The first two books were spectacular. Many times I was brought to tears during some of the emotional parts. The third book however was a writers overindulgence. Characters killed off for no reason other than writer can do it. Major plot decisions that get no real explanation. Scientific advances that make no sense compared to how the story had previously been developed. And finally the main character, who is sorta hard to like in the first two books, but you root for anyway, turns into a character I simply did not care about.
I guess for me the series morphed into some kind of wacky romance novel in this third episode and lost the energy that was driving the first two books.
I have listened to hundreds of audio books and very few have been able to tell a story in a humorous manner. Some authors have a number of funny bits but it is the rare author that can tell a story that is funny all the way through. Christopher Moore and Jim Butcher can do it and that's about it. I have only read two Scalzi books and they were both very funny, I really look forward to exploring more of Scalzi works because "Agent to the Stars" was one of the best books I have listened to this year.
As far as the reading, I was a tad reluctant about listening to Wil Wheaton. Yeah he was great in "Star Trek" and in "Eureka" and I'm even getting a video game he is involved with via Kickstarter. But I still had my reservations. Within the first 3 minutes I completely forgot that Wheaton was the reader until I came back here to Audible to get some more Scalzi. Will did a spectacular job.
I look forward to more works of Scalzi and Wheaton.
The story synopsis got me to buy the book but the front page reviews made me feel I had to be in a kind of mood to get through the book. It took me three months to finally get into this thing. Yes there are some gruesome things that happen in this story but it was nothing that came out of nowhere. The violence all made sense in this kind of world. The real story to me was just what happens when you do start to get your revenge and what does happen to the normal mind. I loved this story and could not put it down. I listened to it while driving, while working and while exercising and the four parts just breezed on by.
One of the great things about Joe Abercrombie is his descriptions. I typically hate descriptive prose because for me it usually drags down a story. But when Abercromie describes a scene he makes the place become alive and he wonderfully does not go on forever. Thanks Joe. Best Served Cold is the best book I have l listened to this year.
I was hesitant to get this book due to the bad reviews Glover got from some of the fans. I've listened to Glover on a number of other audio books and had no problem with him so I was a bit confused by the negative reactions. Well, I'm glad I took the chance because I got a great story from a great reader. It's true Glover did not have some of the touches that Marsters put into his reading, but for my money Glover still comes across as a Harry Dresden figure. Since the story ends with so many loose threads, it will be interesting to see who does the next book,
Some reviewers state that perhaps the negative reviews are a result of a book that was written in the 70's. Sorry but that is no excuse, Star Trek was in the 60s and did a far better job of handling a future society. However what bothered me was that there was far too much chit chat in the book that not only did not move the story forward but added very little into character insight.
And the social mores inparted in this book are disturbing. One part of the book deals with the aliens inspecting a male body and yet no mention is made of the male genitalia. However when the female is inspected (unseen by the reader) some time later in the story she complains that she was raped (metaphorically speaking of course).
Haldeman's Forever War was writing around the same time as this book and it still rings true. It is astounding to me that Mote in God Eye is regarded as a Sci Fi Classic.
I give this book two stars because I do find the aliens interesting and intriguing.
While this was basically a detective story set in Stalinist Russia, the Russian cultural details set forth in Child 44 are so alien to our American values, the whole story felt otherworldly. This is not a bad thing, just a writer painting a brilliant canvas. I remember in junior high school, my history teacher stating that millions of people died in the Stalinist purge. It wasn't until I read this book that I understood how those numbers could have easily come about. The tidy ending however probably doomed this book to only being one of the best mystery books of the past few years instead of contending for being one of the best mystery novels of all time.
I wanted to like this book a lot more than I did. The characters were wonderful, the setting was great and the humor was top notch. The story however was just run of the mill. And while the writer clearly stretched his writing muscles with the characters, he really did not give them a different direction to go. Which for me lead to a story conclusion that did not come close to matching all the other great elements of this book.
I liked this story a lot. I even took time to listen to it when I wasn't driving and I went through this audio book far faster than usual. The book answers the question what happens to a person who occasionally leaps forwards in time but not backwards. And then wrap the concept around a real alien war and see where that leads.I also found it the subplot about sexual mores of the future extremely topical to this very day (Aug 2010). Haldeman's cultural predictions were very eerie, especially considering what is going on in California today. Excellent sci fi but the ending may have been a tad too tidy considering all the other unique story concepts.
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