The narrator for this book was awful. He mispronounced half of the main character names. He was 100% over the top earnest and wrought with drama where it was not called for it.
I just cranked the entire thing to 3x speed to get through it. Unfortunately, the plot of this entry into the series was slow, plodding, and predictable.
My advice is to just read the synopsis online and skip directly to book 7.
Brit Abroad. Nearly six hundred Audible books heard, many more than once. Yes I'm hooked.
Yes, but only because it has important plot developments in the overall story. As usual there are a few excellent action sequences, with an awful lot of inner reflections and tutorials on 19th century technology, which is great is you like military or scientific history like me.
The author is rather self-indulgent with all the long internal reflections by characters on their situation. Some of this is OK, but it gets repetitive and tiring. He also uses a few expressions far too frequently (e.g. "and then he sobered") which can start to grate a bit.
This reader almost made me give up. His delivery is certainly clear and precise, but there are two big problems. He speaks every sentence with emotional intensity, and never lets up, which means there is no real contrast between moods or atmospheres. Much worse though is it seems he never bothered to listen to any of the earlier books, so he pronounces almost every name completeley differently from the previous reader. I don't know whether that is just bad preparation, or an oversight by the series publisher, but such an obvious mistake should never be made in today's audiobook industry.
No, it would not work even in a series. A movie would lose all the underlying complexity and would probably not make much sense.
This is the third reader for the story, and definitely my least favorite. Although Collins carries energy in his voice I can't shake the feeling he will start crying in anguish at any moment... Very distracting...
I made the mistake of buying the entire series after listening to Oliver Wyman's wonderful narration in Off Armageddon Reef. The constant narrator changes have been a huge problem, and in this book it hits a new low. As other reviewers have said, the narrator has changed all of the pronunciations used in the previous audio books, and even English words that are spelled conventionally get mangled pronunciations. Also, his intonations and inflections are very annoying.
It was, barely, tolerable, through the initial parts. I consoled myself with the knowledge that I only had to get through this one book and I would reenter the light in the next book which is narrated by Oliver Wyman. However, the very first battle in the book pushed me over the edge to write this review. The narrator gets all worked up in the weirdest places, and when the characters get introspective the narrator gets EXTREMELY heavy handed with his "woe is me" voice. Another issue is that the narrator makes any character which is experiencing even the slightest amount of fear sound like an 8 year old boy at his first Halloween horror house.
The only redeeming point is that during the normal conversational scenes the narrator just talks, like a normal person. If he'd just used that voice throughout it would have been a 100% improvement. But, since he didn't, he gets the 1 star.
Its wordy. David Weber tends to get that way. The reader isn't horrible but he isn't that good either. Some prep work and listening to previous readers would have helped. I'm an actor and I understand bringing your own interpretation to a work but you also have to respect the work it self.
The redeeming quality was it moved to over all story forward.
Performance a little too forces and breathless for my taste. Reader is not smooth and realistic sounding. Not as good as previous readers in the series
Great story, great series. This performer, OTOH, is just OK. Kind of breathless, doesn't seem as good as others in the series.
Drama. Most of us have the sense to think that pouring tea or talking about economic affairs does not require the same gut-wrenching dramatic reading as, say, a burning orphanage. The narrator chosen for this audiobook sadly does not. Imagine William Shatner in his overacting prime without the charmingly ill-placed dramatic pauses.
The narrator's preparation for this book was also apparently zero, as he unilaterally changed the pronunciations for around eighty percent of the series-specific names and words. Everyone of the uncountable linguistic missteps pulled me out of the enjoyment of the story and made the experience that much less enjoyable.