Powell, WY, United States | Member Since 2007
The story started really slow, but was interesting enough to keep continuing. It just builds and builds all the way to the end. This first book covers Paks' training and first couple of campaigns, with a hint of a mystery of what will Paks will likely become. It has a kind of dungeons and dragons feel to it. Was surprised about the fighting/action scenes, never found anything quite like it, yet. It follows more a tactical pov than a one on one type of setup most authors favor. Instead of listing blow by blow action, it goes more by armies moving lines or tower sieges as a group, but from Paks' pov. Magic is a mystery and you feel like an outsider, just like Paks, when encountered. I liked narrator, but it was hard for me to tell the difference between some male voices. She does accents well and she does not try to lower her voice as much as some female narrators do to get a male voice, which can sound gravely and fake. Was disappointing to find out that they change narrators in Kings of the North(wish I knew who to complained to about this when it happens and not just this series).
The first three books are:
Oath of Gold.
The second set:
Oath of Fealty
Kings of the North
Crisis of Vision(due in mar '12)
There is also another set containing a prequel and sequel(not found on audible):
Just have to say I enjoyed this section better than the first three. To me it seems the pace is faster, the action a little bit more engaging, and the story is tighter. I like the fact that we see how imaging is explored to come up with more tools. In the end though the author comes up with a very powerful magic system, but seems limited in his imagination on how to use it. I like Quaeryt much more, he is more reckless and daring than Rhenn. Quaeryt more roguish by far and little more free and easy. The narrator is still dry to me, but I have come to expect to hear his voice and now associate it with the Imager series.
Out of all the books I read as a teen in the 80's, this is the one I was happiest to see to make it to audible. The wait has been long but worth it. If you ever read Stainless Steel Rat, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Disc World, or Xanth books, you will probably like this one, too. It is set along the lines of medieval times but bounces around many dimensions. The magic of this series is the trouble Aahz and Skeeve manage to get themselves into and out of. There is a lot of word play that is main source of the comedy and interaction. The part I always like best was all the weird and strange worlds and people that Aahz and Skeeve come across. Aahz is a little one dimensional, set in his ways and often falls back on his 'situational ethics'. Skeeve is little more well rounded as he comes into his own, showing a range of emotions and the goodness of his heart. How Skeeve could have ever became a thief, is beyond me, as he always feels guilt towards those he feels he has wronged.
The narrator does a good job, but I always imagined Skeeve with a little younger sounding voice, but after listening for a bit, that was soon forgotten. He gives all the main characters a unique voice that make listening enjoyable and easy to follow along.
If you like urban fantasy like Dresden files or Iron Druid you might like this one. It deals with much the same lore, but is toned down in violence and sex for a kid level. My 14 year old likes it well enough. I like the narrator, she very English, but has a wide range for voices for all the characters so you tell who is speaking all the time. Not sure if I will finish the series but I will be getting the 2nd book to see where it is headed.
If you like the Iron Druid or The Dresden Files, you might like this series. It's just a lot weirder and stranger. It dares to go a direction most other books could or would not go. Mr. Green certainly has vivid imagination. There is a book series turned into an audio play he does called Deathstalker, that is 180 degree from this story but no less imaginative and fun. Marc Vietor is great narrator, but it did take me sometime to really enjoy his work and get in to it. He also does the Black Company series and if I did not know he had done both books I would have never guessed. He shapes his voice to the book and characters.
I really like this series, it is fast paced and keeps moving right along. It feels like 20 hours packed into 5 or 6 compared to some other books. It's gruesome, bloody, funny, scarey, and adventurous, sometimes all at once. The Nightside is a dark and horrid place where anyone can find whatever pleasure they desire. There are the abused and the abusers, the tormented and tormenters, it is a place of perpetual darkness. But, there are a few souls in this dark world that do shine some light in the corners. This is one of the darker urban fantasies have listened to so far, I would not recommend it for kids. It seems that one does not really have to listen to the books in order to enjoy them, each story stands on it's own, but there is some information that does come across as the series progresses, so it is best to read them in order.
