I really enjoyed this book. I am fairly new to audiobooks, and completely new to Erikson. I must say I was more than pleasantly surprised. An interesting world, it takes some getting used too but once your are IN, well, it's hard to get out. The world is hard, gritty and tumultous. The narrator gives a good performance, distinct voices for most major characters. This is the first performance I have been graced with by Lister, and outside of minor quibbles with some pronunciation (likely due to different nationalities) I truly enjoyed his reading. The biggest problem is that there is NOT MORE!! This is the first of many books in a series, and unfortunately the only one on audible.
After the first two, I was truly looking forward to Last Argument. Unfortunately, it left me dismayed at the weak ending of this trilogy. It felt hollow and incomplete and left me unsatisfied in many ways. The characters we spent so much time with over the course of three books never truly grew, and even Giselle's apparent growth seems skin deep and sporadic in many ways. I truly found Byer's little revelations at the end unsurprising. With that in mind, I was wonderfuly captivated by Inquisitor Glokta, and found myself happy for him. He may be the strongest character in all three books, and his combination of sarcastic wit and willingness to do the necessary, pretty or not, was great. I think had it not been for him, I would have long ago stopped. All in all, a fair book with an ending that left me feeling as if the author took the easy way out. Also, click click click lets find a new word for sword meets skull. Still, I would recommend the series to those who appreciate gritty fantasy, even if this was the weak link in the three novels.
While I found the story hard to immerse myself in initially, once I became more attuned to the world being built around me it started to flow. A great foundation to what promises to be an excellent series, full of action and intrique, mystery and revelation both personal and social. I have found myself divided on Brandon Sanderson in the past, and was pleasantly surprised by this one. My one true gripe with the story would be the number of times I had to hear Storm this, and storm you. Yes, it is part of the world, but it felt forced and overwhelming. The use of Stormfather was more subtle in my opinion, and fit better. But all in all this was an excellent listen, leaving me wanting more the second it stopped. Michael Kramers inflection takes some getting used to, but it serves well as a way to distinguish the writing form he is reading. Up on comma, down on period, although for the first 15 hours or so it left me exasperated. However, I found his voice easy to listen, as well as Kate Reading. I did find myself annoyed towards the end when Kate's pronunciation of the slippery High Prince Sadeus (spelling might be wrong, this is an audiobook after all :D ) was vastly different than Mr. Kramers. It immediately pulled me out of the story, silly as that sounds. Overall, I found the performance to be excellent, and the book itself was also. Had it not been required to lay so much foundation I think the book would have been stronger. That said, looking forward to the next installation. The only bad thing I experienced was spending two credits, then finding it for one credit less than a month later. Oh well...
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