at 1.5 speed on my iPod, yes. Although sometimes I only half listened as it moved slowly in parts. Or he jumps in bed again.
I've read a bunch of her Skolian Empire series. They are entertaining, but Catherine Asaro is no Lois McMaster Bujold, which is a constant disappointment. (Seriously, if you like sci fi and haven't read LMB, you MUST!)
No spoilers, but there's a real tear jerker scene near the end of the book that made the rest of the book worthwhile. I actually did shed a few tears, and don't do that often! It says something about Anna Fields' performance as well.
Kelric seems to be a sex addict compared to his siblings and relatives followed in the other books of the Skolian Empire series. In both The Last Hawk and this book, Kelric sleeps with most of the women he comes into contact with. It gets a bit tiresome after a while. Is she writing a romance/sex novel or sci fi? Kelric seems like a bit of a dullard compared to his dynamic sister Sauscany. But ah well, still entertaining and worth the read. Somewhat necessary for understanding the context of books further along in the series.
I found it awfully convenient that when Kelric is sold into slavery as a Providor, that his situation doesn't turn out too badly for reasons I won't spoil here. But... awfully convenient. A lot of awfully convenient things happen in this book.
Nate has moved into a very mysterious apartment building. His kitchen light shines like a black light, his neighbor's apartment is always 69 degrees no matter what, and every apartment has a completely different configuration for no apparent reason. (actually, now that I think of it, it is never explained even to the end of the book!)
Nate meets a lot of nice and curious people and you see the book setting up to be one of those typical plots where a group of curious people go exploring where they shouldn't explore and get themselves into a mess of trouble. And Peter Clines, despite his immense creativity, falls right into that standard plotline. By the last third of the audiobook, I was practically climbing the walls as the protagonists did the typical dumb-character horror movie stuff - why are you going out there where nothing good can happen? Why are you talking rather than doing that really essential thing you need to be doing right now? ARRRGGHHH!!
The book was very slow to get moving in introducing all the characters (as someone else here has already mentioned) and implodes after the secrets of "14" are discovered (as someone else has noted, so we are in agreement.) I think the author would have benefited us all by sitting back and thinking carefully before writing the last 1/3rd of the book, as it revealed some intriguing new information but was pretty disappointing in its execution.
So, to sum up, I'd say this is definitely worth a "skim" if it is on sale on Audible. (It's great that Audible has improved its listening app to allow more speeds and skipping forward 30 secs. Very useful for this erratic book.)
The story was okay, although the long-winded descriptions of Indian/Pakistani politics were pretty boring. The big irritant in this book is that the same narrators who worked on previous Ender/Shadow books seem to have forgotten how to pronounce some crucial words, like the proper French pronunciation of "Achilles" (pronunciation changed from one narrator to the next, soooo irritating!). "Hegemon" seemed to cause some difficulties as well and you can tell the audio has been edited to fix some of these problems, which is in itself distracting.
This storyline has almost turned into a James Bond style stereotypical good-guy versus bad-guy situation. I'll listen to Shadow Puppets but have been warned not to expect much and may give up pretty soon as this series is starting to fall apart.
A more interesting character? Scarlet just seems like a stereotypical whiny teenage protagonist. Cinder was really really interesting in her background, lifestyle, etc. Nothing grabbed me in this one and I had trouble getting through it. Jumping back and forth between Scarlet and Cinder was irritating.
Continued to be as creative and innovative as she had been in the first one.
She was okay.
Sure, it's good to continue the series. But it didn't grab me the way a story inside Miles' head does. Miles is so brilliantly sardonic and Ivan just is... not. So i found this book bland in comparison to those that focused on Miles. Still a decent read, though.
I thought the whole family treasure hunt under the city was kind of silly. But liked the odd way that Ivan fell in love.
When Ivan gets married.
NO - please LMB, go back to Miles!!
I wish she would write books more quickly. :)
Some actual action please! No, moving from place to place and then griping with each other some more is not action! This second book in the series is filler material and served just two purposes: 1) to resolve the war among the factions and 2) reveal the Big Secret about what this whole fenced-in Chicago area is all about (which happens, literally, on the last page.)
I would have liked less whining from the main characters.
Not as good.
Waiting for Book 3 and hoping it's better than Book 2.
On 1.5 speed, yes. Sometimes while doing other things, but occasionally engrossing.
I'm reading her entire Skolian Empire series if it is all on audio.
None in particular.
Sure, Catherine Asaro's plots are pretty entertaining. And Anna Fields, as always, makes the book worth listening too as she is good at different voices (most of the time).
As I mention in my review of Ascendant Sun, the sequel to this book, Kelric is a sex addict. He needs therapy. Yes, he's an empath, but his siblings are too and they don't jump into bed with everything that moves. Okay, admittedly, in this book, he's kinda forced too, but that just says something about the author. And in the sequel, Ascendant Sun, he does't have to sleep with everyone but somehow just ends up doing it anyway!
The culture on the planet where Kelric is stranded is strongly matriarchal, female chauvinistic, and revolves around the playing a complex dice game that is used for political purposes. By the end of the book, it is even being used to somehow discern the atomic structure of the elements and develop weapons and split atoms - all this in the space of a few years on a planet that had practically no advanced technology at the beginning! I could not suspend my disbelief about the power associated with this dice game, emphasized so heavily in the book.
But overall, the book is entertaining and a necessary read to understand Ascendant Sun and the books that follow, where Kelric becomes a more important part of the restructuring of the Skolian Empire.
You will really like this audiobook if you fit at least one of the following two criteria:
1) you are fascinated by eating disorders
2) you were a fan of Ally McBeal.
I fit both criteria and I was glued to this audiobook and did not want it to end. I've always admired Portia de Rossi for being a beautiful, talented actress, but this book really opened up her dark secrets. It really makes me want to get ahold of old Ally McBeal episodes and re-evaluate her knowing what I know now.
Ms de Rossi reads very well. Her writing is pretty good too, although she could learn more liberal use of pronouns, as repetitive sentence structure and names at the beginning of every sentence got a bit monotonous at times. Near the end she gets a bit preachy about the vegan lifestyle, but the first 9/10ths of the book are fascinating.
I downloaded this book based on the glowing reviews from so many other listeners. So many people LOL-ing when listening to this book, how could I go wrong? I bought this as as person who thought Tina Fey's Sarah Palin impression was pure genius, but never found 30 Rock anything more than mildly amusing - so not a die-hard Tina Fey fan, but I respect her. And so I would suggest, based on my lackluster reaction - unless you are a die-hard Tina Fey fan - skip this book. Her life hasn't really been terribly interesting, and she make each little event in her life into a little joke, so it's one one-liner after another. These one-liners are her typical style of wry, sarcastic humor that is only mildly amusing (at best) unless your brainwaves are on exactly the same wavelength as hers. No LOL-ing here.
I found my mind wandering many times while trying to get through this book, it's just not that interesting. She does read nicely, though, I will say that. But overall, I feel I wasted my Audible subscription this month.
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