Having read these books in the '80's as a teen, I was pretty excited to have the chance to listen to them and relive this enjoyable if light adventure many years later. However, I must say that I'm not very impressed with Mr. Norman's performance. While he does manage to sing what songs are in the book, and does so reasonably well (or certainly better than I'd be able to), I find his narration to be very disappointing.
It's not that his voice is unpleasant, because it's not, but he makes no effort to differentiate the characters in any way, which can be distracting and confusing, as you're never sure who is speaking when. I don't expect great voice actors every time I listen to a book, but at least a little effort would have been appreciated. Also, his interpretation of yelling characters reminds me of how children do it when playing with their toys, and at other times he just comes across as flat and uninteresting.
I plan on finishing this first book (I'm about a third in), but having listened to the samples from the next two, which sound the same, I don't believe I will be finishing the trilogy. Which is too bad, because I was looking forward to it.
I'm sorry, Mr. Norman, I really wanted to like it.
At least "Deadhouse Gates" comes in March (according to Amazon, anyway), and hopefully "The Daylight War" (with Pete Bradbury, please) in February, so I still have something to look forward to...
I read this book in print before buying the audio version, and enjoyed it immensely. Granted, it's not perfect, as it is the author's first book, but it was entertaining. Yes, the story does start to drag a bit about 3/4 of the way through, but not so much that I lost interest. Yes, the author does borrow elements from Chinese culture, not just Japanese. Yes, the author does perhaps use elements of the language incorrectly. But remember that this is a fantasy story, and as such does not need to be grounded in reality.
Jennifer Ikeda does an excellent job of the narration. At first, I was a bit concerned about her not being able to differentiate between characters well, but manages that well as I was never confused about who was speaking. She conveys their emotions just as well, and I think she is the perfect voice for Yukiko.
Overall, it's not perfect. But it was definitely worth the listen. It kept me absorbed and entertained, and I look forward to Book Two.
I think you should buy it and give it a chance.
I was somewhat worried before buying this book, due in large part to the butchering Audible gave to the Dragonlance Chronicles, which, like this series, I'd read when I was younger. Also, I'd tried reading/listening to Salvatore's Neverwinter Saga, and found it overly dramatic and simple (considering it's a lead-in to a computer game, and I'd heard Salvatore wasn't too happy about writing it the way his publishers wanted, it may not be his best effort).
But, having loved this series and the Icewind Dale trilogy years ago, I decided to give it a shot in audio, wanting to re-experience these stories.
And I'm glad I did.
Victor Bevine's narration is very good- he conveys both the emotions of the characters and the urgency of a battle scene very well, and overall delivers a great listening experience. And, in my opinion, Salvatore's early work is superior to his later novels.
If you're expecting a lot of politicking and other "tedium" that can slow down other books, you may be disappointed. These books are fast-paced and action-packed. Salvatore's writing style is different from the likes of Jordan, Sanderson, and Erikson (all of whom I enjoy), but that is not a negative. They're just plain fun.
I can't wait for the next books to be released. And that doesn't happen too often.
I'd read this trilogy when it was originally published a few years ago. I generally don't read science fiction, being more of a fantasy geek, but the plot seemed interesting, so I bought it and loved it. Joel Shepherd is a great author: the plot, pacing, and characterizations are all quite good. So, my only question before buying this in audio, though I was very excited to see it available, was the narration.
My previous experience with Ms. Pearlman's narration was with "Polgara the Sorceress", which was a good book. I did not, however, care for the narration at all. She has a pleasant enough voice, she just mauled some of the pronunciations of some key places and/or people from the Belgariad series, one of my all time favorites. I couldn't finish it.
So I was nervous about buying this, but having enjoyed the print version so much, and wanting to experience it in audio, I bought it anyway.
She is better in this book, though at first I didn't think I'd be able to finish (which I haven't, but I'm halfway there). Chapter One was rough, she came across as emotionless and bland, and her descriptions were quite boring, not to mention rushed. She got better during Chapter Two, and really hit her stride in Chapter Three and beyond. She differentiates the characters quite well so you always know who's talking, and seems to be good at affecting different accents. She conveys the emotions of the characters very well, and picks up the pace of the narration during the action scenes effectively conveying the urgency of these scenes. It's not perfect, but all in all, I'm impressed, and plan on finishing this trilogy.
