages some great achievements like a practical use to non pollutant energy sources and the cure of numerous diseases from the common cold to cancer and HIV. However, after centuries of abuse of our planet, it continues to degenerate, and mankind is forced to seek out an alternative to our planet. The https://anaslair.wordpress.com/2015/0... Our Dried Voices first presents us to a chronology depicting the evolution of current day society into one which, amongst a couple more world wars, actually manages some great achievements like a practical use to non pollutant energy sources and the cure of numerous diseases from the common cold to cancer and HIV. However, after centuries of abuse of our planet, it continues to degenerate, and mankind is forced to seek out an alternative to our planet. The chronology ends with a ship of thousands of colonists landing on planet Pearl, which is later developed in the epilogue. When the narrative itself begins, we are introduced to what we can only assume are descendants of the humans who landed on Pearl, because we are told that the action develops in that planet and that the colony has been established for hundreds of years. Said descendants are really nothing more than cattle with human resemblances. They seem to have the intelligence of sheep and do nothing but play in the meadow and river, eat, sleep and mate randomly. They are capable of speech, but it is a jumbled sort, with no pauses between words. At that point I was thinking... No. There is no way we evolved into that. Those have got to be some indigenous people the colonists first found when they landed and decided to do freaky experiments on. I was bored and kept hoping things would start making sense soon. Why are we being presented to such creatures? What is going on? So then stuff starts to happen. The creatures (who we keep being told are humans) don't know how to deal with it. When the normal order is magically restored, they have completely forgotten what happened. So it's basically pages and pages of a whole lot of nothing. Here is what I disliked the most about the book: - The writing, for the most part. There is a lot of telling and not nearly enough showing. I felt there were whole blocks of information being dumped. There is this object, with these characteristics and then this happens. Very few dialogues to give dynamics. It was hard to resist the urge to skim through the text. - The plot development was not organic. The main character made assumptions which, to me, seemed to come out of the blue and from those correlations the plot moved on, without there being much proof or development... Examples: 1. When the incidents first begin, breaking up their well established routine which had never failed before, there are a few smarter cookies in the jar who seem to almost wake up from their huge slumber. It really is as they were asleep or under drug influence all that time and then the torpor vanishes and their eyes get brighter and they begin getting curious about their surroundings. That part I enjoyed. At first, we - along with the main character - notice a woman who is obviously different from the rest in that way; she seems perkier and smarter in general. For some reason, our Samuel nicknames her The First Hero. More heroes come. Why they are called heroes? No idea. I could tell of no connection between such smarter folks popping up and the problems being solved; they just walked around looking smarter than everyone else - but we are told that was the case. 2. Samuel starts finding little torn papers which he treats as clues. Why say that these drawings were not merely portents of barbarous things to come, but a carefully devised system of messages by which these people communicated their plans to one another? Where did that even come from? Isn't it safe to assume they all came from the same place and are more than able of speaking to each other? It seemed obvious to me that there had to be some other reason. There were more but those examples should suffice for now, I really don't want to give too much of the plot away. - Probably my biggest problem with this book is that it had so much potential. Generations survived in this colony. We get to Samuel. The colony is all Samuel and his neighbours have ever known. How would someone like that view the world and the things that start happening? I mean really view it since it was the first time any of that ever happened. Instead, we get presented to a narrative where descriptions of his actions and thoughts are riddled with analogies of things he could not possibly know, living in the meadow all his life, and I am left wondering where it all came from. Again, I don't want to give too much away, so let's stick with one of the most basic things, the speech: One minute our main character is speaking in that jumbled manner as all others, and the next he speaks proper sentences, with proper pauses, knowing exactly where each word ended and began, almost as if he suddenly remembered how to do it. How?? It would have been so much engaging if we would see him trying to compare the new things to stuff he actually knew! Perhaps things we would find completely ridiculous knowing better, but at least it would make sense that Samuel would think like that. - Then there were little things which were way too simplistic, like a weather machine (view spoiler)[which no one really knows how it works but is capable of changing the atmosphere in seconds by merely touching a button corresponding to what weather you want to create... *heavy sigh* (hide spoiler)] The ending was beyond abrupt and nonsensical. (view spoiler)[He leaves the second colony because their intentions towards the first one are obviously not good; they only want the smart individuals and to hell with everyone else - heck maybe they planned on doing something nasty to them, all they had to do was push a button and leave them all to die - so instead of trying to save them or at least teach them how to survive on their own, he picks up his girlfriend and leaves? Seriously?? How is he any better than the people he chose not to join? (hide spoiler)] The epilogue left me feeling completely dismayed. (view spoiler)[While it was all very believable and I can tell the author put a lot of research into it (though I have to admit I skimmed through large portions of it), I thought that the whole thing meant that what humankind did to Earth would repeat itself on Pearl - after all, they did eradicate all diseases, so another overpopulation problem was only a matter of time - and so I actually finished the book feeling pretty sad. (hide spoiler)] In conclusion, even though the idea that the author wants to leave us with is very thought-provoking and even original - that mankind could evolve (or devolve) into something like that -, the fact that the plot did not develop in a cohesive manner, that the writing was for the most part a dump of info with references which were just not believable, and that I could never relate to the characters (it was somewhat enjoyable trying to figure out the puzzles - but me as Ana, not me as the reader actually feeling like they are in the main character's shoes) all caused me not to feel engaged with the story. I am rounding the 1.5 stars up instead of down because I do appreciate the premise, the possibility of it happening, and I enjoy the descriptions of the colonists waking up from their apathy, but overall it just wasn't a very positive experience. Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    I received this ebook gratis from the author in exchange for an honest review. He thought I might enjoy it because of my review earlier this year of The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. The connection became obvious quite quickly, as the colonists in Our Dried Voices bear a strong resemblance to the Eloi in The Time Machine. The story wasn't what I expected, though, after skimming through the long, detailed timeline intro. While interesting to ponder as a potential future timeline for space travel an I received this ebook gratis from the author in exchange for an honest review. He thought I might enjoy it because of my review earlier this year of The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. The connection became obvious quite quickly, as the colonists in Our Dried Voices bear a strong resemblance to the Eloi in The Time Machine. The story wasn't what I expected, though, after skimming through the long, detailed timeline intro. While interesting to ponder as a potential future timeline for space travel and solving major diseases, it has almost no bearing on the plot. Our Dried Voices is a very interesting and imaginative dystopian story of a future civilization in which every member of the Pearl Colony's basic needs are taken care of and their lives are reduced solely to leisure. So much so that almost all of them regress to the state of simpletons unable to fix anything, or to even imagine fixing things, once their controlled environment starts breaking down. The protagonist has to work through problems that brought back fond memories of Myst and Riven. As the book nears the conclusion there are a few elements from a particular Simpsons episode that I loved. Any Simpsons fan will know what I'm talking about once they get to it. The book is an interesting reflection on what an ideal life might really look like once we build or evolve AGIs and the robots start doing most of the work. I'm hoping it's more like Star Trek and less like the Pearl Colony.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kathy Chung

