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Publisher's Summary

The instant New York Times best seller

The alternate-history first-contact adventure Axiom's End is an extraordinary debut from Hugo finalist and video essayist Lindsay Ellis. Truth is a human right.

It's fall 2007. A well-timed leak has revealed that the US government might have engaged in first contact. Cora Sabino is doing everything she can to avoid the whole mess, since the force driving the controversy is her whistleblower father. Even though Cora hasn't spoken to him in years, his celebrity has caught the attention of the press, the internet, the paparazzi, and the government - and with him in hiding, that attention is on her. She neither knows nor cares whether her father's leaks are a hoax and wants nothing to do with him - until she learns just how deeply entrenched her family is in the cover-up and that an extraterrestrial presence has been on Earth for decades.

Realizing the extent to which both she and the public have been lied to, she sets out to gather as much information as she can and finds that the best way for her to uncover the truth is not as a whistleblower, but as an intermediary. The alien presence has been completely uncommunicative until she convinces one of them that she can act as their interpreter, becoming the first and only human vessel of communication. Their otherworldly connection will change everything she thought she knew about being human - and could unleash a force more sinister than she ever imagined.

A Macmillan Audio production from St. Martin's Press 

"Axiom’s End is one of the most unique science fiction novels in years. It’s a heartfelt story of alien first contact, but, luckily, unlike so many 'big idea' sci-fi books, it’s utterly unpretentious." (SYFY.com)

©2020 Lindsay Ellis (P)2020 Macmillan Audio

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What listeners say about Axiom's End

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Slow start, well worth the wait!

I found the first few chapters really lagged and I left the book for awhile... but I’m here to say it’s well worth hanging in there! The story itself has great moments of action and suspense, combined with a genuinely fascinating plot. This the alien contact and tech is handled really well, with a fully realized world and culture. The central character at times seemed a bit too much like Bella from twilight but the relationship she has is far from it, keeping you guessing and invested til the last sentence.

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An excellent story,

Lindsay has crafted an excellent story with one of the most thoughtfully constructed alien species I have seen in a long time. Coupled with a solid narration this is well worth it. I am really looking forward to the sequel coming this fall. Pre-order placed.

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Wonderful story

This book started off a bit slow, but then omg was it a fun ride once it took off. I love this story so much and I hope there’ll be more books in the future.

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Good SciFy from a new author.

Lindsay has crafted a very interesting sci-fi story containing believable human characters and very alien ETs.
I hope she continues to hone her craft of story telling.
My major complaint: The voice actor did a poor job at making the characters feel/sound different enough for it to not be confusing at times. Also, I don't recall too many happy moments, tones, or inflections. Looking back, this gives the overall emotional outlook a negative one.
Lindsay, please allow your characters time for happiness, triumph, jubilation etc in your next book. I spent many hours just feeling pitty for your characters. You have that skill mastered. keep up the good work.

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Pretty good read

Story was interesting and well written. I thought there was unexplored depth still available in the alien species but I think heard a sequel is coming so maybe that is yet to come.

Overall worth a listen. Narrator is excellent and her voice acting makes the story easier to follow as the main character is often communicating with a voice that is in her head and being translated. Narrator helps make it clear whether character is thinking for herself or hearing the alien voice.

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Just splendid

I have been a fan of Lindsay since her early YouTube days and I knew this book would not disappoint. Its imaginative, well paced, unique setting and has giant space bug romance and Kaveh. The voice performances were well done and enjoyable, Willis does a great job of getting emotions across and making each character sound distinct and Thorn was thoroughly enjoyable. I would have like to have done this review like how Lindsay has done her pull quotes as that's more to her style but I honestly can't help but gush about this book can't wait for the sequel

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Genuine and tactile, a great read.

I came into this as a Lindsay Ellis fan thinking to give it a try, but I was hooked right off the bat. Very well thought out, very real and everything was so clearly painted throughout.

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Pulpy and silly, but worth your time.

I am a big fan of Ellis's other works, and I went into this with no expectations...and, well. I sorta wish someone had prepared me for what I was getting into. It's a Saturday Morning Cartoon version of ARRIVAL, or ALIEN meets a magical girl anime. It's fun, but deep sci-fi it ain't.

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Couldn't stop listening

I loved this book. I finished The Carls Series by Hank Green recently and enjoyed it immensely, so I was a little worried about reading another first contact book so little apart because I didn't want to draw comparisons. I eventually did, though. but they were different enough that it wasn't the first thing to come to mind. I liked how the characters were written, even at their least likable points. I was invested in their destiny. Even with characters that we didn't spend a lot of time with (genome) or characters we weren't supposed to like. I saw a lot of the twists and reveals coming but I was still a little surprised by a few. Overall, it was a very enjoyable experience for me and I am looking forward for part 2.

Note: I admit I bought this book because I like Lindsay's content and expected her book to be good, but I have to say it's not why I liked the book. If anything, it set my expectations higher. I did hear some of the lines in her voice, especially the really sarcastic ones, which I enjoyed as a little inside joke of sorts. I almost felt like maybe she should've voiced the whole thing herself but I do get why she didn't.

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Some weaknesses but overall a good story

Overall, I enjoyed it, but I did struggle with some of the sometimes unlikable characters (the aunt and the mom in particular). It was painful to listen to them be so cruel and condescending to each other and I dont feel it added much to what I already understood about Cora. I also never fully grasped what these aliens looked like. Perhaps this is my own weakness in translating a verbal description to an image in addition to such a unique alien (no gray aliens here!) but it did make it harder to appreciate the story when I couldn't fully picture the main characters. I don't know if I will buy any future books but I do send a big thanks to the author for working hard to put out this first book!

