The book was very disappointing. The characters are painfully simplistic and predictable. The premise is great...the execution horrible.
Neil! Thank you for giving me a chance to enjoy Sherrill's book. It's awesome to get this earlier incarnation of a genre that's hard to describe but that I really love. Sherrill is funny in a great dead pan way and also really rather profound and touching...that's not easily done.
If history, or science, or psychology, or sociology, or political science, or economics are of any interest to you, you must read this book. I had no idea the history of scientific discoveries is so captivating. This author, Sam Kean, looks at both the history and the science of the discovery, function, and use of the periodic table. He clearly and insightfully explains scientific concepts that I never was able to see are really easy to grasp. This book is freaking awesome and I hardly even made it through high school chemistry! It turns out that all those serious scientific minds of history who developed the periodic table and experimented with it were all rather crazy and intensely interesting.
I'm really only posting this review in response to the narrator. For some incomprehensible reason, Mr. Dotrice significantly changed the "voice" of one of the main characters...after it being consistent for all the other books. So suddenly one of the queens has the voice that an evil magi woman had in book two. It doesn't seem like it would be that big of a deal, but trust me, it is. I've been eagerly awaiting this book for years and am really disappointed. You'd think someone would have bothered to take a listen and make sure the voices were consistent. Boo Roy, BOO!
I really loved this series...until it became a romance novel for old men who dream of a young nubile woman falling for them. His relationship and sexual encounters with Vic are just too embarrassing to listen to :(
I was almost embarrassed for this author. I was as if I were reading the rich fantasy life of an 16 year old boy. The characters are farcically simple and idealized. The dialogue doesn't even try to reflect the historical context. I haven't a clue what an intelligent reader could enjoy in this.
I know most of the reviews champion this book...but I thought is was quite bad. I almost didn't finish it, only did because I had nothing else to listen to.
I don't know if poor characterization, painfully predictable plots and character interaction, uneven writing,poor word choice, and redundancy are characteristic of the fantasy genre, but Brook's writing includes all the above literary sins. Perhaps most annoying to me was the lack of variation in sub-plots and how they were described. The goodguy is waylaid by some kind of evil that he has no way of escaping from and is doomed to die and then, oh! suddenly an unlikely way out (usually in the form of a sudden discovery of "hidden strength" found inside himsel). Brooks creates no tension with such dull repetition of word choice, style, and characterization.
This book read like the ugly step-sister of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Shannara's plots and characters are all completely familiar: the common young man who resists the magical destiny a reserved but caring wizard has revealed to him, the dogged sidekick who vows to follow the chosen one even though he would rather stay in his small village, a disembodied evil who can feel the man's presence if he uses a certain magical item and who uses hideous flying creatures to hunt the goodguy...
If you are a reader/listener who values quality writing, characters deeper than a puddle, and non-formula books, don't get this one. If you are a die-hard fantasy lover (which, no offense, seems to be a genre rife withpoor writing and predictable plots) you'll love it.
I regret selecting this book. While the summary reads well and (for some unknown reason) it has a good rating, I would strongly suggest satisfying the audiobook desire with another candidate. The author manages to take an interesting plot and eviscerate it of all tension or interest. Instead of an exploration of the nature of secrecy or of love, it devolves into a series of dull character perspectives (you see things from various points of view and are supposed to understand the profound reality that people do different things and are often in conflict with each other even if each person's own story sort of makes sense). Disappointingly, the characters surrounding the protaganist, Silky, are stock and predictable. Additionally, the narration of those characters and of Silky's own experiences, are lacking the ability to draw in or hold the reader. I reamained totally uninvested in the characters and couldn't care less what happened to them. Also, the initial conflict in the book, a professer's alleged use of a racially pejorative term, is based in some other reality. Even at small schools, that sort of rabid politically correct insanity doesn't occur (yet). In fact, the major source of tension for the reader is frustration with the college's unreal response, and you can only get so far with a book when the only tension is a silly occurance that happened at the beginning of it.
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