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Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, February 2015 - If you know me, you know I was obsessed with the TV show Lost. I'm talking "hours of theorizing on a whiteboard after each episode" obsessed. So when I heard that A.G. Riddle's new book Departure was drawing comparisons to my favorite show, I knew I had to listen. I was pleased to find that while there are some obvious similarities - a plane crash, a mystery, characters who are not what they seem, etc. - the similarities stop there, and Riddle's story quickly takes on its own identity with a unique, tantalizing mystery and plenty of action. Nicola Barber and Scott Aiello are an amazing cast for this book, which shifts perspectives between a male and female lead. Fast-paced, intriguing, and smart, I encourage all my fellow Lost-ies to check this out.

Publisher's Summary

En route to London from New York, Flight 305 suddenly loses power and crash-lands in the English countryside, plunging a group of strangers into a mysterious adventure that will have repercussions for all of humankind.

Struggling to stay alive, the survivors soon realize that the world they've crashed in is very different from the one they left. But where are they? Why are they here? And how will they get back home?

Five passengers seem to hold clues about what's really going on: writer Harper Lane, venture capitalist Nick Stone, German genetic researcher Sabrina Schröder, computer scientist Yul Tan, and Grayson Shaw - the son of a billionaire philanthropist.

As more facts about the crash emerge, it becomes clear that some in this group know more than they're letting on - answers that will lead Harper and Nick to uncover a far-reaching conspiracy involving their own lives. As they begin to piece together the truth, they discover they have the power to change the future and the past - to save our world...or end it.

To read an epilogue to Departure and access other bonus material, go to agriddle.com/departure/extras

©2014 A.G. Riddle (P)2014 Audible Inc.

What the critics say

"Well-constructed and tightly-wound as a fine Swiss watch, Departure has non-stop action, an engaging plot and, of course, wheels within wheels." (Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series)

What listeners say about Departure

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Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Too Much of a Romance Novel

Not really my cup of tea. I like the action and the intrigue but I found myself wishing the end would come. It seemed too much of a romance novel for me.

5 people found this helpful

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Awesome!

Totally enjoyed both the story and narrators! Really good drama, with some conflict and a little pinch of love. I think it may appeal to women more than men, but I could be wrong. #Audible1

3 people found this helpful

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Suspend your disbelief

What if you could have insight into the future? What if you knew that a seemingly innocent, well intended decision today would lead to chaos tomorrow?

I can easily see this story as a movie, so from that perspective it is a bit formulaic and predictable. Others have pointed out a similar feel to "Lost" (the 1st couple of seasons anyway). Really though, this is a story about decisions. How we make them and why. What unforseen consequences might a decision hold?

I liked both narrators and the 1st person perspective. I'd add this to any junior high to adult reader's list who has an interest in sci-fi, adventure/action, Lost or Butterfly Effect fans.

2 people found this helpful

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Disappointed

Almost mechanical sounding characters and delivery. Did not enjoy story and couldn’t finish.
Do not recommend.

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Inspiration

I love books that involve writers. Maybe it’s narcissistic, but anything that can positively reinforce writing in my mind makes me happy. I love writing and this content has inspired me to start journaling. For the first time I’m actually writing my thoughts and feelings down. It’s very cathartic. Thank you departure.

Awesome book, was not expecting it to be sci-fi. Pleasant surprise.

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worth the read

I thought the story was good. kept you reading. the nick voice felt a little over acted but still enjoyed it.

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  • cj
  • 2021-07-22

Not great

I’m usually quite able to suspend disbelief but this one just asks for too much of it. Scott the male narrator seems determined to apply every acting lesson learned in drama school. His over the top radio voice ( a la Ted Baxter) is so overly dramatic that it’s distracting, I dreaded when it was his turn to perform. So I finally got through the story, which could have been interesting but felt more like a chore I was determined to finish.

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BEST STORY IVE READ IN A WHILE!

a Rollercoaster of twists and turns a la Koontz+ King...kept trying to pin down genre, its a masterful mix of them all!

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Choose Something Else

Very mediocre. There are better listens out there. Skip this one. The characters were unbelievable and you need strong, plausible characters when you are dealing with such a far fetched sci-fi story.