    I was given this book by the author in exchange of an honest review. The story is supposed to be of an Utopia world where human is no longer in need of anything. All their needs were being provided. But things suddenly start to go wrong and our main character, Samuel, notices these things. He noticed that there are some people who are different from the rest which he named as Heroes. My take on this book is that it have great potential and I like this genre . However, I feel tyat the writing style I was given this book by the author in exchange of an honest review. The story is supposed to be of an Utopia world where human is no longer in need of anything. All their needs were being provided. But things suddenly start to go wrong and our main character, Samuel, notices these things. He noticed that there are some people who are different from the rest which he named as Heroes. My take on this book is that it have great potential and I like this genre . However, I feel tyat the writing style needs improvement. There are just too many description on how things were but just doesn't have the "feel". Maybe it's meant to be a thought provoking sort of book . One thing that bothered me a lot is the part where Samuel make love and after that casually went and urinate and drink from the same water source. The writing is just too matter-of-fact. Am accustomed to less fact and more action in this genre. overall, i feel that this book will attract more serious readers as it is thought provoking. It does give me the creeps to imagine if our future would be like that, what will our next generation do.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Alexa

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book was given to me by the author for an honest review. While this is not my genre of what I usually read it wasn't bad. It's a quick easy read that I feel might center more towards young adult reading levels. It's dystopian genre and doesn't really go too much into the characters of the book. You have a young man who goes through a set of trials to get to a certain level of intelligence. He is then brought into a higher level of living and given the choice to stay or leave. I thought this This book was given to me by the author for an honest review. While this is not my genre of what I usually read it wasn't bad. It's a quick easy read that I feel might center more towards young adult reading levels. It's dystopian genre and doesn't really go too much into the characters of the book. You have a young man who goes through a set of trials to get to a certain level of intelligence. He is then brought into a higher level of living and given the choice to stay or leave. I thought this book was a good read. The segregation of lower intellect and what they have vs. higher intellect is a very real possiblity years into the future. Those who don't want to think, or improve their thought process will have others do it for them.

