I have been a fan of Mr. Brookmyre since first hearing "A Tale Etched In Blood and Hard Black Pencil." I was enchanted by the dark humor, the clever phrasings, the twists, and the juxtaposed sentimentality. I have since listened to all his audio books I could lay my ears on.
Most have been narrated by Kenny Blyth, who does a spot-on job; providing a suitable range of voices (many in winsome Scot brogues), and an impeccable delivery of Christopher Brookmyre's wonderful ironies. Here again the narrator does not disappoint.
The book itself is is excellent. While I was able to suss many of the twists, that did not dim them; and there were plenty that escaped my anticipation. The characters are all engaging, and even the villain is intriguing and entertaining without becoming a sympathetic anti-hero in the end. Kudos.
I have rated this book at five within the genre, rounding it up. Audible could do worse than to add more of his books to their digital shelves.
While I do like Z, I found Harbinger a much more compelling lead character. I was uneasy going in, concerned about deviating from the other two books which I had found fun if not exceptional. But those fears were quickly dispelled. Earl and the new characters were each compelling, a welcome break from what seemed to be destined to become another formulaic fantasy series. This book was at least a full star better than the previous stories.
After slogging through A Feast For Crows, searching for nuggets (with limited if satisfying success), I got up several times in the middle of the night to see if A Dance With Dragons had been released yet. At 3:15 EST, there it finally was. I stayed up despite work looming in the morning to listen to the prologue, and was thrilled to find myself back (a feeling seldom evoked by AFFC).
Part of it is undoubtedly due to having Roy Dotrice back again, but it goes much deeper than that. It already seems that the previous volume was GRRM getting his housekeeping done, and now he finally ready to get back to the real story. I had to stop myself before I was swept into the Tyrion chapter as I knew I would have lost the rest of my night's sleep.
I am grateful that if they had to change readers for a volume it was for AFFC, bundling my disappointments together so that it can be left behind. However, I would gladly pay a generous premium if they had Roy read that book as well. But for now, I look forward to savoring each chapter and taking my time to enjoy what has taken so very long to craft. I am eternally grateful to G R R Martin, and trust that he will invest appropriate time and care with what is yet to come.
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