I liked the story, but the narration ruined the book for me. The premise of the story--high altitude de-pressurization--seems plausible. The story develops at a good pace. The "bad guys" are a bit of a cliche and their characterization is formulaic. Ultimately, with regard to the story, the good outweighs the bad. Unfortunately, same cannot be said of the narration. The narrator was extremely stiff and stilted. He raises monotone to an art form. If the narration had not been so bad, I would have given this book a 4, but instead--because of the narrator--this book gets a 2.
There is nothing that could save this book. It was just so uninteresting. It starts off with a contrived plot device of memory loss to keep the suspense. It includes long passages of descriptions of art and literature and locales that may be interesting in another context but not in the context of a supposed mystery book. The author resorts to other gimmicks to keep the "suspense" going (which I won't spoil in case you want to waste a credit on this one). To say that the characters are one dimensional would be charitable. I made myself finish this book, and doing so took me over a month I was so uninterested in getting back to listening.
No. It has turned me off of books by this author.
Yes. He is a good narrator and did the best he could with really poor material.
I hope Dan Brown can figure out how to write again. Some of his other books were decent, but this just didn't rise to the level of decent fiction.
Nothing can save this weak attempt at historical fiction.
He could have made it half as long.
The narrator was fine.
The first third and the last third of the book could be shortened tremendously.
The plot and writing of it could have been less disjointed and more cohesive. The narration could have been less melodramatic. Additionally, the historical connections could have been more succinctly and clearly presented toward the beginning of the novel to provide a better framework for the storyline.
The story jumped around too much without sufficient connection or explanation.
Normally, I like Scott Brick, but in this book, he over-dramatized the characters from the beginning. Maybe it was the writing, but compared to his other great narrations (Robert Littel's "The Company" for example), Brick's narration of this book falls flat. It is like he's reading every sentence as if it were the climax of the story.
I don't know that I would cut the scenes so much as rearrange them for better continuity. There are a lot of flashbacks.
The story is thought provoking while a bit implausible. If you like the genre, this is definitely a quality book worth spending time with.
The final "shoot-out" ... I won't say more as to ruin the story.
The narrator handled the multiple accents and characters perfectly. Not melodramatic and not monotone. In fact, I was worried that a different author for the second book in the series would ruin things, but the opposite is true. David de Vries puts Peter Herman to shame. I will be looking for more books narrated by David de Vries.
Parts of this book are just not plausible, but in some ways it's like science fiction. You suspend your belief a bit and go with it. On the other hand, some of it is just plausible enough to make you worry about nuclear weapons in the hands of Pakistan.
The writing reads well, and while not perfect, the story pulls you in with enough unpredictability to keep the suspense and interest until the very end.
Yes. The multiple narrators of this quality increase the enjoyment of the work.
The ending was weak and unsatisfying. I think this reflects an overall superficiality in some parts of the book.
OSC's nack for capturing key emotions remains in tact. A few scenes really grabbed me, but compared with Speaker for the Dead or even a few of the Ender Series, this is weak.
When compared with, for example, the depth of thought and development that occurred in the Ender Series sequels, this book is superficial. It's almost like he outlined the series with some great ideas, but for some reason (probably the press of having to publish), he can't develop the details to the extent he did in earlier series.
I wish the motives of the
Anyone else. He has a really amateurish style and is quite stilted at times.
It was too short. The story ending is weak, as if it was rushed to meet deadlines or make money.
Card should have waited until he had a completed story to publish.
The complaints about the narrator are unfounded. He does a good to great job with a story and writing that are both really poor in comparison to the author's other works. The characters in this series are even more cartoon-like than the author's other books, but this installment is probably the worst. Ever since Charlie had a child from a one night stand with classmate's fiance, and then fell in love with the Russian defector, things seem to have gone on to be just plain silly. There is a ton of re-hashing the previous plots, and I can't count how many times the characters make obscene gestures at one another. If you keep your plot and writing expectations low, the narration of this book is good enough to provide a pleasant listen.
I was extremely skeptical of this book going into it. A sci-fi book about a child ... but the author constructs a fictional universe that is just plausible enough to draw you in. Then, he paints vivid pictures while providing a compelling and engrossing plot. The story is key here, and it differs from the books that follow in as they tend to focus more on ideas. But nonetheless, you cannot help but get drawn into the author's world and then thirst for more chapters of this interesting and thought-provoking tale.
The publisher uses multiple narrators. At first, I found this disconcerting, but ultimately, the different voices add to the story.
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