The main character is a gutsy girl, orphaned at a young age, who maintains her defiance and sense of adventure while masquerading as a male deckhand on a pirate ship. It's good pirate fun a girl who refuses to conform to anyone's image of who she should be other than her own.
My favorite sequence was the 'lost on a deserted island' adventures.
Is anyone else getting the Beijing Conspiracy as part two??? I've bought it twice and called customer service and they said they'd look into it. But I'm an audible addict and am bummed.
I was transfixed by this Faulkner/Patton collaboration.... it was truly a delight to rediscover the gorgeous emotional and descriptive landscape of this great book, to enjoy again what a 'page-turner it is, and to revel in Patton's pitch-perfect performance.
For me, the Dresden canon has always demanded a great, joyful suspension of disbelief. Not only in terms of the obvious (Fairies, abracadabra, et al) but even an occasional leap of narrative logic (And really, who cares? Dresden just saved the whole dang world!') The series earns my ears back every time because of its' sweepingly imaginative universe, as and the web of relationships and motivations Butcher has woven through it over time. The series is also funny, in Dresden's nerdy wisecracking kind of way. I love Butcher's tendency to wink at noir conventions by making Dresden a noir hero in a post-feminist world, where his chivalry isn't always appreciated. Dresden thinks he's hilarious, but despite his 'tall/dark/handsome/magic' credentials, his one-liners are more defense mechanism than actual wit and he constantly reveals his inner geek (and he has all the geek trimmings, complete with original EMPIRE STRIKES BACK poster)... just like the rest of us. Only we're only imagining what it would be like to conjure wind with a word, while he actually has the goods.
Butcher's delight in creating Dresden's world has been evident from the start, but it has been fun to watch his confidence grow in the creation of ever-more involved and harrowing scenarios for the besieged protagonist over time.
Dresden loyalists, be ready for a brand new world with brand new rules now that Dresden's...y'know... translucent. It is unsettling, as it is intended to be, to find him in the midst of danger and totally without his usual means of fending it off. My advice is to just dive in, don't carry old expectations and enjoy the fruits of a writer who is willing to take risks in order to prevent a series from becoming stale. He pulls it off, too -- this was the first ending that wholly shocked me!! Furthermore, there's something existentially interesting about watching a character come to grips with the man inside, when all the distractions (explosions for him, defenses for the rest of us), tics and other personal identifiers are stripped away, leaving us to assess the soul of the guy behind the blasting rod. So to speak.
Not that you need more info on the narrator switch, but I have to weigh in anyway. I thought John Glover rocked this thing!!! That said, it's because of all the reviewers who came before me and struggled with the transition that I was well prepared for the change and therefore not ruffled by it. We stuck with 'our guy' through the first few books while he was finding his way (partly due to less refined audio exquipment, I think... the lip smacking is gone by book three!), loved his narration as he hit his stride and I, for one, always jumped a little each time he unleashed a thunderous..... "FUEGO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
He rocked it. The good news is the 'new guy' seems to admire those performances too. Other than an occasional Woody Allen twinge to the character's voices, Glover clearly studied the other books and brings his own touches to Dresden as well as incorporating elements of the performance from books past. I found it not at all distracting, once I'd eased into the book....
(Not like the jarring experience of listening to THE ABSENT ONE before LOST CAUSES in the Department Q series, and finding the characters I'd come to know had been transported to a world where everyone speaks English with a heavy accent, vaguely like the former Gov. of CA. Can't we just suspend disbelief in the name of narrative flow?? Honoring the heritage of a book is more than accent-thick, after all! The poor narrator was tying himself in knots trying to demonstrate character despite the effort of maintaining so many variations on an accent not his own... sorry, I digress.
That's a different review altogether. ;-)
Enjoy, Dresden-ites -- and fuego on!!!
The series is distinguished by the evolution of the refreshingly self-conscious, brilliant protagonist who is beset by demons of his past and by misguided shame about his dyslexia which comes to stand as a metaphor for his general sense of 'not living up.' The fact that the reader can see how remarkable he is when he can't see it himself creates a wonderful investment in the character's evolution over the course of the series.
The outlander series is the most memorable, addictive and gripping I've experienced in my listening career. The first book left me with a mixed impression of the book's themes and preoccupations, yet I forged ahead -- slightly baffled by the impulse to do so -- and grew increasingly impressed, entranced and hooked as the series continued. That's not to say the first book isn't good, it's just that the intricate and thrilling narrative (which is never confusing despite its' intricacy -- a tribute to both narrator and author) gets better and better as the reader's understanding of the world of the story and the characters who populate it grows deeper. Each book also represents a lusty, adventurous page-turner. Make no mistake, I learned a lot about the past reading these well-researched books but they are a far cry from homework. At least not the kind I remember doing.
I'm now officially a huge Gabaldon geek, routinely checking her website for the date of the next installment.
I viscerally miss the protagonists, as if they're old friends, in-between books. Just as I miss the crucial contribution of Davina Porter, who brings character and life to every character -- distinction without caricature. She's outstanding.
And to think I believed I didn't 'like this genre.' I was a fool! A fool I tell you!
Davina Porter brings depth to every character -- distinction without caricature. She's outstanding.
Not for awhile. At this point I feel I know the man better than most people I'm actually acquainted with. Should probably focus on them after disappearing into this book with the consuming obsessiveness as Steve Jobs with a next-generation iPod.
I can't attest to whether the audio is better than the print, but the audio rocks.
I found the intricate character portraits to be so cunning and detailed that they functioned more as plot than exposition. Good fun to not-quite-get-in-the-heads of the multifaceted characters.
I'm not sure I can identify a particular scene, but tonally I loved the book's head-spinning transitions from procedural information to dramatic - even shocking - scenes without damaging the narrative's cohesiveness.
I've had my mind blown by books like The Sociopath Next Door and The Gift Of Fear and imagined this book would be similarly perspective-altering. It was perfectly listenable but mostly confirmed body language queues that your intuition already flags.
Perhaps if I worked in a field where such interpretation is pressing, law enforcement or high school principal ;-), I'd have been more affected.
Strangely, though the book is competently narrated there were portions that sounded robotic. Not as an adjective, but literally.
No narrative threads to make the technical information come alive. A bit abstract and difficult to follow without the PDF showing the physical behavior. Not an ideal candidate for an audiobook, in my opinion.
There are other titles in the genre you're likely to find more colorful and engaging.
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