  15. 4 out of 5

    M.

    I dont know how I feel about this book. I got it for free for an honest review, so let me be eloquent. Its like a 3.5/5 star. But lets get to the things I'm clear about. The book had hyped me up as soon as I read the description and that chronological sequence just pulled me deeper. I was ready to delve into absolutely mind-blowing science fiction dystopian and what not. And then the book finally began. Here's the thing, the book was written in a fairly good style. The word choice and the overal I dont know how I feel about this book. I got it for free for an honest review, so let me be eloquent. Its like a 3.5/5 star. But lets get to the things I'm clear about. The book had hyped me up as soon as I read the description and that chronological sequence just pulled me deeper. I was ready to delve into absolutely mind-blowing science fiction dystopian and what not. And then the book finally began. Here's the thing, the book was written in a fairly good style. The word choice and the overall feel of the book, the description etc were better than average. The plot. That was perhaps the biggest problem. I was envisioning something grander, something more elaborate perhaps. The plot didnt work for me. I more or less knew the 'big reveal' by the time I was a quarter into the book. The ending was cliche. Of course the protagonist would do that, he's the "hero" after all. The lack of dialogues wasnt compensated well with other explanations and sketches. That left a lot of things unexplained and unanswered. SPOILERS Like for instance, why did the builders of the colony develop a control system for the weather when they expected everything to work perfectly at its default configuration? And if they had made a control system for the weather, why not make control systems for every other thing too? That would've made the job of the people of other colony easier, if maybe the builders of the colony had predicted such a thing happening...see? confusing? END OF SPOILER So, yes overall, I think the book was pretty ok. Maybe I would've given it more stars, had it not been for the fact that it built such an excellent premise and background but failed to capitulate on it

  16. 4 out of 5

    Naturalbri (Bri Wignall)

    My Thoughts: This is a very unique book, which had me hooked from the beginning. From the first page, we learn that all our worst diseases have been cured, humans have moved on to a new planet and a utopia created. They want for nothing, fear nothing and are living the life of luxury. They've lived this way so long that they have begun to literally not want for anything. Each day they queue for meals when a bell tolls to tell them. They have lost their free will, their ability to see things for w My Thoughts: This is a very unique book, which had me hooked from the beginning. From the first page, we learn that all our worst diseases have been cured, humans have moved on to a new planet and a utopia created. They want for nothing, fear nothing and are living the life of luxury. They've lived this way so long that they have begun to literally not want for anything. Each day they queue for meals when a bell tolls to tell them. They have lost their free will, their ability to see things for what they truly are. That is until the machines that run their world start to malfunction. We watch as their lives fall apart. They don't know what to do. Their daily rituals are no longer being rung out for them yo abide by. With only one mechanic to fix the issues, their way of life depends on him finding out why their machines continue to malfunction. Then the mechanic opens his eyes. He starts to see what is really going on. The problem may be so much bigger than expected. Will he be able to save them, or is this the beginning of the end? I loved the world that Hickey has created. He gave it so much detail - telling us about their way of life, the machines, the people's mindsets and the little details that we need to feel as though we are a part of their world. I love the description and way her told us about the moment when our mechanic's eyes finally opened. The way his world opened up and changed around him. Everything was the same, yet it was still new and fresh and frightening. The characters were brilliant. Those who took the main stage really gave the book a lot of excitement, depth and emotion. Each character had their own personality, really bringing the world to life. Overall, this was an excellent dystopian read. I loved the new and exciting read that we were given. Hickey has taken a typical dystopian read, and given us something completely new. The book was enthralling from beginning to end. I loved that the ending answered some, but not all, of the questions, leaving a bit open to your own interpretation (I love when books and films do this) and it leaves it open for another book to follow. I so hope there will be more! I highly highly recommend this to all dystopian and sci-fi lovers.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Brune

