Two short stories, two authors and two narrators, with one shared fantasy world between them. The first, The Alchemist, shows that the combination of great writing and great narration can make a story much more entertaining than it actually deserves. It also sets up the second story, The Executioness, which I found less entertaining but more thought provoking, showing many parallels to our own world. Both felt shallow though, missing something. Both are good but not great. This would need to get fleshed out into a full sized book, preferably by the Paolo Bacigalupi/Jonathan Davis team.
I felt the stories were a bit short, and both Paulo and Tobias' style seems to be to immerse the reader into the plot without much background. I found myself confused over certain names of places and other components used in the story that framed the alchemist and executioness' setting.
Just too short of a story to get as complicated as they did. That said, I started to get into The Alchemist about 6 chapters in, and finished it. But I could not bring myself to keep paying attention to the Executioness.
I have 125 audiobooks from audible and have to tell you, this is by far the worst. I've been disappointed in books before but never like this. It's mindless babble. This is not writing, it's typing. Wish I had my money back. Don't waste yours.
The Alchemist and the Executioness never meet. It's a good story, but it lacks a satisfying ending. It left me frustrated.
I hate to disagree with all the nice reviewers, but I found "The Alchemist" unlistenable. Basically, the main character has as much common sense as a horse's patoot. Maybe he improves later in the book, but I can't sympathize with him.
Also, the author took a chapter to say what most could say in a couple of paragraphs. Bah!
Basically these are two stories that take place in the same world but the two stories never connect to each other. The Alchemist is a pretty pointless story and doesn't really come to a conclusion. You'll think they will come back to the ending - they won't. The writing isn't very good either. The Executioness was exciting and well-written. It doesn't really have an ending either but much more acceptable than the first book. It's neat to hear a bad ass woman fighting story. So if you really want to enjoy it, just skip to the second book. Honestly, you'll find so much better fantasy out there than this book though. Oh yes, and the second book's narrator is much better too.
This book seemed like it should be an abridgement because it was so difficult to understand that I was certain I was missing part of the story. It's really odd. Two authors got together, I think, and just went so make believe that I couldn't connect. I didn't like it but I typically like science fiction but this was not well written - seems thrown together and not easy to understand.
I appreciate the fact that the authors tried to create a female hero but the story was not impressive. I had to force myself to finish listening, and came to conclusion that it was just a waste of time. The fantasy was deflated and I was glad when it was over.