I'm writing this review purely for ADULT LISTENERS who, like me, enjoy listening to a good YA/children's story now and then...the kind of book that takes you away, makes you feel like a kid on an adventure again, erases the pressures of everyday life for a bit.
This book is not one of those. It's just too simple, flat, and predictable. It is not funny and embarrassingly engrossing like Jim Dale's reading of Harry Potter, nor intruiging, exciting, magical, intelligent and stimulating like Phillip Pullsman's Unabridged 'His Dark Materials' Trilogy .
This one really is a kiddies book, and although I think that the narrator is superb I cannot make myself finish listening to this.
I gave it three stars anyway because I'm sure that if you get this for your child, or even if you listen to it with a child, you will get some enjoyment out of it.
'Disappointed' is not a strong enough word. It actually made me angry how awful this book is. I must have slipped into some alternate universe while listening to this thing - that's the only way to make sense of the fact that so many people seem to have enjoyed this utterly insipid, ridiculous, mind-numbing bit of tripe. Yes, fine, in picking a historical romance I'm not expecting Tolstoy. I'm prepared for something light, hopefully a bit fun and a touch sexy, packaged in a generic but atmospheric historical setting. The Bride did start out that way. I immediately disliked the extremity of the heroine's superwoman characteristics - she is perfect and can do everything and everyone loves her and yet she is ooooh so humble and blablabla. Standard fare with these stories, I guess, so I was willing to get over it. But ugh: "She is as flawed as a clear blue sky" (gimme a break). As if this statement is not bad enough, the author apparently does not trust that her reader has enough brain cells to figure out the irony here, so she has another character ask what the speaker could possibly mean, since a clear blue sky is not flawed at all! "No," says the other, "only to a blind man". Gag.
OK, so we have the utterly perfect heroine (to make her main character 'three-dimensional' Garwood inserts an ever-so-charming flaw: the lovely Jamie has a bad sense of direction), and the gigantic, irresistibly sexy, rough, powerful Scottish laird whom said heroine is forced to marry and who cannot wait to get her in the sack. Sure, I'm with ya, fire away.On the first day of their marriage he seduces her despite her determination to keep him at arm's length unti he loves her, and he promises to never lose his temper with her. And that's it. Really. The rest of the book is about her going "haha, I'm going to make you angry but you can't be angry because you promised. Although I don't mean to be insolent, my lord." Then he is angry, making her wonder if he really cares about her. Then he shags her and tells her how much he cares about her. Then she goes "haha, I'm going to make you angry but you can't be angry because you promised..." On and on, one idiotically contrived altercation, self-pity party and boring sex scene after another, ad nauseum. It's unbelievable, really.
Sure, the narration was fine.
First the qualifier: I'm 30 yrs old, so not technically the intended audience.
I initially purchased this series for my boyfriend during an Audible series sale, thinking it might be a fun sci-fi/gladiator type of story. That didn't work out, the boyfriend was immediately put off by the narrator and the premise, and completely gave up about an hour in. Not wanting to entirely waste the credits, I tried listening to it myself.
I found Katniss to be a pretty annoying heroine - throughout the series she's increasingly whiny and self-obsessed and rarely has a clue. I rolled my eyes a lot and often wished she would just shut up and let us get on with the story. I guess this is the inescapable teenage element in what is, after all, a YA series.
The narrator is also not my favorite. She gives most of the characters the same incredibly irritating drawl, which tended to make me think that reading these books instead of listening to them would have been more enjoyable.
But enjoy them I did, for reasons I can't quite put my finger on. There have even been moments where I found myself misty-eyed and wondering just how the author managed to draw me in despite my reservations about what I perceived as a somewhat flat world/cast/story.
I am now in the middle of the last book. I have no regrets about spending 2 credits on this series. And although I don't think I would recommend this to my friends or family, I do appreciate the secret ingredient, whatever it is, that has kept me listening so far...
