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Song and Signal by [Patterson, M. E.]
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Song and Signal Kindle Edition

3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Length: 429 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 912 KB
  • Print Length: 429 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Digimonkey Studios (7 Oct. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #997,224 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thought this would be a great concept and as a SF addict looked forward to something new. As it turned out is was quite a linear story and a small cast to get along with.

The story sort of flowed along although there were some jumps, which would have been acceptable, except the story line was short and predictable.

With no great twist in the tail and the dead's reserection not being fully explained it was a clunky read.

All in all a good try but needed padding, characters and a decent ending.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this. A classic tale of a young man trying to find his place in the world when he doesn't know enough about where he has come from. The story went beyond formulaic and added some great twists along the way. The author delivered in a short space a rich and interesting universe that seemed to live and function whilst providing the perfect backdrop for the adventures. Betrayal, sacrifice, cyborgs and indescribeable evils, everytging you could want.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars 19 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dazzling & Delightful.. LOVED IT! 28 Jan. 2014
By Cabin Goddess - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have found another author whose books I will be reading all of. I already owned the book when the tour came up and you know me, I have no control when it comes to tours, I have an affliction… err addiction errr both. It keeps me on a schedule and I already owned it, so what the heck! Well, it paid off! SONG and SIGNAL knocked me off my feet. I am not sure what pantheon of gods of the written word I did the appropriate sacrifice to but I am lucking out left and right when it comes to books lately, specifically young adult reads. For the record I personally will argue this is not young adult. The author and I had a chat about it, in fact. He said he did not set out to write it as young adult as it has become a marketing label not a genre. Well he is right, it is definitely not a genre, again Chuck Wendig post actually nailed it for me. But Mr. Patterson also said there are ten different answers to the question, what is Young Adult?

Well this is what makes it young adult to those who insist it is:

Young/Teen protagonists
Zak and Liz are teens, they are coming to a point where decisions within their lives can affect them forever.

Features problems and issues in the story which teens can relate too and more importantly emphasis put in these situations instead of a teen character acting like you think a teen would act like

Is a subject that will catch a teens attention and make them want to read it.
Well sci-fi, teenage hacker, action, bad ass aliens, bad ass bad guys, drugs, romance, rebellion.. YEP this book has it in spades.
They sound like adults but act like teens.

Yes because teenagers are mini-adults who have not finished cooking, with unfinished brains. Does not mean they are stupid, so don’t write down to them. Believe it or not they know you are being a dickpiston! Guess what? Mr. Patterson passes. I don’t think this should be put into a box, this is a good read just as Ender’s Game, which was not written with the intention of it being a young adult book yet it has been put into the young adult read, it really is a book that speaks to everyone.

Why does this matter to me? Well I have some problems with marketing things with the label of Young Adult, I can admit it. Frankly I don’t care anymore because the book was just extremely good! I will admit it, I have had issues with people who write a book and slap a YA label on it. Just because your protagonist is teen doesn’t make it a young adult read. This also means that a lot of young adult reads are not written for young adults but for soccer moms. Don’t get me wrong, I watch “Pretty Little Liars” and “Gossip Girls” is one of my favorites. But those shows are not for teens, they are for my demographic, soccer moms (yes I am old, deal with it). Like any adults we like to recapture that feeling and the experiences we had when we were that age, which is why these shows and some of these books are targeted to us.

But over the course of the last year I have been exposed to some stellar books which I was calling family reads, now I can admit these are young adult reads. I am out of the closet, I like to read and if a book is good, I mean really good it doesn’t matter if it is a picture book for first readers or a book about Russian politics, or… if it is Young Adult. If it is written well, it is written well. But my gripe is more for books the author felt the only thing that they needed to do was throw in a teenager. So many of these books were not realistic and did not do the ONE thing I really feel should be in a young adult read, which is realistic situations which teens are part of and realistic characters who are not perfect looking, acting and always winning, because no teen experiences that, ask the head cheerleader. Even they don’t feel perfect. But I am really digressing, yet again.. sorry about that! BACK to the REVIEW!

Zakari (Zak) is our intelligent nerd protagonist, but the thing is? In this cyberpunk sci-fi read he is one of many, but he is our leading nerd so he is exceptional. Like most geniuses, because he is, he also is not as with it in other arenas, especially socially with humans. Yes, with humans. I say this because he is a kind and caring person, he stands up against bullies. The xenophobia in the world he doesn’t get mainly because he was raised by an alien. He also is a kid whose dad is an infamous thief (supposedly;) and has to deal with the social stigma) Liz, his best friend and a girl he has been in love with “forever” is from a family with means, he grew up with an alien as a guardian. She is fearless, stubborn and loyal to a fault, she is a survivor.. It is a wonderful balance. I love them both. The character development starts right at the beginning as well as the action. We are thrust face first into this world and the dichotomy between the aliens and the former mining workers.

The stunning thing about this is the world build. So many times sci-fi authors tend to info dump, not all of them but many times with the indie and self pub it is as if they just don’t trust their readers. But sci-fi readers don’t need it! We know there is going to be tech, perhaps aliens and out of the world. Patterson has a way with allegory. The world build, the characters, the company, the political powers, all the story is riddled with it. So beautifully subtle and with such an impact.

