First of all, let us get one thing clear. The recording and editing quality of this book was outrageously bad! To top that off, the narrator made so many mistakes where he repeated himself (or maybe the writing style repeated itself) to the extent that it probably is the biggest factor affecting my ratting in a negative manner.
Now on to the actual book itself. The book in short, did not feel very coherent, the characters lacked a certain amount of depth, the ending was anti-climatic and over all was rather predictable. The story was not so bad, but it is obviously not written by a master story teller.
It was just good enough to keep you listening, but it is definitely not a memorable book. When it comes to books about youths discovering supernatural power within them and saving the world, you are far better off reading the first few books of The Wheel of time and the final books of the series (skip the middle). Or you could go for the Mistborn series.
The Author, while claiming to be focused on science for the sake of science spends way too much time trying to convince everybody that god does not exist. When I buy I science book, I want a science book. When I buy a theological book, I want a theological book. The author is so insistent on proving there is no god that he almost sounds like an extremely religious person who is trying to make you believe in god. I would argue that the author while consistently saying he has no faith in religion, is treating science as if it is a religion.
Sometimes I would think while listening to the book "come on, get on with the science" I've had enough of this lame discussion on how he has mathematically proven God does not exist. Also, what he fails to understand in his constant battering criticism of religion is that some religions have actively encouraged the seeking of knowledge and the study of science. As a Muslim, I know that my religion encourages me to learn and study. Religion is something we accept based purely on faith. I don't need mathematical proof that God exists. Science is based on math, observation and analytical thinking, I compartmentalize the two and have no issues with believing in both.
If the two conflict, not a big deal, chances are there is something I have misinterpreted from either the science side or the religion side. If the the conflict is extreme, I don't give myself a headache about it. Science has done good things to my life and religion has done good things to my life, I don't feel compelled to go around actively trying to discredit one or the other. For someone who does not believe in God, I would consider the lengths to which this author has gone in an attempt to prove this idea almost like an act of desperation. His arguments had the same tone, pitch and fervor of some of the extremely religious guys I've met who are trying to sell me their way of life as the only way that makes sense.. So, dear author, tone it down a bit and focus on the science next time.
The book is a good book, and I really did genuinely learn a lot from it, but the author completely ignores the fact that there is still a thriving world outside the internet and there are still people out there without internet connectivity. He also completely dismisses the value of all non internet media. While the returns from non internet media have diminished drastically compared to how they used to be, they still have massive reach and potential. I still do give this book 4 stars because the advice it does give about marketing on the internet has proved valuable and useful to me, although my good old printed media marketing has had far stronger impact to date, having a magazine write a 3 page positive review of your service, has a very strong impact and adds lots of credibility to your business. Much more so than my blog which has a grand total of 6 comments so far! Besides, in the region where I live, the bulk of people in the age group where they could be my potential customers find social media sites as trivial and more suited for youngsters (as can be proven by the typical member demographics in these sites when you look for members from my country).
The book has a simple but good idea that it fails to properly flesh out, leaving you with nothing but lots of fluff. Reads more like a motivational book than a marketing technique book. The author failed to realize the potential behind the concept fully. The book is not totally useless, it just does not contain enough actual material to constitute a book, it could have been better written as report.
The story is well written with just enough characters to keep things interesting, but not so many as to make you loose track of things. Unlike the wheel of time series (which Brandon is doing a grand job of tidying up) where you had so many characters that you needed to keep a log book so as not to loose track.
The action scenes were so well portrayed, you did not have difficulty imagining the action sequence, it gave me the same WOOOW factor I got the first time I watched The Matrix. The humor did not feel forced, and whatever jokes were thrown in there were not too repetitive. They genuinely made me laugh and they did feel like the sort of jokes friends would have together. The witty characters were genuinely witty and over all the writing style was just brilliant. Although I felt the characters were a bit too dense sometimes when they could not figure out earlier that the Lord Ruler was the terrace man.
I started listening to this series and was realy engrossed in the story line all the way to book 9 when things started to go downhill. I have not yet listened to book 11 through to 13, so my review does not encompass those books.
-The book barely puts any focus on the 3 main chareters in the book. Rand, Mat and Perin. What little is mentioned about them does not drive the plot forward signifiantly one little bit.
-There is not a single cohisive advancement in any of the millions of other plot lines introduced in this book, with the reader strugling to keep up with the multitude of events happening.
-Most of the book is read by Kate, who is annoying to listen too, especially when she starts saying "Ohh light!" Too much drama and pleading in her voice.
-Too many charecters are portrayed as narrow visioned blind fools, especially the Aysaday, which is odd considering their reputation and supposed age they live which one would assume would supply at least a pinch of wisdom. Too much stereo typing and too many shallow charecters.
-With the advent of the rediscovery of traveling, and talking to each other in dreams, you would have assumed that the charecters would have had better ability to comunicate with each other critical events. Such as the cleansing of the male part of the one power and the fact that while guarding rand somebody had seen a woman chaneling the male half of the power was spotted along with many other critical things.
-How any times does the reader have to go through everything reexplained every time a new book comes out? Would it not be wise to assume the reader would rather get on with the plot rather than having half of the past 9 books summerised into the tength each time a charecter is reintroduced?
-I heartily recomend skipping this book and the reader would be no worse for loss of plot lines.
Although the story itself was alright, the audio editing was horrible quality with many bits of audio repeating due to careless editing and some very strange audio artifacts sneaking in every once in a while.
Kate Readings reading style does not appeal to me as she over dramatisizes some of the speech leading to some very annoying listening, every time she tries to portray a female character speaking in distress it sounds rather annoying.
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