SPOILERS WILL FOLLOW! WARNING! I'm writing this for parents who want to get this for their pre-teen and teen children.
The story of WebMind was great. The characters were well thought out but in some cases sterotypical. The kid who tries to take advantage of Kaitlyn and then bullies Matt is one such case.
That said, the story revolving around WebMind is fantastic and extraordinary. I also enjoyed Hobo the chimp/benobo although his making a choice not to be violent was too far fetched for me, at least in this story.
Now on to the elephant in the room. Regardless of what a perfect world is or how the characters think it should be; parents encouraging their 16 year old daughter to first sext her bare breasts to her new boyfriend and then just days after first kissing a boy (not just this boy, any boy) they let their daughter her have sex with him, is not the mindset I want to instill in the world I live in.
The mother finding the sexting bare breast picture on her daughter's phone and sees the sext she sent to her boyfriend but when she shows the father, he is not only not upset, but he tells her there is nothing wrong with it. That is crazy in my book, sorry for the pun. Sure, they didn't tell her directly "Hey Kaitlyn, sexting is fine and by the way, having sex is great and we think you should have it now too" but their actions (and lack of action) spell it out very clearly. They knew full well that their daughter who was born blind and had just gained sight, had her very first kiss and sent naked pictures of herself to said boy. They also knew that just days after gaining sight, etc. she was going to have sex. They accepted it as a forgone conclusion.
I think the sexting and Kaitlyn losing her virginity added nothing to the overall story other than an irresponsible influence on many pre-teen and teen children who will read this book. I don't think books should be censored or banned. I read many, many books per year, sometimes two or more per week and I run across many situations like this but this one is different in that it is a book specifically geared for young girls. I don't know how to handle it other than by writing this review.
The above is why I dropped 2 full stars from the overall and 3 from the story, If those two situations were handled differently I would have given this book a full 5 star review. It was that good. It is not something I normally read but someone recommended the first book and I was pulled in. :)
Reading the description for the book I thought this would be another book preaching the Christian religion and trying to get everyone on the path to God but I was pleasantly surprised. I try to stay away from Spoliers in my reviews so I'll just say that our protaganists and their interaction with people in the past was a lot of fun. I found myself laughing at many points in the book. I am not a strictly devout Roman Catholic but I was raised in the faith so although my recollection of every story in the bible isn't near perfect I was able to remember enough to really enjoy the different events Tom and David encountered. My foreknowledge so to speak, did not ruin parts for me but instead enhanced the story I think.
On to the elephant in the room. Will a strict atheist enjoy the book? I have to say they might not. A very lage part of the core of this book takes for granted that Christianity is correct. I can't say more without offering up Spoilers so that is all I can say about that. I think that in order to really enjoy this book you must at least believe that a higher power just might exist. If you can not at least concede that point then sure, you might enjoy the book simply for its fictional storytelling value, but I think that you might not enjoy this book.
This book was one of those rare books where I was dreading the end but not because the story was bad or something bad was to happen, I wanted the story to keep going. I could not put this book down. I listen at work when the situation allows and two days running I made it home in the morning only to sit in the car an extra 10 minutes to keep listening.
The author has a very good writing style. He kept the story moving along and he kept me interested. I often speed up the narration to get through the boring parts in a book but I was finished with this book before I noticed that I had never even thought of changing the narration speed.
The concepts in this story can keep the protagonist busy for at least 2 more books in my opinion. I really hope the author continues this storyline.
I am going to return this book later on today. I tried repeatedly to get this book started but I just can't keep my mind on the story. I am a huge Forgotten Realms fan and love most of the novels but last night I finally bought the Kindle version and am already several chapters into the book and enjoying it. I've dealt with bad narrators before, I have over 150 audiobooks after all, but speeding up the narration to 1 1/4 or faster didn't help. I am not a huge fan of "Fareeda" (phonetically spelled from the way the narrator pronounces Farideh's name) but the 3 of them are fun to read about. I mean Farideh, her sister and the prince. After a spell they are very likeable but again, only in print, at least for me.
Most often I find that protagonist in most books lacking in certain ways but often the author compliments the hero with a supporting cast and they often come together to make the story enjoyable. The Gray Man is awesome in that the supporting cast is a plus but as legendary as he is in the book, he is very human in that he has his flaws and many I can relate with easily. I have zipped through the first two books and I'm a little sad seeing that there is currently only 3 titles in the series. The 4th will be out soon but not soon enough for me.
One thing that I couldn't help but laugh at. The Gray Man struggles with what is starting to be an addiction to pain killers. The author needs to learn a little more about morphine. It is not a psychedelic which at 20 mg will cause him to stare at the ceiling during a phone call and not be able to speak to his superior without stuttering, saying "whoa" and "wha?" when it comes time to talk about the exfiltration of a kidnapped president with his commando team leader whom he is holding captive can only say "Wow, they wind up those celing material strands by hand into these little......so on and so on". This was not his first time taking extremely strong painkillers and the amount he took would take the edge off, not cause him to trip as if he was on acid. I love the way the author does not get preachy about addiction but instead treats it as a normal person would treat it. Drugs are bad, we all know this since we are adults after all, and I was happy to see the author didn't decide to preach to me about it. Instead he describes how our hero deals with it, or doesn't deal with it for that matter since I don't know what will happen later.
