• Fear the Future

  • The Fear Saga, Book 3
  • By: Stephen Moss
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 20 hrs and 25 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (13,487 ratings)

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Fear the Future

By: Stephen Moss
Narrated by: R.C. Bray
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Publisher's Summary

A predator hunts the skies over Earth. Its intent is peaceful, and its mission is essential, but it is the deadliest machine humanity has ever created.

Piloted by a six-year-old girl, the godlike Skalm guards the Districts of TASC. Her family is long dead. Her adopted father is a synthetic copy of an alien, her nanny an artificial mind connected via subspace to every part of the globe, feeding the young girl information, finding prey to satiate her growing thirst.

But the young girl is an innocent, a victim, one of millions the war has already claimed. Her innocence has been sacrificed by a man with singular purpose: a man who will stop at nothing in order to prepare Earth for the coming conflict.

The armada is approaching, its far-off engines now bright as stars in the night sky. They mean to kill us. They have the power to do so. And as oblivion's maw opens up to engulf us, we brace ourselves for battle.

We will fight to the last. Live or die, we will leave a scar upon our attackers that will last an age, even if we ourselves do not.

©2014 Stephen Moss (P)2016 Podium Publishing

What listeners say about Fear the Future

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What a colossal waste of time Mr Moss!

Disclaimer: I loved the first two books. LOVED THEM! At some point between book two and three Stephen Moss lost his mind.

Spoilers ahead, you've been warned.

1. Protagonist Rules - Stephen, you had an excellent protagonist. You took an everyman and threw him into extraordinary circumstances. He excelled and became the hero in book two. You placed him on a pedestal for everyone to worship as the protagonist we needed to carry the story forward. Then you started slowly chipping away at his armor in book two. But that's ok, we need our protagonist to have flaws and we need to see him fall and earn redemption. But instead of allowing the audience to revel in his fall and triumph you decided to make him into a modern day Josef Mengele. What the heck? How can you destroy your protagonist like that and expect anyone to feel fulfilled by this story? You had an excellent scapegoat in Ayala and a character that I imagine most readers would not have minded losing. Why was she not written to be the mastermind behind the vivisection of the Korean children? Why did you destroy Neal? It's one thing to kill a protagonist, but you destroyed him. This is unforgivable.

Furthermore, you toyed with your readers by bringing Neal back into the story when he was asked to give his opinion on the deep space images from his prison. Then you just left him there...you left him there with no conclusion except for two sentences in the end of the book. How can you take such a strong character and reduce him to nothingness? I found myself cursing you at the conclusion....not good for your future readership.

2. Mobiliei Exposition

I don't care about the Mobiliei. You spent two books building up human characters. In the last book you decide to introduce us to the opposition. But instead of giving us a few chapters of character development you go on ad nauseam about their sexual preferences and meaningless interpersonal quirks. Nobody cares about their personal lives unless they serve to link us to the main story. You could have spent a third of the time developing their characters (or no time at all) and the story would be no worse for it.

3. Character Overload

In the first two books you had a sum total of about 15 main characters (it's a rough estimate as I don't have time to go back and count.) You spent a lot of time developing these characters and suddenly in book two you introduce an entirely new lot of people, many of which are not even given proper introductions. We're just supposed to accept these people at face value without any knowledge of their motivations or morality. You bounce back and forth between these characters as as a reader I completely lose focus and start to drift away from the story. Much of this fault lies with the Mobiliei chapters which are, as I already mentioned, a complete waste of time.

4. Deus Ex Machina

Stephen, I really really really loved your first two books. It cannot be overstated how much your story enthralled me and kept me coming back for more every day. But the last few chapters of book three felt as if you took those books and slapped me in the face. What were you thinking? Until now I was able to suspend disbelief. Body transplants, check. Brains in a jar, check. Creating an inter-dimensional god-like Birgit? What the heck man? This is the worst kind of Deus Ex Machina I have ever seen. I kept hoping that Birgit was attempting to access the core of the IST to enable some doomsday weapon that would empower our fleets to become invincible or some such nonsense. But instead we're left with something that makes me think Stephen was late for a dinner party and had to turn in the book that evening. Why oh why could you not sacrifice some of the ridiculous amount of Mobiliei exposition and give us a somewhat plausible finale instead? I want to give you the benefit of the doubt here. Did you have a personal struggle while writing this book? Did you lose someone close to you? Were you kidnapped and forced to finish the book under threat of death? Are the Mobiliei real and did they force you to substitute this fake finale for the real one? Maybe they were afraid you would give away their weaknesses in your real final chapters? I hope that's it because I would rather think you were under duress when writing those chapters than to think that you just gave up.

