Jim Butcher delivers another excellently written, fast paced story featuring Harry Dresden our lovably smart-assed wizard. The best thing about this book is that Harry finally starts to stop and think before acting which makes the ensuing chaos all the more entertaining. John Glover does an adequate job of reading Harry but I missed James Marsters take on the character so found the listen a bit off at first. That said fans of Dresden will not be disappointed by the latest in his saga... the only problem is that it begs the question will be: When is the next book out!?
This is a standard formulaic boy meets girl novel. The plot is predictable but the characters are interesting and the pace is quick enough to keep things moving. The book ends a bit abruptly which was a bit frustrating but understandable when trying to set up a series. The narration was good with Eric effectively bringing the characters to life. If you want a mindless enjoyable story this is a good choice. If plot holes and stereotypes give you conniptions then give this a pass.
This is a pretty formulaic romance story with magic. It makes an enjoyable listen if you are in the mood for harlequin style fluff.
I enjoyed the fast paced snarky style of this story and it had some decent plot points and character development. The best part however, was the narration by Lorelei King - she makes the characters come to life and makes it possible to overlook the weaker parts of the story. I would recommend this book for a good fast paced romp of a listen. I would not recommend this book if you want a particularly strong heroine.
I really wanted to enjoy this book, I really enjoyed the 2 books of the Grimnoir chronicles that I had listened to before this one, but I just couldn't get into it. Owen (the protagonist) annoyed me - he made too many stupid moves and was too instantly obsessed with Julie. I also found the gun obsession to be a bit much for me. I also found the narrator to be a bit slow so found listening at 1.5X to be much better. Overall it was okay but disappointing. I recommend looking up Ilona Andrews' review on good reads, I found it quite accurate.
I must confess I am a devoted Terry Pratchett fan so this review is probably somewhat biased. Guards! Guards! is on one of the first Discworld novels I read and it is still one of my favourites. The story is about what happens when an earnest young man who has been taught about the law comes to a city where thieves and assassins are pillars of the community and the city watch is a running joke. It also about the power of mediocrity. And of course the power of a book.
Highlights include quotes such as:
"People who are rather more than six feet tall and nearly as broad across the shoulders often have uneventful journeys. People jump out at them from behind rocks then say things like, "Oh. Sorry. I thought you were someone else."
"A good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read."
"There was a thoughtful pause in the conversation as the assembled Brethren mentally divided the universe into he deserving and the undeserving, and put themselves on the appropriate side.
Every time I read (or in this case listen) to it I am struck anew by the wit and insight dripping from each line. If you want a good fantasy novel and appreciate satire and a dry British wit, this book is for you.
Note- this is an excellent book to start with if you are thinking of trying Terry Pratchett, it introduces one of the best groups of characters in the Discworld but it also stands on its own.
P.S. This is a must read for any body who works in a Library.
This is a standard Sci-Fi fantasy story. It has a tragic beginning, epic cross country escape, a damsel in distress and of course an obligatory big battle at the end. There are moments were the characters and story line are quite good and engaging. Unfortunately there are also moments where the hero is so blindingly stupid you want to shake him by the scruff of the neck. It's a good listen, but it is no Harry Potter.
This is a good story. I fully enjoyed listening to it and was compelled enough to buy and listen to the next two books in the series. However I wouldn't say it is a great story. I was initially intrigued by the thought of a story set in Japan, and while this book did provide some sense of the culture I felt somewhat disappointed by the lack of cultural depth in the book. I found the narrators to be good, but not great, and at times rather monotone. The story is occasionally graphic - genocide at the beginning, assasinations throughout but it has many heartwarming moments as well. I would recommend listening to this book, but I wouldn't necessarily recommend buying it, buy on sale or find it at your public library.
I can understand why this book won the Booker prize. The story is at times grotesque and yet is always oddly compelling. It is improbable yet realistic, horrific yet uplifting. The book also inspires reflection, which I suppose is the hallmark of "literature". There were points in this book that I almost stopped listening, it was too gory, too improbable, and yet I had to know what happened next, where will this story take me? The first part is, as many other reviewers have noted, somewhat slow. Furthermore I was wondering where is this lifeboat with a tiger that I was promised by the story blurb? However, once I got to that lifeboat I found that the prestory was quite helpful, filling out the character and making some of the earlier remarks that seemed out of place, meaningful.
The narration of this book was quite good, capturing well the matter of fact yet hallucinatory tone of the story. At first the story was difficult to follow and I had to back to the book to ensure that I hadn't somehow skipped a section. My brother in law said it was cheating to listen to this book, but I disagree. I think that the act of listening slowed down the experience and made it more poignant and forceful than reading it on paper. It is easy to skip or skim sections while reading when they first make you uncomfortble but more difficult to do while listening and so I at least absorbed the story more fully hearing it rather than reading it.
If you are looking for literature this is it. It has a well developed theme, well employed literary devices and plenty of meat for analysis. If you are looking for an easy to follow story for entertainment you may be disappointed.
This series gripped me not for the story - which while fun is all fluff, car explosions and sexual tension - but for the narration which is brilliant. Lorelei King makes each character spring to life so well that you know instantly who is talking, in fact the characterization is better than some full cast dramatizations that I have listened to. If you want a truly entertaining listen this is a good choice. Like the rest of the Stephanie Plum novels Eleven On Top has moments of suspense, slapstick, and desire, however, if you want something with true suspense I suggest you look elsewhere.
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