This series started out great, with lots of time spent getting to know the characters, original ideas and intricate plots, but this book is more action centered and a lot more predictable. As the demigods travel to Rome, monsters pop up constantly and they have to use their wits and battle skills to survive. Point of views change often, giving us insight into the main character's minds (Anabeth, Leo, Piper, etc), but I did not feel as close to them in this book as I did in the two previous ones. The story is great and there are lots of good laughs, as you would expect from this author, but the fast paced action felt a bit more artificial... as if it were made of a series of mini-stories strung closely together on the story timeline.
In the end, I was left hungry for more development. The love stories evolved, yes (mainly Anabeth and Percy's), but the main quest (finding the doors of death... and saving Nico), is only partly finished by the end of the book. However, Anabeth's side-quest (following the mark of Athena, avenging her mother), which takes up a lot of space in the story, does reach it's conclusion. Still, very little progress is made in this installment of the series, and I must admit that I was a bit disappointed.
Also, the narrator is a great voice for the series, but I agree with other critiques that say the way some of the characters are interpreted makes them sound dumb. Octavian sounds cartoon-stupid, which is a bit much, and Frank sounds like a big thug, which is flat-out wrong. Even Percy sounds a bit weird in this book (!), and all that makes the listening experience a lot less interesting.
In short, this book is a must for all fans, but I will probably go for the paper version of the sequel, and I am now certain that this series will (unfortunately) not surpass the Percy Jackson series.
Nice story, fresh and so funny! A great listen for anyone!!!
Wil Wheaton does a great job reading it, and I will certainly listen to this book more than once (which is rare for me!).
I am a fan of Kresley Cole's work, so I did not think twice before purchasing this audio book. I was not disappointed!
Of course, this is not the usual adult fiction that you might expect from this author: this is obviously meant for teens (some romance, some 'heat' here and there, but markedly toned down in comparison with, say, the Immortals After Dark series).
I loved the story. The fantasy world woven throughout is captivating, the characters are interesting, and I could not predict most of what was going to happen in the story. The writing is excellent, and even though there are some 'teen story cliches' in a few places (some 'Twilight' flavor at the start), you forget it as the mysteries unfold. Kept me hooked from beginning to end!
Best of all with this audio book: the narrators. The novel is split into parts that are alternately narrated by the main character (Evelyne) and a vilain (Arthur). Each is read by a different narrator, and both do an AMAZING job of it! I am convinced that though reading this novel on paper would be great, the narrator performance makes this an audio must!
In short, I can't wait to read the sequel!!!!
I loved this series so very much (read the books), and then it just started falling flat. Seemed like the author was writing the newer books too fast, or something like that, because they got less and less interesting.
Until this one came out!
I enjoyed this one so much, I listened to it twice within the first week after buying it! A true first for me. I had already listened to some of the earlier Sookie books, and I always loved the narrative work, so I have now decided I will treat myself to the entire audible series sometime in the near future ; )
Alll the fans out there who have thought of letting go... DON'T!!! Get this audio book right now and ENJOY!!! If you read the book, then get this audio anyway to relive the fun in the wonderful narrator's voice!
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