The story is short and shallow compared to the original Sword and First Druid books. I had to tune out the horrible narration and horrible audio quality. It sounds like someone ripped this from an old cassette tape. The narrator pronounces the names as if he was acting in an Elizabethan theater--he stresses the final syllables of names in the most unnatural way; e.g. "Shanuh-RAH" and Morgan "Lee-Ah" (Leah). Audible really let me down on this one.
Sadly, ALL of the Heritage of Shannara novels are narrated and produced by the same actors/producers. So, for the next three books I will have to suffer. The fact I like this book series is the only reason I am not erasing them from my hard drive completely.
Mr. Sanderson's heroes continue life after the end of the first book. This book was a bridge book, in my opinion, between the first book and the third. Having completed the third book, I can see that clearly; but, despite how negative that sounds, future listeners who enjoyed the first book, The Final Empire, must understand it is a necessary evil.
I know that doesn't sound like a great review, so let me try to be more frank:
(1) The Well of Ascension has some great stories and character development.
(2) Sanderson is setting us up for the big finale in book #3.
(3) The set-up is necessary because Book #3 adds even more on top of the story in Book's 1 and 2, then has to wrap it all up in a package.
(4) It is WORTH it.
So, I gave this book 3 stars. It is still as refreshing as book 1, with Sanderson's new slant on fantasy/fiction, but it dragged a bit for me. 3 stars, therefore.
Call me wrong if you want; but, I am sticking to my 3 stars. Read my next review on book 3 for the final wrap up.
Some folks may have read my reviews before. I think I've said the same thing a few times of other books - "so predictable!" Yet, this time I found myself surprised by what I heard. Allomancy? Neat! New! Refreshing! The characters were (mostly) charming, in that the reader is able to do a fair job at giving them each a personality (sorry, Michael Kramer. That probably isn't the most glowing comment you've gotten.)
The story's basis, setting, and ending were all good and fresh. That is what I keep coming back to.
I won't buy more than one book of a series until I give the first a listen. After Book #1, I bought #2, 3, and 4. "Mistborn" did the job of reinvigorating my interest in the fantasy/fiction genre when I thought I'd burned myself on it. I think I'll put my hand to that fire again. Well done, Mr. Author.
The final tale in the Castor series is probably the most well-written, in my opinion. No characters are left out, and the characters' personalities are done great justice. The climax of the novel is painted in the reader's mind fantastically.
I was not disappointed one bit. I do wish that publishers could somehow manage to keep the same readers for their novels from book one to the end, but I guess that is just a sacrifice that had to be made.
A great wrap up.
A good story, but I do not like it as much as the previous books in the series. It could be the switch in narrators (and indeed, I was not happy about that), but also the switch in the characters. Their personalities changed in such a way I do not feel as though I know them any more. Ghost Story made me feel alienated from the story. If that was Mr. Butcher's secret intent, hats off to such good execution; however, the fall out of this is I am looking forward to the next book not insofar as to know what happens next, but rather to get back that feeling of familiarity and comfort.
Three stars is all I could muster for Ghost Story.
As freshman student of economics, I listened to this HBR. I was opened up to the field of behavioral economics this HBR helped me understand its purpose. It is a speculative review - not definitive. More like an observation piece than anything.
When Mr. Butcher wants to fill a reader with suspense, he certainly can. He proves this in
Princeps' Fury; however, this book is riddled with lulls between the exciting bits that make you wish the story would just get on with it! I do not think Alera should have been stretched out this far, and I say this with one more book to go in the series.
Perhaps what separates this series from Mr. Butcher's other, his Dresden Files, is it is a continuously building story whose ending is predictable. Obviously, I should not include spoilers in my review, so I won't. However, I've already placed a bet with a friend who is also reading this series about how it will all end.
Another issue I am facing with these books is the romance scenes. I do not know if it is Kate Reading's performance or just the writing itself, but I cannot help but skip past them. Certainly having Ms. Reading read the part of the "deep, gravely" voice of Bernand is a little laughable. She tries, though, to her credit. I think the story would be improved if the romances between the characters were downplayed.
I listened to this book, my first dramatised audiobook, while I was taking a break from high fantasy. The story is definitely melodramatic! If you are looking at branching out from high fantasy like Tolkien, GRRM, Terry Brooks, or Jim Butcher - beware! This is not the book to come to. It reads like a stage act, which may have been the intent of the producers. I just could not enjoy the plot at all.
If you are like me and do not care for gaudy levels of romance in your fantasy novels, look elsewhere, too.
This book is a refreshing fantasy story for one who is worn out from exhausting, multi-arc epics. One need not keep track of 3, 4, or 5+ story arcs like one might find in George R. R. Martin's or Tolkien's epics. Very refreshing to hear a tale that does not get convoluted or become a quagmire of details one must keep track of.
The book is narrated well. Some listeners might not appreciate the narrator's accent or snarky sound, but I say that it parallels the narration found in the Dresden novels.
The book combines pantheons and mythos similar to the Dresden universe, by far my favorite (new found) way to present high fantasy instead of a singular pantheon/mythos setting.
The best thing about this audiobook is the narration. The narrator does a good job at the characters he is meant to portray. That is why I originally gave four stars. It is believable and make the story enjoyable. I have to say, however, the narration could get a little monotone. This is prominent in parts of the story that languish around a dead horse.
The story is still quite pleasing. There are moments in the tale that actually made me laugh out loud.
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