I liked the idea of hearing about what made Hannibal the sociopath, it was interesting how Thomas Harris portrayed him as a severely damaged child. The book was a bit disjointed, and it was difficult sometimes to keep track of all the names (being a visual person, I have a much easier time reading when there are lots of characters). The one major downfall was actually the narrator, and while I know it was the author himself, his southern accent really threw me off when I was trying to get into a Eastern European story, and his French and German accents were even more distracting. I appreciate his involvement, but I think another narrator would have served better. It is a good book, however, and I recommend it.
If you're going to have a different narrator for a series set in the same universe, at least coordinate the word pronunciations!! I had trouble, coming from the Study books, figuring out what a few things were when pronounced--I have never actually seen the words written since I listened to the Study books as well, so it was very distracting. And the way that the narrator mispronounces "sai," the Okinawan weapon, as "say". If there is going to be a mispronounciation, it shouldn't be with a "real" word. Also, there seems to be a section missing--suddenly Opal's dreams take a major part in the story, but I don't remember hearing about them until what seems like the middle of a plot thread. It is right between the 2nd and 3rd sections of Part 2--it seems to jump and be disconnected. I am not sure if this is a book editing problem or an audiobook problem. The story is interesting enough to keep me going, though :-) Good light fantasy/mystery/romance.
Entertaining--not historically accurate, but the main character is determinedly grumpy and yet a softie on the inside! I'd love to see a continuation of the series, it was worth listening to.
I almost gave up on this book, the first half was disjointed and wandering, full of overblown descriptions that lost me, and the author often mentions something foreign and takes her time explaining what importance it has--and when you're creating another world with new materials and customs, it gets confusing when you don't explain what the new things are for a while. The narrator as well drove me crazy--she mispronounced all sorts of words, and at first I thought "oh, it's just another British narrator using a less familiar pronunciation" but then I realized that only the characters had UK accents--the narrator herself was American! Dart-Thornton uses 100 dollar words too much. I think her true desire is to write poetry and so she inserts as much as she can into her writing. So that is why I gave it a 3 star rating. The second half got much better, although characters amazingly escape their unseighly wight foes without weapons or much forethought. It kept me entertained enough, though, that I am going to listen to the next book...
I was disappointed with this book. I automatically get all the Alex Delaware books because they have twists and turns and are mentally stimulating, but this one tanked. They figure out who the bad guy is halfway through, then they have to repetitively go over his psyche and rehash it and "look" for him when they don't seem to be doing anything very hard. You think that there might be a twist, but there isn't. And then it is over, without Alex or Milo really doing anything. I recently tried to listen to one of Kellerman's son's books, and I felt like it had the same slow plot where you're just waiting to get to the conclusion. I didn't even finish that one.
I do love a good "hero-in-training" fantasy novel! This book was a ton of fun to listen to, and I loved the narrator--she had good voices for everyone, although the accents did seem to vary a lot in one country--a british accent for Valek, an American one for the Commander, and a russian/slavic accent for the main antagonist (sorry, not going to try and spell the name that I've only heard :-)) Good twists, fun characters, and a strong heroine that I enjoy hearing about. I'm in the middle of Magic Study, and I just looked up the next book and I am disappointed it won't be out until March 2008. This is a great book in the style of Robin Hobb, but not quite as dark. Keep writing, Ms. Snyder!
As an Army officer who was in Baghdad six months after this book took place, I recognized a lot of the places she was talking about (the hotel she was in was across the Tigris from my post) and understood some of the situations she encountered. This book was a different look at the same world I was in, and my husband (who was also in Baghdad) and I really enjoyed listening to it. It was interesting to see what life was like in Baghdad before the occupation, and what the initial battles were like from the journalist's point of view. Her husband's emails were very eloquent; I almost looked forward to them as much as the rest of the story! An interesting look at Baghdad before, during, and after the American troops arrived.
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