but to keep others from making the mistake of buying this. The narration is horrible. Its so bad as to kill the otherwise excellent stories. The is nothing good to say about it. Avoid!
Terrible audio quality covers an terrible book. Glad it was a discount book and didn't waste a credit.
I've liked the Marla series from the beginning largely because of the narration. This is a place where audio can transform material into something special. Like the Dreden series, I would have to think a few times before buying a Marla story without the superb work of Ms. Almasy to give it height and depth.
Grim Tides is a solid entry from the story point of view. The only quibble I have is that it needed some editing to blend the various parts together better. Instead of coming across as a seamless whole, it is a bit... chunky is the word that springs to mind. I think an editor could have smoothed it out.
The story itself is good. Takes Marla out of here home turf, something we haven't seen since the first book in the series. It pushes the boundaries of the Marlaverse out a bit and I'm excited to see what comes next.
I have a somewhat contradictory history with this book. When I first read this when it came out, I would have said it was a bit meandering but entertaining, a nice update to Starship Trooper. Three stars- like.
Then I reread it on Audible because it was on one of those get the first book of a series for $5 sales. By now there were four books. This time I found it really entertaining and started to get the feeling something more was going on that I saw at first blush. I read through the rest of the series and, yes, there is a sweeping narrative that is going on across all four books. So I went to four stars - worth a read even if you're not me.
Since then, I've made it a habit to pick up what Scalzi writes to see what his sarcastic self is going to say next. He's really good at sarcasm. He made me cry in public when I was grocery shopping and listening to Fuzzy Nation. I've never forgiven him for that. And don't get me started on that Wil Wheaton! Bastards!
ANYWAY: On June 5th comes out Redshirts which looks to be very interesting indeed, telling the story of the starship away team from the cannon fodder's point of view. So I thought it would be fun to go back and re-read Old Man's War.
This is one of the most subversive books I've ever read.
Wow! It quotes quite a few tropes from SST and other military science fiction but takes an entirely different tack on them. There is a whole section rebutting the SST classroom screed about might makes right that is so right on that I wanted to stand up and cheer -- don't tell me I'm wrong, show me.
A constantly recurring theme is the characters saying one thing while the entire background is completely contradictory to that. Its as if the characters are blissfully unaware of the irony of what they are saying. And it subtle like one of those optical illusions that you can easily just not see if you're not specifically looking for it.
So I'm going to put this at five stars-- a must read. If you want to understand military science, you must read this book (along with SST, The Forever War, and The Warrior, among others). For me, this book is a modern classic.
In my opinion, Climbing Olympus is not worth a full credit. The story is poorly plotted and the characters are non-existent. The whole mess devolves into a slasher film toward the end. The narration is well done and while sometimes that can overcome poor material, sadly, this is not one of of those times.
If you understand the technobabble, its quite funny and exciting. Loved the last two words...
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