As a re-read/re-listen. I know when I listen to the story again I'll catch all the stuff I missed the first time.
Kept the story moving and gritty.
Having the history of the 1920's, 1930's era mixed with the fantasy of magic was a new approach and one I found refreshing and engaging.
Fun and hard boiled super hero type story that almost makes you believe with its science fiction twist. Patching it together with a different version of earth history, the roaring 20's, and a bit of steam punk type technology adds to the fun. Great characters that make you care about them. Top that with a incredible reader and you hate to pause in your listening to go to work. Don't miss it.
The description of this book is a bit off. It describes Jake Sullivan as a hard boiled detective, which he may become in future novels, but at this point he is a convict strong-armed by Hoover into government service. He gets pulled from that role (just as it starts to take shape) into a "dirty dozen" type unit working for a secret society. It all ends up being fun stuff, but the blurb writer set me up for a completely different genre then the book actually delivers.
The other primary character is Faye, a simple farm girl who happens to be the most powerful "active" in our little band. I have concerns, but to describe them would be spoiler-y or at least reveal-y, and that is simply not how I roll.
I feel like Larry Correia didn't know how to get into the action. The run-up, especially for Sullivan, felt chaotic. Once the team is assembled and he could unleash his vision of how these powers work and can be wielded, it really takes off. The kinetic energy and spacial language deliver exciting battles. The ultimate stakes are still a little hazy and the system of magic is somewhat loosely defined, but it appears to be in step with the characters similarly vaguely defined understanding. There is enough here to bring me back for future stories in this world. (I also bought the books 2 and 3 before I bought book 1, so Larry Correia was going to get the benefit of the doubt regardless.)
Larry Correia, absolutely. In the not-quite-a-year since I heard his first book, I think I've managed to read/listen to every book he's published. Bronson Pinchot, I'm less excited about (more details below).
It's hard to choose. There were a lot of good ones. I like all of the Grimnoir, really, but if pressed I'd probably say Faye, Heinrich, and Dan. They're all kind of badass in their own way, and at least in the case of Faye and Dan, it's unexpected based on their appearance. I also think the Dan/Jane relationship is very cool.
I don't care for Bronson Pinchot's style. I've listened to some other books he's read, and I've got some in my library that I've yet to listen to, so he's not unbearable. I just don't care for his style. He doesn't read women well (they mostly come off as whiny when they express any sort of emotion), I don't like some of the voices he chose for the men, and they don't really even sound like different "voices" at all, just different inflections. Which doesn't really work when characters have a wide range of emotions to be expressed.
Sure. I'd already read the paperback, and I got through the audiobook much faster. I think the book is definitely worth reading, whichever format you choose. I read the audiobook because I'd already bought it, but Bronson's performance didn't make me want to spring for the next two, even though I love the books.
While I read a tremendous amount of sci-fi/fantasy, I'd never come across this author before, and I was a little dubious about the recommendation of this book. I was NOT disappointed by Audible's recommendation. Bronson Pinchot does an absolutely delightful job of voicing these characters, the story was quick-moving and engaging,and the action was non-stop. I am extremely glad I listened to this book, it was a great way to spend my commute, well worth it!
I discovered this series shortly after listening to the Monster Hunter series by the same author. I was excited to immerse myself in a whole new world of magic and action. Things started out well. The plot seemed interesting and the abilities of the would be characters had me genuinely excited. However, I quickly discovered that the narrator has an amazing ability to give almost every character he voices the most..handicapped sound. The characters that I felt should've been tough and bravado have a lackluster, dull, simple almost southern drawl to the way he creates them. Even the females in the story seem to be intelligent, interesting, and somewhat deep by the text version, however, once voiced by the narrator I was left feeling like each character was dense, slow speaking, and utterly stupid. He ruined the story for me. I couldn't even finish the audio file due to this horrible reading. Judging by the reviews it's a terrific series. Should you venture down the road of listening to this book I hope that you find it easier to listen to that I could. Good luck.
