Queensland, Australia | Member Since 2008
I bought and first read this book in its first printing back in the eighties and now it's available on audio. It's wonderful to find old treasures like this brought to another generation to enjoy, Unfortunately Jack L Chalker passed away in 2005 but his visions still live on in his many books.
Lords of the Middle Dark still stands the test of time if you are able to forgive minor issues like the fact that computers no longer require large spaces
The plot and character development is rich, and one could imagine a future like this could actually exist.
A group of scientists fearful of mankind destroying its self created a computer called the Master System to keep mankind safe. Master System took over control and basically de-populated Earth by moving moving most of the humans to other planets. Adapting people and planets but still keeping them mentally if not physically "human" to do so
Earth, and the small population's living there are ignorant of Technology. China has reverted to Warlords and peasants, America is basically a Native American Indian Reservation. etc
Earth is protected museum of what culture and life was like before Technology in each major culture.
An few people that show promise are chosen to learn and have access to the Technology controlled by Master System. Every so often these people must give up their technological lifestyle and return to their native people and lifestyle for a while. Master System basically uses these people and native leaders to run the various planets whilst keeping and eye over their shoulders ensuring that the planets under its control remains in the stasis of a pre-technoligal it has imposed.
Master System isn't malevolent, it's just following it's directive to protect humankind from itself as programed by its creators.
Master Systems creators fashioned 5 rings that could be used to control Master System and directed it to ensure they were always in the hands of humans but with most of humanity altered physicality to be able to live on the planets they now live on, any search for the rings is a daunting almost impossible task.
This book introduces us to this world and to an American Indian called Hawks who stumbles across information about the five rings, when on his "leave" however such knowledge is basically a death sentence. Hawks needs to evade Master System and gain allies . . . whilst keeping his "tribe" safe . . .
China (a Chinese Warlords daughter) story is interwoven in the book. Both gain allies whilst they battle the system to survive in any way possible . . .
I don't believe reviews should include major spoilers so for those who read this to find some . . . sorry
I hope i have whetted your appetite enough that you will listen to this excellent book the first in the series of The Rings of the Master.
Middle Dark refers to a sort of middle hell from Hawks tribal lore.
Excellent spin on the supernatural world - just be aware that there are some very descriptive sex scenes (although they don't take over the book like some authors) and use of colourful language, (again it exists but there are must worse out there) so if such things put you off then this book is probably not for you. which would be a pity as it well worth the purchase and listen.
The narrator is excellent
Another great Steampunk romp from Gail Carrier with an excellent narration from Moira Quirk.
This is the second in this series set before the timeline of the excellent Parasol Protectorate series. it even includes younger versions of some of the characters or their relations from the original series. Whilst the technology is earlier there is a definite Steampunk vibe to the story arc and of course the same supernatural races are woven into the tale.
The story is told in Ms Carriger's irreverent tongue firmly in cheek style of her earlier series and whilst listed as YA it will most definitely appeal to those who love Steampunk and or her earlier series no matter what their age . . .
The "heroine" causes 90% of the problems & deaths, in this book and I can't remember the last time i wished for a main character to die quickly, save lives and put us all out of our misery. She "never" appears to learn & she causes more pain and death to her friends because basically she appears to be too stupid to live. She even admits her stupidity several times during the book.
Amanda does a wonderful job with the narration but even she is hard put to save this book.
The plot has promise but Olivia Kiskey (the Heroine) is so clueless to reality she causes harm, damage and death all around her, supposedly in the guise of "doing the right thing", she is the kind of friend who makes it superfluous to have enemies
The story is listed under fantasy and as Steampunk, but would be better listed under erotica.
The excessive descriptions/use of sex, "colourful" language, drug taking, deviant sexual behavior and alcoholic binges, could be somewhat excused by the early life of the "heroine" but such things need not become most of the book. they could have be described once and then eluded to instead of becoming most of the books bulk and story.
The narrator is the only real saving grace and in-spite of the material does an excellent job.
I wont go into plot spoilers but instead would like to use this review as a warning for those who are looking for a Steampunk Fantasy rather than an erotic one, because i don't think you will like this book, which is a shame as decent Steampunk fantasies are few and far between especially in Audiobook format.
