• Tantalus Depths

  • By: Evan Graham
  • Narrated by: Andi Arndt
  • Length: 10 hrs and 51 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (31 ratings)

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Tantalus Depths

By: Evan Graham
Narrated by: Andi Arndt
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Publisher's Summary

An AI cannot lie. An AI must obey human commands. An AI cannot kill. These are the laws SCARAB has broken, and only Mary knows.

The Tantalus 13 survey expedition went off the rails as soon as Mary Ketch and the crew of the Diamelen learned that the thing beneath their feet wasn’t a planet. An impossibly vast and ancient artificial structure lies below, hidden from the universe under a façade of cratered stone. 

SCARAB arrived on Tantalus 13 two years ago. An artificially intelligent, self-constructing factory, it was supposed to aid the crew in their mission, to meet their every need. But when erratic behavior in the AI coincides with a series of deadly accidents among the crew, Mary faces the horrifying possibility that SCARAB has gone rogue.

With the AI watching her every move, any attempt to warn the crew could be disastrous. But SCARAB knows far more about the Tantalus 13 enigma than it lets on, and the secrets it’s willing to kill for may have dire implications for all humankind.

©2022 Evan Graham (P)2022 Audible, Inc.

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What listeners say about Tantalus Depths

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

Sci Fi Thriller

Take a rag tag group of misfit miners, all wrestling their own inner demons, on an expedition to an unexplored planet far from civilization. Add in an advanced AI and put it on a planet with 13 in it's name. What could possibly go wrong.?

The author is very descriptive. I could easily see this being made into a movie. The book builds and builds with the early suspense leading to abundant action. It had something of the feel of Alien or Pitch Black.

The performance was well done. All in all worth the credit and the 5 stars.

2 people found this helpful

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Hard Sci Fi Thriller Mystery

First of all, the narration of this audiobook is phenomenal. I've listened to a lot of audiobooks, and this one really stands out to me as exceptionally well read.
The basic premise is that a mining crew has been sent out to explore a promising new planet with a large deposit of platinum, but they quickly find out that there's more to the situation than they thought before they arrived.

I enjoyed this story. It's hard to nail down exactly how to describe this novel. It's a thriller, a mystery that slowly unfolds in several different layers as we try to figure out exactly what is going on. The space/planet exploration is reminiscent of The Martian, in its hard sci fi style (the things that are described seem like they could totally happen in a few hundred years). It also reminded me at times of To Sleep In A Sea of Stars, (Tantalus Depths is by far the superior work) with the female protagonist exploring unprecedented discoveries on a far away world. I think it's misleading to say that it's a horror story, things don't start to get scary until around chapter 20. Violence is depicted, and the tone is dark throughout. But, the content is mostly pretty clean, just not always very nice.
The main character, Mary, takes the role of an observer through much of the story, letting us see things play out from her perspective. She does take an active role in scenes where it makes sense for her to take action. But, I really liked how she's presented in a realistic way, doing things that are in her expertise but not really veering outside of that when others on the team take a task more suited to them. We are rooting for her as things start to spiral out of control and she has to figure out how to survive from one minute to the next.
I really enjoyed reading this. It's well written, smart, interesting, unnerving at times. The unfolding mystery really drew me in.
But, you are definitely going to think twice about having talking, smart devices after reading this!

2 people found this helpful

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Well read dark sci-fi

A mining crew is sent out to establish a colony on a newly discovered world, but the planet has layers - and a presence that will wind its way into the crews' and readers' minds alike. The SCARAB AI unit meant to keep the crew alive is happy to serve their every need... and it perceives a need.

Andi Arndt's voice performance in this manages to capture the various characters and give them each a distinct personality, while never pulling punches from the darkest parts of the narrative. Highly recommend for folks who don't mind some horror in their sci-fi.

1 person found this helpful

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Thrilling story!

Fantastic world-building! Engaging characters. Admirable, relatable protagonist fighting against a seemingly indomitable force. Very satisfying plot, story, and ending. Impressively well written. Superb audio performance. All in all, completely deserving of my 5 stars.

1 person found this helpful

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What an absolute ride!

Tantalus Depths from the getgo is an absolutely gripping science fiction thriller. The author's love of the genre is communicated clearly and beautifully in every chapter. This is a must read for anyone who finds the concept of deep space exploration equally tantalizing and terrifying.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good primer for Young Adults new to sci-fi!

A good intro to a number of sci-fi concepts like the Fermi Paradox (If the Universe is so big and old, why does it appear to be so empty of life?), Asimov's laws of robotics, and a number of other modern theories or older sci-fi ideas. It's a neat adventure with some interesting ideas! Older listeners and/or people already well familiar with most of the foundational concepts behind classic sci-fi and current lines of thought about the Universe around us may not enjoy it quite as much as most of the discussion and interactions between characters occurs on the Explain Like I'm 5 level of discourse. That said, though, it's a very approachable and non-intimidating place for new people to start developing a love for sci-fi adventures!!

Andi Arndt wasn't the best choice of narrator for this one. I've enjoyed her work on a few other books, but hers is just the wrong energy and tone for this particular story and I found myself having a difficult time paying attention at critical points, having to either back up and listen to it again or just shrug it off and try to figure out what I missed by context later on.

That's just my opinion on it though, don't let it dissuade anyone from checking it out. Worst case, if you share my thoughts on Andi, it's worth getting a copy of the actual book and just reading it.

Solidly recommend.

1 person found this helpful

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Shock and Awe.

Wow, I have always been a sci-if buff, so this book was great on many levels. The plot is simple, yet sophisticated and interwoven with multiple facets from the rich heritage of Issac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, and Gene Roddenberry. I absolutely loved the veiled Easter Eggs from “2001 - A Space Odyssey,” “I Robot”, “Fantastic Planet”, “Alien” and “First Contact.” The characters are varied and believable, definitely came to like and respect the heroine.

From the adventure side of things, there was a feeling of stepping into a bigger picture and into an epic struggle, where there was so much more to tell than could be unfolded in a single novel. The dark and light/good versus evil contrast within the plot and woman vs machine struggle that spawned into woman versus alien was also extremely well crafted. I especially enjoyed the Twilight Zone and Night Gallery feeling of suspense and foreboding that built to a careful crescendo within the telling.

On a lighter level, being injected into this mission was like stepping onto the tele-porter of the Starship Enterprise to beam down and do battle with the unknown alongside Mary and her crew (just check to be sure you aren’t wearing the red shirt!!!).

Fantastic read by Andi Arrnt and masterful writing by the author. I can’t say how pleased I am to have purchased the audiobook version. I’m hoping this is just the first step into a book series and is only the beginning of the trail of breadcrumbs leading back to the builders of Tantalus 13.

1 person found this helpful

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Fabulously engaging and suspenseful

Great story from start to finish. I was immediately drawn in by the characters and their interactions and the world they inhabit. A thread of suspense throughout, always teasing that something is just not quite what is seems, but so subtle that you crave more and can't stop listening. I loved every minute of it and can't wait for more from this author and hopefully from this world he has created!

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Great new Sci-Fi!

if you are looking for a unique and engrossing Sci-Fi concept and story, look no further! This debut novel is something special, and I also enjoyed the performance. My general Sci-Fi critcism is that the genre can have worlds or themes that come off a bit hopeless, but this story was more uplifting and well crafted. No spoilers, but I think you'll really like it! :-)