If the main character had not dropped 30 or so IQ points from the first book. Always making terrible decisions, and seemingly never to learn from them. I could only feel that the irrational decisions where made to progress the story in a way so that certain places would be visited. Actually the dimming was not limited to the main character. This probably was the cause for interaction between characters to be continually off balance.
OSC's magic fantasy is where I started, and I did enjoy the first book. I don't think I'll get reading the conclusion as the second book seems to out cut out the parts a like and filled many pages with few things that were actually thoughtful. More from this genre Yes; more from Joseph R. Lallo, probably not.
Good overall, and I assumed the 'Performance' rating is for the narrator. She was easy to listen to over all, kept the voice she used for each character broken up enough so that there was never confusion between who was talking. Used an odd whisperish voice for the main character, didn't really bother me, but was odd.
The main character's time in captivity, it was reached through terribly illogical trains of thought reinforced by secondary characters that should have known better, which resulted in actions that should never have been taken. To compound things, anything that was an implication of the captivity was undone by the time it ended.
I often found my self anticipating clever twists, little did I realizing that the poor insight into situations given by characters, was actually the accurate insight given of a poorly constructed reality.
There was lots of person to person struggle like in the first book, but a lot like Foundation, conflict between countries where wars are fought, dancer to the undercurrent of the cleverness of individual and restrained by the truths of human nature proven by time.
This section is the reason why I am bothering to write a review. What you wouldn't get from reading the book is the extreme compulsion to punch the audio engineer in the face. At least 50 times throughout the audio book every time one of the male narrators would go to say "Hegemon" a foreign voice, cutting in at a slightly different volume and with different background noise would cut in and say... "Hegemon". I could not even tell if it was the same person speaking or not since there were to many other differences. I would not even have commented but it happened so many times. It felt like the whole audio book had been recorded with the narrator reading a completely random word and at the last minute they had to go back in and try to implant the correct one.
I really did like the book.
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