This book was, overall, pretty good. For me, however, it doesn't quite compare to Abercrombie's First Law Series or Heroes. They all take place in the same world and I really dig his story telling and style but this one (in my opinion) was the least of his works that I've read.
Joe Abercrombie books promise you three things. Action, vulgarity, and torture. This book dishes all three up in great heaping, rotting piles and you're grateful for it. If you know Joe, you know you already love this book. The downside here is the performance. Michael Page isn't terrible as long as he isn't doing the voice of ANY character Stephen Pacey did. I have no idea what research material he was given to make the voice of The Bloody Nine sound like a wheedling child, or why all the northmen in a given flashback sound suddenly celtic and brain damaged. His voice for his august majesty made me want to call him up and yell things about his grandmother at him. Also, the overall sound quality of the recording is really low rent. It sounds like they set up a condenser mic in a storage unit, there's actual overhead hiss on the recording. I really wish I'd just read this one myself.
Joe Abercrombie is a master story teller as evident by the First Law trilogy. In this book he builds on old characters and develops new ones that you quickly love and love to hate. If you loved the First Law series, this is more of the same good stuff!
Michael Page does a decent job but nothing compares to Steven Pacey from the First Law series.
I had to read all of his books! You can't stop after the first trilogy and not want more!
I will never understand why they have to change narrators for audio-books in a series. This is a great book that is very hard to get used to because of a new voice. Characters from the First Law trilogy so brilliantly voiced by Steven Pacey are essentially recast by Michael Page. It's not as if he does a poor job, it's just an annoying thing that you have to get used to.
They did this with "A Feast For Crows" and often in the miserable Sword of Truth series.
The "Ender" books 8 or 9 I have listened to are all narrated by the same people. Part of the fun of an audio-book series is the narration and this book is almost ruined by the change.
I loved the First Law Series. The dark tone, conflicted morality and deep character building were intriging, while Steven Pacey's performance was just gritty and fantastic. Needless to say I was anxiously looking forward to an extension of the series.
I was disappointed.
While Michael Page does a fine performance, it pales in comparison to the previous series. The voices are all similar, and his tone was much too light for a dark novel. I found it very distracting.
Speaking of dark: the language, violence and sex are ramped up in this one, so be prepared. It is pervasive and a little unnecessary, and just doesn't match the performance.
Finally, though it is in the same world, there are is really very little character continuation from the original trilogy. I was hoping to see the back story of some of the secondary characters. That's not the case. Without spoiling anything I can confirm that a very minor charater from the series comes to the front, and a secondary character is portrayed completed differently through the performance.
In all, it's a decent stand-alone book. There is no need to read any of the other books in order to enjoy it. However, if you were a fan of the First Law series, lower your expectations.
I liked The First Law trilogy, some books better then others. This book is a standalone book taking place years after Last Argument of Kings. In many ways this is the best book. Not all things am I happy with. This Author really likes to f--k over his characters. He also likes dark endings.
I am not compelled to write review very often, and when I do it is always positive. But, this book is awful.
I could not relate to nor did I even like any of the main people in the book. Not being a prude I am not offended by much.....but, wow, the language, the carnage, blood everything way over the top. I gave it two stars only because I listened to the ending, which was also a disapointment.
Joe Abercrombie is as excellent in this book as he is in the first law trilogy -- extremely good. But the narration simply needs to be tolerated in this book. A sharp contrast to the trilogy where the narration added a great deal to my enjoyment of those books.
Not sure what the other reviewers were talking about. An excellent book and while the new narrator took some getting used to. He was just as good as the narrator in the Last Argument of Kings. Again an outstanding read (or rather listen). Listened to it while I ran and it made the miles go by quickly! Anybody who said the narrator wasn't good doesn't know what they are talking about.
This might be a good book and I am sure it is. I really liked The First Law Series, so I know Joe Abercrombie is a writer. The narrator might even be okay. However, the gatekeeper for me here is the sound quality. It sounds like the book has been recorded in a bathroom or while talking into a cup. I have downloaded one other book with this same narrator and it is the same problem, poor sound quality. Such a shame.