The first book in this series is packed with all of the action expected from a novel written by Correia. The story and characters are fantastic, and the main characters are like superheroes. The only problem I had was with Bronson Pinchot's narration. I wasn't impressed. He certainly was not as fun to listen to as Oliver Wyman, and I really wasn't impressed with how there was no change in delivery when the action was going on. The character's tone never changed when they were supposed to be shouting, and half of the characters sounded like they were either high on something, or complete morons. The story and experience was what you would expect from Correia though, it keeps you listening.
Hard Magic was an entertaining listen. However, you shouldn't expect anything too innovative.This book seems to be made up of one part X-men, one part late steam punk, one part alt history (with famous persons as characters).In general, the plot and characters are fine. The characters do get 'developed' though not in a very deep or meaningful way. Similarly, the plot is nicely crafted but lacks anything novel.The frustrating part of this book was that it feels almost exactly the same Monster Hunter International. You've got a sort of everyman hero who turns out to be the best in his field (and almost something of a messiah for his friends and the world). The plot follows this one character for most of the book. He encounters a group of other heroes (notably at odds with government authority - I feel strong echoes of second amendment hyper-neo-conservatism here) and with them saves the world.Reading Hard Magic made me feel as if I had just read MHI again but the characters had all changed names and switched their rocket launchers for super powers.If you've read David Eddings' Belgariad and Mallorean and then compared these to his Elenium and Tamuli series, you'll get an idea of how similar the Monster Hunter and Grimnoire series are.
I found this book a bit slow to start, but I persevered and and I'm very glad I did.
The characters are appealing and well-delineated, the evil guys are truly evil.
The story is set mostly in post World War I America and the alternate reality resounds very closely to history--both in what was going on and in attitudes of the time.
Many people exhibit different magical characteristics and a maverick "heavy", not so dumb as he looks and sounds, becomes a leading force in the fight against the approaching evil.
The ending took an unexpected turn--clever plotting Mr. Correia!
I enjoyed this book very much and look forward to the next one.
I've enjoyed Larry Corriea's other series, Monster Hunters International, so I decided to give this book a try. I'm very glad I did. Its great 'noir' style, unforgettable characters, and the situations they get into made this a wonderful book. The fantasy world that Mr. Corriea creates is internally consistent and understandable.
I was a little skeptical when I saw that Bronson Pinchot was narrating (Balki?), but was soon captured by his abilities. It took a little while to get into the story, but once I did, Mr. Pinchot's skill brought the story alive. Each character has their own easily recognizable voice, making it easy to stay on track. I highly recommend this book, and wish Audible Frontiers would release the second book!
I love this book, it is outside my usual genre (thank goodness I gave it a chance) the reader is excellent and the characters well written. I went on to read all of the authors other books and this is my favorite. A great adventure novel with a hidden edge. If the author reads reviews - hurry up with the next one and thank you for the trip.
I thought the narration on this was so well done. This is one of those books that has such a variety of characters that quality narration is crucial. Bronson Pinchot nails it. The novel takes place during the first half of the 20th century, but with a slightly off version of history. Darwin's survival theory has humans tapping into certain powers beyond the norm, for instance "heavies" can manipulate gravity, and "brutes" have great strength. There is a collection of good guys who are battling to save the world; the bad guys are, of course, trying to take over the world, and the whole thing is done with a noir style - the protagonist is so cool and tough - in dirigibles, for Pete's sake. As a history buff, I enjoyed the "quotations" at the beginning of each chapter from figures in history. I also enjoyed references to Tesla, Pershing, and other historical figures and events. Considering how bloody and thrilling this novel is, is was surprisingly fun to listen to! The mystery and action are complicated enough to be interesting and the story moves along at a good pace. The ending is exciting and the writing is very visual without being tedious. I very much enjoyed this listen.
Great story and a very good performance. I know some people didn't care for the sound of the main characters accent but I thought it was great. There are very few readers who can actually get other accents and tones besides their native one. This guy blew me away from the way he went from whatever sullivans accent is, to southern okie, to a japanese ninja, to a older black man and for the most part they all sounded great.
I found the story itself to be engaging, fun and epic and I greatly look forward to listening to the next one.
This guys is my new favorite author. I love the monster hunter series and this is almost as good. It is sort of like X-men/League of Extraordinary Gentlemen/Crazy Alternative History. (I can't spell) Great fiction. I wish audible had the sequel.
Bronson Pinchot is one of the best narrators I have ever heard and I have over 700 books in my library! A narrator can make or break a book and Mr. Pinchot has added his magic to an already good story.
Bronson Pinchot brings Mr. Corriea's slightly alternate depression area world to life, with a vibrancy seldom experienced in a story of this type. If you have enjoyed MHN but hesitated to try this genre, it is your lost. The action is engaging, the characters not only entertain, but are developed to the point that you can care about them and understand their motives. This is obviously the beginning of a great series, I have already read the second installment Spellbound, and hope that it finds it way to audible soon.