Transcendence by Charles Sheffield read by Geoffrey Howard (aka. Ralph Cosham). 32kbps mono. 8h 45m. Resonable audio quality though not the best.
TRANSCENDENCE is Book Three of the Heritage Universe series
The Zardalu are back....
The search for the Builders, the legendary alien race whose unfathomable constructs continue to perplex scholars and explorers alike, has led Builder expert Darya Lang, adventurer Hans Rebka, and treasure hunters Louis Nenda and Atvar H'sial to an unknown Builder artifact far outside the spiral arm. There they find the Zardalu, once the greatest menace ever known to the worlds of the spiral arm, enslaving entire races and exterminating others, guided by the unswerving belief in their own supremacy.
The only chance to eliminate the Zardalu threat is to find them all and wipe them out before they have time to breed back up to strength and once again threaten civilized beings everywhere. But the way will not be easy. Even if they manage to locate the Zardalu, they still have the Builders to deal with. For the closer they get to their quarry, the clearer it becomes that the Zardalu and their world are closely entwined with the fate - and the plans of the Builders themselves.
"Transcendence may have been written by a chief scientist of the Earth Satellite Corporation...but it reads as if the cast of Monty Python had a hand in it. Narrator Geoffrey Howard [is] aware that this is not a completely serious book. Oh, the science is dead on, and the plot keeps listeners wonderfully tense, but there are moments of pure comedy throughout the piece that are simply delightful. Howard's reading is quite enjoyable; his ability to bring to life a wide variety of slaves and owners, rogues and scientists, deserves applause. Do remember, if you're listening while driving, Howard should only receive the sound of one hand clapping. This one is an absolute must for hard-core sci-fi fans that remember that the "sci" stands for "science," and that the fiction not need be overblown or humorless."--Audiobookstoday.com