Marque and Reprisal, the second book of the Vatta's War series, is a typically excellent effort from Elizabeth Moon. The plot is strong, the characters are believable and engaging, and the action is excellently handled. No surprises on the writing side.
But the narrator reads as if she understands only the words and not the sentences. And the plot of the book is apparently a a complete mystery to her. This begins with consistent inability to recognize phrases like "attitude jets", (which she consistently reads as "altitude jets") and in many circumstances it's clear from her phrasing that she does not understand the meaning of what she is reading even as sentences.
Furthermore, she reads most characters in exactly the same voice, which is not an advantage, but if consistent is no great disadvantage. But then she reads one character in a strange "accent" that is very distracting.
If it were not for the strength of the underlying material, the narration would be a strong disincentive to buy more books from this series, but fortunately Moon's writing can overcome even this disadvantage.
Recommended if you can look past bad narration.
I love Elizabeth Moon but I intend to never purchase a book read by Cynthia Holloway again.
This means I won't be listening to the rest of the Vatta's War series. I will look for the books in a print format.
The hand to hand combat in space.
Some people perform a book, enhancing the material. Cynthia simply read it aloud. Very little differentation of character voices and common words mispronouced.
The universe in this series is similar to that of the Liaden Space series by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, but although less attention is paid to exploring the universe's culture, the characters are somewhat better developed. There are also similarities to the Honor Harrington series by David Weber, but the lead character is more human and all the supporting characters don't get killed off.
The narrator is distracting. Most characters speak in the same voice, which has an odd cadence and comes across as slightly robotic, like the voice on the trains you find in large airports. The voice is unable to convey any emotional content, other than cheeriness, which is wildly inappropriate for many of the situations the characters find themselves in. The only variation in her voice comes when speaking as a male 14 year old and a male 20-something, where she manages to make them both sound like a whiny 7 year old.
My children's reaction to the reader was why are we listening to a robot.
She did a fair job giving each character slight differences but I noticed it came accross as if it was the very first time she read it. Way to mechanical.
First off, the reader is over melodramatic for
my taste. But then I'm not a twelve year old girl.
The story is written by a girl and not a women, I'm
pretty sure and it shows.
If your a guy that like SF, skip this one.
It's creepy and not it a evil way.
More like reading your sisters diary.
Last time I buy a book because of the cover
or what written on the back.