I grew up on Golden Age Radio, I love to learn about a great many things, and I enjoy a wide variety of genres. Me, bored? Never!
I cannot fault Simon Vance's narration, for he is as eloquent as ever, and I consistently give him high marks. As for the story itself, this came highly recommended to me, and I can't imagine why at this point.
The best way I can describe this book is character-driven. I have no problem whatsoever with character development; indeed, I demand it. But there must also be a plot. You'd think that the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars would help, and maybe I just didn't give it enough time to fully mature, but "character-driven" is typically code for "no plot." This book fits that bill.
What you do get within is the highly-structured character of a British naval officer coping with his new life as an "aviator" in the dragon corps. What passes for political intrigue is the kind of high school "new outsider vs. the established popular kids" mentality and such hard-pressed questions like "should my dragon wear a harness?" or "should I wash my dragon after he eats?" or "should I read to my dragon since he can't hold books?" Good character development and detail, yes, but... yawn.
So what did I expect? I expected the complexities and intensity of the Napoleonic Wars, and all of the political intrigue that implies. World building means nothing if the war seems so far away and nearly irrelevant to the story. I expected epic battles on dragonback that go far beyond a single from-above strafing attack in a training session making the rider indignant. Looking ahead, as near as I can tell, nothing happens until book 3, and beyond that the story deals with things like dragon disease outbreaks and such. Again, yawn. I'm looking for dragons who are Alexander-styled masterminds when they're not out smashing things into mist and pulp, and maybe I'd get that if I kept going, but based on past experience with similar titles, I'm just not seeing it here beyond signs and portents of things that are promised to come and probably won't. C'est la vie, at least I gave it a shot.
Yes. I ended up buying the next two books in this series and I love them. The author does a great job, very enjoyable, and the reader has just the right tone.
I liked best the relationships between the Lawrence and Temeraire, but also between all the characters.
He does all the voices, but the voice of the 2 lead characters are especially right on target.
Yes, but I haven't the time to hear it all at once.
I've highly reccomended it to others.
I love fantasy but this is better than that - more real than made up and very tender in the midst of a gutsy, sometimes violent historical fiction-based story. Can't recommend it highly enough.
Certainly. The writing is superb and the story intriguing. It is the perfect length for a book of this style, and after I finish the series I am sure that I will revisit this first book to remember the endearing and occasionally comical developement of the relationship between Dragon and Aviator. Naomi Novik is the master when it comes to writing about Dragons.
Yes to those who like the fantasy of dragons. The story keeps the imagination going.
Captain Lawrence. He is portaid as a gentleman. A man that would defend the honor of another life.
Yes, very much so. He makes a person believe the characters are alive.
It made me want to continue to find out what happnes next in the story.
I didn't read the print version but with the work that Simon Vance puts into the characters I can't see how the printed version could be any better.
I really enjoyed how the author brought Lawrence's period mannerisms across as genuine and heartfelt and the struggle he goes through with his entrance into the aerial corps having to change how he thinks is engaging.
I like that each character really came to life. He conveyed the feelings of each in the inflections that he used.
Other then wanting to instantly buy the rest so I could listen back-to-back
This is a very cool alternate history that reads as very believable.
I enjoyed this book and the narrator's "proper English accent". The book might have been written for a young audience...perhaps a teenager. The characters were very endearing...I liked it enough to read the next in the series.
If you enjoyed "Master & Commander" or "The Darwath Series", buy this book and continue with the series.
The writing is beautiful without being forced, and the narrator is absolutely perfect in his performance. This story takes place in the Napoleonic era, however it portrays the use of a Dragon force in addition to the Navy and ground forces.
The history is a backdrop to many universal types of questions, not the least being that of the relationship of humans to animals of any intelligence level. It is great for high school or older reader/listeners.
A wonderful and, might I add, fresh story. Very well written, with characters that I took to immediately. As always, a good narrator is crucial to enjoying an audiobook, and I am very pleased to report a fine performance. Simon Vance seems a natural for Lawrence and Temeraire, especially. I am already preparing to download book 2 in this series.