I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Singularity Trap by Dennis E. Taylor, Ray Porter
Published by Audible Studios on June 5, 2018
Genres: Science Fiction
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After scrimping and saving for two years, Ivan Pritchard lands a berth with the mining ship Mad Astra. His one share buys him six months of searching the asteroid belt for that elusive cache of metals that could make the entire crew wealthy, and allow Ivan to pull his family out of the depths of poverty.
While investigating a promising asteroid, Ivan triggers an extraterrestrial booby trap, which squirts a strange liquid substance onto his arm. The next morning, he wakes up to find his forearm turning into living metal. Soon his other limbs begin to change, and worse yet, there’s an artificial intelligence growing in his head and talking to him. As alien nanites eat his ship out from under him, the AI reveals its mission: to convert the solar system and the human race into a war machine meant to fight in an interstellar battle that has raged for millions of years.
To save his family—and the human race—Ivan will need to play a deadly game of brinkmanship with the military, all the while hiding his plans from both his crewmates and the alien computer residing in his brain.
In this novel, a space miner named Ivan comes across an alien artifact which begins converting him into an artificial being so that it can evaluate and communicate with humanity. The book tries to tackle some themes like “what does it mean to be human?”, how we should deal with alien threats, and how we should treat artificial intelligences. I don’t think the novel goes too deep into any of these necessarily, but it makes for an interesting and entertaining story that is worth listening to. Following Ivan’s thoughts about “am I still me?” and the military go through all the potential reactions to the threat are interesting. The bad guys in this novel (the military) are rather shallow, but the one main bad guy does get a bit of redemption/depth in the end. Many of the characters (fellow miners, disease specialists, etc. have very little depth or contribution to the story), but a handful do (Ivan’s doctor, the ship’s captain, etc.). Ivan is fairly well fleshed out though and the author does a good job of giving a bit of a personality to the alien artificial intelligence. The narration was a bit hard for me as the narrator puts so much of himself into it that it is hard to distinguish from the author’s other work: We Are Legion (Bobiverse). It’s a decent story to listen to, but nothing super special that would warrant 5 stars.