    In a future utopia, omni-racial men and women live in a society in which all of their basic needs are provided for, as clear and certain as clockwork. Then, one day, some of the machines break down. I wasn't sure what to expect heading into this book. It began with a long chronology of the future, which type of list I typically skip through. (I actually did in this case, and I don't feel it added or took away from the reading experience which was otherwise excellent.) When the story opens, one of In a future utopia, omni-racial men and women live in a society in which all of their basic needs are provided for, as clear and certain as clockwork. Then, one day, some of the machines break down. I wasn't sure what to expect heading into this book. It began with a long chronology of the future, which type of list I typically skip through. (I actually did in this case, and I don't feel it added or took away from the reading experience which was otherwise excellent.) When the story opens, one of the nameless men in the colony is living much like the others. He eats when the machines feed him, sleeps in the sleeping area, stays inside on the one day of the week that it rains, makes love casually when the opportunity arises, and otherwise is exactly identical to all of the other people in the colony. However, this main character, named Samuel even before he acts in such a way as for someone to give him that name, is slightly different. He notices things. For example, he notices that when a problem occurs, and someone reacts to that problem, that someone disappears. He begins to call them "Heroes," and it's not long before he gets the idea to try some problem-solving of his own. This is a thought-provoking type of story that lingers a while after you close the book. I found the narrow focus on the actions of one main character throughout to be well-sustained by the author, who displayed a deft skill with moving the story along, but still pausing from time to time to let the reader think about the implications of what was happening. Even before he distinguishes himself from the rest of the herd, Samuel becomes interesting to the reader due to the author's excellent development of the character. Both the plot and the characters are consistent with each other, and though the narrative may take an unexpected turn, it never take an unrealistic one. I would definitely recommend this book to readers who enjoy science fiction that explores what it means to be human when all challenges have been met, except those that must be remembered - or artificial ones that we place in our path or others.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Majuchan

    A hero will always rise when the necessity arises. But what if every hero at some point is lost and never to see again? And unknowingly the next hero will be you? Samuel lives in a colony far from Earth. Where every needs of man is met and no form of deep thinking is needed to survive. And unexplainable events happened, the machines that kept the colony alive is mysteriously broken in a intricate plan. When no other hero arises, Samuel with his curiosity helped the colony to thrive and he is led A hero will always rise when the necessity arises. But what if every hero at some point is lost and never to see again? And unknowingly the next hero will be you? Samuel lives in a colony far from Earth. Where every needs of man is met and no form of deep thinking is needed to survive. And unexplainable events happened, the machines that kept the colony alive is mysteriously broken in a intricate plan. When no other hero arises, Samuel with his curiosity helped the colony to thrive and he is led in a puzzle to knowledge of their ancestors. The idea and plot of story shows promise. It will leave the reader with the question of what if? The story has substance. But the author fails to capture the readers into its tangle of mystery. Plus the world building is kinda rocky... so it's just another earth with same living things? No otherworldly stuff even one? Another thing is the story development, there is something lacking... but it can be improved. PS: thank you Mr. Greg Hickey for the free copy in exchange of an honest review. Keep on writing!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Harris

    Dystopian implications for our advancing technology Our Dried Voices begins with a timeline of events spanning the next two and a half centuries, giving the reader a unique in-depth look into how this fictional colony comes into being. With diseases cured and most essential needs automatically taken care of, this book paints a dreary picture of what an automated, futuristic world would mean for the complex minds of humans. I felt a Philip K. Dick vibe from the writing style and concept of this bo Dystopian implications for our advancing technology Our Dried Voices begins with a timeline of events spanning the next two and a half centuries, giving the reader a unique in-depth look into how this fictional colony comes into being. With diseases cured and most essential needs automatically taken care of, this book paints a dreary picture of what an automated, futuristic world would mean for the complex minds of humans. I felt a Philip K. Dick vibe from the writing style and concept of this book (possibly because I had just finished The Man in the High Castle before coming to this one) which I found interesting and easily consumable. One issue I had with the book was that the historical timeline to give background to the actual story was so in-depth that I had high hopes for the complexity of the story. I can tell Hickey did the necessary research to make the events which lead to this world, but found myself enjoying the complexity of the timeline more so than the complexity of the story itself. In a way, it was like reading two separate stories. Especially because the timeline focused on medical and technological advances which weren't directly related to the story. That being said, I think the author successfully took on the task of writing a compelling story with little dialogue. Also, the big picture explained at the end of the book is a powerful treatise on the human condition and where our race may be heading in the next few centuries. I would recommend this book to dystopian readers or writers who would like to understand how much research goes into writing such a story. It certainly helped me.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Polly Krize

