I love the series. The book is awesome, but I don't know why they couldn't bring back Sam Tsoutsouvas to do the narration. I got used to his inflections, and he seemed to be really into the story. This guy seems like he is just reading words off of the paper; sometimes it appears it's the first time he has seen the words. Where was the director?
The worst part? Zed. Sam Tsoutsouvas gave a great voice to Zed. Jim Bond turned him Irish for some reason. When I thought of Zed, I didn't picture him as Darby O'Gill.
Anyways, the story is still great, and if you can ignore the narration and just listen to the story for what it is, it's still a decent purchase.
I would absolutely recommend this book and series to a few of my friends. The story might not be for everyone, but I know a few who will get a kick out of it.
It's sort of an amalgamation of a classic monster genre (in this book, zombies), mixed with genuine modern mad science and high tech spies and general action. I don't know that there is another book to compare it to.
The first book I listened to with Ray Porter as narrator was "Hell House" by Richard Matheson, which led me to "14" by Peter Clines (which I only tried because Porter narrated it ... turned out to be another great book with great narration). Maberry's "Joe Ledger" series, to me, could only be narrated by Porter. To me, he is the voice of Ledger, and he does so well with all of the characters and narration. Couldn't imagine another narrator taking over. Porter obviously loves the character/series, too.
This series is never going to achieve "classic" status, and while the material is smart, it's still easy enough for a layman such as myself to follow easily. The action is non-stop, the dialog is fun, and the characters are always entertaining. Of course, there are a lot of "yeah, right" moments, but Maberry puts enough science behind his plots to make them, if not believable, at least they aren't bizarre to the point of dismissal. Sometimes a gadget will end up being a bit of deus ex machina, or a character will find life when he should be dead *cough*JoeLedger*cough* but that's sort of the point. Ledger is a meat head, but he's not incompetent. The drama is sometimes heavy-handed, but then again, I never rolled my eyes at it.
At times dramatic, funny, scary, always thrilling and full of action ... I never wanted the story to end.
Neil Gaiman has such a way with words, and the people and places he writes about become a part of you. You could feel Door's world of London Below, and fall into step with the quirks of the various citizens of that place. The city itself is a character in the novel, always throwing new challenges at Richard.
Gaiman is singular in his style, so I'm hard-pressed to compare this novel to anything other than his other offerings. "Stardust" comes to mind, since the premise is sort of the same ... a normal fellow dealing with the trials of being whisked off to a different world.
Croup and Vandemar ... he was really able to bring out their nonchalant evil.
I'd read the novel over the years I don't know how many times before buying the audio, so I knew what to expect. If anything, it felt like finally meeting in person an old friend you'd only ever talked to in letters.
Gaiman as narrator, especially for this book, makes the entire experience perfect. I cannot suggest this offering enough.
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