This is one of my favorite books, and is one of Terry Pratchetts best. I always look forward to any new books by him.
This book had a wonderful historical flavor and incorporated characters from both real history and the authors imagination. I would compare his writing in this book to Neal Stephenson in the way he makes history come alive.
Stephen Biggs naration sounds like my own mind would have the characters sound when I read the books. It is the best collaboration I have ever heard.
A couple of years ago I listened to a book of short stories by Ian Fleming and I was surprised at how different they were than the movies. Although they were dated, they really have stood the test of time well. The reader does a good job for the most part with the exception of his “American accent”. There may be things in the book that in hindsight are less appealing, (racial and class descriptions), none the less they are a reflection of the times, and in many cases much of the book was well ahead of its time. The principal character is both flawed and human. He is not the indestructible bond of the movies, he has much more depth. I found this book much more plausible than many of the popular spy authors writing today, and similar in style to Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon.
Alan Dean Foster's style has always been to start a story with an interesting yet plausible premise then direct it to an ever and ever outrageous conclusion. The funny thing is, as you get sucked into the story you never quite see how outrageous it has become. This was not the first book he wrote in this series, but it is the start of the story line. Therefor Foster had to fit the story within pre-existing story restrictions. It was well done and tidy, not needing to have read other stories to understand this one, and not feeling like there was no ending.
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