I don???t normally write reviews so I???ll be brief. The story is mediocre at best. The author is prone to overly pseudo dramatic speeches that go on and on with no real point. The charters are shallow and I never really cared about them. The narrator is overly breathy and his voice acting is totally unbelievable. The main character is his own voice and all the others sound like they have some sort of disability. If you really like the author or are a junior reader at best you might be able to get through this title. Otherwise I would recommend Patrick Rothfuss.
I kept waiting for something to happen. No themes were really developed. He's The Best, Most Talented Imager for some reason. (Actually, he does have to work really, really hard for at least two or three months before his astounding talent finally matures and he clearly emerges as The Best Imager ever.) People try to kill him and other people sometimes, but he is The Best Imager, so it is always easy for him to foil their plots. There is much explication of imagering and local and international politics singularly lacking in originality or complexity or interest. There are many "wise" sayings that are singularly flat and simple-minded.
And it doesn't help that the fantasy world the author constructs never coheres.
I chose this book because there seemed to be many people who liked it, and I love a good fantasy novel. This was not, in my opinion, a good fantasy novel.
This is a book that I really enjoyed. The characters come to life as the book progresses and the plot(s) develope. I have also read and enjoyed the "Recluse" series in print. Please Audible, get the "Recluse" series.
This is a wonderful, well written book that provides a portrait into a clearly defined world of intrigue and magic. It was interesting and fun to listen to. I said great start because the Imager defines a character and environment that can, and hopefully will be used by Modesitt to bring to life further adventures of the young Master Imager Rhennthyl.
I found it to be a good story, overall, but for me, there were a few major problems. The first of which was how nonchalantly the main character, Rhennthyl, who grew up in an upper-class, family with a peaceful lifestyle could so easily kill without much in the way of guilt and remorse. Even after our hero discovers his imager power and goes on to be trained by master imagers, he was never given anything but defensive training, yet he instinctively murders his attackers in very painful ways without a second of hesitation. Eventually, after he is to be trained as a master spy, there is a point in the story where Rhennthyl actually does get training in killing by practicing on death row criminals. This then is where Modesitt's character decides to have a problem with killing, but only after a one of the death row victims turns out to be a woman. I found Rhennthyl's ease at brutally killing his attackers to be inconsistent with his lifestyle and upbringing . If he had grown up on the streets and routinely fought to survive or even perhaps had been a soldier, I would have found it more believable. Also, the first two thirds of the book is very slow. I have to give Modesitt's writing all the credit for keeping me hanging in there until things finally got moving in the last third of the story. Frankly, I found the immense amount of set up and all the political lessons we as the listener/reader had to endure were just not needed. What do editors do now a days? I would have liked a little more attention paid to the world in which Rhennthyl lived. Until he was shot, I had been thinking of the fantasy world as something akin to medieval times. The use of a sniper's rifle made me have to rethink exactly what type of time period to mentally place the story. I think the Author should have established that for me. All in all, I would give the next Imager story a try, but it needs to hit a home run for me to read anymore after that.
I love SciFy and Fantasy Novels History is my second love especially the Dark ages through the Renaissance and The American Civil War
After introducing the characters in the book the story really picked up and I couldn't turn it off! Modesitt draws you in and you care about the characters and want the villains to suffer and Ren to triumph. I truly cannot wait for more from Modesitt!
A narrator with emotional maturity and the talent to portray characters as something other than pompous or petulant would have allowed Modesitt's storytelling to reach the audience. As it is, the story is buried under the dreary, annoying fakery of a man who has no concept of how to identify with characters or audience. On the positive side, his diction is good. If I were Modesitt, I would sue to have the series reproduced with a new narrator.
In the words of Elvis "A little more action." The book was well written in terms of consistency and fleshed out characters. However it reads like a combo of Dickens' "Great Expectations" and a treatise on the political events that led to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. Mind you that WW I is not included in the book, that is saved for some future books (I assume)! What little action there was in the story was repetitive and very prosaic. Despite the name and description, do not look for this to be a story of magic and excitement, but of a slow progression of a student through school.
I am getting tired of books that only act as introductions to long series. I guess the subtitle of this one should have been a tip off: "The First Book of the Imager Portfolio." Make the first book an exciting story in itself, rather than a simple introduction of characters and world. It can be done! See "The Fellowship of the Rings" or "Hard Magic." They both manage exciting self contained story arcs while being undeniable starts to a great series.
The reader did a great job of voicing the characters. There was some similarity in voice between the various students, but nothing unacceptable.
I would have greatly collapsed the repetitive "student works hard at learning subject until grudging respect given by teacher" sequences, the "student feels bump on magical shields, sees shadowy figure running away" sequences, and the "student asks master question and is told he isn't ready to know answer" sequences. These things all happened multiple times with minimal other supporting story elements. Admittedly the book would have been much shorter.
I don't have an issue with slow character driven stories (I *liked* "Great Expectations"), but I do have an issue with books that serve primarily as a way to make you buy the next book to get the real story. It's also annoying to have a book that invents an alternate world with different words for occupations, foods, days of the week, units of measurement, etc, but to have all those things be simply different words for the exact same concept in English. Even the "magic" in the book is very prosaic, used for little more than moving substances from point A to point B. Read the manner in which the main character is instructed to detect poisons, and you'll see it's identical to how a "real world" person would detect a poison, except instead of moving substances with hands, substances are moved with "imaging."
A lover of Classics, humorous literature, bizarre fantasy and crazed crime and Sci-fi.
Once again L.E. Modesitt has produced a world of magic that is stunning to behold. The Imager Portfolio of which "Imager" is the first book, is set in a world in which the principle magic is "imaging", a power that allows those with the gift, to bring images from their mind into reality. But of course all magic has a price.
Imager begins in the city of L'Excelsis on the continent of Solidar on the world of Terahnar. Solidar is the only place in Terahnar where the Imagers are free to live without constant persecution as they provide vital services to the governing body of Solidar.
It is into this world of political intrigue, war, fighting Factoridges, vengeful High Holders and scheming artisans that Rhennthyl, former journeyman portraiturist and newly found Imager must walk. Rhennthyl must navigate the new world of the Collegium Imago and learn his skills fast before his lack of skills get him killed.
The Imager Portfolio is a fascinating series that encompasses a world where the main characters deal with playing the proverbial "Great Game". From assassinations to acts of subversive intrigue the Imager Portfolio is certain to keep the listener interested. This book would be recommended for upper age teens and adults and is a fantastic and gripping read or listen.