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 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.
When I wrote my initial review I was only half way through listening to this book. The Expected One is the most amazing book I have ever read. I intend to buy it for everyone I know as a gift. It is THAT GOOD - and the ending is the BEST!
What a disappointment this book was. The main character had no credibility as a professional researcher who was supposed to have substantial knowledge and evidence enough to support the premise of a book. Non-fiction books contain only a fraction of what the author knows. But this character didn't even seem to know enough to fill a book. Every step of the way through this novel, she was shocked by the "new" evidence presented to her. Incidentally, the whole 2000 year conspiracy theory doesn't wash--no one is so good at keeping secrets. Further, this character seemed more to be a thing upon which circumstances happened--just so much flotsam to be pushed around--rather than an individual capable of making her own life-controlling decisions.
The author tries to use the withholding information device to create a sense of suspense ("I'll tell you later", "it's not for you to know right now") that simply does not work. There was never any reason to withhold information, and the characters just look even more dim-witted and foolish for allowing it. The author tries to mimic the style of Dan Brown and utterly fails.
It is disappointing, because the idea of Mary Magdalene's story of her Gospel (as a witness to Jesus' life and teachings) is a fascinating one that could make for an entertaining story. It's just not this one.
This is the first audiobook I have purchased with such poor prose, so over explained, and so boring that the audiobook was unlistenable. The topic held promise; what a waste. Too bad I couldn't register zero stars!