Alone, Moon discovers his long lost people, but is there a place for him? Excellent!
Martha Wells has created a rich tapestry of a world. The Cloud Roads is the first of the books of the Raksura and my favorite. I've lost count of the number of times I've read it and listened to the audiobook. The Raksura are an engaging race of shape shifters with a vibrant, distinctly non-human culture. Alternate human / reptiloid flying dragon people - not your typical lycanthropes (although those get a cameo mention). Explore and learn the Raksura as Moon, orphaned as a child and left to fend for himself, struggles to make a place for himself even as the rapacious Fell threaten all. Who are the Fell? What are they? Ms. Wells does not "tell"; she weaves a story and drops details as Moon learns them and/or as Moon allows himself to think of them because Moon has shadows and secrets of his own. 1st of a trilogy, Cloud Roads has a satisfactory conclusion. (I hate cliffhangers you have to wait for the next book!) You could stop here...but why would you deprive yourself of more Raksura?
Favorite scene: Moon to the court, "What's a consort?"
Chris Kipiniak gives a great performance. Not just reading but dramatic, emotive presentation. Voices for various characters are clear and distinct. Thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook.
I've listened to The Cloud Roads three times now. In anticipation of The Edge of Worlds (book 4 of the Raksura series, which Audible hasn't announced they will be doing yet), I will probably do a complete re-listen of all three main timeline books.
Moon is a very relatable main character. Even though he's not human (and no one in these books is), his very realistic view of the way people are and his very justified paranoia are charming from day one to the last page of book three. Looking through his eyes, you feel his yearning to trust others very strongly, but past experience tells him he can't. If you've had difficulties in your life, you will feel for him.
Moon confessing his worst memory to Jade.
Christopher Kipiniak is the absolute. perfect. narrator. I can't imagine Moon sounding any differently than the way that he plays him. He manages great subtlety and has a quietness, a dangerous quality to dialogue, that is completely essential to the Raksura, particularly the big and powerful Queens. His female voices are interesting and never falsetto, which helps a LOT toward keeping the flow. You will never be jarred by his voice, though each voice is distinct.
I have listened to it all in one sitting. All fifteen hours of it, starting from 7am on my commute to work, through work, through lunch, after work, sitting with my family through dinner, and ending in bed. I'm telling you. You won't stop. You'll just be chilling in the Three Worlds with the Raksura.
Listen to these. Then go buy the books, either from Nightshade press directly or Amazon, or some other lovely independent bookstore. Support this series by not buying used, even if you are a poor student like me. c;
Christopher does a great job narroating, the story draws you in making it difficult to stop listening. I'd never heard of this series before but found myself avidly listening sitting at the edge of my seat as the story developed around moon and jade.
Sometimes the appropriate response to reality is to go insane. Reviewer at BiblioSanctum.
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.
Say something about yourself!
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.
Being in a different world with colorful beings and flying people!
How hard it is to find out who you are and the struggles of fitting in when you do!
The scenes when Grandfather Stone hits Moon upside the head for all his dumb questions!!
The whole series is great!
This is a awesome series!! A fantasy trip worth the taking. I have already listened to the series three times and can not wait for the next book!!
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.
The author has a great ability to take animal behavior and intertwine it with human society. The characters are well-thought out and the book keeps you interested all the way through. Can't wait for the next one. The narration is also great.