Part Dostoevsky, part Frantz Fanon, part Baudelaire, all original. The writing is just great: spare but incredibly evocative. And it's beautifully performed as well.
Probably the best.
It's been described as "Game of Thrones without the dragons" and that's fairly accurate. But the writing is just beautiful, and the women are richly realized.
She's got a gorgeous voice, and does a great job with choosing various contemporary UK or Ireland accents for the characters. I particularly enjoyed her performance of the narrator's ditzy friend Begu. She also reads like she admires and enjoys the prose, which is indeed worthy of it.
There's no supernatural elements in this book, just people who believe in the supernatural (Christ included), so if you're expecting a fantasy book, bear that in mind. Also, there's a lot of dynastic politics and geopolitical maneuvering, which can sometimes be hard to follow in audio format as one tries to keep track of names and places. Griffith's website has lots of resources, including maps and a family tree. The book felt real and vivid, totally immersing me in its world. What a place to visit!
Gaiman does as wonderful a job with the reading of this alternate world fantasy as he did with the writing of it. It's especially fun if you know your Sherlockiana, which Gaiman certainly does.
Won't try to review the book in full, though I endorse the NYT Book Review's extremely favorable opinion. But after listening I felt compelled to say what an excellent job the narrator did. This book is told in the first person, by a 17-year old girl (Blue) who is preternaturally precocious and given to literary over-exuberance. Not such an easy person to act, but narrator Janice Fine Card does a fantastic job of making Blue completely plausible, real, and engaging, hour after hour. The author clearly devoted tremendous care to giving Blue a distinctive voice. It's hard to imagine anyone could have done a better job of bringing that voice off the page than Card.
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