208 people found this helpful

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This makes me question Audible

I really can't add much that the other detailed reviews has already covered. This installment was a jumbled mess that read more like a first draft outline than a finished work. The first two books were great and it made the third book that much more disappointing. But this book is getting a 4.5 star average review while most of the active reviewers are mostly negative. That makes me question Audibles star review system. Most of the people that read this book and were into this series would have acknowledged this poor offering by Moss. It makes me think that Audible is infested by bots that give good reviews to keep poor books viable to potential readers. Nobody new to the series is going to start the first book if they see that the series drops off at the end. So to sell the series they prop up a bad book.

184 people found this helpful

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Huge letdown

The first book was good, the second book was average and the last book a huge letdown. Story goes off on weird tangents that never go anywhere. Main characters built up in the first two books become minor sidelines in the third. All the tension built up over all three books comes to a fizzling, anti-climatic ending.

62 people found this helpful

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An OK end to an otherwise great trilogy.

Any additional comments?

One book has to be the worst of the 3. This one's it. Be warned, its painfully slow & hard to get through. The book can be edited from 20 hours to about 5 and still tell the same story - a lot of nothing happens. Also the author did not make me dislike the people who (I think) you are suppose to dislike by the end of the story. Their end seemed unfitting and I was actually still on their side... If you already read the first 2 than, of course, you have to read this... I found it a little disappointing; hopefully you like it better than I did.

59 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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What happened there?

I couldn't wait to hear how the author would wrap up this fine series and I had this finale preordered. Refreshing my email until about 3am it appeared! Without much sleep I went to work continuing to keep an ear bud secreted. Fantastic.... Until he sent my favorite character to an island for war crimes. I can't tell you how irritated that made me and how out of phase that was with the rest of the story. He was saving the world, the gloves are off. In order to keep the human race from extinction I'm thinking that leaving decisions to a tribunal representing the various countries around the globe would certainly abandon all hope for the survival of the human race. Especially when a group of A.I.s become the arbitrators, ugh. Perhaps I'm jaded but how could he do this to the man who was one, maybe the most important, character in the story? After the coo I lost my favorite character and I had to struggle to the finish. Please rewrite the outcome of the power struggle. I'm still aghast!!

59 people found this helpful

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WTF happened? - It's been 4 years - I'm STILL MAD!

Seriously? The first two books were great! What happened? You excommunicate the protagonist? Don't bother with this one, keep the fantasy of a good third book in your imagination!

It's been 4 years since I listened to this book and left the review above... I am still mad about how this book ended. It was one of my first 10 or so audio books, and my library is now at 989 books. I am still pissed at this author. Podium need to have the author FIX and re-Release this abomination of a book!

44 people found this helpful

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Is this the same series?

Would you try another book from Stephen Moss and/or R. C. Bray?

Yes

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

I would have stuck with the main characters, and on that note, I wouldn't have written them as completely different people with minor story lines. The focus of this just got terrible.

What about R. C. Bray’s performance did you like?

That voice... He ranks up there with Roy Dotrice for me.

Did Fear the Future inspire you to do anything?

Be upset

Any additional comments?

Books 1 & 2 are really great, I'm hopeful that book 4 will recover some of that lost focus.

31 people found this helpful

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I enjoyed the series, but..

I enjoyed the series, but this book just didn't flow right with me. can't put my finger on what it was that was off.

28 people found this helpful

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Fear the Ending

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Obviously the book is for quite a few people, as the acclaim here and on other forums is quite high. I do think that the strong imagination that powered the setting and narrative of the first two installments played the largest part in the reception of this final book.For those who are more interested in the 'what-if' aspect of fiction over character development and continuity this is still an entertaining read.

What could Stephen Moss have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Beware borderline spoilers:The most irredeemable turn of events were the decisions Moss made with two of the most central protagonists. The 'twist' that Neil and Ayallah's paths encounter felt hamfisted and out of place. The narrative condemns a particular character for taking increasingly immoral courses of actions, but the resolution amounts to a bizarre conclusion that feels uncomfortably black and white. The consequences of this character's actions are not applied to the much blander and less invested characters that pop up to take over their role and story.


The most important character in the series disappears in the third act and plays no role in the series conclusion. We are left with a glimpse of his fate 2/3 thru the book and never revisit this particular story for the rest of the book. His motivation for his more dubious actions in this book don't feel right and come out of nowhere. The coup itself was difficult to believe and grossly disappointing in it's conception which amounts to the story's B-list characters abruptly becoming the new moral authority.


Additionally the ending as a whole is profoundly disappointing. The deciding factor in the war's conclusion is introduced in the very last chapter and renders all the planning, sacrifice, and dedication of humanity entirely without purpose. This is deus ex machina at its most blatant.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

We've waited for two books to meet the mysterious and malicious alien race plummeting towards earth, and in Fear the Future we finally come face to face with the armada in a series of interesting interludes. The insight into the alien political and cultural world were the chapters I enjoyed most.

Any additional comments?