There is a book with 4 short stories, including one from Mr. Green that is a Nightside story but read by another narrator, called Mean Streets.
Two things I disliked about the book. First is that monsters are suppose to be a big secret but about half the world seems to know. Second, I am so tired of the standard fare of monsters, vamps, werewolves, ghouls, etc. I really wish more authors that could be more creative.
Other than that once I got started into the book it was not bad at all. I like the fact the book keeps a pretty fast pace. I did not care the for last battle though, the fight dragged for more than two hours and could have been a little more condensed. Sometimes the book could be a little predictable. The narrator very is good, but, for me, there was just that spark missing that really makes an audio book shine. His voice is clear and understandable and he does a pretty good with female voices. Looking forward to the rest in the series.
If you like this book I recommend the Joe Ledger series or if you like a like more fantasy mixed into your military battles try the Black Company. If you're more into urban fantasy with a little more magic and less guns try Dresden files or Iron Druid.
I give this book an A+ for the attempt to merge fantasy and sci fi, but it seems to not have a major punch. The book is now a classic(1980) and that may explain some, but the story is not dated. Feels like it could have been written yesterday. The story flows well and issues are resolved along the way. The plot does a nice twist toward the third book, upending some of what you know at that point. I did think the conversation between the Stiles and Sheen in the beginning was unique and I like the dialog between them, but that is about as deep as the book gets. I guess that between Stile's perceived handicap of being short and his abilities, his abilities out weigh any empathy you might feel for him. I found myself caring about the robot more than anyone else. All in all it is good story worth the read, if anything just to learn about the two worlds. The narrator is just okay, but did his job well though. Was able to listen without complaint. I think this maybe one book where a movie version might do better in showing visuals rather than explaining them, especially when playing the games or using magic.
What a good, fun story. Between the narrator and author the story has this hard boiled 1950's feel. Would like to see a follow up story, enjoyed getting to know Mack and how he gets along in the world. It was nice to see a main character that is not human. I've all ready listened to Gil's All Fright Dinner, plan on getting my hands on the rest of Martinez works.
I was disappointed that James Marsters was not able to narrate this book. On the other hand, having listened to several series that had narrator changes, John Glover does a very credible job(you know what I mean if you had to put with a Song of Ice and Fire switch from Roy Dotrice to John Lee). James is the voice of Dresden, as if Dresden in sitting across from you telling you his story. John makes this more like he is reading from a Dresden's dairy. It's good, just not great. Would like to hear more of John doing another series as he is a very good narrator. I hope they give James a chance to redo this book, but would not hold my breath. The producers of audio books seem to care very little about continuity of narrators so long as they get it made and kick it out the door. It's like watching a TV series, then next season they change all the actors.
If you have made it this far into the series you don't need me to tell you anything about this book. The only bad part is that we have to wait for the next to come out. Thanks, Jim for a such a wonderful character and story.
I hope this does not turn into another Wheel of Time fiasco. The story has lost it direction and does very little to advance the plot. Most of the characters are just plain stuck or running around in circles. Martin must be too busy patting himself on the back because of the TV series and forgot how to write for the fans that got him that far. I would not be surprised to see the next book take another several years while he travels the world promoting this book and lurking on the HBO set.
On the plus side, it is great to have Roy Dotrice back. He performs just as well as he did in the other books. I put off getting this book because all the others that think that Roy did a bad job of narration. Well, those people must have cotton or something stuffed in their ears or bad set of head phones. He does all the voices just like he did in the other two books. Compare them and you will hear for yourself.
Once you can accept the first book for what it is, it makes it easier to enjoy the second. This is differently not a 'what if' type of book, but is straight up fiction. After reading some the reviews for the first book, I was expecting some kind of true to life techno worse case tech go wrong story. Far from it. Much of the tech and scenarios are not even possible by today's standards and may not be likely in even another fifty years. It is just a good ol' plain fun sci fi. It did make me wish we had a real life dark net though, sounds so cool.
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