The opening of this book was hard to get through as the setting at first seems alien enough to be difficult to grasp and familiar enough to be generic (it's a post sci-fi fantasy). We immediately meet a character who is committing a heinous act and, with no appreciation for who he is, it's jarring and unpleasant to read. Eventually, the book comes into its own, with the introduction of some very enjoyable characters (although they seem a little flat at first).
The magic system presented is more detailed than much fantasy but doesn't quite achieve a level of detail where the reader can appreciate the limitations/strengths of the magic characters without being told directly about them by the narration. It doesn't have as much detail as the Mistborn series, but that also means that it doesn't get bogged down by that detail the way that I feel that Mistborn was.
By the epilogue, I realized that I had actually grown attached to the characters, as I was smiling and chuckling at their actions.
The story had a lot of interesting ideas but I never felt that it went anywhere.
This is a really engaging story. It deals with some pretty awful situations, and though it doesn't hesitate to let you know what's going on, it also doesn't revel in the awfulness and pain. I think that the book handles those difficult situations with graceful storytelling and is to be commended. My only complaint is that the production has some weird pauses. There are some silent stretches that were sufficiently long that I started reaching for my stereo to ensure that it hadn't turned off or something before the next bit started.
Volume 2 adds more depth to the already fascinating world that Lindquist and Christensen have created with their Dead Beat stories. An overarcing plot comes to light, tying together events from most of the short stories into one grand scheme, while adding history and weight to the ghosts that inhabit this world. I can't wait for Volume 3!
This book is a strong continuation of the story created in the first book. I continue to like the characters and it flirts with being a really amazing book, but it didn't quite feel like it realized that potential. Still, it was very solid and enjoyable, adding depth to the world and telling an interesting story.
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. It maintained a strong message throughout and was very well written. By largely using journal entries and autobiography to tell the story, an incredible amount of setting detail is conveyed in relatively few words. My only complaint is that there was some vaguely supernatural stuff that really didn't strike me as necessary and nothing really came of it.
Davina Porter does an amazing job narrating this story. Not only does she use appropriate Scottish accents, but she manages to convey several distinctive Scottish accents for the various characters. I had no difficulty in understanding her (despite the array of accents present in the book) nor in determining which character was speaking. She is a gifted performer who really brings the book to life.
That said, I did not enjoy the book itself. I'm a 30 year old male, and I've never before come across a story that seemed so finely, perfectly tuned for a demographic of which I am not remotely a part. This may be technically sci-fi/fantasy, but it's only a fantasy in the sense that a teenager fantasizes about their attractive teacher. This book is a Romance, pure and simple.
The entire story seems to me to be the author's fantasy (as opposed to a story set in a fantasy setting), every element blatantly conspiring to force the main character to be empowered and to experience a thrilling romance. I've nothing against empowered female characters, nor against romance, but the book is so blatant in its pandering to those two ideals that it completely ruined my immersion. The plot only seems to be a secondary consideration, often lost in the relentless pursuit of this author's indulgent fantasy.
This short story (and it is certainly short) is a fine example of a classic ghost story. It is creepy and fun at the same time, ending at the perfect moment, just as you realize what's going on.
Rothfuss' work is captivating and more immersive than much else that I've read. The book was a bit slow to start, but once it found its pace it grabbed hold and didn't let go through to the end. The adventures it describes are fantastic, touching and thrilling. It's everything that a fantasy novel could ever hope to be.
I very much enjoyed this audio book. George Newbern does a fantastic job of reading it, investing the characters with great personality and vibrancy. The story is fantastic as well, merging a compelling story of angels and demons with the trappings of a noire detective story. The book travels a winding road of intrigue and conspiracy, and holds onto you through to the end. I felt that that end came a bit abruptly though, as I would have liked to see a little bit more of the fallout from the events of this story. I'm eagerly awaiting the next book in this series.
P.S. the angels' and demons' names are awesome, they were distinctive, had consistent flavor, and turned into their "mortal" names very well.
I found 1Q84 to be an interesting story, but the pacing was odd. The story seemed to hit its climax about halfway through the novel, which then continued for quite a lengthy wrap-up. It almost felt as if it were two novels that were shoved together.
The translation was excellently done and the performances by all three narrators were strong. They chose to use a different narrator for each Point of View character; when those characters interact, each character's narrator reads that character's lines. It ends up in the awkward middle ground where it's not a full cast production (like the excellent Golden Compass audio books) but it's also not a single narrator... so it struck me as a little jarring when it changed from one narrator to another.
All in all, it was a fine book, although it was a bit forgettable. I enjoyed myself while listening to it, although it never really gripped me.
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