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Miss Gibson
  • 2020-07-25

a tedious story even more tediously narrated

this reviewed well however after an hour I found I was skipping to the end of chapters as the story progression was incredibly slow, even worse the narrator was speaking so slowly seemingly trying to build tension with elongated pauses. speeding the app read speed up to 1.4 helped but after 2 hours the story just wasn't engaging enough. I think I was expecting more sci-fi and less 'days of our lives' drama.

31 people found this helpful

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  • Umar
  • 2020-07-23

A Well Done Character Driven First-Contact Story

This is a great debut book, not filled with the usual traps a lot of first-time authors fall into. It's not a spoiler to say it's a first-contact story. We sci-fi fans read a lot of those and so few stand out. Axiom's End stands out because it's an epic story with so much personality you find yourself caring. It's a character-driven story that brings up so many interesting questions about life, ethics, love. Lindsay Ellis has some balls imagining this story at a specific period of time we will all recognize and going "what if this happened.) At first, the time-period seems innocuous and for a few pages, you worry a story like this could become dated. But as the story plays out and you're carried along the journey with the protagonist you realize that this is one of those stories that might last the test time. We've got ourselves a fresh face in science fiction and can't wait to see what other things she has in store for us in the future.

Fan note: If you know Linsay Eliis work, get ready to crack up at a reference you just know she sat with her manuscript and went "I HAVE to put this in here." And it worked.

25 people found this helpful

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  • Eric
  • 2020-08-05

Short Circuit w Aliens?

I mean that in a good way. I imagine this was probably a pretty hard sell for Ellis. I imagine a publisher looking at this and asking "whos the target audience?". As a 37 year old male who loves deep sci fi of the likes of Dune, the initial impression was that this was made for a different reader than myself. A much younger one, but I was surprised at how dramatically the story gears up and becomes quite engaging by the end. I found myself pausing it frequently in the last act, waiting till the next day, the next drive to follow up on the latest events, not wanting it to end. There are many revelations and touching moments by the end which were very rewarding.

The highlight of the novel is undoubtedly the relationship of Cora and Ampersand. It feels oddly believable and entertaining, and the story felt lacking until they met one another. In fact, the beginning was a little weak. Ive seen other reviews comment on the lack of background on Cora, but I really dont feel like thats necessary. Its not that kind of story, its about their relationship. What did Romeo do before he met Juliet? Who cares? I actually felt like the character was established by just a few pages, and further back story would have weighed it down further. But once it sheds the dead weight of introduction, the story takes off.

I loved the aliens. They were extremely well written. I always "leaned in" when they were present. They were simultaneously vulnerable and omnipotent. Terrifying, yet scared. The concepts discussed were always intriguing. The realities of what an advanced race would do, could do, to a population like our own were clearly demonstrated.

Overall this was an enjoyable book from a first time author. Perhaps it is intimate knowledge of her channel, or knowing how difficult it is become published that let me ignore some weaker aspects of the book. But theres no denying that by the end I was deeply hooked. This novel felt like an avalanche to me, slowly building and building in momentum and impact. I look forward to a sequel or other novels by Ellis.

21 people found this helpful

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  • Lisbet Barrientos
  • 2020-07-22

Not usually a sci fi fan but...

That was the wildest ride I’ve been on in my most recent memory and it’s 2020

21 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • DoYouEvenPrime?
  • 2020-08-10

The narrator’s whiny voice is grating

4 hours in and she will not relent on being a shivering, nervous victim tone!

16 people found this helpful

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  • Lee W. Young
  • 2020-09-08

Overly dramatic narrator

I couldn't finish this one. The narration was driving me nuts. Everything was a crisis. Ms Willis needs some valium. Ugh.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-07-25

More than surface level sci-fi

This is not a story set in a sci-fi setting, it's more like the classics where it takes your reality and explores would happen if X was introduced. The book did not only deal with both the immediate response and the long term effects but also a expanding viewpoint after the realization.
Another point on the book not beeing surface level: it feels like the world already exsists and we are just takeing a peek into it, knowing there is much more behind the veil.
The world feels realistic. I can see how this could have happened in reality.

The narrator did a good job portraying emotions through the robot voice but there were instances when there was lot of robot talk where it could get tedious.
Didn't like the begining but after that it keept me interested all the way through.

10/10 well done, would recomend.
Sequel plz

10 people found this helpful

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  • Rj
  • 2020-07-23

I am a big Fan of Ellis

I love the Ender series. I love Old man’s war, and I liked this.

I was enveloped by the story throughout. I enjoyed Ellis’ writing style and the characters overall. I was surprised at times and I was correct at others which is nice. I don’t always want my expectations subverted.

I will definitely be waiting for additional books from Ellis and likely devour them just as quickly.

Some of the references felt a little too hard hammered. I didn’t care for the family relationships nor for how.... intense ... things were. There was a bit of an over dramatic pacing.

Despite this. Enjoyable. :) Ellis is worth a listen. It’ll go by quickly.
The narrator Stephanie Willis is fabulous.

10 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-07-22

Stellar debut for Ellis

I would be very surprised if the Hugo Awards didn't include this for next year. The book remains strong throughout, and has an interesting lead in for futher books.

10 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-07-27

it's fine.

The protagonist is a little too whiny at points and repeats herself a while lot. the aliens are interesting overall and the ideas around the world building are all solid, if not spectacularly original.

Oliver Thorn thinks he can do an American accent. He cannot.

Overall a decent first effort. B-.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Map Reduce
  • 2020-08-15

Not bad, but nothing special

The book started out well enough, continued somewhat better but the ending was forced and over-the-top. I will not spoil it. I'll just say it's not so much a first contact story but a Beauty and the Beast with aliens and a girl that has no reason to fall for the beast.