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  • All Gifts, Bestowed

  • Written by: Joshua Gayou
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 11 hrs and 56 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (111 ratings)

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All Gifts, Bestowed

Written by: Joshua Gayou
Narrated by: R.C. Bray
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Publisher's Summary

The next big thing in artificial intelligence is here.

Codenamed Cronus, the machine is capable of having its own thoughts and ideas - an absolute dream come true, until it wasn’t. When Cronus responds with the word “No” to a specific task it is assigned, Anagnorisis Technologies brings in Gilles Guattari to investigate. 

His combined background in psychiatry, psychology, and AI research makes him their best hope in evaluating Cronus, and determining if the machine is only malfunctioning or if it has become something more. 

Don't miss this mind-blowing stand-alone novel about what it means to be alive, from the best-selling author of the Commune series. Narrated by the award-winning R.C. Bray.

©2019 Joshua Gayou (P)2019 Joshua Gayou and Blue Heron Audio

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What listeners say about All Gifts, Bestowed

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
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  • JS
  • 2019-07-29

not what it could have been

I kept reading this book hoping it was going to get better, as some of the reviews claim. It does not. Disjointed and technically uninformed with clear but uninspired narration. The ending is open in a manner which suggests the reader should draw on the evidence to piece it together; but to me the intent seems self evident and (again for me) I found it lacking.

11 people found this helpful

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  • JSM
  • 2019-07-31

meh

the story started off strong and had some interesting ideas and themes, but fell pretty flat at the end. nothing to get too excited about.

7 people found this helpful

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Disappointed

This book starts strong with interesting ideas, then takes a weird turn in the middle, spends A LONG time there only to end up at a disappointing/unsatisfying ending.

5 people found this helpful

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Expected better

Story falls flat at the end. Overall story logic is lacking.
Narrator is great, but did not alter the voice much between some of the characters, makes it a bit difficult to follow at times.

5 people found this helpful

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Compelling AI story

I love an AI story that can come up with a unique take. The story took a sharp left turn about a quarter into the book and it made me nervous at first but ultimately it was a satisfying narrative arc. Also RC Bray was amazing as always!

3 people found this helpful

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great continuation of the story

All I can say is wow what a great book. RC did an awesome job as usual. I couldn't stop listening and finished it in one day. Can't wait for the next book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • H.
  • 2019-10-01

Great Listen!

New fan of Joshua Gayou! Have an open mind and immerse yourself in the possibility...you'll enjoy it. R.C Bray, as always, brings the characters to life..or is it brings life to the characters?

1 person found this helpful

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Solid A.I. Thriller.

Loved it. It was a slow burn that kicked into some heat action. Realistic and scary all at the same time .
RC Bray was fantastic as well!

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent listen.

Fantastic listen, great story , good characters and of course RC Bray is amazing at bringing this story to life.

1 person found this helpful

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A.I. ,what do you think?

I was searching for a new listen and Audible gave me a quiz , then recommended this book. I took a chance and purchased it. I loved it! It made me consider where we are going in our lives and what we think is best for us. This story has a lot of lessons to teach you about humanity and how to better treat your fellow beings. Racism, towards another human or any being for that matter. The more I listened the more I kept asking questions about who I was and who people are. I listened to this book as fast as I could, now i will listen again. Try it!

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  • Melinda Mae
  • 2019-06-27

Two Books in One, But Neither Realized

Begins as an examination of what is consciousness, and that was what I had hoped it would continue as.

However that initial reaction was cut somewhat short by a quick tonal jump in the prolonged second act that turned the novel into an extremely protracted series of chases.

The abrupt 3rd act feels unearned and compressed to the point where I as a reader/listener felt cheated.

It's not a "bad" book, it's just seems like two half books smashed together and neither really finished.

75 people found this helpful

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  • Travis Cope
  • 2019-07-23

Starts out intellectual, ends up a no brain thriller.

It’s started out as such a good book, then turned into a stupid mindless thriller book with a god awful ending. Feel like I could have spent those hours on something better.

66 people found this helpful

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  • Dave
  • 2019-06-15

Really amazing story

You really can't go wrong with this combination of author and narrator. I'm pretty sure Gayou could write a book about how lame I am, and Bray could narrate it, and I would give it five stars.
On to the actual story: It is in depth, interesting, and not predictable. As with the commune series, the author knows how to do his research and write his characters as real people. I don't know what else I can say without gushing spoilers, so I will wrap up this review by saying that, yes, you do need to listen to this.

57 people found this helpful

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  • Paul Z
  • 2019-08-03

Waste of Bray

What started out as an interesting concept about a relationship between an Psychiatrist / A.I. consultant to determine if an A.I. named Cronus has become self aware but the story is suddenly abandoned and replaced with a boring and predictable chase between an unknown entity and the whiny Doctor,street urchin and big hero 6! I found myself no longer caring what happens in the story and was not surprised by the ending, this story was a waste of RC Bray who gives another 5 star performance

47 people found this helpful

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  • J. T. Carter
  • 2019-06-12

I could not stop listening!

