I thoroughly enjoyed the previous series, and really looked forward to listening to this one. I was intrigued by the story and the author does a good job with making the story original (albeit a tad slow) while remaining grounded in the interesting world created in the previous series. The most significant negative is the narration.
The narrator isn't bad, she just has an impossible act to follow. Gabra Zackman took a good story and made it great, this lady takes a good story and leaves it more or less on the same level. Annoying things like the way she pronounces names and events from the previous series add to the disconnect between the series.
Honestly, I didn't finish the book. I got about 1/3 of the way through and gave up when I realized I was wading through more evil than could ever be redeemed with a decent story. The only reason that I got as far as I did was because the narrator was so good.
Orson Scott Card is a phenomenal author and even in this book his gifts are obvious. There is much to like about the story, the magic is intriguing, the two worlds are interesting and original. I felt, however, like I was looking at a series of Norman Rockwell type paintings but instead on focusing on what might have been endearing, they characterized the cheap, and tawdry side of humanity. I couldn't identify with or even like the hero - he had no moral compass but rather tried to create his own. There were several pointless vignettes that I felt were out of place in the story. Had this been written by someone else I'd have given it 3.5 stars but for a man of Card's talent, this was a dud in my book.
David Weber is a very talented story teller and this foray into fantasy is further proof. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I liked his characters, the feel of the world he created and the plot development. I found myself looking forward to time in the car just to finish the book.The narrator was excellent and made a good book even better.
I like L'Amour. I know the books are formulaic but they are fun reads about men with guts, a great work ethic and solid character. This book, however, rambles like a toddler in a nursery. The story has great bones, but the main character indulges in multiple identical soliloquies, spends %98 of the book growing up and amassing 4 significant enemies then manages to finish the entire story in 5 pages. It's like the author found out on page 400 that he wasn't being paid by the word any more.
I've enjoyed the other Joe Pike novels, thought that they were cleverly written and that Joe's character was one I would follow for some time to come.
However, this installment was just plain crass. Over the top language, cheap characters with cheap lives, and in many cases downright weird. I got about half-way through and chalked it up as a loss.
Blount attempts to come across as 'fair and balanced' yet does his very best to find anything and everything negative about this great American. He attempts to analyze Lee apart from understanding the faith that was integral to his character and, of course, fails miserably. Blount should stick to tabloids.
D&D plot, paper-thin characterization coupled by annoying, pedantic, inconsistent, unskilled, ill-timed, bland and generally distracting narration. The narrator is like a classical pianist trying to play cool jazz for the first time by reading sheet music.
The story itself could have been tolerable and perhaps even worth listening to if someone else had read it.
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