I have an eight-year-old who reads well beyond her age, so finding suitable books for her can be a bit of a challenge. Scott Westerfeld's "Leviathan" is one of her favourite series, so when I saw his endorsement on the cover of this book (and skimmed the synopsis on the back) I thought it might be one that she'd enjoy. To be safe, and thinking I might enjoy it too, I purchased the Audible version to have a listen before I bought her the physical book, and boy am I glad I did!
The opening chapter is a lengthy monologue about committing suicide, delivered in a way that falls just short of glorifying the action. The character in question comes across as very rational but completely resigned that this is their best option.
In the middle of the third chapter there's a rather vivid sex scene that I frankly wouldn't be comfortable with my daughter reading until she were at *least* twice her current age. Oh, and the sex scene involves a prostitute whose husband is sitting in the next room.
At this point I had obviously decided not to get the book for my precocious tween, but having never before quit an Audible title partway through, I kept listening for my own sake.
By the time (about an hour and a half in) that the narrative got into details of Jack the Ripper's particular acts of mutilation, I simply lost patience with the story myself, and the grandiloquent style of the audio performance was a major contributing factor to this.
Mea culpa for not reading the synopsis more carefully and for not recognizing from the cover that this isn't a YA title (which is where it had been shelved by the vendor).
Please take my three stars with a grain of salt, as I've listened to less than 10% of this title.
This book is divided into 3 parts. The first part is what earned the three stars I am giving the story. Parts 2 and 3 were progressively worse. I was left wondering how the author could have gone so far off course and towards the end I was sure that he would not be able to redeem himself. In fact the book ends with the author telling the reader what he should have gotten from the book. This is never a good sign, and basically points to the fact that the author knew he messed up and rather than fix it he just slapped a here is what I wanted to write on the end and actually expects it to be acceptable...WELL IT'S NOT!!!
The sad part is that the autthor does display and immense talent with the first part of the book and if he had only stuck with it instead of trying to turn the story into something it was never intended to be I would have easily given this book 5 stars.
Listen to part one, then listen to something else.
A wordy, overlong, tortuous tale that had me gnashing my teeth in frustration. The story was unbelievable even for science fiction. There has to be a wee bit of believability to make one suspend belief. This awful mishmash was simply boring. And, the pity is... he can write!!
Set in Victorian London, this is a collection of three different tales of "time travel" that are interrelated, each influencing the other. HG Wells is the central character that weaves the three tales into one broad story arch. The book is well written and the characters are engaging. I particularly enjoyed Palma's involvement of the narrator as a self-conscious participant in the telling of the story. The audio narrator also does an excellent job of bringing the story to life.
Another reviewer was concerned that the story isn't a thriller and lacked some of the action he would have liked, I found an adequate degree of action for my tastes and there were plenty of twists and turns in the story; however, what I really enjoyed was the development of many of the main characters in the story. They drew me in and got me to care for them (or dislike them--the villians, that is). After about 20 hours and the story was drawing to an end, I was sad that it was time to leave Felix Palma's fantasy world and wished for a bit longer stay in his version of Victorian England.