This book demands attention from the reader/listener that I had to frequently skip back secs / mins to catchup on things which I missed or did not understood because I was not paying needed attention. Partially it is due to the nature of the book the way it is written, and a lot of it is due to narration. The narrator though otherwise did a great job, did finish one chapter of the book and start the next one seemingly in same breath causing confusion at times. I had to get use to this style, but once I was in synch, I had a great time.
Book has mix of great elements such as mage assassins making it an entertaining listen. Even though there is free flow use of magic, author manage to maintain the intrigue of such things while combining it with great character development. Characters are very well flushed out, and combination of interesting skill set makes the plot lines very interesting.
Book does demand attention as mentioned above that not everything is spelled out for the listener. Events are taking place which make no sense at the time gets explained as user continue to read through the book.
Book sets ambitious goal for itself in terms of complexity and quality, and I have to say that it almost achieved it. Though not easy to listen, it is very entertaining sometimes awesome epic. I plan to next book in the series when it arrives. I would recommend this book for seasoned epic fantasy fans.
In this post apocalyptic settings, book start with describing that world has overrun by zombies. Life for living is very difficult to near impossible that even toothbrush is a luxury. Book mainly described by main character (Gus)'s POV. Gus got lucky and ended up with an empty property that has a very comfortable setup. He has electricity as well as hot running water along with secure walls and food reserve reserves. The property is on a mountain hence the name 'mountain man'.
First half the book describes the world and day to day activities of Gus. Even with his comfortable settings, what precaution he must take to survive. Along with precaution he pro actively look to keep his food reserves and everyday supplies (such as toilet papers). The details which shows like 'walking dead' look over are discussed, and things are described in very funny manners. Eventually, Gus meets other people and story start to move forward, and even though zombies are in backdrop, book is about living. How good and evil living within people may come out in such settings that when there is no law enforcement. When one can do whatever he/she desires, what people might do to survive. Book discusses the good and worst of humanity.
Start of the book sounded very much like 'The Martian', but it story moved along beyond that initial similarities. Narration is great and very funny. I got several good laughs out of Gus' inner dialogues.
I recommend this book and I will be reading the next two book in the trilogy.
Book is about a ‘mage’ Alex who runs a store for magical item. Alex has magic to foresee possible variation of future at any given moment allowing him to make very clever choices giving him ability to complete tasks which are nearly impossible for normal humans/mages. Alex reside in London and there are two general factions of mages discussed in book while and dark mages. Alex does not seem to have any allegiances, but has certain history which makes the story interesting.
At the start of this book it reminds reader of ‘Iron Druid’. Therefore, comparison to iron druid books are inevitable throughout the book. There are few distinct differences worth mentioning. Alex is not immortal (not ancient with a lot of history) and does not has incredible amount of offensive weapons. Alex is not unique in general that there are various type of mages including other mages with same capability as Alex. Furthermore, there are no deities or talking pets involved in the book either.
Story revolves around investigation of an ancient relic of presumably immense power. All mage factions are interested and want to secure Alex’s services to unlock the relic’s secrets. Story moved at a slower pace for first half of the book, but picks up speed in later half of the book (especially the last several chapters) making up for the slow start. Investigation of relic becomes very interesting and contains several twists.
My minor gripe about the book is lack of sense of humor (at least it is not at the same level as Iron Druid). Second, Alex’s utilization of power sometimes is slightly confusing, but overall it is clean.
Overall, I enjoyed the book, and I will be reading the next book in series. Narration of the very well done and captures the characters well. I recommend this book even to Iron Druid fans.
Richard maintains his sharp and edgy writing on this high epic. I took me few hours to get adjusted to the style of writing that it is dense and demands attention from the reader. Book is fast moving and hits the ground running requiring reader to be familiar with previous book well at the start. So, I recommend doing some reading (wiki page possibly) of previous books before starting this one.
Book starts with Ringil, Archeth and Egar on a journey to find the Illwark changeling. Journey takes them to various amazing places looking for the changeling where story breaks into two story lines. One follows Ringil where the other story line follows Egar and Archeth. Both are great, but Ringil's experiences are more abstract where he looks to master deadly forces for incoming conflicts. This element of the story is innovative and despite of high use of powers/magic, it remains mysterious and entertaining. During the book Ringil's character starting to remind me a lot of Elric and his sword. It has been a while since I have read the Elric saga, but I kept thinking of it.
