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.
The Tales of the Raksura series starts here with Moon, who is a Raksura but doesn't know it, living amongst groundlings and hiding his secret. As a Raksura, Moon is able to change form into a winged creature capable of flight, but to his detriment when he does so he resembles the dreaded Fell. The Fell are an evil race of beings that are hated by all others and responsible for the destruction of many cities. This resemblance causes Moon to be generally distrusted and cast out of multiple settlements and he finds himself leading a somewhat nomadic life as he is tormented by the fact that he doesn't know why he is different.
As a race, the Raksura have a hive style society ruled by a Queen, and the internal interactions of their courts make for some interesting story telling. Martha Wells does an excellent job building the structure of this society and since the main character Moon knows nothing of it you learn about it as he does. This is the strength of the book as I did not find the characters themselves overly compelling, with the exception of Stone - the line grandfather of the Indigo Cloud court. Stone is old enough to just tell it like it is and far more likeable than the rest, including Moon.
The rest of the characters do grow on you by the end of the novel and I was certainly left wanting to know more about them. Christopher Kipiniak did a good job on the narration and bringing the characters to life although some of his voices are a bit too similar to others.
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.
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.
The writing was just a little bit stiff but somehow I was able to believe the story and it gets pretty bizarre. The world is interesting and even picturesque, the bad guys are really, really bad and the social dynamics are believable. I became very fond of Stone and was very sympathetic to the hero, Moon.
Reader of all things science fiction, fantasy, mystery and paranormal.
I didn't read it in print, so I can't speak to that. The narration was good though, except for Jade's weirdly deep voice. Moon's voice was excellent throughout.
I was hooked on this one right away. I loved it and I wasn't expecting to, having not read anything by Martha Wells before. Moon's story is all about finding a place where you belong and it's easy to relate to. Moon's relationship with Stone is my favorite part. It's so painfully awkward, and rings very true that way. The author has free "deleted scenes" for this series up on her website, and there is a sweet moment there between Moon and Stone that I wish had found it's way into the book somehow. I can't wait to read more about them.
Moon, by far. Jade was the worst. Thankfully, Moon is the main character and Jade rarely speaks.
Oh yes. I downloaded book two before I was all the way done with book one just so I just have it queued up. I listened to books one and two back-to-back, and then read all the short snippets on the author's website. I wish book three wasn't so far away.