maybe, once they finish the story.
This book just stops abruptly and tells us that it is the end of Book 1.
The tale might be worth a listen. It seems to be a good start. But this is not a complete "Book".
Genre fiction, trashy to literary--mystery, action, sci fi, fantasy, and, yes, even romance. Also history. Listener reviews help a lot!
???The Mongoliad??? came as a surprise to me. Originating as a ???cloud??? collaboration from a team of noted authors, this alternate history saga of ???The Foreworld??? has apparently been going on in multimedia format for a while (see the mongoliad website). But this book, the first of a trilogy (a trilogy that is apparently already close to complete, which is always a good thing), stands alone as a novel. Describing the newly published book in an Amazon interview, coauthor Mark Teppo says that ???the three volumes of The Mongoliad have been polished, re-structured, and re-edited into the definitive edition of the narrative ??? [that] is the authors' preferred text. ??? We're old school that way. It's done when you put it on the shelf.??? Good news for readers everywhere!
The prose style of this adventure epic combines history-based fiction with the world-building of fantasy and science fiction, with the wordsmithing genius of Neal Stephenson definitely an influence. The first couple of chapters were a little muddled, but once I got the sense and rhythm of the story, the many characters and their strange names fell into place and it became amazingly easy to follow. Feeling the lack of maps, I confess I scanned the Wikipedia entries on the ???Mongol invasion of Europe??? and ???Mongolian Empire??? to gain some context, and found them useful. It???s a fascinating and fast-moving tale, if gruesome and full of cruelty. The Mongols were not kind to the people they conquered or to the cities they overran, usually wiping out both with chilling completeness. They left few survivors in their wake, and the fact that western and Mediterranean Europe (including France, Spain, Italy, the Low Countries and even the British Isles) were spared their onslaught is, I suspect, going to be a big piece of the mosaic this trilogy will create.
Regarding the narration, as I think most people who have listened to the ???Iron Druid??? books will agree, Luke Daniels can read to me anytime.
Bought this because Neal Stephenson's name was attached. I don't know how this collaboration was structured, but the writing was uniformly awful, nothing like any of his other writing I've read. Sophomoric vocabulary substitutions, awkward archaic sentence structure applied unevenly, extended minutely descriptive passages that added nothing to story, plot, or visualization of scene, to the point where I wonder if they were being paid by the word. Stephenson's reputation is built in part on his extensive research, but good research can't cover for bad writing.
This is one of the few books I've bought without sampling the audio. Never again! While Luke Daniels is master of many character voices which are consistent over the span of the book, and there are many small parts that make short appearances widely spaced, his characterizations feel like English overdubbing of 2nd rate anime, which sadly matches the 2nd rate pulp feel of the writing here.
I suffered to the end just to get to see if the plot would rise to some sort of satisfactory point of resolution, but it ends abruptly, like an attempt at a game of thrones episode, but not even a season, cliff hanger.
If you want a well researched novel in a similar time frame with much better writing, more nuanced characters and plot, and a much better more fleshed out and sympathetic female supporting character, seek out Guy Gavriel Kay's Under Heaven. It's everything this book should have been. And Simon Vance is so much better as a narrator.
A while back I was listening to a podcast (I wish I could remember which one) where they were interviewing Neal Stephenson. Neal’s been one of my favorite authors since I read Snow Crash almost twenty years ago. The main material in the podcast was over his then most recent work Anathem, but what stuck out to me at the time was his interest in ancient weapons and fighting techniques. He later got together with several (many, if truth be told) authors with a similar fascination. They decided to work on a collaborative effort which involved a realistic world where many of these forgotten martial arts could be put on display in word form. Thus was birthed the first book in the Foreworld Saga: The Mongoliad.
I’ll list all the authors since I’m sure they all want credit: Erik Bear, Greg Bear, Joseph Brassey, E. D. deBirmingham, Cooper Moo, Neal Stephenson, and Mark Teppo. They combine to tell the fairly straightforward tale in 13th century Europe and Asia. There are dual storylines in play – one in Asia where a young warrior is trying to save the Mongolian Empire from courtly corruption and one in Europe following a band of knights on their quest to kill the Khan of Khans. The tales thread back and forth throughout the book with zero overlap and without much thought to pacing. There is however quite a bit of – I’m sure fairly historical – fighting and war-making. Unfortunately all the martial prowess cannot make up for the lack of actual plot.
The book started off slow, but picked up with some early character development. This however played out into a story that went nowhere. Half of this book is supposed to be a knightly quest, yet the heroes never went anywhere significant. The other half is supposed to deal with courtly machinations and intrigue, but only got as far as some thin innuendo. This book did have some interesting characters and seemed to set up some clever plot ideas, but ultimately the story just stops without anything coming to fruition. I’m not sure if this had to do with the multiplicity of authors or the foreknowledge of sequels to come, but typically there is some payoff at the end of a volume that makes you want to follow up. This book provided none. I have some curiosity to see what becomes of some of the characters, but probably not enough to take the time to find out.
I have looked at the Foreworld website, and in the past couple of years, they have put out many sequels and “side-quest” stories. There must be some depth to the series, I just wish this talented group of authors could have done a better job of introducing the world to the reader. Read this only if you have time to spare.
3.5 stars out of 10
What a brilliant, engaging story! Such an involved, intricate plot and the characters are just fabulous. I bought the next book as soon as I finished this one and pre-ordered the third straight after that. Just a fantastic book, I can't wait for the third!
Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring. A circle of friends on an impossible mission.
Great character voices.
Probably not - too long.
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
Too many cooks spoil the soup. An old and true cliche that fits both the kitchen and writing books. Matter of fact few duets work well, with Preston and Child being the exception.
I am fascinated by all things Chinese. As a Sci-Fi fan and a fantasy fan, I find the Chinese past and present to be the fantasy for real. The are real, but so different from western society. I loved Conn Iggulden's Khan series and was hoping this would be a continuation of that. I am also a big fan of the game Romance of the Three Kingdoms. This seems to fit the time period between Ghengis and Romance.
This started out alright, but by the end I was bored out of my gord. There are some fight scenes in this that take hours to play out. There is no character development. There are no George R. R. Martin surprises.
I hope that one good writer takes up this project, cause I would like to hear the story and then I would really like to see a modern writer rewrite Romance of The Three Kingdoms. There are lots of exciting material that a writer could make a career out of it.
Narrator had a tough job with lots of characters to portray. He did make each one distinct although I doubt that the Khan spoke through his teeth 24 hours a day. The narration which is the biggest part of the book was very lack luster.
This is not literature, this is a supplemental reading to a computer game. On a brighter side, there are 'binders' and they are 'full of women.'
Wow, grabs you from the start and keeps hold of you. I honestly couldn't stop listening.
The book is fun and informative, great characters and break-neck pace. You won't be sorry you listened,
An epic adventure and somewhat unexpected. I look forward to reading and hearing more., I chose this book because Greg Bear was one of the authors and I love his writing.