I enjoyed the first book, despite the narrator's voice, but this second one has just been boring. The plot mainly involves the protagonist running back and forth between characters- over and over. I got about 3/4 of the way through, admitted I was deeply bored, and just turned it off. The writing isn't bad; the plot is a yawn.
I was completely unimpressed by this novel. The characters were flat and unsympathetic. They also don't seem to behave or speak like real people. I'm halfway through and am giving up from irritated boredom.
The reader is average, but not even a great reader could have saved this one.
I'm quite surprised that this is so bad, as Rusch normally writes interesting characters and situations that are very enjoyable.
I do wish there was a catagory specifically for Christian fantasy.
This book was pretty much about a messianic figure converting the heathens to Christianity in Great Britian- while fighting a priest who wishes to destroy God ala Lucifer.
It wasn't really to my taste, as I prefer a subtler, allegorical approach to religion in my fantasy.
I thought this was a terrific book. I really liked how the characters respected each other, and listened to each other's advice. It didn't fall into the old "You're a girl, so you're stupid. Just stay where I put you" cliche. It also didn't succumb to "the heroine who really didn't have a clue wandering off stupidly to get into trouble" cliche either. It really was a breath of fresh air.
The students were charming and resourceful, although not terribly well developed, and didn't become cloying or annoying as many children in books are portrayed.
I was put off by the contempt "The Hero" consistently showed for Alexandra. And the weird, controlling relationship between her sister and her sister's husband "for her own good" was really disturbing. The writing was good, but I just didn't feel comfortable with the interactions of the characters.
I thought this was a very charming tale set in an interesting and unique new world. The story is told in a light-hearted and humorous way, but Flora is dealing with way too much responsibility for even a resourceful 14 year old to cope with. This darkness, fear, and frustration adds depth to the characters and gives what might have been just a frothy fantasy some teeth.
I really wish I had read the other reviews before buying this audiobook. The story may be great, but I'll never know; I can't stand to listen past the first chapter.
They say it was read and "performed" by Hickman and a relative. I've usually enjoyed listening to authors read their own work. Had Hickman stuck to just reading it, it would have worked ok. Sadly, he also produced it (in his living room?), and had someone with a electric keyboard and a stack of sound effect CDs doing really cheesy background noises.
What finally got me was the loud, continuous sound loop of a protesting crowd- when there was no protesting going on in the story. I couldn't even focus on the author's words it was so distracting.
I might check the book out from the library. I certainly won't be buying it. The authors have gotten too much money from me for this mess.
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