Lastly I really enjoyed the author's writing style. The story kept me interested and as with some books, I did not have to go back to reread a section because something just didn't click. At times I forgot I was reading a book (listening, you know what I mean) and just enjoyed the story. The narrator gets a big thumbs up from me for this as well. They both hit the mark dead on.They were both....On Target! Sorry, I could not resist.
I was only able to give this book 4 stars for Story because although I really liked the book, it felt somewhat incomplete. Maybe it was the way it swapped back and forth between the two time lines, I don't know. Please don't misunderstand, I did like the book a lot, but each time I started really falling into the one time line story I was pulled back into the other. The two stories were well thought out and presented, my complaint isn't there....it's just that, well, maybe I'm not a fan of the split time line method.
That said, I still had to rate the overall and story a full four stars. It was that good I think.
The performance I gave 5 stars because the narrator is truly an artist. His narrating was good enough that often times I forgot I was hearing a reading, he had me so engrossed in the story.....know what I mean? It's hard to explain but please trust in this, James Langton is an artist and he really brought out the best in the novel.
I enjoyed book one in this series but this book really took off. It's nice to see a story written for adults that doesn't involve teenagers stumbling along and having everything come together in the end mostly by accident.
We learn much more about Nathan in this book as well as Tommy the Werewolf. Tommy wasn't exactly a major player in book one, or at least not one I cared much about but in this book we learn much more and to be honest, the more I learned the more I liked him.
No spoilers, don't worry. I'm just glad the author included Tommy and I think you will also
I can guarantee that if you enjoyed book one, this one is a no-brainer. You will love it. Nathan just gets better and better.
For fear of giving up a spoiler I can only say, some things start to make more sense...finally.
I kept seeing the Night/Day Watch titles in my searches at Audible but for one reason or another, I kept skipping by them. I finally took the chance and I regret not doing so sooner. Maybe its because of the translation from Russian or maybe something else completely, but the flow of the story is captivating. Sometimes I forgot I was listening to a book. I would start thinking about this or that aspect of the story and often I had to rewind a section because I would just "space" out during a part. LOL. I thoroughly enjoyed the rich and detailed world the author setup. He has quite a talent for keeping the reader interested and wanting more. This book more so than others I've loved, kept me wanting to listen "just a little longer". More than once, after driving home listening I'd sit in my car on the driveway for a bit, just to get an extra 10 minutes farther into the story.
I will most definitely be following up this book with the Day Watch that I believe comes next. For those of you looking for something just a little bit different in the fantasy genre, this is it I think.
I like the genre, the sherlock holms like sleuthing and the british narrators, and this book did deliver that but it is clearly not geared towards adults. Many of the plot developments are obvious to an adult and if anyone had read Sir Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes novels, one particular development would have stood out like a sore thumb. I'll not say more because I don't want to spoil the story for anyone but as I said, to anyone who has read the original Sherlock Holmes it would be obvious. Even at the end, there would have been a blaringly obvious development being setup for the next book(s) in this series.
That said, I did enjoy the book to a degree, enough that I don't regret purchasing it but I do wish it was properly labeled. This should be in the teen or pre-teen sections.
Ok, I couldn't stop listening. lol. You understand my point. I was very surprised that the premise in this book could be taken so far. I was taken aback at first, at the idea that the protagonists in this story were so long-lived and almost immortal and the fact that having the power they do, most people I know would abuse the heck out of it. As the story developed I just couldn't stop listening. I'd stay up late an hour or two just to get farther into the story.The imagination of this author amazes me and his talent in writing kept me interested throughout.
I was also amazed at how richly the author developed the world and the Incrementalist's power or magic, however you look at it. Some authors have trouble detailing such things in a series but this author handled it quite marvelously in just this one book.
I'm not familiar with this author but I think that very soon I will be.
I highly recommend this book, even if you aren't often interested in fantasy or sci-fi stories. I think almost anyone can enjoy this story. It was well worth the time spent.
I'll mention it because it's mentioned in the book description and review so I'm not Spoiling anything, once again Richard can't use his magic. How many times has Mr Goodking played this card? I really hope he gets around to Richard really learning about his power soon. This "anger" is the key to a war wizard's power is just plain incorrect and Mr Goodkind knows it. The readers know it. In the Temple of the Winds Richard learned all about everything in the Temple as well as his Power, so he was able to use his gift at will. He was bored sitting on his throne and with no anger involved he was able to use his magic. I'm thinking Mr Goodkind is saving this part of the story for a later book and Richard will probably learn that his Gift involves the "Balance" they keep talking about and just like with the Sword of Truth, his power will have both the anger and the love aspects to it. (and boredom as well if the Temple of the Winds events can be applied)
Regardless, this isn't his best work but it's not his worst. I was surprised at some of the events and I am actually looking forward to the next book. something happened at the end here (No Spoilers, its ok) that at first I was shocked and a little angry, but then as I thought about it, I was more and more intrigued. I think we'll get to see one of the main characters grow as the haven't yet since they were introduced. I'm sorry to be so vague but I don't want to ruin someone's read or give out a Spoiler.
As far as the other events in the book, I did enjoy most of it. I did speed up the narration when Mr Goodkind went on and on about explaining some of the intricacies of their magic but to be honest I didn't do it too much.Overall The Thrid Kingdom is classic Richard and Kahlan, which is why I bought the book in the first place.
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