This is the first book in the series of a set of books that has been one of my most favorite since it was first published. I've read them all more than a few times. The basic premise is brilliant, and over the course of the series, you get tantalizing glimpses of what's really going on, while still having a rousing story from the beginning.The characters always felt fully fleshed out - impressive in a setting when who and what they are can change in an instant and often does, yet the author manages to make it all flow along. When I saw that the books were available -finally!!! - in audio, I literally bounced in my chair and couldn't' wait to download and start listening, knowing that this would be hours and hours of listening joy.Then the narrator started talking.
If I give any moments, it will only spoil a surprise - all the best moments are plot twists. But I love the World that Chalker created here - small pockets of "Anchor" where normal natural laws apply, surrounded by a whole World of glittery foglike Flux that those gifted with the ability can literally shape to their will like magic.Many of the main characters actually think it is magic, but we get tantalizing glimpses from the beginning that there is More To The Story, which plays out over the whole series.Whether you're a fan of organized magic or hard science, or even science fiction looks at things like politics, gender roles, political corruption, or just a good yarn, the book is a great start to a fantastic series.
Fully two thirds of the major characters are women. The protagonist for the whole series is a woman, who starts out at around 16. Other "characters" are the mysterious, etherial, but essentially benevolent, if somewhat clueless, "spirits" of the series title.Who chose this narrator? He'd be good with a hard-hitting detective novel or a gritty action adventure, with fast cars, fast women, and lots of guns. But he simply can't do female voices - they just sound stupid when they don't sound like breathy teenage boys. And everyone else sounds like they're in the mob. Including the women.The whole tone of the society should be coming across as the Old West, with periodic visits to The Big City - you find out just why in later books. This is the worst book to narrator mismatch I've ever encountered, and that's saying something.There's a couple of decades of fervent wishing for these books on audio shot all to hell.
I honestly don't know. Seriously, these are among my favorite books of all time, and just being able to listen to them is a joy, but the narration is like nails on a chalkboard and so violently wrong I alternate being thrilled to listen and outraged and incensed at the performance - or more accurately, the horrendous choice of narrator. If I didn't know and love the books, I don't know if the narrator would be so grating, but I also don't know if I'd want to hear any more, or if I would even finish the book.
Give it a try. It's a great story, and one of the most amazing science fiction series of all time. I'm hoping that I come to terms with the narrator and can stomach the rest of the audiobooks.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.