Fresh. Engaging. Fun.
The interaction between aspects, always entertaining.
No, this is my first Audible book. But I was very impressed with his narration and characterizations. He has set a high bar that will present a daunting task to other narrators as they attempt to equal his performance, much less try to surpass it.
The team of Sanderson and Wyman may prove to be an unbeatable duo.
I'm not sure there was anything I liked "Best". Only things I didn't dislike as much. The writing was unsophisticated, almost juvenile. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as it can make for good escapism that you can just experience without having to think about it too much. However when combined with the "Bad" the unsophisticated tends to lose any of its redeeming quality.
Now for the bad.
1. Exposition! Exposition! Exposition! I frequently found my mind wandering during many of the frequent pauses for the main character to 'reflect' on whatever Mr Shepherd decided needing elucidation at the moment. The first few times when I'd catch myself doing it I would rewind to the point where I was last paying attention. But I realized early on that I really wasn't missing much, definitely nothing that moved the plot forward, so I stopped rewinding and found that I could easily pick up the plot, such as it was.
2. I want to like the main character but find her slightly cartoonish and vaguely unrealized. I feel that Mr Shepherd missed an interesting opportunity for character growth with Cassandra. She had a decidedly non-standard childhood, yet I've seen real life people with a more standard upbringing be much more unstable than she. It made it a lot harder to sympathize with her situation when it seems she doesn't suffer near as much as you'd expect.
I think John Scalzi handled a similar situation better with his Jane Sagan character in the Old Man's War series.
3. While the political situation was interesting the rest of the world seemed flat, and Mr Shepherd seemed to have trouble conveying his ideas for Cassandra' universe, thus all the random expositions that, at least for me, did little to shed any light on the subject.
No, probably not
She's not the worst narrator I've listened to, but she needs to slow down just a bit. And she has some odd inflections and pacing at time as if she didn't understand what the author intended. I blame this as much on the director as her.
Maybe, the action was decent, it would have to have a big SF budget though. And as long as the book is once you cut out all the expository nonsense you'd only have about an hours worth of material left.
I felt there was a lot of untapped potential here. The whole super soldier story line is a hard one to balance and be able to stay inside the suspension of belief zone of most readers. Mr Shepherd tried, but ultimately missed the mark with me, and I can usually overlook quite a bit.
After Monster Hunter International I was hesitant to try Larry Correia again. MHI was one of the few books I had to force myself to finish. It was all about how many bullets could be put on target, the realization that bullets aren't working, change magazines and keep doing the same futile action. Rinse and repeat. Sigh.
Hard Magic and its followup books, however, present a surprisingly balanced story. Excellent characters with believable motivations. Excellent and believable action scenes based in a well thought out magic system. Once you accept the premise of that system there is very little suspension of disbelief necessary. The story arc is well planned out with an enjoyable and satisfying end point. That said I was left wanting to spend more time with the characters and explore more of the world Mr. Correia created. To me that is the mark of a well written story. Bravo!
No, this was his performance I have listened to. But it won't be the last. His characterization was excellent as most of the main characters were easily discernible. My only complaint, though minor, was the change in Lance Talon's dialect. In Hard Magic he is portrayed with a New York accent, while in the later books he has a Texas drawl. Like I said minor but was the only complaint I could come up with.
I love Jim Butcher's work, great escapism.
One of my favorite series, and while Kate Reading's performance is good, it was ruined by sloppy, amateurish editing. When cuts are made from one take to another they are jammed together with no pause. In print it would be equivalent to running one sentence into the next without the benefit of punctuation or even spaces. I found it very jarring and distracting.
Speaking of distracting, what was the purpose for throwing in trumpet fanfares at random intervals?
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