I started the series very excited thinking I would absolutely recommend this to friends who enjoy SciFi as I do.The weak conclusion was unfortunately so hard to swallow and so unsatisfying that I have a hard time remembering this series fondly. If you're looking for a great story of humanity's plight against an oncoming alien threat I highly recommend Peter F Hamilton's Commonwealth Saga instead.

27 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Find out if the Earth prevails

This is the third and final volume of the Fear Saga. The Earth must somehow increase its defenses, all while crushing its own internal power struggles. Neil, now de facto dictator of the world, has focused the world on building great weapons for the coming battle. He may have also lost his humanity and will ultimately pay a great price for it, but doesn’t see any another option to saving the Earth.

The story switches back and forth between the coming Mobili armada and the Earth. The alien political struggles mirror our own in many ways. Indeed the struggle for power is the main theme of this series. We are introduced to many new Mobili characters, some sympathetic to the plight of humanity. The question is, will they be willing to sacrifice their own people to help an alien race.

Moss stretches his imagination here, introducing many intriguing ideas: can artificial intelligences, through logic and experience, actually become more human than their creators? How far does a species go for survival, when do the ends not justify the means? If a reality construct in the mind is real to the participant, can we simply call it reality? When is the body a hindrance to be discarded, would you? Can technology and humanity coexist? And many more.

It is a long and thoughtful novel, full of ideas and political intrigue. The action, as in the previous novels, is brief and somewhat anticlimactic. There is much more attention paid to the events leading up to the battles, than the battles themselves. The characters are well developed by now and the listener will have his or her own favorites, flaws and all. There are a handful of loose ends, but life is kind of like that too, people we get to know, but disappear from our lives. It is not a neatly wrapped bundle, but concludes well enough. Don’t skip the short story at the end. It is really a second epilogue.

R.C. Bray continues with his outstanding performance. It needs to be said again just how enjoyable he is to listen to, one of the best audio performers working today.

You’ve read or listened to volume one and two of the Fear Saga, you can’t possibly stop now. Find out if the Earth prevails, or if humanity is wiped clean from its own world for an alien race so similar to our own. Is it possible to go too far to survive, giving up our own humanity in the process? You’ll just have to listen to this highly entertaining conclusion of the Fear Saga to find out.

Audiobook was provided for review by the publisher

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

26 people found this helpful

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  • Renx
  • 02-18-16

Wow.....but what to do now?

Loved all three books.Great narration (RC Bray is a legend) and brilliant writing. Felt a real connection with the characters. The problem is (and it's the same after every good book) what do I read now?

14 people found this helpful

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  • A Cook
  • 03-25-16

Too many loose ends and not enough 'ending'.....

A little disapointed considering the first two book were actually very good indeed. The third book was the length of the first two combioned and really felt it. I found myself skipping whole chapters because the story continued to focus heavily on areas that didn't really add any value apart from padding the story out. I'm glad I did as the end was, as others have said, very anti-climactic.
I wont spoil it but there were whole chapters and many hours building up tech and characters only to find them simply unnecessary in the end. In fact one minor side story line ended up being the surprise big ending. There were simply too many loose ends from too many cul-de-sacs and the story... just ended. There was an attempt to wrap it all up but it and I felt empty and that I'd wasted a alot of time paying attention to detailed story lines and significant characters that ended up eitehr going nowhere, simply not being completed or just ignored.
However the whole series was worth the listen and I did enjoy the whole; just not the thrid book and ending.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Shane
  • 02-10-16

Well it kinda ended

I loved the first book, the second book was OK but the last was just painful in places to read and I so hoped it was going to pick up but it was all long and drawn out bits with characters which was ultimately wasted.
From the start I hoped things would pick up but it just declined.
Still it ended the series and I won't be left wanting to know what happened.

You'll want to listen to this book to just put an end to the series but it was, for me, disappointing.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs
  • 03-03-16

Feels like it was an edited and re-written version

I enjoyed the first of the series, the second book was ok, but this book was dreadful. It was just cheesy none sense that literally felt like he lost the plot at some point.

Without giving anything away the author took a certain aspect of the book in a completely different direction which seemed to be conjured up from nowhere. It was as if the editor didn't like an aspect in the story and so certain characters should be taken in a different direction. It felt rushed and ill thought out.

The final book ruined the series for me. If I'd known it would turn in to this nonsense I wouldn't have bothered with the series.

Bray did his best with it but even he was grating on me by the end of it.

8 people found this helpful

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  • SM8475
  • 04-10-16

Starts well, disappointing end

A must read if you've started the Fear saga. Finding out what happened to Earth and the characters was good. However the book went on and on about somewhat irrelevant scenes. The ending was also disappointing. Having built the armada's arrival for three whole books I was left feeling underwhelmed. That said, the book was performed well and all three books kept up my interest.

6 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • alank-47
  • 03-07-16

The worst of all three.

