Story seemed forced, almost contrived. Much of this could have been exposition in a new novel about those aliens first encountered at Talios. There were so many threads left hanging. I feel like McDevitt's biggest fan and this is not what I've come to expect from him. Even so, I did not feel it was a total waste of time. If you've never read McDevitt, start with this one and you will not be disappointed when you enjoy his other books.
I can only echo the sentiments others have already expressed. Dotrice made Aria and Dany sound like old Irish women and pronounced names in later books differently than he did in earlier books. It was so distracting it almost ruined the book.
One word: editing. For crying out loud, this could have been done in 3 books if he'd cut out only half of the repeated comments, story lines, detailed descriptions of foods, crude references to women's body parts and Theon Grayjoy's thoughts. Too many protagonists, none of them primary.
I must give Dotrice credit for tackling a gargantuan job of voicing hundreds of characters. But he should have at least saved some sound clips from earlier readings to make the primary characters sound the same in books four and five as in books one through three.
I wouldn't presume to cut characters in a wholesale fashion, but I would have liked to see severe cutbacks on the details of story lines for Theon Grayjoy, Brienne of Tarth and Davos Seaworth. The entirity of their contributions could have been handled with exposition, and much more briefly than it was done.
There are so many things that feel unfinished. Gendry, the bastard son of Robert Baratheon is one. Rickon Stark disappears for two books, then is given passing mention in book 5, so why was he a character at all?
At first I was a bit disappointed in the reading style presented in this audiobook, but after the part about Sodom and Gomorrah, I had to turn off my iPod for a moment and catch my breath. This is definitely worth the purchase! The language is contemporary but not in a way that detracts from the stories of the Patriarchs. Outstanding!!
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