cover image Armada


Ernest Cline, read by Wil Wheaton. Random House Audio, , unabridged, 10 CDs, 12 hrs., $45 ISBN 978-0-8041-4911-2

When Zack Lightman sees aliens in the sky, he thinks he is going crazy like his conspiracy-theory-prone father, who died in a mysterious accident when Zack was a kid. Growing up, Zack distracted himself with gaming, achieving one of the world’s top scores in a humans vs. aliens video game called Armada. Now 18, he finds himself on the frontline of Earth’s defense against an overwhelming alien invasion as a result of his gaming ability. Wheaton of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame reads the audio edition. He easily expresses Lightman’s point of view with his own naturally young-sounding voice and does especially well with the more emotional parts of the novel, when Zack crumbles into tears. The overall delivery is steady and straightforward, keeping listeners engaged throughout. Wheaton’s one shortcoming is that some of his voices for other characters feel a bit caricatured rather than fully developed. A Crown hardcover. (July)