If however erotica, with heaps of helpings of drug and other abuse is your thing . . .enjoy
I don't consider myself a prude but I require a reasonable cohesive plot with such stories before they interest me in anyway and such devices should be used as a means to grow the characters and the world they inhabit or at least used with skill not as a bludgeon and constant shock or page fillers because after a short time such stories and devices have no real value other than to fill space.
This review is solely my own interpretation and will obviously not agree with that of others, I just hope it helps some in evaluating this book under the category it is listed as
I remember reading and enjoying this when it first went into print (a little while back in the 70's) so maybe I was expecting more, and whilst it's not bad it was not what i was exactly expecting. This maybe because due to reading the series several times in the past or the narrator.
Whilst the narrator is far from bad it took me a bit to get used to him, again this might be me and not a reflection on the narrator.
This series pretty much follows the standard fantasy formula but does it very well and does deviate from that formula in a witty and irreverent and you soon find yourself transported into a new world with its own rules and characters.
I would recommend this book and series to all who enjoy a good fantasy, this is also one of Dicksons better series at least in my opinion
Another winner for Molly Harper and Amanda Ronconi a wonderful combination of the right Author and Narrator . . . once again Amanda's narration lends it's self perfectly to Molly Harper's characters and writing style to produce another great story. If there is one thing i had issue with was that this visit ended too soon, but like all her stories it will be revisited many times until the next installment
This is the 3rd is this series (sorry not vampires or werewolves in sight). I suggest you start with book one if you wish to enjoy and fully understand the rich interaction between the characters and their full back-stories. I normally prefer scfi or fantasy but have been known to wander into other genres if the author / narrator / or story grab my interest.
Well worth the price/credit and time
Thank you Molly Harper and Amanda Ronconi for yet another wonderful escape.
It takes some time to get used to the narrator or at least it did for me . . . and the premise of different types of magic based on materials is not all that common for a magic based alternate world.
At times one wants to just instil some common sense, or some backbone and still other times cheer Ceony on.
The Author at times runs away with attention to such minute descriptive detail but it does not overly slow down the pacing.
There is a distinct lack of expletives which is heartening and refreshing.
I wont reveal the plot but you might want vet it first before recommending it to anyone who has a blood phobia, not that it is overly violent or even bloodthirsty (you have to read it to understand).
Whilst the book does not end on a cliff hanger it is nicely set up for the next one.
Some imaginative uses for Paper . . .
This is actually 3 novellas in one based on a common arc.
The description given for the book is actually for the first story in a series of 3 stories based on the common theme of the Chisholm brothers set in the same basic locale and with some of the same local characters/brothers appearing/mentioned in some of the stories to help tie them together.
Each story is based on a different brother and could be read alone, but are best read in the order presented anyway for continuity.
This is not your usual JF vampire novel as was voiced in the book when Ivy asked about Holy water & crosses and was told they are for vampires and the don't exist . . .
Tavia narration as usual is excellent and this new arc has promise, I enjoyed this book but I will withhold my comments on comparisons with JF's previous arc and and much loved Characters until at least the next book in the series.
I have read similar books on demons etc and found my interest waning after a few books at best . . . maybe this category is not my "bag" as much as Bones and Cat's arc was. Then again maybe Jeaniene and Tavia will win me over with this new series, only time will tell.
I would however highly recommend this book to any fantasy reader and JF fan, its well worth the listen
Just finished the audio book and whilst the narrator, who i like in other narrations and is a good narrator, i felt she does not quite fit this character, hers is the voice of a much more mature person and would have done justice to Arizona her self but she the handles different characters Male ans female with ease, maybe with future repeat listens she will grow on me in this book as she has in other stories she narrates.
The plot and book its self is a wonderful mix of Arcane, Harmony and Rain shadow and of course the formula, Jayne has created another yet another winner, thank you.
I wish Dust Bunnies were as real as they are in my imagination, i would dearly love such a companion (not a pet) . . .
If you have enjoyed previous Harmony, Arcane or Rainshadow arcs or just like fantasy then ti think you will love this book.
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