I really didn't like this book at all. I found the plot shallow and formulaic. Characters embarked on a quest ... a young boy discovered his magic powers ... blah, blah, blah. I've read it all before. Also, the book's pace suffered from many long and uninteresting flashbacks, and the ending left me scratching my head. Nothing got resolved. Brooks left every single sub plot hanging. I understand it's the first book in a series and the larger plot lines won't conclude until the last book finishes, but this was ridiculous. All in all, I felt quite disappointed, and I will not purchase the next book in the series.
... you'll love this. I picked this up because Reynolds lists Banks as one of his inspirations, and I was not disappointed! The narrator is excellent too.
Are you tired of stereotypes? Have you read too many books about kids trekking down a road discovering their magical powers and somehow triumphing against overwhelming evil odds in the end? Are you tired of shallow, predictable heroes and villains? If so, you need to read this book. Actually, you need to read all Abercrombie's other books first, and then read this one.
Abercrombie throws out all the tired old cliches in fantasy and writes an ironically titled book with no heroes and no villains - just people. This book has main characters on both sides of a conflict, and none of them are clearly right or wrong. There isn't a happy ending, and everyone's problems don't work themselves out. It's dark, and it's brilliant.
Michael Page is a good narrator. He voices Gorst particularly well. He only seems bad here in comparison to Steven Pacey, who is some kind of genetically engineered government narration super weapon. The narration will throw off fans of the first three books because the accents for some familiar characters have changed, but it's not that serious.
Great story, but the narrator just isn't appropriate for the material. It isn't that he's a bad narrator. It's just that he sounds like he's reading for a Disney cartoon instead of a hard-bitten supernatural detective novel. He totally fails to capture Green's dry wit, and his female voices sound like a Monty Python skit.
I still recommend buying this book, and I will definitely get the rest of the series. I just hope the reading gets better with the change of narrators in book 3.
... and John Twelve Hawks misses a lot of them. The plot was interesting enough to keep me listening, but the author's mistakes kept taking me out of the story. He claims to live "off the grid," and I believe him, because he doesn't seem to understand much of the technology about which he writes. Motorcycle riders will also wince at certain parts, as one of the main characters is an avid biker, and it's pretty clear that the Mr. Twelve Hawks has never been on one in his life. He could learn a great deal from an author such as George R. R. Martin, whose research is meticulous and whose stories aren't marred by small errors.
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