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.
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 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.
Gerard Doyle did a great job narrating this story and I would certainly listen to other recordings of his.
I'd be willing to try another book by him, as he had some very good ideas. Unfortunately, he also had some very weak ideas and sometimes, it felt to me that there was a very simple and reasonable motivation available that he consciously avoided, in favor of a convoluted and unreasonable motivation.
Doyle's performance of Spring Heeled Jack was great - I didn't like the way the character was written, but he was performed well.
This book was a real mix of highs and lows. The explanation for the existence of a Steampunk Victorian era is fantastic. The depiction of one character's decent into madness is great. On the flip-side, the reason that character goes insane is paper thin, and I felt that there was a very good, accessible reason for him to begin going insane, that the author avoided. The antagonists in the book are extremely weakly written, their motivation feeling shallow and unbelievable. It feels to me like they were thrown in there because the book needed an exciting climax and that they were made to do cruelly evil actions up until that point so that the reader would appreciate that they are indeed bad guys. I suppose that's my major complaint - they are depicted as shallow Saturday morning cartoon bad guys, rather than being antagonists. Finally, the ending left me thinking "uh, what?" as the "moral" of the story was revealed. I think that I see what the author was going for, but I don't think that it was really achieved.
I'd listen to The Dead Beat again, as the world in which it's set is really fascinating. The gritty noir Detective story in a world where "skin-riding" ghosts are a fact of life is really cool. There were all sorts of hints to a bigger mystery scattered throughout these stories and I want to make sure that I caught them all.
I haven't ever read a book like it. In form, I'd compare it to an Anime or a modern TV Show like the new Battlestar Galactica. This is a serial of short stories. Each one is a short story, like an episode of BSG, but there's a direct continuity and a larger arc between the stories (like a season or a complete series). This collection almost felt like a pilot mini-series; it's a whole story, but it's really setting the stage for something grand. I can't wait to hear the next volume, when it's released!
Daniel Dorse's performance was spectacular. He created the archetypal chain smoking noir detective, his deep gravely voice rumbling along and really contributing to a great ambiance. I wish the "performance" rating were more granular. I'd give his reading a 5 star rating, but the post-production could use some work. There were some volume discrepancies, especially once between stories where I had to jump and turn down the volume dramatically, as the gain on the recording seemed to be suddenly much higher.
"The Dead Beat" is a perfect title.
This collection is a little short, but at less than a matinee movie ticket it's well worth the price. I found myself smiling, laughing and cringing along with the characters, all the while being sucked into the life of a police exorcist. I can't wait for more.
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