    I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. While the premise of the book is a good one, I felt that it was not properly developed. It is hard to believe that with all the scientific/medical progress described in the first chapter, whether it is eradicating cancer or Parkinson's disease, that a civilization capable of those breakthroughs would end up on another planet behaving basically like sheep. As a few people develop enough curiosity to question how their new world works I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. While the premise of the book is a good one, I felt that it was not properly developed. It is hard to believe that with all the scientific/medical progress described in the first chapter, whether it is eradicating cancer or Parkinson's disease, that a civilization capable of those breakthroughs would end up on another planet behaving basically like sheep. As a few people develop enough curiosity to question how their new world works, they break away from the colony in search of something else. But the ending left me feeling disappointed...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Wow. As a life-time lover of reading, it's not often that I come across a book that's completely different from anything else I've ever read. Our Dried Voices was like that for me. Completely unique. The concept is compelling and thought-provoking. Although the end is satisfying, I still find myself thinking about the story days later. The novel is well-written; it reads like a classic. Highly recommend!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shawn Birss

    Our Dried Voices reads something like a classic dystopian novel, less like the popular dystopian novels so popular right now. Like Bradbury, H.G. Wells, and others between the two, Hickey writes this story like a serious thought experiment, with simple parts, and clear intention. Like the classics, the protagonist is very much an avatar or everyman, waking up to his own oppression. And like the classics, he has a female muse that helps him in his journey. There is a journey toward a confrontatio Our Dried Voices reads something like a classic dystopian novel, less like the popular dystopian novels so popular right now. Like Bradbury, H.G. Wells, and others between the two, Hickey writes this story like a serious thought experiment, with simple parts, and clear intention. Like the classics, the protagonist is very much an avatar or everyman, waking up to his own oppression. And like the classics, he has a female muse that helps him in his journey. There is a journey toward a confrontation with the powers that be, and a strong message in the conversation therewith. Read this way, I enjoyed the novel enough, and believe it is unique enough to find a voice, even if a small one, beside these giants. Hickey's voice is not yet a giant itself, though. What We, The Time Machine, Fahrenheit 451, The Iron Heel, and others possess that this book does not (yet) is extremely tight writing. These were usually finely crafted machines of literature, very intentional in language especially. Hickey also has the benefit of Brave New World and 1984 behind him, two more recent works that also demonstrate the importance of language as a function of the whole story. By comparison, Our Dried Voices feels unfinished. Sometimes the narrator's voice comes to us like an unimpassioned observer, giving the book a very appropriate feel of a documentary. In these moments, the narrator seems to know all that we know, and even be aware of us, helping us see these voiceless creatures from behind a curtain. However, at other times, the narrator's voice is suddenly constrained by the language and understanding of the very simple subjects. The best examples of the difference that springs quickly to mind are the pains taken to describe a cow on one hand, without using any of the words one would use that are unique to a cow, but at another time describing a sort of paper that the protagonist finds as being like papyrus. This back and forth occurs often, and is disorienting at best, probably just sloppy, but a huge missed opportunity at worst. The vocabulary of the characters is similarly uneven. The book starts strong with some really interesting ideas about how language has evolved over time. But this is quickly abandoned, as characters wake up into an easy, 21st Century conversational English very easily. There is also an unfinished feeling to some of the elements of world building and backstory. The book starts unnecessarily with a timeline which, while helpful for the writer, felt like a homework assignment before I even began. Later, we learn major pieces of the world's story through bland exposition, another opportunity lost to show us these things in story instead of just telling us straight out. With a heavy handed rewrite, aimed at capturing the promise of the tightly written and provocatively presented premise in the first chapter (after the tedious timeline), some very careful consideration of the goals for the use of language, and some better sleight-of-hand in the world building revelations, this really could be a book to read among the classics. As it is, I would recommend it before a lot of more polished popular YA dystopian novels to serious readers of the genre. ☠ eBook, read on Kobo Self published 2015 Three Stars May 16-18, 2018 ☠

