Author: Rebecca Langham
Narrator: Kate Roth
Length: 10 hours and 35 minutes
Series: Outsider Project #1
Publisher: NineStar Press, LLC
Released: Mar. 18, 2019
Genre: Science Fiction
When a change in collective conscious sends the Outsiders, a group of aliens, to the shadows below the city, humans reason that the demonetization of their peers is simply more “humane”. There’s no question nor doubt. Just acceptance.
Lydia had embraced that sense of “truth” for as long as she can remember. The daughter of a powerful governor, she has been able to live her life with more comforts than most. Comforts can be suffocating, though, and when the opportunity to teach Outsider children in their private, “humane” community becomes available, she takes it.
What she finds beneath the city is far from the truth she had grown to know. There she meets Alessia, an Outsider with the knowledge and will to shake the foundation of all those who walk above ground. The two find a new and unexpected connection despite a complete disconnect from the technological world. Or perhaps in spite of it.
Still, it takes a lot more than an immutable connection to change the world. Lydia, Alessia, and a small group of Outsiders must navigate a system of corruption, falsehoods, and twists none of them ever saw coming, all while holding on to the hope to come out alive in the end. But it’s a risk worth taking and a future worth fighting for.
Rebecca Langham lives in the Blue Mountains (Australia) with her partner, children, and a menagerie of pets. She has been a foster carer for over ten years.
A Xenite, a Whovian and all-round general nerd, Rebecca is a lover of science fiction, comic books, and caffeine. When she isn’t teaching History to high schoolers or wrangling children, Rebecca enjoys playing broomball and reading.
A global voice, Kate brings her broad experience and expertise into the studio and into her voice over delivery. With her unique blend of accents, a project can only “shine” with the versatility and distinct sound of her voice
Australian, British and North American accents are within Kate’s range.
Adaptive in style and tone, depending on your needs, Kate can deliver a wide range of voices. From conversational to authoritative; fun to serious; sophisticated to knowledgeable and beyond.
Langham presents a very interesting sci-fi novel, but I do feel like there were some things greatly missed from the novel. Such as showing a glimpse of the war between aliens and humans would have helped understand the tension a lot. The romance was intriguing and did help push along the story, but sometimes I felt like it got in the way with the overall story. In the end I enjoyed the characters and think this was a well written novel filled with a lot of growth and surprises. 4/5 stars.
Narration was great! I loved Kate’s voice. She has a good tone and pacing throughout. She really made the story! 5/5 stars.
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Rebecca Langham. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
Author Rebecca Langham’s Casting Picks for Beneath the Surface
- ALESSIA- I picture her as a young Liv Tyler. Her appearance in ‘Lord of the Rings’ is almost perfect, given Alessia is a little elf-like herself, though the colouring isn’t quite right. She needs light, purple eyes, and hair full of wheat and sunset hues.If we went for an age-appropriate actress in the present, then Alycia Debnam-Carey would be my next choice. She has that inexplicable feminine fierceness that would suit Alessia.
- LYDIA- Trawling random shows and clips on YouTube, I discovered a Chilean telenovela called Perdona Nuestros Pecados. One of the main characters, Mercedes, was played by a woman who struck me straight away as being perfect for Lydia. Her name is Soledad Cruz and I loved her so much I named a character in another one of my books after her.
- FERMI- Like Alessia, Fermi and Peleus are ‘Outsiders’, an alien race with skin tones like the colour of the moon and unusual hair and eye colours. Fermi needs rust-coloured braids but, aside from that. Josh Hutcherson would fit nicely. He’s exuberant, cheerful, but still very emotive and compassionate.
- RAFE- Rafe is such a cool guy. He’s a boy in a man’s body and you can’t not like him. Andrew Keegan, as he is now (not his teen movie days) would be a great Rafe.
- SARA- Sara is, without a doubt, the most intelligent character in the book, with only Alessia coming close to sharing her ability to read people and situations. She’s seemingly demure and accommodating, but with Sara Taylor, things definitely aren’t what they appear. I can see Floriana Lima in this role.
- HELEN- Lydia’s mother — a hacker who engages in subversive activity designed to undermine the government. There’s no one else: Sigourney Weaver. Please? Helena Bonham Carter would also be fabulous, though.
- DAMON- Lydia’s father — every bit a politician. He has quite a journey ahead in Book 2. I love Jeff Goldblum in just about everything, so he could absolutely do it. Eric Roberts would be a fine second choice.
Author Rebecca Langham’s Top Ten Books Read Last Year
- Dawn by Octavia Butler
Wow! I mean: Wow! This is the first book in a trilogy that goes places sci-fi often waves at, but is too afraid to visit. Transhumanism, gender, diversity, power…I couldn’t stop thinking about this book for weeks.
- Kindred by Octavia ButlerI discovered Butler about two years ago and, if you can’t tell, she has become one of my all-time favourite authors. In this story, a black woman married to a white man in the 70s is transported through time to an age when slavery still existed. The impact of Butler’s story and contrasting timelines is profound. Again, it stayed with me for a long time.
- The Good Daughter by Karin SlaughterI don’t often read crime-fiction, but this blew me away. From the first sentence, Karin Slaughter’s prose wrapped all around me and wouldn’t let go. The family nuances. The suspense. The confrontational plot. It’s a truly incredible piece of fiction. I’ve actually been nervous to read another one of Slaughter’s books in case it can’t come close to this one.
- Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Years by Juan WilliamsI’m cheating a little here, since I only finished this one a few weeks ago. This is an illuminating and wonderful mixture of historical accounts, interviews, and historical commentary. I was haunted by many of the passages in this book. As far as non-fiction goes, this is an incredible story of human resilience in the face of unthinkable ignorance and racially-driven fear.
- Circe by Madeleine MillerMadeline Miller is a Classics expert and only someone with that kind of intimate knowledge of Hellenic history could have pulled off something this beautiful. I love retellings of age-old stories, when they’re done right. And this feminist reimagining of Greek myth is just stunning.
- Pan’s Labyrinth by Cornelia Funke & Guillermo del ToroI haven’t actually seen the film, but this book had to be read. The language is astounding and the story is heartbreaking. I finished it in two days, which is really something given I have three children that I’m meant to be parenting… !
- Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities by Bettany HughesAnother amazing non-fiction book for the mix. Bettany Hughes is my historian crush. I’m a little bit in love with her and her brain. The sheer scope of this story, following a city through its incredible journey from the ancient world to the modern, is mind-boggling. The amount of work that goes into such an extensive and palatable history is beyond my comprehension.
- Artemis by Andy WeirWhat a sassy protagonist! This is from the person who wrote ‘The Martian’, except this time the main character is a fantastically cheeky and somewhat-criminally-inclined woman with a tendency to get herself into trouble.
- The Dressmaker by Rosalie HamThis one is hard to explain. It took time to connect with the eclectic collection of characters but, eventually, I was completely hooked. This is an Australian satire set in the 50s and it’s gut-wrenching and hilarious all at once.
- Disobedience by Naomi Alderman If you go into this expecting a lesian romance, you’ll be disappointed. This is an intriguing character study that focuses on the role of religion in communities and the impact beliefs have on individuals. Really great stuff and well-written.
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