The author is a bit repetitive in the beginning establishing both his definition of an "Empire of Trust" and his thesis that much of ancient Roman and modern American history can be evaluated usefully in that context. Don't let the initial repetition get to you though. This starts off being a fascinating history of the Roman Empire that then begins to draw parallels to just how much our own government has been shaped by the same core principles and similar circumstances.
Even more interesting however are the last few chapters that show how the lessons learned by the Romans in their dealings with terrorism and strife in the Middle East are very much applicable today.
This isn't dry history; Madden writes in a very accessible style that is complemented well by reader Richard Poe. I was listening to this book while driving mostly and I was always disappointed to arrive at my destination and have to turn the book off.
Butcher certainly is taking Harry's story in very interesting directions. I'd be hard put to name another series this original and I can't wait for the next one after this.
Yes, James Marsters is the definitive Dresden narrator. But don't knock Glover. He actually does a better job considering it's his first take on Dresden than Marsters in Book 1 of the series (where I felt Marsters kind of overdid the schtick of constantly sighing in that oh-so-weary and jaded stereotypical private investigator film noir fashion). Having Glover as the narrator actually added an interesting spin on the voicing being different since Harry is a ghost in this one and all his senses are differently affected. Why not ours too ;) ?
Having said that, I do hope they bring Marsters back for future books for this series. But I do plan to look for other Glover audiobook performances as well.
(who loves the Dresden books, but early on decided you could build a great drinking game on certain overused phrases in the book such as "pursed his/her lips" :D)
Other then the fact that the main character Harry makes the teen protagonists of slasher movies look brilliant in comparison for their ability to stay out of danger, I find myself enjoying the story. As much as anything though, I'm enjoying the reader. He truly demonstrates the difference a talented professional actor can have when reading and (to a small extent acting it out).
Time travel and the revisiting of a few characters we've met in some of Connie Willis's other books are the initial hook. But that is sidelined by the absorbing story of how the British coped with World War 2. One of the best narrators I've listened to polish off both this and its continuation (the book All Clear).
The reader, Nicolas Coster, really captures the feel of the time period for me with his unhurried, stately manner. (He displays an excellent range of character performance as well). I'm only disappointed that Audible does not carry other Hornblower books read by Mr. Coster.
I like the series, but add my voice to the chorus; the narrator is wrong, wrong, wrong for the series. (There is something seriously creepy about hearing what sounds like a 8-10 year old's voice describing the more mature urges of a 17 year old).
Do yourself a favor, listen to the last 10 minutes of book 3, then go buy the print copies of the books so you can read them with Edwina Wren's voice talents in your mind.
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