I was worried about this one, because I didn't like Rapture of the Deep very much (seriously- the cock fights, the "Brother Rabbit" stories? So boring).
I'm happy to report that I needn't have worried, because the 8th installment of Meyer's adventure saga does not disappoint. The action, drama and comedy are nonstop, and often unexpected (and shocking, in the case of at least one act of violence that had me gasping in horror). Some of my favorite recurring characters were back, and we finally get to see Jaimy in on some pirate action - finally proving, in my opinion, that he is a worthy companion for our Jacky (I've often found him a bit stodgy in the past).
I especially liked the Author's note at the end, where it is revealed that many of the characters and parts of the story are from actual history, inspiring me to immediately head to the computer to do some research. It's great how much one can learn about history from listening to this series. Bravo, Mr. Meyer.
Katy Kellgren is, once again, MAGNIFICENT.
This is the best one since Jolly Roger and Bloodhound. As Jacky would say, "I wish you the joy" of this audiobook!
First, let me say that I am a massive, massive fan of this series, and as long as Mr. Meyer keeps writing them, and Ms. Kellgren keeps performing them, I will keep listening.
That being said, this one could have been better. I finished listening to this last night, and find myself feeling a bit unsatisfied, and a bit disappointed in our heroine. Those who enjoyed the increased involvement and "piratization" of Mr. James Emerson Fletcher in Wake of the Lorelei Lee will be disappointed here. Jaimy hardly appears at all, due to certain circumstances which I won't elaborate on. Despite these circumstances, I don't understand why we could not still have gotten some narration from his point of view.
Also absent in this volume is Joseph Jared, who reappeared in rather dramatic fashion at the end of WotLL, so the Jacky/Jaimy/Jared love triangle conflict that fans may have expected never really materializes. Instead, another of Jacky's former paramours takes center stage in this book, and the bulk of the plot involves much gallivanting around London. I agree with Davey and Tink (those stallwart members of the Dread Brotherhood of the Dolphin) that Jacky should have been more focused on the Jaimy situation. Oh, how I longed to see Jacky and Jaimy having adventures together for once.
Complaints aside, this is still an enjoyable audiobook. Katy Kellgren continues to dazzle, and there is now a pretty nice setup for the next book, "Over the Hills and Far Away." I will choose to think of this as the transitional book needed to wrap up the "Transported for Life" storyline so that Jacky can get back to action in the next book. Just don't go into this expecting an epic adventure on the scale of Lorelei Lee, Bonny Light Horseman or Jolly Roger.
Barking spiders! What a fantastic, breathtaking finale to this great series! If you enjoyed Leviathan and Behemoth, you will not be disappointed with Goliath. This is edge-of-your-seat, high-stakes, nonstop adventure, with plenty of humor, drama, history and everything fans of this series have come to expect. If you have not read or listened to Leviathan or Behemoth, DO IT NOW!
Alan Cumming gives another virtuoso performance in this third installment, and his ability to give a different voice and accent to every single character (human or otherwise) - while maintaining Westerfeld's lightening-fast, witty dialog and downright cinematic action sequences - continues to be astonishing.
I also recommend picking up print versions of this series, if you can, because Keith Thompson's intricate illustrations add a whole new dimension to the books, providing great visual aids. I actually read this in print first, and then listened to the audio version afterward.
The only downside is that now the trilogy is complete, unless Westerfeld decides to continue the adventures of Deryn, Alek & Co. in a new series (which he certainly leaves the story open for...fingers crossed!).
Five stars all around!
So, for the most part, I really liked this second book in the series, and I'm looking forward to the third. The performance of the narrator was great. If it weren't for a large section of the story (a few hours of audiobook, at least), where the advancement of the plot comes to a screeching halt, I probably would have given the story five stars. But I feel like Rothfuss couldn't think of what to do next, so spent a few hundred pages basically stalling, with Kvothe whiling away the time (it feels like about 40 years, even though it is probably less than a year) with Felurian and the Ademre. I can see myself listening to this book again, but I will definitely skip through those parts. Other than that, this book is fantastic and exciting. Just be prepared for some major downtime in the middle.
I liked Nick Podehl's narration enough that I am now listening to the audio version of The Name of the Wind, which I had previously experienced as a traditional print book from the library.
