“Sea in the Sky” by Jackson Musker Audible Original Review

5/5

“…gripping from beginning to end. “Sea in the Sky” is a rollercoaster of emotion. It starts out light-hearted and funny then descends into a depressing madness.”

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Retrieved from Audible.ca

This is a review of “Sea in the Sky” by Jackson Musker, an Audible Original. I don’t know what to call this. An audio-book, a story-based podcast, an audio-play? There is no narrator, it is not like a novel. It is purely voice actors playing out each scene with audio effects to portray movements, machinery, or other immersive effects.

I have been an Audible subscriber since 2011. I like to listen to audio books while I go for walks, hikes, jogs, or just before to bed. But my audible playlist is made up of only non-fiction books. Mostly science and social science stuff. I find that it is difficult to retain the information from science-heavy audio books though, which makes them hard to review. That is, until I found this audible original in their “Podcast” section. All the podcasts are free for audible subscribers.

I was blown away by the audio effects and professional voice actors. I truly felt like I was watching a movie, but in my own head. It engages the listener’s imagination this way. You don’t need the visuals to be entertained by this story – in fact, I think it may take away from the experience. It made me realize how powerful our imaginations are and that I should use mine more.

This is a story about Bianca and Tye. Two astronauts who head off to Enceladus, a moon that orbits Saturn. Enceladus is an interesting place. It is the sixth largest known moon in our solar system. Not only is the surface covered in ice, underneath that ice, Enceladus has a global ocean, and a rocky core. On October 3rd, 2019, Science Alert reported that organic compounds were pluming out of the icy surface. That does not mean that life exists on Enceladus. But it does mean it is geologically active and that there is interesting chemistry going on. It only entices our imagination about the possibility of life in our universe.

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Enceladus, Moon of Saturn

We first meet Bianca and Tye when they arrive on the icy moon after a grueling three-year journey. Their interactions are funny, cute, and even touch on sensitive topics such as religion. Bianca, an atheist and Tye, an unorthodox Christian. Tye’s view is that God is the force that set the big bang into motion, some force outside the confines of our universe. There is some place, he says, outside of the universe where that force (or God) resides, where it all started, and when we die, we go back there. Bianca states that she only believes in what we can see, touch, study and infer with science. The rest of what is out there is just waiting to be discovered. But how can you believe in something that we have not yet discovered? – like some unidentified force outside the universe. It may be there, but belief is to be convinced of something. You cannot be convinced of something without good evidence.

I agree with them both in a sense. I am not sure there is a place outside the Universe, or a force that exists there. But I am convinced that it is a good possibility, that there could be an area (if you could call it that) between universes in the multiverse where natural forces operate. But I don’t understand why or how we would “go back there” to that area, and I don’t know why we would convolute the notion of God with a force that exists there. But it is an interesting dialogue, and I am glad they went no further into the subject than they did.

The purpose of their mission is to find life on the icy moon. I thought this was a little bit too unrealistic. There was such a push from home-base to find life – like if they didn’t find it, the entire mission would be a failure and would mean the end of space missions altogether. Literally, that was case. The politics were just hyper extreme in this sense. They did not have evidence of life on Enceladus prior to the mission, but somehow placed the success of the mission on their ability to find it. I think it should be successful either way, if the astronauts are able to return with good data. Biology is just one reason to investigate other worlds. There is so much more we could learn about its chemical composition, chemical processes, geological processes, etc. This part kind of threw me off-guard. But I guess it makes for some good story-telling.

I don’t want to reveal what happens in the end. Although I will say it was very suspenseful. Do they find life? Do they survive? What awaits in the deep oceans of Enceladus? Listen, and find out for yourself. If you are subscribed to Audible, its free! Nothing to lose if you try.

I found this Audible Original Podcast riveting. It was gripping from beginning to end. “Sea in the Sky” is a rollercoaster of emotion. It starts out light-hearted and funny then descends into a depressing madness. I highly recommend it.

The ending was good. I had to sit with it for a while and let it sink in. I was not sure how to feel. I guess it made me feel lost, hopeless, and craving for a more complete finish. It screams sequel to me. I desperately wanted one. But as I let it all sink in, I became more accepting of the finish.

I thought this Audible Original Podcast was great – 5/5. But I am more interested to hear your opinions of it. How did it make you feel? Did the ending work for you? Do you want more? Please let me know in the comments.

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