I can absolutely enjoy a bit of twisted kink, so judging from a lot of these prudish reviews I thought this could be fun. Unfortunately not. Absurd characters who are all exactly the same. Thoughtless, unoriginal, shallow, uninteresting "kink" element. Endlessly repetitive and just unimaginably boring on the whole. I couldn't even make it to the middle of the book.
This review is for adults who enjoy smart, fascinating, imaginative 'children's' books. This is NOT one of those. I decided to give this a try because more than one reviewer compared it to Pullman's His Dark Materials. I can't imagine why. 'Magyk' is a silly kiddies book, comparable to something like 'Inkheart', not 'The Amber Spyglass' or even Harry Potter.
It's well read and I'm sure the tots will enjoy it, but that's about it.
(Admittedly I could not bare to listen to more than half of this book, so perhaps it takes a magical turn toward interesting later on. But considering the childish style, predictable storyline and flat characters, I sincerely doubt it.)
This review is for adult listeners, the book is not. The story is pretty thin, the worlds not tied together, the mish-mash of fantastical creatures rather absurd.
It's still sweet, decently read, and I'm sure kids would enjoy it, but it's definitely not a 'great escape' for grown-ups who enjoyed children's books like Harry Potter or the fabulous His Dark Materials trilogy (unabridged).
I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. Nothing really happens in this story. Yes, the main character is likable despite being somewhat broken and, later in the story, verging on disgusting. And although SOME of the other characters are fleshy enough to be believable, the world itself is basically non-existent. The author provides no details of the setting, gives no feel for the dimensions of any of the spaces and places the story takes place in. And speaking of the story...mediocre at best. It's actually kind of boring.
*Disappointing* pretty much says it all. I had such high hopes for this one, and the story did carry me off at first...The setting, the characters, the initial building of the plot promised to deliver a great adventure. I slurped up all the details of the boy's wide education and filed away all the clues about the trials to come, the future in store for him, the state of the world around him, the wonderfull possibilities for the development of Tuala's character. And then I waited. And waited. Nothing came to fruition. By the time I had listened to three quarters of the book I knew there was no hope. The early promise of a great story was definitely not kept, and about half way through it began tapering off into a tedious, unconvincing love story. I have an hour or so to go, but I cannot bring up the will to finish this.
First off - I am not a big romance fan. I downloaded this book because I am a sucker for stories that involve this kind of time travel, stories in which everything we take for granted about modern life is suddenly mind-blowing when taken out of context, and in which the dull facts of history as we learnt them in school are brought richly, brutaly, intimately to life. This audiobook gave me enough of those elements to thoroughly enjoy it.
As for the romance aspect - if it has to be then one might as well do the thing properly: the stubborn damsel in distress, the hardened warrior with a soft spot for said damsel, and lots of drama all around.
Personaly I lost interest towards the end of the book. My beloved time travel aspects had been faded out, my interest in the constant capture-rescue elements of the plot had been replaced by boredom, and my astonishment at the wondrous heights of sexual pleasure afforded the protagonist by her inexperienced young lover had faded. I also grew a little bit tired of our beautiful heroes constantly falling victim to attempted rape, at the very least.
BUT among a good number of my family and friends who have read or listened to this book I seem to be the only one to feel this way - everyone else was gagging for the next installment of the series.
I took a chance on this one - fearing it would turn out to be unbearably soppy and clich?d - but I don't regret the credit I spent on it. I enjoyed the story, the mix of the modern and the ancient, of technology and mythology, of the love and the suspense elements. In terms of the story my criticism is the fact that the great love, to me, was just not believable. But that didn't ruin it for me. Much more annoying was the narrator: the voices she gave to the characters (mainly the male characters) did not do it for me at all, and throughout the book I found myself imagining how much more interesting and likable the cast of this story would be were it not for the narration.
This title was enjoyable enough, but I'm sure that reading this book rather than listening to it would be doing yourself a favour.
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