There is a lot going on in this book. The afterward by the author intimates that it is not quite fiction although it must be categorized as such and I thought it was very brave of her to do that. The story does make you think and I do agree with the author when she says that history was written by the winners - so who knows what they didn't tell us? I look forward to the sequels - I hope there are many. I would listen to this book again.
I thought this book was extremely interesting--so refreshing to read a more plausible and more likely story of Jesus, as compared to the contradictory versions of his life as told in the Bible, which we know was edited and changed over the years by the male hierarchy of a very misogynistic church. I'd recommend it to any self respecting woman trying to get a better view of Jesus.
50ish retired public radio news broadcaster, female, rancher. I love good writing from historical fiction and interesting, off beat mysteries to history of religions and interesting biography coupled with excellent voicing. I have no use for poorly delivered reading. I'll suffer though so-so writing if the content is engaging, but if the narrator is bad, I'll buy the book and read it myself.
I read The Poet Prince, the third book in this series, first and enjoyed it immensely. That led me to want to read the preceding two. While this book provides interesting insight into the Mary Magdelene information, I didn't enjoy the writing as much as the third book. The characters are fairly shallow, and the emphasis on designer clothes and expensive malls and hotels is trite and boring. All that quickly became something to simply get through in order to get to the meat of the information regarding the Mary Magdelene cults, about which I think Ms. McGowan has done some great research. The Poet Prince is a more engaging story with the same characters more skillfully drawn as well as fascinating characters and information from Renaissance Florence. I will read the second book, The Book of Love, rather than listen to Linda Stephens again.
The reader was far to "prim" sounding in general while her tortured attempts at the various accents were just painful to listen to. In addition, her phrasing and tempo of McGowan's writing sounded completely off. She often split phrases meant to follow one and other as one thought, and most of the time she read the material far too slowly and affectedly. I will buy the next one as a book and read it myself.
A much better read than a listen, I'm sure.
The narrator for the third book in this series, The Poet Prince, is excellent.
One thing you have to say about this book, it was extremely well-researched! I looked up a lot of the things the author talks about, and while there were some discrepancies (I assume for the sake of the atmosphere and plot), I could confirm everything that I researched. The author's version of Jesus' life is told through a political lens, which is interesting. Some parts did drag, some parts were fascinating. A mixed bag, but worthwhile if you are at all interested in the myriad different interpretations of Christianity. The narrator was slightly annoying, but only slightly.
I listened to this after I listened to the abridged version and found that I enjoyed the abridged version better. This version does add quite a bit of detail but nothing I would say that detracts from the story significantly and the extra length made it slower paced than some people would like. Choose this if you have time but choose the abridged version if you are more used to a Dan Brown type thriller.
I loved this book. It's the best one I've read in quite a while. I would highly recommend it and I cannot wait for the rest of the series to come out.
I enjoyed this book so much that I recommended it to a friend. It's along the lines of Dan Brown, in the sense that it blends history with religion and religous theory into a seamless believeable story. My only issue is with the reader who you can hear catch her breath at odd times. I tend to be overly picky with the readers. I can say that she does have distictive voices for the charaters without over-acting or causing me to roll my eyes.
The story was just OK---just another novel based on Holy Blood Holy Grail, which seems to be flavor of the year. I usually like this type of historical fiction, but the repetitiveness of the text and the inability of the reader to vary her tone or inflection gets really old really fast. I ended up getting the book in print to end my misery of having to listen to this reader!
I could not finish it. The narrator's atttempt at accents is annoying at best. The story line that I made it through was unoriginal and not enough to keep the listener engaged.