Excellent backstory to the Master Chief that I'm sure all Halo fans will enjoy. Part Starship Troopers, part Enders Game, and all Halo. This details the Master Chief's history up to the beginning of Halo: Combat Evolved (the first Halo game), as well as the beginning of the Human/Covenant war. The unravelling of these backstories is the most compelling part of the story.
Todd McLaren does a great job narrating the book, but the audio recording was poor. Volume levels vary wildly from chapter to chapter, and in the parts that involve characters yelling (and it's a book about war, so there's a lot of yelling), you can tell that rather that drop the levels, it seems like they had McLaren step back from the microphone. The result is that it sounds muffled and distant, like he is yelling inside a tiny booth (which he was).
Don't let poor audio engineering stop you from enjoying this book, however. If you're a Halo fan, you'll probably like it.
Marc Thompson is an amazing narrator. Let's just get that out of the way. The sheer number of characters he brings to life is nothing short of astounding. Male, female, human, nonhuman, droid; it's amazing one person could do all of that.
This story is entertaining, though not as fulfilling as the rest of the series, I must admit. Perhaps it's the abridgment. I couldn't say. I can't put my finger on what's missing, but it ends well.
The one thing that I felt was missing was the woman who says "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away." She was present in every other book in the series except for this one, and her presence is missed. I know this is a minor detail, but it was one of the excellent aspects of the production. In the bulk of the series they started out with a prologue to set the stage, and then had her recite the famous opening followed by the Star Wars theme. It was very dramatic and effective and really drew you into the story. There was something about it that gave me goosebumps in a way that Mr. Thompson's didn't.
Again, a minor detail, but I missed it.
I've been devouring the Numa Files audio books over the last several months and I have to say that this is the weakest so far. Brick delivers his usual excellence, but the story is lacking. I'll try not to give anything away, but at the end of one chapter they are exclaiming that they "must find the villain behind this nefarious plot" and at the beginning of the very next chapter, they know who the bad guy is without skipping a beat. Huh? Did I miss something?
The villains in the Paul Kemprecos collaborations seem like overblown Bond villains, two dimensionally evil, without any depth other than world domination (who would want that job?) For my money, I'd stick with Cussler's collaboration with Graham Brown. The stories are much more believable.
In addition, the audio book is poorly edited. Usually, the audio book chapters tend to mirror the actual chapters in a book. Not so in this case, which is annoying. Also, the edits between sections or chapters occur too quickly, without a natural beat to signify the change. The result is jarring and irritating. Overall, a poorly executed audio book.
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.