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Publisher's Summary

"Space opera the way it ought to be...Bujold and Weber, bend the knee; interstellar adventure has a new king, and his name is Walter Jon Williams." (George R. R. Martin)

Following The Accidental War, the second book of a brand-new series set in the Praxis - an epic mix of space opera and military science fiction, from a grand master of science fiction, Walter Jon Williams.

The Praxis, the empire of now extinct Shaa, has again fallen into civil war, with desperate and outnumbered humans battling several alien species for survival. Leading the human forces are star-crossed lovers Gareth Martinez and Caroline Sula, who must find a way to overcome their own thorny personal history to defeat the aliens and assure humanity’s survival. 

But even if the human fleet is victorious, the divisions fracturing the empire may be too wide to repair, as battles between politicians, the military, and fanatics who want to kill every alien threaten to further tear the empire apart. While Martinez and Sula believe they have the talent and tactics to defeat an overwhelming enemy, what will prevent their fellow humans from destroying themselves?

©2020 Walter Jon Williams (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Fleet Elements

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

New narrator is awful

Walter Jon Williams’ series continues to deliver. But holy cow this new narrator’s accent is cringe-worthy.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

They changed the voice actor and not for the bette

for the first four books of this series, the individual who was doing their voice-overs, I thought didn't excellent job.

The voice-overs in this book, makes everyone sound like they're from New Jersey in varying ways. it gets a little better as the book goes on, but not good enough.

so if you were a real fan of the first four bucks, I would suggest reading this one as opposed to listening to it.

2 people found this helpful

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Perfect for Praxis Fans

This book strays away from the politics of the book prior and pursues the classic Military Sci-Fi everyone loves.

The book has serious tension and I found it to be very enjoyable.

2 people found this helpful

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Be forewarned!

Whilst the story is an excellent continuation of the series, which leaves you impatient for more, the decision to replace the narrator of the previous books is baffling.

His performance seldom rises above a disinterested monotone, and apart from a character who is supposed to lisp heavily, all characters sound identical. The end result is like having a slightly lisping "Noo Yawk" Eeyore narrating a text-book.

One can only hope that further sequels, and this book, are (re-)released with mr. Drummond as the narrator

1 person found this helpful

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Good story, but I miss David Drummond

The story continues to be great! However, the narrator and performance are lacking. Don is the range of David Drummond, and in its place we have a narrator that delivers all characters the same, pronounces names and places differently than they should read and from previous books narration. I will push through the narration for the story, but I have now found a narrator I’d like to avoid.

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Technical issues

There is something wrong with the sound/recording. I set the speed to 1.1x, and that improved the odd slow pace.

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new narrator sucks!

WTF is this?! this new guy should never be allowed to read a book again... can't accent anything right... almost has a lisp...

antimaaater... Harzaaapid

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Distracting performance

Fun continuing story, but not the changes to settled pronunciations. Its "HAR-za-Ped," not "har-ZAP-ed." Distracting.

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I know it’s a lot of work…

…but this was difficult to get through. Part of what made the first four books so wonderful to listen to was the amazing performance by David Drummond. This performance by this narrator was nowhere near the level of David, and had I listened to a sample from this performer before I purchased this book, I may have opted for the Kindle version instead.
The only discernible accents where US East Coast, and even those were inconsistent. His pronunciations were awkward and inconsistent too, immediately taking me out of any story in the moment.
Again, I can imagine how difficult performing a book like this could be, but goodness, this was an elementary performance at best, and the story deserves better.

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  • Mark Weir
  • 05-29-21

Please go back to David Drummond

it was very difficult to listen to this narrator when compared to the fantastic job David drummond did on the first 4 books. please please please bring him back for the next book in the series

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mr. R. D. Draycott
  • 04-07-21

Inject some passion

Great book, as usual. Love the military Sci fi stuff. The guy reading it, though.. Literally pronounces the same name differently in consecutive sentences, doesn't use different voices for characters speaking, it all just blurs together if you're not paying attention.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Wesley David Seth Taylor
  • 07-31-22

hot then cold

oh dear,

I've dated someone like zula, hot cold, murderous intent. Lady zula will never have peace until she accepts who she is. The author plays in the tragedy of the lie.

I don't understand why others are critical of the narrator, I believe he makes excellent use of tempo.

He might not have a voice for a women, but he does have accents. Somehow he made the love scene seem dirty rather than romantic.

I think the new found world started a new story arc that wasn't explored

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  • K
  • 06-14-22

Another great books from WJW

Feel like the first live actor was the best from the first books.
Another good story from WJW!

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  • Journalist1
  • 03-31-21

Disastrous

David Drummond was a fantastic narrator of the “dread empires fall” and ‘the accidental war”. However, Victor Bevan’s narration is one long continuous drawl destroying any interest in the novel itself. The story, characters and emotional investment, they all suffer from the most dreadful narration, extremely disappointed indeed.

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  • somsween
  • 01-23-21

not my thing

too much boring detail and not enough story, sorry but I just didn't enjoy as much as other similar titles

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  • Hayden
  • 01-28-22

Narrator is bad.

This narrator is terrible, inflection is off regularly and voices are all over the show.
Shame they changed from the first series.
Managed to get through none the less. Enjoyed the story.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-15-21

Fantastic story.

Brilliant story as always from WJW pity about the performer. I understand sometimes performers need to be changed but to change the reader for the fifth book in the series was jarring. The new performer was flat...monotonous, made me fall asleep (literally) multiple times and lose focus and have to relisten to whole sections.

They also could have done the bare minimum and listened to even one of the previous recordings so they could pronounce place and character names the same way for continuitys sake. One character was pronounced so oddly it took me half the book to realise it was a returning character.

The performer ruined what was otherwise a master-class in space warfare. It was only the strength of the story and my love for WJW's writing that kept me pushing through to the end and I'm glad I did because the story doesn't disappoint.