I purchased this book by accident. I mistook it for another - so the first time I listened to the first few chapters, I was disappointed and put it down. By chance, I was bored one day and started it again - this time, I was involved with it from the beginning. Some things I found very interesting may be commonplace to other readers -it's not my genre. Sometimes the author does throw you back and forth through time, letting you figure out where you are (this is done so that the story flows better - a trade off some may not appreciate). Sometimes the author seems very clever, and other times he misses obvious alternatives - more likely/realistic - outcomes. Sometimes characters "have no choice but to..." or "can think of no further argument against ..." when I can think of four or five things/ways to avoid a bad situation. I understand that authors use occasional character stupidity to advance the story, but I don't like it at all. I like clever characters and more importantly, clever authors.
That being said, I really enjoyed the story. Overall the author is clever, the characters are clever, and their actions are believable/ realistic. I'm easily "hooked" to characters, but even I didn't really become too attached to any one of them. Unlike other readers, I still "cared" about them, but as a family, not individuals. If I had to pick a main character, it would be Hamish Mein, as he seemed to receive more attention than any of the actual main characters. I didn't really care when people died - actually I felt more at the final death in the book than any other - I would have felt more except I don't think the author intended you to feel sympathetic - so the dialog was very flat instead of dramatic.
So I enjoyed the story very much - even if no one character seemed the focus. The narrator was one of the best I've heard and I hope to hear him again in the future. People who value story above all will like this book.
This book is similar to The Matrix 2 in that it seems to just be a filler. Nothing changes that much, no real climax, just the usual casual progression in the usual over-explanatory manner. He just loves to explain how clever he is, doesn't he.
If book 3 is out and you're on a budget, you can skip this one.
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