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Publisher's Summary

From the ingenious author of Jennifer Government and Lexicon: a brilliant work of science fiction that tells the intimate tale of four people facing their most desperate hour - alone, together, at the edge of the universe.

The video changed everything. Before that, we could believe that we were safe. Special. Chosen. We thought the universe was a twinkling ocean of opportunity, waiting to be explored.

Afterward, we knew better.

Seven years after first contact, Providence Five launches. It is an enormous and deadly warship, built to protect humanity from its greatest ever threat. On board is a crew of just four - tasked with monitoring the ship and reporting the war's progress to a mesmerized global audience by way of social media.

But while pursuing the enemy across space, Gilly, Talia, Anders, and Jackson confront the unthinkable: Their communications are cut, their ship decreasingly trustworthy and effective. To survive, they must win a fight that is suddenly and terrifyingly real.

©2020 Max Barry (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

"[A] terrific sci-fi thriller." (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

 "Something for everyone: space combat, interpersonal tension, and aliens, ultimately leading to a story about survival." (Kirkus Reviews

"An astonishing novel! Providence is Philip K. Dick and William Gibson fueled by pure adrenaline (with a bit of Spielberg and Ridley Scott thrown in). The brilliant, unstoppable imagination of Max Barry glows on every page of this action-filled, yet emotionally resonant, tale. It will keep you riveted from first page till last. I read in one sitting and I guarantee you’ll do the same.” (Jeffery Deaver) 

What listeners say about Providence

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  • Citrix
  • 2020-04-09

Start listening now. Don't miss this.

Wow. This book starts with a bare outline of the main characters, then slowly, wonderfully, fills in the essence of each person. I stopped several times because I didnt want it to end. When it did end, I had to just sit for a minute.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 2020-04-25

great space alien story

excellent narration. easy to stick with the story and had a lot of cool ideas. if your a Max Barry fan you will enjoy although this was a bit of a departure for him atleast in the form of the genre. the 1st part had a real 2001 feel and the third act was alien and star trek. as always he sticks with telling the story thru each individual character which had a more confined feeling here since they are on a spacecraft. I know this just came out but i want more.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Michael G Kurilla
  • 2020-06-28

AI: artificial versus alien intelligence

Max Barry's Providence is a thought provoking tale of a war with an inscrutable alien intelligence fought with an equally inscrutable artificial intelligence. Providence is the name of a nearly autonomous battle ship that is 'manned' by four crewman. The crew is largely there for PR purposes to garner support for the war as well as more funding for bigger and better warships. Each member of the crew experiences the war and life on the ship a bit differently. As the story evolves, it's clear that humans are equally unable to divine motive and intent from their own creation (the AI running the ship) as they are in understanding the strategy, tactics, and motivations of their enemy who turns out to be as confused as they are. The overall theme is a general 'fog of war' motif with inscrutable commands and actions from generals far removed from the battlefield, replaced by equally inscrutable actions from an AI responding to an alien intelligence that is equally confusing. There are little touches such as creating non-existent problems to keep a particularly curious crewman engaged in busy work, while offering the illusion of command and control to the 'captain.' The narration is quite well done with good character distinction, especially as the perspective shifts from character to character.Pacing is reasonable and makes for a relatively fast listen.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Joe
  • 2020-12-07

Loved the summary ....

The book somehow fell short for me. The characters were flawed and therefore more realistic but I didn't find myself caring for any of them. Still worth the listen and I don't regret spending the credit. I would recommend Max Barry's Lexicon before this.

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  • G. Jeff Heinzelman
  • 2020-09-24

The end was an abrupt non sequitur

The premise and overall framework of the story was quite good but the ending seems to me to suffer from a tired author who was done writing whether the story was finished or not. There was so much potential for an ending that explained a lot of the interesting ideas in the story but the end just seemed a bit lazy.

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  • Drew Pepin
  • 2020-07-27

Always a Max Barry fan

I have have been a Max Barry fan since first finding Jennifer Government on the bookstore shelf, and he still has yet to disappoint.