when the world ended as we knew it. The change was very real
the entire book
Interesting and easy to listen to. I found the ideas within the story quite good even if a little
unbelievable. It soon becomes obvious this is more a story of medievil Life and its values, rather than a serious story of social collapse. If your looking for a knife wielding, horse riding, empire building story. This is worth a listen
I was surprised when this turned out to be an end-of-the-world story--didn't get that from the book description. Lots of action and interesting concepts of what happens next. I got a little tired of the female protagonist, but the rest of the characters were great and the story moved right along.
Better story. Better writing.
The whole story is so cliché. He advances through time without bridges (jump cuts). It seems okay for a 7th grader (Maybe 7th graders are his target audience?), but not for adults.
It needs to be completely re-written. It is all so poorly executed that there is no place to start. It's just silly and contrived.
This is a terrific read! It is much more enthralling than the slightly similar TV show. Don't hesitate to purchase this one!
This audio book is in my top 10
Many people thought the Juniper arc was pushy on neo-paganism. While descriptive, it was no more pushy than the Catholic and Protestant religions described later.
I might, to refresh my memory.
Juniper; she is intriguing.
Narrator relieves wordiness somewhat.
It could happen.
The premise is old, treatment well done.
I have a trusted friend who has turned me on to Patrick Rothfuss and other great authors, he endorsed S.M. Stirling as his "favorite author." After trying for days to get into this story, I must do what I have never done before and stop listening.
It is a SCA and Ren-fest pipe dream. I could forgive that if the dialogue wasn't just so terribly awful. The trite things that come out of the mouths of the characters is painful. No one would talk like that: ever. I challenge you to take any of the emotional dialogue of the character Mike Havel and say it out loud in a serious voice and keep a straight face. Try this one:
"Havel shrugged slightly. “And it’ll be a lot more than three days to the ranger cabin, with a stretcher. Call it six. It could go bad either way. That fracture is ugly. I’ve got antibiotics in the kit, but it needs a doctor to go in and fix things. The swelling looks bad, too. Moving will hurt, and it’ll be dangerous. But staying here for a week, cold and hungry—” He spread his hands. “Your family—your call.”
The "call it six" sentence particularly galls me.
I just don't get the story. I hate the dialogue. I get the feeling S.M. Stirling just really, really wanted to write a story where SCA nerds and Wiccans finally get to become the "cool kids" with the needed skills in society and forced a story around it.
I am seriously reconsidering my friendship status with the fellow that recommended this book to me.
If I have not been so spoiled by incredible narrators such as Roy Dotrice, Marc Thompson, Michael Kramer I may not have been annoyed by the narrator. Perhaps it was my distaste for the story that put me off the narrator, but his fake Irish accent just made me feel sorry for him.
This seems to be a veiled attack on Christianity more than a book about struggling to live after an EMP event.
I will continue to listen to other books about life after an apocalyptic event.
Todd McLaren's style and pace are very easy to listen to, and are why I continued to listen as long as I did.
It is hard to say which characters are my favorite or which ones I would cut. I have only listened to about half of the first segment and have had enough. Just when I get into the story, the author finds an opportunity to explain how Wiccan beliefs are better than Christian. This was not what I was looking for in a book.
Perhaps I am spoiled by writers like Tad Williams and Stephen King, but when I pick up a book I don't want to feel like I'm slogging through unnecessary baggage to find the meat of the story. In the first chapter alone I was drowned by a clumsy list of character facts, and then fed the very same information again two paragraphs later through dialogue. Stirling's descriptions were all similes (i.e. "a blow like the world's biggest donkey kick" or "a verdant green like summer's grass"), which served less to draw me into a visualization of the book and more distract me with the effort required to suspend my disbelief.
Stirling could have told his tale with half of the words he printed and with virtually none of the inner monologue or adverbs. I was hoping for a rocket ship to another dimension. I found myself on a barge.
Absolutely not. Life is too short.
Todd read the book as I would have read it aloud -- stilted, halting in places, and largely monotone.
Stirling thought out the logistical requirements of a people caught in a global level catastrophe that completely destroys all electrical and digital power.
I like the concept, but as a writer myself I found the book an excellent study on what not to do. I will look elsewhere for an author who values the craft of writing as much as storytelling itself.