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mathew

    I've been reading a lot of dystopian fiction over the last couple of years, for reasons you can probably guess. "Our Dried Voices" reminded me most closely in tone to Ira Levin's "This Perfect Day". However, where Levin supposed that humanity would need to be drugged to become docile, lazy and lacking in ambition, Hickey apparently takes the view that simply providing for every material comfort and not requiring any work will do the trick. The novel starts out with a brief chronology of the futu I've been reading a lot of dystopian fiction over the last couple of years, for reasons you can probably guess. "Our Dried Voices" reminded me most closely in tone to Ira Levin's "This Perfect Day". However, where Levin supposed that humanity would need to be drugged to become docile, lazy and lacking in ambition, Hickey apparently takes the view that simply providing for every material comfort and not requiring any work will do the trick. The novel starts out with a brief chronology of the future, explaining (among other things) that mankind launched generation ships to colonize a distant planet known as Pearl; then we are dropped into the life of idle luxury enjoyed by the protagonist. The utopia starts to fail, though. Before long lives are in danger, and most of the book is taken up with the protagonist's attempts to work out what is going on and how to stop it. I found the mystery part of the novel compelling, to the point of not wanting to stop reading, though ultimately it goes on just a little too long. There's also a touch of "Flowers For Algernon" going on with the protagonist and a woman he makes friends with, though since the novel isn't first person it isn't portrayed as effectively as in that book. Overall, the writing style is fairly plain but doesn't get in the way; it makes me think of John Wyndham or HG Wells. Where I started to really get a sinking feeling was at the end of the story. I think part of the problem is that I fundamentally disagree with the idea that work and hardship are necessary to human fulfillment, intelligence and dignity. I disagreed with that idea when I read Vonnegut's "Player Piano", and I still disagree. I thought this novel was heading to the same conclusion, and it nearly did, only to veer off into something more ambiguous at the last moment. Normally I like a bit of ambiguity, but here it didn't really work. The problem is that the protagonist's reasoning behind his big decision goes unexamined. I can guess what it was, but that is out of keeping with the rest of the book, which doesn't shy from discussing the protagonist's reasoning when dealing with previous problems. Plus, there is at least one event earlier in the story that I would have expected an argument over. So overall, the end of the book seemed hurried; its antagonists are unbelievable, like caricatures. An afterword presents the same chronology as at the start, but in essay form rather than bullet points. Why? I can only assume that the essay came first, that it was cut down to bullet points to speed up getting to the actual story, but that the author didn't want to throw away the hard work and decided to add the essay version as an afterword. If there's some other reason for it being there, it escapes me. Still, this is impressive for a debut novel. With a little more time and attention to the ending, and a little more stylistic polish, I think it could have been excellent. I enjoyed it more than Zamyatin’s “We”, for example, so once again I wish I could give 3.5 stars. (Disclosure: the author provided me with a free ebook copy in return for an honest review, which you just read.)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Chris Huff

    This novel has a lot going for it, but it was also somewhat of an endeavor to complete it because of its drawbacks. I really enjoyed the story. It follows a typical utopian/dystopian plot line in which everything seems great at first, and yet we quickly find there are problems in the colony. Anyone who likes this genre will likely find this novel entertaining. Given the backstory (more on that below...), I found the colony to be a fairly believable possibility for the future. It was fun watching t This novel has a lot going for it, but it was also somewhat of an endeavor to complete it because of its drawbacks. I really enjoyed the story. It follows a typical utopian/dystopian plot line in which everything seems great at first, and yet we quickly find there are problems in the colony. Anyone who likes this genre will likely find this novel entertaining. Given the backstory (more on that below...), I found the colony to be a fairly believable possibility for the future. It was fun watching the main characters learn and solve the problems as they faced them, and the end was satisfying, although maybe not the most logical conclusion based on how the characters were developed. My criticisms of this work have less to do with the story, though, and more to do with the writing surrounding and embedded into the midst of the story which keep the reader from progressing through the actual plot at a reasonable pace. For example, there's a long introduction concerning all the history that actually leads up to the plot of the story. Honestly, none of it was necessary, as it was even completely recapped at the end as well (and even there, it went into details that were simply superfluous). It would have been better to simply jump right into the mystery of the new colony, and maybe include some of the history along the way (or not at all). Speaking of "along the way," much of the story dragged on when it really didn't need to. There would often be detailed descriptions of things that hindered the plot from moving at anything but a snail's pace. There would be flowery language when simple descriptions would have made more sense. I thought this may have just been my own impatience to get to the end, but I also read a good chunk of this book to my wife, and she noted the same things (without my prompting). All that said, I'm very happy I was given this book to read. It touches on major topics such as human flourishing, cooperation, subduing creation, and so on. I'd definitely read a sequel if there were to be one, as the end opens up several possibilities for the main characters. It's a fun, interesting world!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Paige Green

