John Meagher is a good reader, characters and genders are good - however as noted by others his Australian accent is jarring. its like he learned it from watching the Crocodile Hunter and 1960's episodes of Skippy (Crikey, wot's thet Skip? Blimey! must be a big bugger to be making all thet recket... etc), with a bit of random South African thrown in. That being said, its no worse than Australians attempting American accents, which are usually dreadful. Don't know how you get around this, but at times it was a difficult listen. Its not like I wasn't warned by other reviewers.
I've read a few James Rollins books and enjoyed them, I will give another book a go at some point.
The narrator's tone reminds me of Donovan Patton (Joe from Blue's Clues) reading to pre-schoolers. As others have noted, the pace is a bit too brisk, not leaving you time to savor the passages and the high pitched delivery destroys any sense of menace or foreboding.
I love James Rollins' novels. Until recently I had only read them in paperback. However, not having as much time, but wanting to read Subterranean again, I downloaded the audiobook. After the first 3 minutes, I had to pick up my iPhone and look to see if I had hit the button that plays the audio at double speed... I hadn't!!! This narrator is talking so fast its like he is on speed!! He barely pauses to take a breath or switch between characters. While he does change accents or inflections between characters, its like he is trying to win a race narrating the novel. I will never listen to a novel narrated by this guy again. What a waste of a good book! Sigh
As others have noted, the story is somewhat stretching the limit, but I wouldn't have minded it so much, if the reader had a voice worth listening to. Really, really awful! Why? 1. No discernible difference between characters, other than the attempt at an Australian accent and the girlish voice used for the main character, everyone else sounds the same and there's hardly any inflection. Listen to Roy Dottrice or Stephen Fry for what I mean on how it should be done IMHO. 2. No break between POVs - when switching between POVs, the listener needs something to tell one that this is happening, a pause here and there. If not for the names of the people, I couldn't have been able to tell I was somewhere else in the story.
I stopped after maybe four hours because of it, and I will not finish this book. Nor will I buy anything else in the future that uses this reader.
This will be the first book I abandoned in nearly 300 titles. To say it's bloody awful is a huge understatement.
Marsupial pigmies....REALLY? that's the best you could come up with? Your weed is too strong.
My first James Rollins novel and very likely my last...Started out OK but the second half rapidly turned ridiculous...Indiana Jones meets Jurassic Park in a Journey to the Center of the Earth. I wasn't expecting high literature, but even with that preconception I was disappointed. This book turned into one of those stories where it seemed like nearly every plot device was driven forward by someone doing something dumb. I also expected science fiction aspects, but again the scientific liberties drove me crazy as well. Not the worst novel I have ever heard, but if the book's description intrigues you just save time and buy some Jules Verne or Edgar Rice Burroughs, they've done it before and better. However the narrator is pretty decent, although I cringed whenever he tried to emulate a woman's or child's voice.
I knew by reading the description of the book that the plot was entirely preposterous. There's nothing wrong with that. You can suspend a little disbelief to enjoy a story - it's the cornerstone of your favorite Pixar movies, right?
Subterranean is beyond. Way beyond. Wallowing deep in preposterousness. It's not just the core plot but it's the author's employment of the cheapest gags and devices to "keep up the suspense". By the second mp3 file I was rolling my eyes and groaning - out loud in my car - roughly every 5 minutes. You can quite literally guess everything that's about to happen if you ask yourself "what would a 13 year old attempting to write his/her first fantasy/romance novel do here?" In the same vein the dialogue and the characters were most likely carved in wood before printing in the book - it was so hard to carve complicated text in wood that Rollins settled for the bare minimum. It's AWFUL.
To cap it off, I still have 3 hours or so left. I don't think I'll be finishing the book....