Story line for Archeth and Egar is not simple either that their decisions are riddle with political and historical considerations. Banter between Archeth and Egar is entertaining as well along with mysterious actions of demonic helms. There arw plenty of twists in the plots which kept the book entertaining throughout.
Overall, book is very entertaining but will require concentration from reader. Like previous books in this series, it is dark edgy and sharp. Simon's narration is top notch as usual. He is able to capture the subtle tones of implications utilized by the character throughout the book. I enjoyed the book and I would highly recommend it to seasoned fantasy readers.
One of the key thing that author describes at the end of the book could have been revealed at the start. It states that Iron age is not well documented, but author has done his best to capture the life style/ technology/ culture as accurately as possible.
Author does discusses the Roman's deployment in Britain, but not much known about the invasion except for Julius diary. This is the time frame author used for this fantasy.
Arch of the story is about a Zadar (a tribal king) who is apparently preparing Britain for upcoming invasion by first trying to unite various tribe by conquering them and as a result putting together a stronger force . Book revolves around three major characters. Low / Doug and Spring. Lowa started as a leader of group of archer working for Zadar. She is a powerful warrior/archer and generally a strong female character in the book. She finds a reason to fled Zadar army first and then tried to extract revenge against him. Doug is a middle age man who has seen fair amount of action and has an appropriate sense of humor to go along with his cynicism and pragmatic thinking. Doug joins Lowa first while running away from Zadar, and then later to extract revenge against Zadar. Spring is around a 10 year old child with remarkable talents. Interaction with characters is heart warming to outright hilarious at times and it made for a great book.
Story is definitely is an adult fantasy, and told from adult perspective. It is an entertaining and some what educational story that it will make reader think about the iron age which is not known. I like the 'inner commentary' from various characters sometimes full of self doubt and very funny. It is very similar to Joe's characters. Supernatural elements are on the fringes ala Joe and GRRM which made for much more interesting book.
At the end, reader will get to think about the iron age and how people lived in that age. Character development is great, and there is great sense of humor as well as very serious plot line. I really look forward to reading the next two books in the series.
Narrator has done a great job, and I would be looking for more books from him.
Story is about a young man, Alexander, who is asked to take on the responsibility of being a savior for a nation against an enemy that woke up after centuries of slumber. Story verge on being classic fantasy where lines for good and evil are well drawn. I am a fan of GRRM and Joe Abercrombie, and this book seemed to be for young adults even though there is enough violence to argue otherwise.
The book has shades of LOTR and Belgariad in it. References such as 'line has been remade', and 'sword' that is the evidence of succession ideas which were abit close to LOTR. Where protagonist asking himself 'why me' reminded me a lot of Belgariad. As I said book is on the classic fantasy side; therefore, these type of comparison are inevitable.
World created in this book has high utilization of 'magic'. Magic is well known, there are various type of mages / wizards / arch-mages .. etc. Still, I had a to cringe a bit at times when the word magic was utilized a bit casually. My second gripe with book was that everything fit a bit too neatly that messages that were meant to be delivered to 'chosen or cursed' one were delivered even after centuries / magical gifts were provided and guidance was available readily.
Regardless of minor gripes, story is fast paced, and delivers entertaining story. Characters are well developed and reader gets a good sense of their motivations and reasons for their actions. Story develops in such a way that reader feels the urgency on various aspect of the story.
Narrator did a fantastic job, and it was a very enjoyable listen.
Again, if you are expecting ASOIF type book then look else where; otherwise, it is an entertaining book.
It does read like a script that there is a lot of dialogue between characters, but book is excellent, and I throughly enjoyed it. It is a very focused book on few characters. Author does a great job developing these characters, and I got to know them very well.
Story is simple but powerful rooted in gritty reality that I could see these events could take place in rea life. At times, readers are introduced to either very accomplished tough guys, or naive incompetent ones. This books walks a fine line between these characters which are possibly neither. It made a very interesting read. This is my first Lehane book, but it will not be the last. I highly recommend Lehane.
