Sometimes the appropriate response to reality is to go insane.
What made me enjoy this book as much as I did was Moon and how he slowly comes to learn about his culture including the complicated court politics of his people. Because neither Moon or the reader know anything about the Raksura, this allows a level of world building that feels almost like we're taking this journey with Moon. We're experiencing this strange new place with him, and it gives Wells such freedom of expression with the culture and people. She's allowed to dwell on her world building, presenting Moon and the readers with this beautifully crafted landscape and culture. She weaves this new information into the story without having to resort to info dumping.
Chris Kipiniak was an excellent choice in the reading the series. I loved the gravelly voice he used for Stone, which made the character actually sound like his name. However, I enjoyed his characterization of Moon best and thought he did a superb job with capturing the wry nature of Moon's personality and Moon's conflicted nature that knew he should practice selfish self-preservation but ultimately always did what was right.
With the world building, Wells did a terrific job of fleshing out her characters and races, making most of them feel like more than just humans with odd colored skin tones and some structural appearances. Some races outside the Raksura can feel fairly typical for the fantasy setting, but the author still manages to give them cultural differences to make them memorable. The Raksura culture is treated with ingenuity and craftiness by Wells. There's something that feels familiar and human about them, making the reader empathize with them while giving them this unique culture and mannerisms that sets them apart from typical humans or even the groundlings in the story.
In this first book, Wells has introduced us to a wildly imaginative world with these fully fleshed out characters and traditions that take the reader on quite a journey. This is one of the more innovative books I've read in any genre. There haven't been many books that make me feel like I'm reading something that's truly fresh and special, but Wells has managed to make me feel like I've stepped into a whole new world with the Raksura while keeping elements that make it feel familiar.
I'm always tentative and even skeptical staring a new story. Sometimes it's hard to "click" with someone else's imagination. I was pleasantly surprised with the this unique new world and characters. This book got me through many workouts and I am looking forward to the next book in the series. I would also like to comment that the narration was top notch and gave the characters their own voice.
A wildly imaginative world (or three worlds, sky, ground and sea) is introduced in this first book the Raksura. We meet Moon a shape-shifter in hiding who is just trying to get along with the humanoids he's hiding among just as things are about to go wrong for him, again.
I really enjoyed this book, the characters are well drawn and interesting, the world is an extremely vivid one that seems to be truly alien and the story of a young man finding himself and his people is well told.
The first book of a great series.
Keep your mind active.
As a long time SciFi reader, I agree with other reviews that characterized the story Martha Wells has authored and the species that inhabit this world as original and fascinating. The author introduces the three worlds of Cloud Roads as Air, Earth and Sea and they make a wonderful background for a great story about a young hero. The characters are well developed, likable and the story exciting. The narration fits the books and I was hooked within minutes of the start. If you are looking for something new, try this one. Worth the credit.
I fell in love with all of the characters and couldn't wait to find out what happened to them.
I can't pick just one, but I really liked Moon, Chime, Stone, and Jade the best. Each of them had such great personalities, but the interactions between them is probably what makes them my favorite characters.
The entire confrontation between Moon and Shell and Grain when the listener is introduced to Chime and Flower.
Yes, and I very nearly did!
This is one listen you will not regret spending credits on and if you have enough credits saved up you might as well get the rest of the trilogy because you won't want to wait to start the next book!
Connie Willis' "Blackout."
Yes, if it were a good book.
I agree with another reviewer who also bought this book because of the many high ratings. It's not a terrible book, and the world is unique and imaginative, and I gave it 3 stars for that. However, for me, good world-building is not simply about being imaginative - worlds come alive through the depth of characterization, and from start to finish, the characters never did come alive for me. I read through to the end only because of an unfortunate quirk I have - once I've started a novel, it is almost impossible for me stop reading before I've finished it. What I love is when I finish a novel and it feels as if I've reluctantly waked up from an intense dream that I did not want to end. The main emotion I felt as this book neared its conclusion was, It's almost over, I can stop reading soon. I feel no inclination to continue the series.
I most definitely intend to recommend this book. Starting tonight on the second in the series.
I bought this book purely on a recommendation, unusual for me to try someone completely new. I am so pleased I did. I was not really even in the mood to read when I started it. So, it really pulled me in. I found myself caring about these characters because they felt real (even though it's fantasy!) They were multidimensional. Mostly, I thought Wells really brought Moon to life. She was quite careful to know him well enough to keep his personality quite consistent, regardless of the various changes and challenges that befell him.
I really liked the solitary scenes between Moon and Stone. That relationship, from the beginning where Stone seemed a desperate threat to when both were near fatally injured in different parts of the book, provided maybe the best opportunities to reveal Moon's internal conflicts. Stone became more than merely a father-figure, I think he represented a missing tableau or framework that Moon needed to be able to excavate from himself who he was ... and that had been such a mystery — not merely his race, but how culture shapes us all. Moon had none of that. Stone gave it back to him, so he could then find a place with others.
When, toward the end, Moon found out about Pearl's true intentions ... I thought it was, again, a superb continuity device to show the depth of Moon's mistrust (not of others, but of his own ability to understand himself).
Read the book! It will take you in to its completely believable environment. Yes, Wells created an entire world skillfully, and that's great. Moreso, she provided people that we can all see ourselves in, perhaps. That's meaningful. Yes, we read fiction for entertainment, distraction, diversion — a mental or emotional getaway. But, I wonder if what we really seek is ourselves in these pages.
I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
Pretty straight forward non-gory, non-noir fantasy novel. It isn't necessarily written for young adults, but it could be read by them as it is pretty tame (no foul language, no graphic anything).
There is definitely a moral to the story (being an outsider, definition of family), but it is relatively subtle and didn't make me roll my eyes.
The race(s) are pretty interesting, and very well created. It seemed believable that such a world of creatures could exist and the dynamics between the species also made sense. Even the "bad guys" were a logical extension of the world's species, and their behavior was believable.
I quite enjoyed the story, even though it was a bit slower-paced - and lot less dark - than my usual fare. There is a lot of world and character building and the only part of this that was a bit on the weak side was the 'romantic' component(s). This romance was required by the story, but the angst between the love interests was told, not shown, and had little tension or "oh no" sense to it.
The narration was good and I did buy the next in the series from Audible.
Enjoy the adventure
It is easy to be impressed with the creativity in Cloud Roads. The book includes unique fantasy elements which I enjoyed. Unfortunately, the book also includes Romance elements and I am not interested. (Well, except for the aggressive females who take what they want.) I became bored during repeated arguments that she thinks he is being aloof while he is mad at her for being needy. Blah, Blah.