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my comments on the story

I liked it very much kept me engaged. story was intriguing and I'm I wish I could write like that I can't write with a crap but I got some really good ideas I just don't know how to articulate it. I got some real weird things going on in my head sometimes good ones though not evil

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  • Cheri
  • 2015-09-01

A Great Sci-Fi Story With Lots of Twists and Turns

Departure was a very intriguing story with a mysterious plot that had lots of twist and turns and had me on edge and guessing throughout the story. I was unable to stop listening to the story well into the wee hours of the night.

This story was also thought provoking on the chaos that would follow a plan crash if there was no leader or resources to depend on.

My credit was well spent on this story!

41 people found this helpful

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  • Natalie @ ABookLoversLife
  • 2015-04-01

Amazing!

Any additional comments?

This was nothing like I expected! To tell the truth, I didn't know what to expect when I started it but what I got was an amazing experience.

I'm not going to get into the plot in case I inadvertently spoil something so I'll just get right into what I thought.

Harper is such an amazing Heroine. I loved that she was a writer!! Flight 305 is her first time in first class, which is where she meets Nick. I loved her voice and her thoughts. Despite being terrified when the crash happens, she still does whats needed with no hesitation. I loved her strength and her inherent niceness.

Nick was so mysterious at the start. We didn't get a sense of what he did for a living and I thought he was maybe military. He was so strong, brave and dependable the whole way through the story. I really liked his character and was thrilled to see him show his feelings for Harper!

Plot wise I found it to be so captivating and intriguing. The plane crashes and no one comes to the passengers rescue, which is weird, add in a barren place with very little life, a rebuilt Stone Henge and a London that's abandoned and you have the makings of a phenomenal book, and it was! I started reading (well listening) and I couldn't stop. There is so many twists and turns that you will be turning the pages as fast as you can to see what happens.

Anyway, I absolutely loved everything about this book. Both the plot and the characters were well written and developed. From it's intrinsic and intriguing plot to it's wonderfully written story, Departure is a must read. If this book is any indication of his work, then I can not wait to read more by him. Amazing.

I listened to the audio and it was fantastic. Both narrators did a brilliant job with the story. They gave it their all and it showed. They drew me into the story and made me a part of it. As I was listening to it, it played out like a movie in my head and I loved it. Highly recommend.

58 people found this helpful

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  • Matthew
  • 2015-02-24

The start of a new series I suspect..

What did you like best about Departure? What did you like least?

Creative and thought provoking was what I liked best, esp. given the way it started and then twisted at the conclusion. It started rather predictably, but certainly didn't end that way.

What I didn't enjoy? Sometimes abit disjointed in the continuity, and the editing wasn't ideal.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Candidly, not much. Riddle is a fine writer, and pulled this one off with style and grace.

Which character – as performed by Nicola Barber and Scott Aiello – was your favorite?

The female Swiss doctor was quite the piece of work.

Was Departure worth the listening time?

Definitely.

Any additional comments?

I certainly hope this is the beginning of a series ( it has the feel, and I think it is already actually). As previously noted, a fine performance of an original idea. Worth the time and the credit!

64 people found this helpful

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  • Lia
  • 2018-08-18

Ridiculous, Boring and Flat

Nick Stone and Harper Lane have never met. He’s a successful venture capitalist. She’s a successful ghost writer. The one thing that they have in common is that they are on the same transatlantic flight, which crash-lands in a lake in a rural part of England. Some passengers die on impact. Some drown. Some survive only to grow old and succumb to old age within days. All of this tragedy happens via narrator monotone without any feeling or depth.

At first Riddle’s novel feels like a knock-off of the TV series, Lost, as Nick and Harper make their way through this alternate reality in which they find themselves. The reader’s experience mimics that of the protagonists, both finding that they are in a quandary, succinctly noted by Harper herself at one point: “Stand-alone novel? Sci-fi? Thriller? Time travel?” Eventually, the author pulls back enough of the curtain that we figure it out. (So do Nick and Harper.)