The author really shows his lack of experience in this lackluster finale. Rc Bray is still a fantastic narrator

6 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • max
  • 02-25-16

I've read all 3 books.

1st book.- AMAZING
2nd.- Pretty good
3rd.- goes on too long, too much politics, disapointing end could have finish with the second book.

Very well written though, very clever and deep concepts. Well narrated.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Nigel Poulton
  • 03-12-16

Instantly catapulted to my favorite sci-fi trilogy

After book one, I wondered if the next two could live up to it. Oh my goodness!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Allan
  • 03-08-16

Excellent finale!

A great finish to a fantastic series. Really pleased that the additional short story was included as I had made an assumption that it happily crushed. The story felt a little long at times, just a tad too much for my scifi limits in places. Overall tho, this was great. R. C. Bray was as fantastic as always. Read or listen to these three books!!!!

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • ALP
  • 04-21-17

Amazing - ignore the reviews, finish the series!

The main thing I've seen reviews mention about this book is that it's "the worst of the trilogy" and has "a disappointing ending"..and I can understand some of the criticism. The interval sections aboard the oncoming alien fleet were a little confusing at times (some names blended together) and there was a lot of time jumping between very signicant events, leaving some questions unanswered and admitly sidelined some characters... But I loved it!

The ending was satisfying and powerful, if a little abrupt - if there hadn't have been the addition of the short story at the end the final paragraph of the book may have been a little jarring, but this added heart and hope to the end of the trilogy. Plot decisions made sense and I didn't feel that any passages or characters weren't significant to the final outcome - not everyone can be part of a space battle after all.

I really don't understand the criticism about the political storylines and the action in the final battle - if you've made it this far in the series (nearly 40 hours before this book) you should know what to expect by now! This is a sci-fi at its most "realistic" and I'm heartbroken that it's over!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Dale Christopher
  • 10-02-16

Worth reading for the conclusion.

The first book in the trilogy was pretty good. Second book was good but heading in a bit of a strange direction. The third (this book) was the least good of the bunch. Worth it to find out the conclusion but... I was unsatisfied with the ending. This book is kind of like the frayed end of a rope rather than a definitive knot. Many lose, messy endings. It felt a bit rushed and lacking. But that said, the series as a whole is well worth reading. Well done on creating a page turner!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Deborah
  • 03-08-16

Fear it wouldn't end

Definitely too long, lots of parts that became confusing too. I enjoyed the first two books but I couldn't wait for this book to end.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dianne
  • 05-17-19

Engulfed by a space opera

once started there is only one way out of this epic and that is through the last word of the the third book
its a long and at times exhausting journey built on such a depth of detail and imagination that its tempting to start again just to hear what I missed the first time round, especially after becoming very familiar with the narrator's precise and at times nearly robotic narration and his character voices. But not yet. I will need to reset .
The story, characters and the authors skillful use of the English language and the very sutble humour were everything I need for a great alien invasion saga, and dog fights at relativistic speeds and sub space travel and artificial intelligence, and new technologies and cures...
its going to take a couple of days to get over it

2 people found this helpful

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  • beaver
  • 02-17-16

Wow!

What a great listen! A fantastic story that twists and turns, bringing to life a struggle of epic proportions.
I fell behind in my work as I couldn't stop listening. When the end came, it was bitter sweet. I'm going to miss Banu, Berget Mini and the others whose characters and personalities touched my world.
Brilliant, just brilliant!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Chris Pedder
  • 03-19-18

Interminable and Confusing

Frankly, stop at book 1. The second book is fine but this by far the weakest of the trilogy. The narrator is very good, though - shame about the book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • C. Harrison
  • 05-07-17

fear saga

books 1 and 2 developed the story at a reasonable pace. book 3 was too rushed, i felt the ending was truncated to make it into 3 books. the last 5 chapters were disappointing...

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  • Joe
  • 06-22-16

shorter ending than expected but still great.

The voice acting is absolutely superb and the book itself I find probably a 9/10. My concerns I cant voice without spoiling the ending but its still a fantastic book and definitely a nice ending to the series.

1 person found this helpful

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  • RossRoss
  • 03-06-16

sensational

the imagery, prose and descriptions in this story is truly amazing. the author treks the story with such detail and brilliance that it truly inspires and rivets the listener to the story. the only part I did not like is that it came to an end. it exceeds expectations. truly sensational.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Fresh Fish
  • 09-26-22

Great!!

Both the author & reader brought me to tears a number of times during the recitation. A grand idea & scope with characters so real & engaging, they will remain with me for a long time. Thank you both for your efforts to bring this to life. - 20 out of 20 xxx

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  • Sean Nicholson
  • 08-19-22

wow.....

book 2 was ordinary.... I'm glad I persisted as this book is one of the best stories I've ever 'read'. thanks for a fantastic story.