Well, I was surprised to find this on Audible early this morning, and a week before the book is officially released. I know writing a review before you finish a book annoys some people, so I can only review the 7 hours I've listened to so far, but I can say that those 7 hours have been excellent. If you listened to and/or read "The Warded Man" and "The Desert Spear" and enjoyed them, you're going to love this (and if you haven't, you should do so). The story is as absorbing as it was in the first two books, the writing is still great, and Pete Bradbury is an excellent narrator who is perfect for this series.
Do yourself a favor and buy it.
Well, everything. It was great to see Harry alive again and reunited with his friends. And, of course, James Marsters back as narrator. I have to agree with many others, he IS the voice of Harry Dresden.
It was great. I didn't really see certain events toward the end of the book coming (Molly), and the implications could prove to be very interesting.
He's fantastic. What more can I say.
Yes, but saying more could give things away. Molly Carpenter was involved, and there was another moment with Karrin that was moving as well.
I have to say that the ending left me stunned. I didn't see it coming. Can't wait for the next book. Buy it!
I'm planning to listen to this and "The Desert Spear" again at some point before "The Daylight War" comes out, though I've already listened to them twice. It's a good story coupled with great narration.
I personally like the part(s) when Arlen figures out how to use the wards to kick some ass. And he does. But the book as a whole is very good. And his interactions with Jardir are good, as well.
I would have to say the sense of hopelessness that the characters from Arlen's village feel, and he characterizes the toughness of the Krasians well. Though his vocal range isn't as varied as some narrators I've listened to, you still know when different characters are speaking. Overall, a great narrator for this series.
If I could, I would. But it's too long.
Well, first, I would like to both thank Audible for finally making this available, and alternately curse them for doing so at a time when they're making so many other great books available (Gardens of the Moon, for one). Needless to say, all others will have to wait until I'm done listening to these.
Second, I have to admit that I've just started listening to it, but so far, I must say that I'm entirely impressed by Mr. Inglis' reading. Nice, clear voice, good differentiation of the different characters.
Third, like many others, I read "The Hobbit" and this trilogy as a pre-teenager about 30 years ago. I loved it. I honestly don't think you can consider yourself a fantasy fan if you haven't read these books. They are, simply put, amazing. I eagerly watched all the movies and was very impressed with those as well. Except for "The Hobbit", of course. Now, I finally have a chance to listen to them in audio, and unabridged!
Again, thank you Audible... now, if you could just get "Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn" by Tad Williams, I'd be even happier!
Definitely one of my favorites. I read this series back in the '80's when I was a teen, and I love it now as much as I did then.
There isn't one particular moment. I enjoyed the entire book, as well as the rest of the Belgariad.
I thought his performance was fantastic. He has distinct voices for each character, and each fits the character well. He occasionally mixes them up, but it doesn't happen often, and doesn't ruin anything. Great narrator.
I guess it would be when Garion realizes that Belgarath is his "grandfather", though many generations removed. It was a nice moment, considering that Garion is an orphan.
Not really. I loved them both.
There were many. This is just an amazing book.
Everything. He is one of the best narrators I've ever heard. I can't help comparing others to him.
Yes, but it is far too long.
I'm at a bit of a loss for words in this review. This is one of my favorite books ever, both in print and audio. I've listened to it 3 times, and love it every time. Buy it.
A lot of current fantasy is pretty dark and brutal, which I don't have a problem with, but it's nice to listen to something with a sense of humor. Not to say that there aren't dark moments, because there certainly are, but they are well balanced with lighter scenes.
When Talia (Sleeping Beauty) reveals what happened to her while she was asleep. It's one of the darkest parts of the book, but evokes (for me, anyway) a deep sympathy for the character, and gives insight into why she isn't one of the most trusting people. There was another moment involving her and Snow that was surprising, as well.
Well, at first I had some doubts about her, as she didn't seem to differentiate character voices much. But as the book moves along and she gets more comfortable with the characters, that changes. I thought the beginning was a bit rough, but I'm glad I stuck with it.
It would be nice, but it's just not possible.
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