At first, I thought that it was just me. I have listened to probably over 100 Audiobooks over the past couple of years and have enjoyed most of them greatly - but THIS book......let's just say that after the first few hours - I HAD to abandon the effort and purchase the book on Amazon to read on my Kindle.
Martin Gollery narrated this book. And the result was HORRIBLE. This is absolutely the worst audiobook experience of my life, and I was quite impressed with how badly a bad narrator could destroy the experience of an Audiobook. The Author's story/book are amazing - and it is really a "page turner".
But Gollery's destruction of the Audiobook experience is unforgivable - to the point that for the first time - I actually will pay attention to the Name of the Narrator and will REFUSE to buy any audiobook Narrated by Martin Gollery.
The narrative style of Martin Gollery is best described as an inhuman robot with tones and inflections of voice that are consistently irritating. Specifically, he inflects his voice down at the end of each and every sentence - much like how a priest recites a sermon in those boring Sunday sermons at church you used to be forced to attend, where the priest was simply reciting a passage that he was just trying to "get through" and which the parishioners pretended to listen to while being all lost in their own thoughts.
It is hard to completely describe how such a totally unskilled and careless narrator can completely destroy the Audiobook experience. I had friends listen to it as well, just in case I was totally off base - and they ubiquitously upheld my opinion while no few of them simply shuddered at the terrible experience at having had to listen to Gollery's disastrous narrative style for even just a few moments.
I cannot believe that the publisher of this audiobook would consent to such a terrible destruction of what would ordinarily be a wonderful experience - and can only wonder if Martin Gollery is either a close friend or relative of someone in the Publishing company that was given a chance.
Maybe nobody will read this, but if you do - I hope that you will find this review helpful.
GREAT book - but Martin Gollery is to be actively avoided!
Overall an interesting concept. The world building is not as detailed as one would expect, and once you are used to high end world building with engaging stories and complexly detailed character development (see anything by Alan Dean Foster), you get quite spoiled. This author is good, but he's not great. Perhaps the editor "overdid" the job, but there is a lot of room for improvement. The novel is great in concept, but could have been made amazing by better Novelization skills. Hopefully this Author will improve their game. I'll certainly try more of their stuff in the hope that they get better.
The Author really takes advanced philosophy and presents it in a way that is very enjoyable to read and which really does expand ones' mind to consider things that one would never normally consider. Amazingly well done piece of science fiction in the whole series. The Narration by Ray Chase appears to be consistent, but very weak in inflection and style. Downward intonations at the ends of woodenly performed sentences and quotations remind me of those incredibly boring and uninspired, long winded sermons my parents made me sit through in Catholic Church so many years ago. The narration is really actually irritating for this reason, but made bearable as a result of the fantastic mind expanding storyline.
Fantastic story with great idea development by the author. The person reading the story is not to my taste, though, and he has some very odd inflections that make many of the powerful characters actually sound weak and girly. I think that this book would have been MUCH better with a more powerful reader that properly captures inflections.
The Editor for this book should not be in the position that they are in after having let this through to the public to be available for purchase. I should have read the Amazon and iBooks reviews, which skewered the book. Performance was well done, but the book appeared to have been very poorly written - with flits back and forth through time and scenes - with absolutely NOTHING holding everything together. It is almost like the author wrote random paragraphs in the Halo theme - and then submitted the book to the Editor who simply let it through without consideration to quality.
Or Karen Travis is a horrible Author and should never be allowed to write another Halo book. The Greg Bear books were amazing - and those were the only reason I bought this.
Dear Publisher: don't let Karen Traviss ever write a book again - PLEASE! Or let her write one, but just don't make people pay for it.
Sorry to sound crass - but Karen Traviss really had it coming. My teenaged daughters could have done a much better job.
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