Thoroughly enjoyed the wrap up to the series! Great narration. Had those sad feelings when I started to get close to the end...I've become close with all the characters Anderson developed along the way; highly recommend all 7 books!
The best booked in the series after the first one. About 10 chapters before the end it seemed like little else could be told but a secret from the clickest is poignantly revealed which is almost worth binding the whole story.
I had a hard time making it through this book, as well as the last. The series was never great for the first five books, but certainly entertaining enough. When the book reached it's natural conclusion at the end of the fifth book when the big bad was defeated, it had to set up a new enemy and further conflict for the remaining two books. This did not do the overarching story any favors and certainly emphasized the many flaws in the writing that have plagued the series from the start even further.
One of my main problems with the series it how it keeps going back to explanations of things we have seen and heard of in the past. Whenever a new character encounters the Klikiss we get a full description of what they look like. We already knew that. This happens many times for many different reasons for many different things. It makes the books long and tedious. Then there's the many viewpoint characters, half of which could have been side characters or eliminated entirely. There is, for instance, no real reason to have Orli Covitz in this book at all, her minor role in the overarching story could have easily been shifted to another character, the same goes for Celli, Kolker (along with his entire sub-plot of adding Humans and combining telink to the thism). And I could go on for many more characters.
What would have helped this series is if it had stuck to the storyline of battling the Hydrogues and Klikiss Robots, refrained from introducing the elemental races entirely and had left the Klikiss extinct. The best part of the story is the internal conflict in the Hansa, pitting the Chairman against King Peter. And had the focus been there, and had the story been reduced to these characters as the viewpoints, the entire series could have been a trilogy, with the first two books resolving the Human conflict and the Illdiran storyline (i.e. Jora'h fixing his faster (and earlier predecessors) mistakes and uniting the Illdiran with the Humans under King Peter's confederation, while resolving the Klikkis Robot uprising as well, focusing the third book on the confederation working out a way to smartly defeat the Hydrogues and working towards the happy ending.
Because that's the whole point, the overarching story has plenty of potential, crafting an interesting universe with plenty of history and that feels like a real lived in place. It was squandered in a meandering series that left too much to be desired. That's why we end up with only two stars, but what could have easily been four stars if the writer had focused more on writing a compelling space opera, rather than imagining an epic, which this is not.
Finally, a note on the performance. While doing an adequate job for the final four books, David Colacci drops the ball on several fronts. For one, mispronouncing the names (seemingly on purpose, given that his pronunciation of EA cannot have been butchered so much by coincidence) which, even at this seventh book, still irks me. But also by adding Earth accents that make no sense for the space characters. Managing to make every female character sound weak and frail (though a common issue with male readers in Audiobooks, I have found) and just not having the emotional range in his reading that his predecessor, George Guidall, had.
All in all, this entire series felt like one big missed opportunity. Showing plenty of potential, but lacking in general direction, quality of writing and of narration. Overal, I cannot give this series more than 2 stars out of 5.
I have never been so spellbound by a series of books as I have been by this set of seven novels. The story line was compelling, the myriad intricate plots were riveting and both narrators performed admirably.
I slogged through this to finally finish the series. Utterly predictable storyline and very slow pacing. Glad to finally be done with this series.
Overall i thought the story was fairly predictable. how ever the story telling was great, well worth the listen i would recommend it to anyone.
Ya know... there is a point where you just sit back and say this or that character is getting ridiculous and it is making the whole story ridiculous. I've reached the point where the Chairman of the Hansa is so one-dimensional and such a pivot point for the enitre story that everything is getting predictable.