    Disclaimer: I received this book from the author. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Book Series: standalone Rating: 3/5 Publication Date: November 4, 2014 Genre: Sci-fi Recommended Age: 16+ (violence, terrorist like acts, slight gore) Publisher: Scribe Publishing Company Pages: 234 Amazon Link Synopsis: In 2153, cancer was cured. In 2189, AIDS. And in 2235, the last members of the human race traveled to a far distant planet called Pearl to begin the next chapter of humanity. Several hundred years after the Disclaimer: I received this book from the author. Thanks! All opinions are my own. Book Series: standalone Rating: 3/5 Publication Date: November 4, 2014 Genre: Sci-fi Recommended Age: 16+ (violence, terrorist like acts, slight gore) Publisher: Scribe Publishing Company Pages: 234 Amazon Link Synopsis: In 2153, cancer was cured. In 2189, AIDS. And in 2235, the last members of the human race traveled to a far distant planet called Pearl to begin the next chapter of humanity. Several hundred years after their arrival, the remainder of humanity lives in a utopian colony in which every want is satisfied automatically, and there is no need for human labor, struggle or thought. But when the machines that regulate the colony begin to malfunction, the colonists are faced with a test for the first time in their existence. With the lives of the colonists at stake, it is left to a young man named Samuel to repair these breakdowns and save the colony. Aided by his friend Penny, Samuel rises to meet each challenge. But he soon discovers a mysterious group of people behind each of these problems, and he must somehow find and defeat these saboteurs in order to rescue his colony. Review: I thought this book was pretty good! It’s a dystopian novel that takes place on a different planet and I love dystopians. I thought the book was interesting. The plot was exciting and I think the author did great with the world building. The pacing was fast and this book really flew! However, I do feel that the book had really underdeveloped characters. I think it could have slowed down greatly and developed some of the characters some more. I think that the book could have used slowing down altogether to make the book a bit more suspenseful and impactful. It just flew by so fast that I didn’t feel connected to the book. Verdict: A pretty good book! Definitely a great one for dystopian lovers.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cathryn Wellner

    Though I'm not a fan of dystopian novels, I decided to give this one a try because the idea sounded promising. The Amazon reviews were generally favorable, but the satisfied readers must have had different expectations than I had. The writer caught me between books so I decided to plunge into a world so easy that thought and speech had become unnecessary. That created some challenges for the novelist since the characters had almost nothing to say to each other, making even the hero less than comp Though I'm not a fan of dystopian novels, I decided to give this one a try because the idea sounded promising. The Amazon reviews were generally favorable, but the satisfied readers must have had different expectations than I had. The writer caught me between books so I decided to plunge into a world so easy that thought and speech had become unnecessary. That created some challenges for the novelist since the characters had almost nothing to say to each other, making even the hero less than compelling. His finding mysterious drawings kept me reading, as I was curious to discover the clues they were sending him. But that and the mild flirtation with another of the nearly-mute residents were not enough to make me a believer in the novel's action. The slow action was book ended by what read more, to me, like notes for the author than an actual novel. We needed some of that detail to understand the world on which we had landed, but it could have been incorporated into the book in a more novelistic form. Instead it felt to me as if I were reading the author's notebook, where he laid out the premise of the book before starting the actual writing. Hickey has an idea that merits pondering: What if life became so easy, with every necessity provided, that no effort was required beyond showing up for meals? Unfortunately, his execution did not convince me what he portrayed might actually happen. Still, this young novelist writes well and will bear watching as he continues to write.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    In 2153, cancer was cured. In 2189, AIDS. And in 2235, the last members of the human race traveled to a far distant planet called Pearl to begin the next chapter of humanity. Several hundred years after their arrival, the remainder of humanity lives in a utopian colony in which every want is satisfied automatically, and there is no need for human labor, struggle or thought. But when the machines that regulate the colony begin to malfunction, the colonists are faced with a test for the first time In 2153, cancer was cured. In 2189, AIDS. And in 2235, the last members of the human race traveled to a far distant planet called Pearl to begin the next chapter of humanity. Several hundred years after their arrival, the remainder of humanity lives in a utopian colony in which every want is satisfied automatically, and there is no need for human labor, struggle or thought. But when the machines that regulate the colony begin to malfunction, the colonists are faced with a test for the first time in their existence. With the lives of the colonists at stake, it is left to a young man named Samuel to repair these breakdowns and save the colony. Aided by his friend Penny, Samuel rises to meet each challenge. But he soon discovers a mysterious group of people behind each of these problems, and he must somehow find and defeat these saboteurs in order to rescue his colony I went into this book with high expectations. The description above was enough to make me say yes to the author on reading this. He sent me a free copy in exchange for my honest review. The plot seemed so intriguing and thought provoking. Unfortunately this fell short for me. I had trouble seeing what the point of it all was or what was going on. I struggled to even get half way through this book and I didn’t have the energy to finish it. I rate this book a 1 out of 5 stars.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Mcnelis

