I rarely give up on a book or a series and, on the basis of book 2, really wanted to see this one through. Book 2 had introduced many wonderful characters and plot lines which were mostly abandoned in book 3. Book 4 started off really well -- some great new characters, a return to the central mystery introduced in book 2, some new settings (aboard ship and on an island in Bermuda). But Matthew is a bore by this point -- helpless in almost every situation (he's always being saved by others or by circumstances beyond his control) and hardly the smart "problem solver" of books 1 & 2. The stereotypes come thick and fast -- the giant ex-slave who's always there to save the white folks' hides, the noble "savage", the silky but deadly Indian, the drunken and rowdy Irishmen, etc. etc. The ending was truly galling. Unfortunately, the author felt the need to repeat information from the other books numerous times, which slowed the pace further. And those tortured metaphors! This is the worst-written of the 4, by far. Such a disappointment after a decent start and a very strong 2nd book. I won't be looking for any more in the series or by this author.
I gave the performance a 4 because this narrator is very good. I will look for other books that he's narrated.
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