Obviously not serious, academic history, but a light-hearted and entertaining tale told in such a fashion as to make you rather pleased that you're part of this ever-progressing march of history :)
I love his occasional flourishes and jaunty cheerful throw-aways that break the (necessary) monotony and bring a smile to your face while you're waiting in line at the supermarket. They're just frequent enough to enliven the story, and not so frequent that they're irritating and distracting. They perfectly complement the writing and aren't don't stick out from the rest of the narration like a sore thumb.Sean Runnette is a wonderful narrator, takes a bit of getting used to, but once you do, it's perfectly natural and almost soothing to listen to.
This is so much more than a coming-of-age story. It is that, definitely, but interwoven alongside the tale of a young girl's discovery of her identity are beautiful and profound explorations of the nature of love, honour, beauty, friendship, happiness and gender. Ellen Kushner plays a delightful game with all of these concepts, and the listener can't help but wonder what they all really mean.
The narration is just spectacular. Barbara Rosenblat's deep, purring murmur seductively draws you into the Riverside world, and Ellen Kushner's own mocking drawl is the perfect counterpoint. At times I wished there was a little more Rosenblat and a little less Kushner, but it's kind of a privilege to know that one is hearing the characters speaking EXACTLY as the author intended them to.
I never thought listening to a young girl's first person narrative would be so enthralling. And don't let that factual description fool you - this book DEFINITELY doesn't belong in the young adult category.
This is a fun, fast-paced magical thriller, with likeable characters that are not too far-fetched, and a interesting, complex universe.
What sets this apart from Correia's other work (which is quite similar in terms of plots) are the characters. They're all sympathetic, substantive, and real, even the bad guys. Stereotypes are well done, conversation is punchy and enjoyable, but still realistic, and character development doesn't seem far-fetched.
The performance is just spectacular. Might take a bit of getting used to at first, but the gruff, almost gritty narration fits into the overall feel of the story really well, and the different characters are easily distinguishable.
This isn't exactly canonical literature, but it's a fun story, and good company on long drives or at the gym. Definitely recommended for a light-hearted yet engaging listen.
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