    I received this e-book as a Giveaway from the author. A very interesting book; I hadn't read anything like it before. If I had to give an analogy to describe it without spoiling it for others, I would say it was like the story of the early Eloi from H.G. Wells' The Time Machine, before they became prey of the Morlocks (or maybe as that symbiotic/parasitic relationship was just bgeginning). I don't know if the Eloi inspired any bit of this story, but that's about as close a comparison to a famous I received this e-book as a Giveaway from the author. A very interesting book; I hadn't read anything like it before. If I had to give an analogy to describe it without spoiling it for others, I would say it was like the story of the early Eloi from H.G. Wells' The Time Machine, before they became prey of the Morlocks (or maybe as that symbiotic/parasitic relationship was just bgeginning). I don't know if the Eloi inspired any bit of this story, but that's about as close a comparison to a famous literary work I can come up with. I knocked off a star for inconsistencies. The characters in this book have never seen many common things and no clue what they are or do, much less what they are called, but throughout they refer to some of these things correctly as if they do have knowledge of them. (I won't spoil what here.) In some places, the author does a good job of explaining things as the main character might see them, in other places he simply uses the correct term, as if the character has known about it his entire life. It may be nitpicky, but it did take a little bit away from the story for me. All in all, it was a quick and easy story to read. I recommend it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Deedi (DeediReads) Brown

    All my reviews can be seen at https://deedireads.com/. Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of this book! This was a fast read, but it was really engaging. When he sent it to me, Greg compared it to The Giver. I was skeptical of that statement, but it was actually a pretty good comparison, at least in style and subject matter. Our Dried Voices is the story of Samuel, who is a colonist on a distant planet. In this future, people are almost brain dead; they literally spend their days All my reviews can be seen at https://deedireads.com/. Thank you to the author for providing me with a copy of this book! This was a fast read, but it was really engaging. When he sent it to me, Greg compared it to The Giver. I was skeptical of that statement, but it was actually a pretty good comparison, at least in style and subject matter. Our Dried Voices is the story of Samuel, who is a colonist on a distant planet. In this future, people are almost brain dead; they literally spend their days lounging around in fields and eating when food is given to them. It rains on Mondays, and only on Mondays. They speak mechanically and don’t understand (or sometimes even notice) discrepancies in their environment. One day, Samuel notices that things are starting to go wrong, one by one. The sleeping halls are locked, the meal halls stop giving out food, the bridges become broken, etc. And one by one, he starts to wake up and use his mind to solve the problems. But they keep coming. As the book goes on, he has to figure out who’s doing these things and how to stop them, for the good of his fellow colonists (who cannot help themselves). I was pleasantly surprised by this one. The writing is very matter-of-fact, with very little dialogue, but that makes it really engaging. What’s going on here? Who’s doing these things? When will Samuel understand these things that people have long forgotten? It’s like reading about a child learning how to navigate the world, but with higher stakes. I didn’t read this in a single day, but I could have. And it made me think. Give this one a chance.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Told simply and in an easy style the story of Samuel's intellectual awakening is poetically moving. Set on the Planet Pearl (think of it as Earth Jr.) after Earth itself became over populated (among it's many other issues): Our Dried Voices follows Samuel on his journey of exploration and enlightenment from The Colony to the world at large. This story calls to mind Huxley and Wells' work, is frightening, exhilarating, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Told simply and in an easy style the story of Samuel's intellectual awakening is poetically moving. Set on the Planet Pearl (think of it as Earth Jr.) after Earth itself became over populated (among it's many other issues): Our Dried Voices follows Samuel on his journey of exploration and enlightenment from The Colony to the world at large. This story calls to mind Huxley and Wells' work, is frightening, exhilarating, and ultimately hopeful.

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