The story does have, in this reviewer’s opinion, a very distracting element in its telling. As the narratortakes in the adventure, he or she must do it simultaneously from two different points of view: Riddle has chosen to write this book in first-person-present tense – but from two different characters. In one chapter, we see part of the story directly through Harper’s eyes: “I can only sit, in a daze.” Yet in the next chapter, we see a different part of the story through Nick’s eyes: “They call it the Palm. I call it hell.” Unfortunately, Harper’s and Nick’s voices are nearly identical. If a reader opened a page at random, there would be no way of knowing who doing the “telling” at that moment.

It left me feeling like I have a crook in my neck from watching a tennis match at Wimbledon: back and forth and back and forth… A switch to an omniscient POV would have made the novel much more delightful.

One other weakness in the writing is the fact that there is an excessive amount of boring back story that is delivered to the narrator via monologue – vis-à-vis one character telling another either what is happening in that moment or what has happened in the past. Again, a different choice of POV could have made the reader’s experience more enjoyable.

For readers who don’t mind first-person-present POV, the author’s choice may not be a hindrance. His plot idea is inventive, and his characters are likeable. In the end, we are rooting for them. But it took so long to get to that point it ruined the whole book for me.

Nicola Barber voice was so soft I had to keep adjusting the volume, Scott Aiello voice was great and he should narrated the entire book.

40 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • DebinGA
  • 2015-04-03

Thoroughly enjoyed this book

Would you listen to Departure again? Why?

I would. I enjoyed the performance and it is a good story.

What did you like best about this story?

The possibilities. The story came together well. It was complex enough to be interesting, but still able to keep up with.

Which character – as performed by Nicola Barber and Scott Aiello – was your favorite?

I liked all of Nicola's characters. Actually they both did a fantastic job.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me thankful for today. It reminded me to look at today and count my blessings.

Any additional comments?

Read it, listen to it, you will like this story. Thanks A.G. for a delightful story.

9 people found this helpful

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  • A. Gordon
  • 2015-04-22

Couldn't stay with it

I have tried to listen to this several times, but just can't stay with the book. It's hard to follow. Scott, the male narrator does a good job in narration, but Nicola reads like she's whispering. I have to crank up the volume to make out what she's saying.

The situation at the beginning of the story was interesting, because it seemed like a good way to start a book, however I didn't find the rest of the story interesting enough to finish it.

51 people found this helpful

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  • Stephen
  • 2015-02-19

A satisfyingly woven story.

Any additional comments?

Telling the story from two alternating points of view worked well. Competent narration certainly added to the atmosphere of the story. The various "strands" of the story came together in an interesting way so that most of the questions raised in the story are answered in a satisfying manner. Thanks A.G. I enjoyed this a lot.

33 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jan
  • 2015-02-22

To Believe or Not To Believe, That's The Question

A.G. Riddle's new novel "Departure" is written in multiple genres, which isn't easy for any author to pull off sucessfully. The original storyline is the novel's strength, and the carrying out of that storlyline is it's weakness.

This futuristic sci-fi grabs the listener's attention right out of the gate with a plane crash. We are introduced to the surviving passengers, and are suddenly engulfed in a mystery, adventure, suspense, and a budding romance. Sci-fi via time travel is quickly added to the mix.

Many characters and events are introduced very early in the novel with limited detail, which resulted in a lack of character development and difficulties with suspension of belief. Usually, the inability to suspend belief in a sci-fi novel is like drawing the death card. I was able to get past this, but not without it effecting my overall opinion of the novel.

Most of the characters who are not essential to the story are weeded out by the ending of the first half of the novel. The second half, while less suspenseful, is well devoleoped... allowing the reader to focus on time travel within a post-apocolyptic world, and the mystery of how the world got that way.

Overall, "Departure' is written with an original storyline, and although not Riddle's best, it is still above average. Both narrators are very good and character consistant. It was a good listen, but I wouldn't be interested in experiencing it a second time.

54 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dorothy
  • 2015-02-20

Enjoyed

First time reading this authors work. I enjoyed the book a lot, different structure far as narration goes, but was a good read.

21 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Max
  • 2015-04-23

Dumb and dumber

Terrible storyline with one dimensional over stereotyped characters. I thought I'd get eventually be drawn in but no such luck, just glad when it ended. Sound editing not well done. Male voice is booming while female is a barely audible whisper.

53 people found this helpful