Narrator did a great job portraying the grittiness of various tough guys. Overall, narrator is able to capture the spirit of the book. Again, I would be looking for other books narrated by from Jim Frangione.
This is hands down 5 star book.
This is an amazing book. Book captures the attention of the reader from the start and it does not let go till the end.
It is a survival story of an astronaut (Mark) who is accidentally abandoned at Mars. It starts it seems hopeless that as a reader I didn't see any hope for a person to survive any long period of time on Mars. But, as book progresses, Mark breaks down his needs and resources that would keep him alive. Book is written/narrated in such a fashion that I felt that I was with Mark on the desolate planet.
Author did a great job of describing the technical / environmental challenges Mark faced, and then the explanation of how these challenges were solved by Mark with his technical knowledge along with his ingenuity and courage. I really enjoyed how Mark figured out the storm’s direction: ) (trying not to give away too much)
Sense of humor is great as well. Mark’s comments about 70’s music to DND’s magic spell are outright funny to hilarious
More than anything, book describes what makes us human. Mark sets an inspirational example of human will to live and not giving up against tremendous odds. There is plenty of narrative about how humanity came together to help him get off the planet. What stand out is that being stranded on Mars was that Mark was not afraid of death, but rather dying alone.
I was cheering for Mark throughout the book, and I highly recommend this to seasoned listeners to new sci fi readers. Narration is tremendous as well.
Book has a very familiar feel to it, originally set by the trilogy, as author and narrator gets listener back into the same world with ease. Author kept the promise of giving an equally enjoyable experience to listeners regardless of prior reads. I can notice the Easter eggs that I already have read the trilogy where book was still fresh enough for me to enjoy. Book certainly will be a joy to read for the readers who have not read the trilogy already; however, I would recommend picking up the trilogy while waiting for the rest of the prequels to arrive that each prequel still enjoyable even if trilogy is been already read.
Book mostly about how Hadrian and Royce met or rather forced to work together. This arrangement setup by their mutual friend leads to insight about each of their characters and background giving a lot more depth to both of them. It did seem for little while that their friendship was forced upon them, and for little while it was tiresome to endure the banter between them (which is very small part of the book). For the most of the book, their interaction is very enjoyable.
Book also get into other characters which are not on forefront in other books. For example, there is a large sections of background story for Gwen’s. At times, it was surprising the amount of details provided for her story.
I loved the trilogy, and I would highly recommend the prequels as well. Narrator is a natural fit for author’s writing. In fact, I have read other books narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds by searching for other books that are narrated by him.
I look forward to the next book in the prequel as well a new series (whenever Michael decides to write it : )
The hobbit needs no introduction. It is a start of a series that changed the face of fantasy in profound way. It starts off as more of a children story than the movie have you believe. Starting with Bilbo, author establishes the characters and their limitations. Tone is lighter at the start of the book, but it steadily grows serious to a point that end of the book deals with serious politics and large scale war. Story is told from third person perspective and it works well with the content of the book. A reader can feel a sense of adventure that it was established because of the limitations introduced by author earlier in the book. Dwarves are funny and entertaining even through sometimes it is difficult to keep track of them and their personalities while listening to the narration. In the end, book has a message positive message of anyone (no matter how small) can make a big difference.
Narrator did a great job and I really enjoyed the book. There were plenty of songs in this book and they were sang quiet nicely by the narrator. Needless to say that book is highly recommended and will provide great entertainment.
I will be picking up the Lord Of The Rings narrated by same person.
I enjoyed the narration of 'Theft of Swords' by 'Tim Gerard Reynolds' so much that I tracked down other books narrated by him, and discovered countermeasure.
Book has very interesting premise about having two very strong individual with complementing skill set. One is technically great with computers where the other one is great CIA agent (more or less). Having these two individual working in conjunction made up for a very enjoyable read.
Book has enough threads of story line to keep things interesting and there is a lot of time spend on main character development that reader get to know the reasons and motivation behind the individual. Story flows well and has a very satisfying ending.
On slightly critical note, book seems to flow 'too' well sometimes. People who are bad and really bad and have no redeeming quality at times with just the right amount of correct reasoning and motivation. At times characters seemed stereotyped. But it is not bad enough to be distracting.
Overall, I really enjoyed the book and narration is great. I would recommend this book.
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