Mark Boyett, Oliver Wyman, Jay Snyder, Michael Kramer, heck even C3PO would've been better.
Bronson Pinchot masterful narration (as close to perfection as can be expected) and a remarkable story with fantastic action scenes and memorable characters. What more could you want.
It's hard to pick a favorite. The narration was fantastic. The story exciting. The magic battles intense. The historical references are brilliant. Great story. Highly recommended.
His narration was stellar. He does voices and accents very well. The voice of the character known as the Pale Horse was chilling and got under my skin. This is one narrator I would buy audiobooks just to listen to him read them.
I wish I could, but it is too long for that.
If you got a credit, this would be a good audiobook to spend it on. I bought the rest of the trilogy and the second book is great too. Looking forward to finishing it and going on to the third.
If I could give more than five stars, I would.
I had listened to other books. First choosing stories that I knew I liked because I always felt I was missing half the story when I listened to them rather than reading them. So I chose old familiars, reasoning that if I missed some of what was being said it was alright, I had already read them dog-eared. Eventually I ran out of book options in my library and chose this book for lack of other choices (I think it was a daily deal), figuring I might erase it 20 minutes in (honestly that was based on the artwork).
Then Bronson Pinchot started narrating. He took every voice, every character and made them Alive. This was not one man putting on a bunch of voices. These were fully realized entities. Each of his characters had a pattern and a pace that was their own. Then subtly with some, the way he read a character would change slightly, intentionally, in the way that a person will minimally change in a situation.
I love his accents, and am now laughing remembering him in "Beverly Hills Cop" saying ACHmel! ACHmel! to Eddie Murphy.
My first choices in the beginning of my subscription were poorly picked. Books that I have read thousands of times and loved each time were unexpectedly pale and unpalatable. This series educated me on the full experience that is the audio book, and that it is not just about simply choosing the right book.
Fortunately it has two other books to follow it.
Each one more craftily thicker in story and more engrossing than the previous. I was very satisfied with it's finish as well, carried out expertly from beginning to end.
I've been a fan of mysteries since getting up with a notebook to solve Scooby Doo cases. I now write my own.
Near the top of the list. The world crafted for it is ours, but not ours, and the alternate history brought in thanks to magic is both pervasive in reach and subtle in effect.
Monster Hunters International, but it's by the same author, so that won't help much. A comparison to some of the more action oriented books int he Harry Dresden series might stand up.
Hard magic does have a lot of focus on guns and conventional weapons, so it's not just about magic in the sense that everything is sorcery.
Fay (or Fae, hard to tell in an audio book) was hands down my favorite for the entire series.
Bronson Pinchot does an excellent job with all the characters, though he does fumble a few of the words he clearly wasn't familiar with. This was corrected in the later books. His voicing of Jake Sullivan was a little too slow and drawn out early on, but it either picked up or I got used to it.
Fay(e?)'s performance in the final battle just got better and better, right up to the end of the conflict and the desperate attempt to get clear.
The "twist" that one character seemed to have worked out early on was pretty obvious, but that only served to give me further insight into her frustration hat no one else could see it. There's a lot happening in this book, with sub-plots, and intrigues taking place, so the one big moment being telegraphed like it was wasn't a big issue There were many smaller bits that were a total surprise.
I stumbled across book 2 of this series at my independent bookstore and since finishing Spellbound in print, have gone of to the first and third installments eagerly. I like the combination of 1930s depression era re-imagined with magical abilities at the core of all the major world events of this time.
The series is smart and action packed. The characters are compelling and in some cases unique. It is hard not to like the central hero figure, Jake Sullivan, and Bronson Pichot's reading makes you love him. Sally Faye is another original that sticks with you. Correia has a knack for taking the familiar and the well-trodden and giving them a twist that makes them fresh and new.
So far, I think Hard Magic is the best of the Series in terms of conception and ideas and theories about "The Power." That said, I can't stop reading any of them. Enjoy!