I really enjoyed the first two books in this series, and the narration is just as strong in this third outing, but I have to say I found this one to be a bit dull. It does pick up towards the end, just in time to make me want to listen to the fourth book, but I'm not sure I want to use a credit on it, since this one turned out to be such a disappointment. The story moved so slowly and uninterestingly that my mine kept wandering and I'd miss huge chunks of it.
While I didn't find the storyline here to be anywhere near as addictive or engrossing as the original Trilogy (the only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5), the hilarity that ensues every time Bartimaeus opens his mouth makes this well worth listening to. Simon Jones is one of the best narrators out there, and I could listen to him all day. His reading of Bartimaeus's dialog is LAUGH OUT LOUD funny. He makes me wish I was trained in the magicians' arts so that I could summon the resourceful and wise-cracking djinni to keep me company. I'm happy to let Bartimaeus recharge his essence in The Other Place for a while, but I hope that this is not the last we see of him. I just hope that the human characters are a bit more interesting next time around - they were a little weak in this one.
I absolutely LOVE this series, and especially this third book. I have to admit I got a bit annoyed with Jacky when she was landlocked in the second book, but in Under the Jolly Roger, she is back at sea, and the story is the most exciting one yet (and I think the best in the series, having now listened to all of them up to Book 7, The Rapture of the Deep). There were parts that had me cheering out loud and clapping, or covering my mouth in horror as I listened to this on my commute and around the house. Kellgren continues to dazzle with her narration -she one of the best narrators out there, and in fact is definitely more of an actress than a reader. Each book is a real performance, and it's like I'm watching a movie in my head while she reads. It's amazing how well she even does the male characters - I forget that I'm listening to one female doing all the parts - it feels like a full cast.
I had no problem waiting a month for my new credits between the first and second book, and the second and third book, but when Under the Jolly Roger reached it's breathtaking conclusion, there was no possible way I could wait, and ended up buying the fourth book sans credits, and it was well worth it, as I've now listened to the third and fourth books twice each.
Don't hesitate to buy this audiobook - it is Jacky Faber at her most resourceful and brilliant, and the entire cast of characters is fantastic - from the loyal Werewolves, to the wonderful and trusty Higgins (I wish I had my own Higgins!!), to the gaspingly evil villain Captain Scroggs. The final scenes of the book are easily the most beautiful and dramatic of the entire series thus far. This book is not to be missed.
I was pretty excited about this series, because I'm a huge fan of the Percy Jackson books, but The Red Pyramid was disappointing. It was entertaining enough when the female character was narrating, but Carter Kane is so boring (the male narrator did a good job, I just thought Carter was a boring character), I found myself not caring what happened. I guess that's how I felt about the entire book. I just didn't care much about any of the characters, and thought the "quest" itself was really boring. So far, this series just doesn't have the intensity and the emotional impact of Percy Jackson and the Olympians. I almost didn't make it through the entire book, but made myself finish since I had used a credit for it. I won't continue with this series when the next books come out. To summarize: Percy Jackson fans, don't get your hopes up - this is a let down.
I enjoyed Skybreaker almost as much as the first book in the series, Airborn. Oppel has created a quick, intelligent and resourceful young hero in Matt Cruse. The only thing I didn't like about this book is that Matt spends more time brooding in this one than he did in the last one, and his constant jealousy every time another guy looks or talks to Kate just gets old. This book is action packed though, and Matt's adventures never fail to hold my attention on the long train rides home from work. I'm glad I had listened to Airborn right before listening to Skybreaker, because David Kelly's reading takes some getting used to - the way he reads sounds kind of...I don't know, phony, I guess. Like he is reading fairy tales to very small children. All of the other voice actors are great. It's funny, because in each of these audiobooks, there is one actor who sounds so much like a famous person that you can't help picturing the character looking like that person. In Airborn, the actor playing Vickram Spearglass sounded so much like Quentin Tarantino it was uncanny. In Skybreaker, the John Rath character sounds exactly like Sean Connery. It's hilarious. Anyway, enough rambling. I highly recommend this audiobook. Kids or adults who enjoy scifi/fantasy/"steam punk" will enjoy it.
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