I tried to like this book. I swear, I really did try. It's just... well, Kellen Tavadon is awful. And I don't mean awful in an intriguing anti-hero sort of way. I mean awful in a dear god why oh why is he still having this same inner monologue, please make the bad man stop... sort of why. I mean, by halfway through the sentence "but they couldn't, cooould they?" became the equivalent to me of fingernails on a chalkboard.
For all the conceptual strengths of the world crafted by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory, they really couldn't have fumbled any more on a central character. Kellen is daft, dull, redundant, repetitive, and sucks the life out of every moment he puts his hands to. He is essentially the anti-Midas Touch of literature.
Often times an abundance of action or fast moving plot can cover up a frail main character, but Outstretched Shadow tries to center everything around Kellen. As such it spends a lot of time with him having inner-monologues, wondering about aimlessly, and being drawn out on rather minor tasks with a forced feeling of eventually mattering injected in.
That's the shame though. As world building go, the book isn't half bad. It's not redefining the genre, but there's enough depth, creativity, and layers to create an effective fantasy tale. Susan Ericksen definitely puts a strong foot forward in trying to carry the book in spite of its lead, but at points I felt her reading gave Kellen an even more childlike persona than he already had. Seeing how well Ericksen handled the other characters though, I really must attest that too Kellen just being an unsalvageable character.
With all of that said. Would I recommend the book? No. Would I recommend against the book? No either. If you're going to give it a go, just prepare yourself for what you're getting into and I wish you the best of luck.
I love to read and since 2011 I have been mostly listening to audiobooks because oftentimes there is nothing like a good narrator.
Yes. The authors have put together a well thought out world and many of the characters are above par.
Yes. I was a little worried at the start and getting into the middle of this 1st book but it did pick up a little. The Narrator was noticeably too slow but thank the heavens that the Audible App on my Android phone has a setting to play it at 1.25x speed. This is one thing I wish my Kindle did and I'd have to warn someone who had a Kindle.
I am listening to the 2nd book in this series by her.
To casual fantasy readers you might not like the 1st book much. Kellen does a lot of, well....whining regarding his self doubt, inability to do this or that, and almost anything he can doubt himself about. Its mostly inner-monologue but that doesn't make it any better or any easier to listen to. His self-confidence is horrible.
The World in general that the authors have created has awesome potential. Already in the 2nd half of this book you start to see it and it gets better in the 2nd book. I hope the authors keep on this tangent but I've only listened to this 1st book in the series and now am in the middle of the 2nd.
I thought the story was painfully slow, and written for a prepubescent child. I've listened to 5 of 22.5 hrs and it hasn't gotten any better.
The main character is reportedly a 17 year old boy, but acts like he is still 10-13. The descriptions are verbose but childlike.
Listening to him drone on and on about his boring chores, doesn't make for a very exciting or intriguing book.
After purchasing works by Sanderson, Jordan, Glen Cook, Sergey Lukyanenko, or Brooks's Shannara series this was very disappointing.
I may have enjoyed this book when I was 13. The characters are described in hackneyed terms and resemble a child's conception of a "bad guy" or a "bored child with talent." Also, this narrator would make me dislike even the finest book -- she reads far more slowly than this material deserves, and her style is that of a condescending teacher reading to a kindergarten class. Maybe it gets better after the first few hours, but I will (thankfully) never know.
I tried, gave it 4 hours.. twice. Just something about listening to someone complain about how boring their life is for 4 hours, makes the story... well, boring!!!!
I listened to this and couldn't get into it, I tried a second time and gave it 4 hours. I can't imagine how this story could get worse. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone at all. I don't understand the 4 star rating because the story just isn't good.
This story is truely uneventful. I almost can't bare the thought of listening to another chapter. The annoying way the authors would discribe the most unimportant details at the worst possible time made this book so frustrating. Ahhhh! Why did I waste so much time? Plus, NOTHING happened. I have read more eventful chapters in a fairy tale. This book was selfish, drawn, and and soooo pointless. The main character was a 17 year old boy who whined and droned on about his little girlness. Don't waste your time. You WILL be sorely dissapointed!
I listened to the whole book and liked the story overall. It was fairly predictable however and seemed more like entry level fantasy. After reading Jordan, Martin and Sanderson this was a little disappointing.
Lackey and Mallory had some good ideas woven into the plot and there was lots of action but I found the inconsistency annoying. For example, in the beginning they say Kellen would get into fights with street kids. Then later when someone grabs his arm he's shocked because he's never been manhandled in his life and it hurt.
I will probably listen to the rest of the series because I don't like leaving a story in the middle. I hope the next two will improve.
Interesting universe, ultimately let down by excessive exposition along with some plot issues.
The proformance of the VO was quite good, clear and crisp. Easy to understand with good inflections.
However, there were too many moments where the plot slowed drastically for large and unnecessary expostion dumps about the nature of a place or the workings of a particular society or institution. Furthermore, the protagonist, while compelling in some ways, seems to labour over the same internal conflict for over half the book, and we are treated to his constant reiteration of the same concerns again and again, further slowing the already poorly paced narrative.
With they said though, many of the characters introduced are interesting and exotic. The writer manages to weave in plenty of fantastical creatures and create individuated and interesting examples of the same.
On the whole, this book ends up being pretty average. Nothing special but nothing too terrible either. I feel the other two in the series may improve, as much of the world building is now finished.
A typical coming of age fantasy set in an interesting world, but unfortunately marred by repetitive expressions of angst from the main character that have no basis and are extremely tedious.