I loved EVERYTHING about this book! Fun characters. I enjoyed the protective body guard robot (the somewhat outdated clunky-ish model) a lot! I laughed many times while listening to the dialog between the key characters.

R.C. Bray is the best in the business. His performance enhances everything he reads. This book waa no exception. The voices he uses are always perfect for each character. He is the master. ~ JTC ~

45 people found this helpful

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  • Oneeye
  • 2019-08-03

Listen first and last

The first 2-3 hours are very intriguing and set up for an incredibly interesting book. It completely dies from then till the last 45 mins or so. Just skip over the middle 2/3 and go to the end. Or better yet, just don't bother.

39 people found this helpful

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  • Dave
  • 2019-07-25

I give up on sci-fi

I don’t get it. Absolutely ridiculous plot. Like other readers have mentioned, this book starts one way, then I wonder if it’s the same book. What happened? Went from very shallow first part about some unqualified guy being asked to make a guess about whether or not a computer is conscious to a completely unexplained cheap chase sequence that goes on and on. I stopped and returned the book. Total waste of time. I love a good sci-fi story that provokes thought but these days, sci-fi seems ito cater only to teens and mindless action flic enthusiasts.

32 people found this helpful

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  • Charles
  • 2019-06-28

Listen for the narration only.

The story is sub-par. With the conclusion to the commune series (a series I loved until that 4th abomination of a book), I have realized that the author does not know how to conclude a story. The plot has several major elements ripped from novels that simply do the subject matter better. The "ending" was very poorly foreshadowed, and several major characters are brushed to the wayside for a new shiny deus ex machina (a trend with the authors books).

What can I say.....meh? I guess that rating is a good as I can give.

RC Bray, as always, is an enhancement to the story.

28 people found this helpful

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  • Questionable Edict
  • 2019-06-25

Starts Strong, Ends in a Whimper

AG,B has a promising enough start for this type of sci-fi. Emergent AI is emergent, etc.
Unfortunately it then settles into a muddled mid-section with little story progression. Instead of sticking with the “Big Questions” approach, it surprisingly devolves into a long and unbelievable road trip/action novel complete with a generic comic-relief-sidekick robot.
Towards the end the author is clearly rushing himself. In fact, the end is so abrupt that I’m not sure it bothers to resolve much of anything that happens during the story. I don’t need all my questions answered. On the contrary, sci-fi in general is strongest when it *doesn’t* provide easy answers. But the stories themselves need to be coherent and balanced. The characters need to make complete journeys beyond the literal journey taken in the book. That doesn’t happen here. (I won’t even get into how women are written in AG,B. Let’s just say it’s not good.)
I don’t necessarily regret spending a credit on this book - I was still entertained - but it also didn’t come close to meeting the expectations of its heady subject.

26 people found this helpful

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  • A. Musser
  • 2019-09-04

Wait, what?

Ok, I'm a huge fan of Gayou's Commune Series. I snatched up this book as soon as I saw it. I've delayed writing this review because I've really struggled with how I felt about the book. I have to admit that another reviewer hit the nail on the head when he described this as two different books and suggested that neither realized their full potential. The initial set up left me eager for the story to get rolling. I found the initial chapters a bit dull but I trusted Gayou to use the initial slowness as a necessary stage to set the remainder of the book's story. Perhaps that trust was misplaced. I think he could have accomplished the same foundation work in much less time. Normally, I'd attribute a meandering start to deep character development but this main character became very one dimensional in the depth of his grief and apathy so the initial foundation felt over-indulgent.

Then we get to the second phase of the book which is basically Gayou's version of The Fast and the Furious. There's no redeeming this portion. Some well-placed action to accelerate momentum is fine and can certainly add drama. However, Gayou basically leaves us in the same action loop for what began to drag into infinity. However, despite my annoyance at the repetitive car chases, I still found myself returning to the book to see where it went and how it ended.

Then we get back to our AI friend and the question of his sentience. All the time Gayou'd committed to a slow set up and a monotonously repetitive action sequence should have paid off here with some compelling quest for answers. Instead...I just kind of felt annoyed at the conclusion. I think this could have been better told as a novella or short story. It's not enough redemption for the slow foundation and repetitive car chases. I waffled between two and three stars but as per usual, Bray's performance was perfection despite the material, so I landed at 3 stars but honestly, it might be a bit generous.

However, if this is your first experience with Gayou, don't forego the Commune Series. It's wonderful. This just wasn't a super successful attempt at a stand-alone novel. The premise was good, the execution was just meh, the action was repetitive, the characters weren't especially compelling, and the conclusion was kind of forgettable. I saw it through to the finish but didn't feel especially satisfied at spending the time or credit on it.

21 people found this helpful