I had read many reviews from the English release of this book two weeks ago and most of them were negative. I have to say that I cannot agree and I can only come to the conclusion that the idea of an American writing James Bond must be too much for some.
I was pulling a split shift (day.... short break.... night) and Carte Blanche has provided excellent company.
Deaver has once again bought Bond back into the 21st century giving him a new shadowy department to work for (which I am not sure I agree with) and a rolled out the usual cast of familiar faces to share the adventure.
Toby Stephens took a little getting used to, starting out very laid back but also proved to be a good choice as the narrator.
Bond girls with silly names, a shadowy villain or two, some twists and turns in the plot.....What more does a Bond fan want?
This is an old story written originally by Douglas Adams and intended for television but unfortunately never made it to the screen.
I have not finished listening but the story has been polished by Gareth Roberts and seems to be fine, likewise so does the narration.
What is not fine is the audio quality which is appalling. Does no one at Audible bother to do even a sample check of the product that they put out?
Listening on V-Moda earbuds in supposedly "enhanced quality" Lalla Wards narration is muffled and fuzzy. Each new chapter is heralded by a hiccup in the sound.
The whole story so far sounds like it was sent to Audible as a cd rip and then poorly compressed to Mp3.
Audible should be embarrassed putting out such low quality product.
The problem with 11th Doctor books so far is that not one of them (except those read by Matt Smith) have even remotely captured the essence of this Doctor.
In fact some of them have sounded like they were leftovers from the 10th Doctors reign and I have been highly disappointed so far. I would go as far as to say that they have been extremely boring and I began to wonder whether to listen to anymore.
That having been said I downloaded this book expecting very little and was very pleasantly surprised. Not that this book does any more to capture the personality of the 11th Doctor but gradually the story and performance of the narrator reel the listener in.
The story has been detailed by other reviewers on this page so I wont bother to repeat them here but it was good to hear the reprisal of one of the Doctors old enemies with their identity hidden until roughly a third of the way through the book. I did hear one swear word which I thought was a little strong for a Doctor Who book but I was unsure if this is a sign of the times or decline in the standards.
Of all of the 11th Doctor books I have listened to so far (and I think I have heard all of them) this is the only one I would recommend.
This is a fairly good book, if you forgive the fact that they haven't managed to get the 11th Doctor's personality.
However I would not recommend that anyone buy it until it is fixed!
The final chapter is marred by the fact that the theme music ends the book over the top of the finale.
Just as you're waiting to find out what happens to the villains in come the music drowning out the last of the book.
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