I love how the author was able to fit in xenophobia, discrimination and class separation, politics and corporate power without being overtly obvious. The bad guys are despicable and yet it is not an obvious black and white, good and evil. There are balances and ethic checks left and right. The framework of this read is spot on fabulous!

Then there is the other factor, and without spoiling it this person, the one who is a story unto himself, creates a balance between the kids need to find out if the rumor about his father is true and this “mans” need to do what he needs to become a “real man” again. I was enthralled with the tale, completely. I read it from cover to cover in one sitting and ended up reading it again a little shower over the last week. Just wonderful. This was not the person they were running from, this “man” is another piece in the puzzle the story presents. Liz herself is another puzzle and mystery and one which disturbed me greatly and never was… truly explained but enough so to satisfy me.

Remember this while reading it… everything that is in this book is there for a reason. This is something very few can say. There is no added fluff, he did not tell me about it, he showed me. The imagery was stunning. I can see Liz as she battles the Scav workers. I almost stopped reading the book at 51% because everything was so vivid and real I was crushed. Yet I could not believe after everything this author did to bring me into their world, this would be it. So if you get to that point, KEEP GOING, I am not going to tell you what happens, just … I promise you won’t be let down.

Cabin Goddess rating of 9.5 out of 10
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Song and Signal - Great Characters and Awesome Adventure in a DEEP Universe based on feasible Sci-Fi. 24 Oct. 2013
By Michal - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Song and Signal turned out to be a GREAT book. I was recommended this by a friend who had just finished it.

The good:
- Well crafted story with lots of twists and turns. It kept me interested and turning pages. Action scenes really flow well.
- I actually cared about what happened to the main characters and thought they were pretty interesting. They were stereotypical enough to be familiar, but still managed to surprise.
- The future universe that this takes place in (several hundred years in the future) is REALLY cool. I got the sense that we were only scratching the surface of the mythology of the universe in this book. Even though it's written from a human perspective, the aliens in the book are very distinctly NOT human and with their own cultures with a lot of depth to them.
- There's an unexpected superhero-like element that comes up in this book that was very well done and well grounded in the "science" of the universe. Makes for an interesting read.

The bad:
- Starts off slow (at least compared to later), though it does establish Zak and Liz's friendship from the get-go.
- Would have wanted more of the story told from the perspective of the bad guy. What's there is interesting and leaving me wanting to know more.

- WELL worth the read. Enjoyable and immersive. I really hope we get MORE of this universe!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling coming-of-age sci-fi 17 Dec. 2013
By WCATX - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Song and Signal does not hold punches. It embeds you directly in the action-packed adventure of a rich sci-fi world centered around the young, space-dwelling, hacker hero Zak, his closest allies and deadliest enemies. The setting is obviously vast and carefully considered, but the story takes you right into the hearts and minds of the main characters. Zak grew up on a mining colony, far from the pull of planetary gravity, in a location whose remoteness is matched by his odd upbringing by an isolated alien. Zak and his friends are plunged into sudden independence as well as a life-and-death quest that naturally -- but also eerily and delightfully -- involves a bit of universe saving. M. E. Patterson has again achieved an immediacy with his storytelling that make Song and Signal very difficult to put down.

If you enjoyed M. E. Patterson's earlier works like Devil's Hand and the Drawing Thin series, or are a fan of Dan Simmons, Neal Stephenson, Firefly, Cowboy Bebop, or Farscape, I suspect you will find Song and Signal an excellent and captivating read.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting and Immersive World 26 Oct. 2013
By Scatterbrained - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I think a key part of good science fiction is establishing a compelling and unique universe, and Patterson did a great job of that. The dialogue is peppered with its own slang, but not so much that you can't follow what's going on. The world also goes beyond the scope of the story, with references to aliens, planets and corporations that give the setting a life of its own.

I enjoyed the characters as well. They had distinct personalities and made believable decisions in many morally gray situations. Patterson did a great job showing the multiple perspectives of the different agents involved in the story, and at times I wasn't really sure which side to root for. It was much more nuanced and believable than your typical good guys vs. bad guys story.

Patterson just keeps getting better. I look forward to reading more form him in the future.
5.0 out of 5 stars A strong first step into a new genre... 12 Dec. 2013
By Dacapan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is M.E. Patterson's third book. It's different. His first two are Occult/Horror and are awesome. Go read them. I'll wait.

Back??? good. Song and Signal is hard sci-fi set in a universe where humanity is outnumbered, out gunned and fighting to stay alive in a universe made too big by not-completely understood technology. It follows a teenage-male protagonist in his quest to find his long-missing father. It also follows an-ex-con looking for redemption and revenge. As with Mr. Patterson's other novels, trust me when I say that nothing is completely as it seems.

The book is fast paced, and it is clear that Mr. Patterson spent some time with the world-building. This has been and continues to be his strength. There is clearly much more to be told in this universe, whether or not it is from the same perspectives Mr. Patterson uses in this book. While some may find it difficult to get past some of the sci-fi jargon used early in the book, stick with it. All will be explained, and it is clear that any technology included in the book is there for a reason, will be explained, and will have a part to play.
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