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Publisher's Summary

The Saga of the Skolian Empire is Catherine Asaro's trademark series. It chronicles the lives of the members of the ruling family of the Empire in the distant interstellar future, weaving a fine blend of action, romance, and hard science fiction.

The Quantum Rose is the story of Kamoj Argali, the young ruler of an impoverished province on a backward planet. To keep her people from starving, she has agreed to marry Jax Ironbridge, ruler of the prosperous neighboring province. But before they can be wed, Kamoj is forced into marriage with a mysterious stranger from a distant planet, throwing her world into utter chaos.

©2000 Catherine Asaro (P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

  • Nebula Award, 2001

What listeners say about The Quantum Rose

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

ok, but barely!

I was hoping this would be better than "Catch the Lightening" and more like "Primary Inversion", her first 2 books of the series...but it sort of fell in the middle for me. The plot was hard to grasp, because the main focus of the book was the romance. The one thing I really like about Asaro's writing is her beautiful descriptions of other worlds with their multiple moons, stained-glass forests, exotic creatures...and that's the only reason I will keep reading her, because the plots and the characters just don't have a lot of depth.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Disjointed sci-fi beauty and beast tale

Catherine Asaro's The Quantum Rose is set in the Skolian universe series. The tale begins on a primitive world that has a history of being an engineered slave world that went feral. A prince of the dynasty goes there to hide out, falls for the governor of an impoverished province and marries her, upsetting the plans of a more powerful adjacent province. Genetic characteristics create the numerous conflicts. Eventually the Ruby prince and his bride depart for his home world which is also under occupation. He leads a planet wide Gandhian civil disobedience to liberate his world.

The beauty and beast theme is crudely reprised (the prince must wear a breathing mask). The governor as beauty sacrifices for her province and the genetic restrictions make assertive actions difficult. The shift to the prince's home world seems almost like a separate tale where beauty plays a smaller role as public opinion is swayed with video footage. The issues back on the original world are eventually solved by lawyers.

The narration is reasonable with modest character distinction.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Soap Opera Sci-FI

The story is pretty much like a soap opera. There are the steamy scenes with the a young woman and an older man. There is treachery, betrayal, and conflict. Its a quick book and the performance is very good. The book name and the name of all the characters is pretty interesting once you figure it out. I was somewhat disappointed that this was a Nebula award winner, but it was a quick read and kept my attention.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

This is not sci-fi

This book reads like damaged-girl fan fiction. It is a romance novel, with the thinnest veneer of future/space theme draped haphazardly over it. The only real conflict anywhere in the book is emotional (poor protagonist has to choose between all the impossibly handsome and sensitive men, whom are all desperately in love with her). Narration was well done, and that's about all I can give it points for. If you're looking for sci-fi, don't look here.

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

Great book, but....

Though written out of chronological order. Each book can be listened to independently. The world building is exquisite. The characters are each well defined. The story incredible and believable. I recommend the complete series. There is only one glaring issue. The various narrators cannot pronounce the same identical words the same way. Good gods, this is English!!! What, they cannot listen to the other books and give it continuity????? If I was Catherine Asaro, I would fire all the producers and get one talented narrator and redo all of the books. She has made a great deal of money on the books. But I still really like the books!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not one of Asaro's best, but still a good read.

The story concept was good, but there are a lot of places where conflict starts up and then just fizzles out without any real tension. Could have been better written. Great characters, though.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Nebula? If you say so.....

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

It's an OK read if you like Skolia already (and like it a lot). But it wasn't for me. The only time I found any excitement or tension was when the heroine was kidnapped, but that didn't last long. Other than that, people were way too happy and friendly with each other to make an interesting read.

I sure don't see a reason for a Nebula award, but no story is beloved by all people.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Blah ending for me. You could predict it easily. I was ready for the story to end long before it did. Nice portrayal of a resident population fighting invaders, but not realistic. She had something like a couple hundred thousand people in a tent city on the plain. They would have used up all food and water resources within miles and miles in just a couple days, not to mention lack of sanitary facilities. In Fantasy, you needn't be realistic, but Science Fiction usually tries to act like it could happen.

Would you be willing to try another one of Anna Fields’s performances?

No, Ms. Fields narration bothered me more than the story. She makes the hero sound like he's a drunk teenager. She does not excel at male voices.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Maybe if Spielberg and Lucas did a great makeover.

Any additional comments?

Ms. Fields narration ruined this for me, but the story wasn't that enthralling. After reading Primary Inversion, I was ready for a supposedly award winning novel in the series. I didn't feel like I received that experience.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

It's the little things that count.

This is the first Skolian Empire book I've read. It's good, and I like it. It's a good companion for the mindless labor I have to do for the next few days, It's well-written and competently plotted ,and the romance is fun.

However. I'm on chapter 5 and so far there've been one scientific inaccuracy and two evolutionary impossibilities that should have been edited out.

The people on the planet have either to be a result of parallel evolution or descendants of human space travelers, with human DNA. [I suspect the latter--how else could they interbreed?] Asaro gave them physical characteristics that preclude either possibility. The hero's response to oxygen deprivation was spot on; so she really should have looked up how the human brain reacts to an oxygen-rich environment.

The Audible bio says Asaro is a physicist who belongs to a seriously talent-rich writers' group. I expect she knows something of evolution and biology---you can't get a BS in any science or technical field without taking physics, chemistry and biology along with the math, even if you love one subject and would rather be beat with a stick than take the other two.

I suspect that a writer with her educational credentials knows her stuff. I'm wondering if she and her readers decided that these discrepancies were too trivial to matter and were less important than the development of the fictive world.

Logic counts. The little things matter. And just you get one thing wrong, no matter how arcane, and somebody will always write you to tell you about it.

AND I LIKE THIS BOOK. I'D RECOMMEND IT TO ANYBODY!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Yuck!!

"Since a boy he only wanted to be farmer..." What a HORRIBLE way to end a supposed science fiction book!! A few fantasy factoids. . .they have 8 fingers because of their binary world. No science to this book. .I did keep hoping. Much, much more romance than fantasy or SCIENCE FICTION(???) I WAS SO DISAPPOINTED.

1 person found this helpful