I have finished the first of eight Audible parts and still have no idea as to what the plot is.
The book is fairly interesting. Sanderson creates an interesting world completely different from our own. I think he may go a little too far with it, because it becomes hard to even relate to it. There are all these "spren" (not sure how it is spelled in the book) that populate the world. They were a neat element at first, but everything has some kind of spren associated with it. This including creation spren (which appear when a character is drawing a picture) and excitement spren. It just becomes ridiculous.
The narration though...I have listened to dozens of audio books and have never had a problem with the narration like I have on this book. The first time I attempted to listen to this book I turned it off after 20 min. Michael does an average job at best. He has a very limited range, and the pace of his narration is off. The chapters that Kate reads are painful. After almost every sentence she adds an unnecessarily long pause. The slight upward inflection that she adds to the ends of sentences makes it difficult for me to listen to her.
I'm not sure how people can give this book 5 stars. I could understand 3 or 4 due to the imagination of the author. However, the writing is just average, and the narration is inexcusably bad.
After reading the reviews and seeing it pop up in several "Top Sci-Fi" lists I was excited to listen to this book.
I can understand some of the praise that this book has received, but I have some problems with it.
When you start to listen, you can quickly tell that it was written in the early 60s. The fact that the station is on another planet, but there are no computers as we know them. It is easy to get past this, but it gives a very nostalgic feeling to the story.
The descriptions of the structures and formations that occur on the planet's surface don't occur until the book is over halfway over. These are things that could have really instilled a sense of awe and wonder with the planet. Because they arrived so late, I was already starting to become bored with the story and remember thinking "if these are supposed to be so impressive why are they just now mentioned?"
Many of the ideas that the author proposes are quite intriguing. What does it mean to be alive, what kinds of life forms are in our universe, if we encountered intelligent life would we recognize it?
It is because of these points and discussions that I didn't consider this book a waste of time, but I don't rate this as one of my favorite books.
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