It is unfortunate that those who are objecting to the one consensual gay love scene (NON Graphic) miss the whole point of the scene altogether! Card doesn't explore gay sex as much as he explores violent hatred of gay men. There is another scene where a man who is doing a body search leaves Ansett feeling a bit violated - however the description is only offensive to the extent that pedophilia is offensive.
The greater social and moral statements of this story are far more memorable than these two short scenes in a 12+ hour book. Card has never been afraid of showing us how society shapes us. In the case of songmaster, we explore several different situations where Ansset is changed by the prevailing cultural themes.
It is a powerful and moving book that does not disappoint in any way. It is classic Card - young boy, thrown into a situation where he impacts the world or universe and how those pressures weigh on that boy as he grows up. I loved it!
I had to look the author up to make sure he wasn't a teenager. I'm willing to suspend disbelief to a degree but this is really awful. A kid in high school can defeat anyone in hand to hand combat because he is psychic. He manages to defend himself against 5 killers without breaking a sweat while avoiding all video cameras.
The society is weird - a child of a broken home is not allowed to marry or have children. Some one is promoted 5 levels and transferred to a new group after 10 minutes in the presence of that new group's commander. Earth is a "bunch of peacemakers" and yet they have thousands of weaponized ships including battleships, cruisers and dreadnoughts.
Protagonist is a fugitive but suddenly is embraced into a special group and is immediately declared the leader of this group. This group has the ability to command all earth's space ships.
It reads like a teenager wrote it with all the "cool" stuff he could cram into it.
The narrator...well, the vocal enhancements (reverb, distortion, etc.) are just annoying and feel like laziness.
Save your credit...skip this one.
I'm a big fan of Brandon Sanderson. He's a great writer and his world building is paced well and sufficiently complete. By that I mean he tells you details about the world just as you need to know it. He leaves things to be discovered as you progress through the book and/or series.
I do have one complaint and I'm surprised his editor didn't make at least an attempt at correcting this. There are points in this book where all you hear is "blah blah SPARKS! blah blah SPARKS!" etc. I'm not exaggerating and it got really annoying at times. Fortunately the rest of the book is excellent, so I can get past it.
This book (and series) is suitable for teens through adults. There is violence, of course, but also some great thoughts/lessons on stereotyping a group of people. The romance is sweet and innocent. The language is only as strong as "SPARKS!"
Get the book. Find a few hours to listen straight through. Enjoy yourself!
The first book was great. There was an interesting detective-like story with clues along the way. There was one sex-scene and the rest was story.
This book - not so much. It is a series of the author's imaginings of what Hell would be like. You go from one tortured description of torture to another. Dollar loses limbs, is subjected to horrific sights, sounds, tastes and experiences. There's no feeling of progression. It's just boring after a while. These scenes were littered with flashbacks to Dollar's sexual encounter with Cas. Now, however, it's really more about the sex. The entire book is torture and sex and sex as torture, in explicit detail.
I know the author can do better, the first book proves it. This book, however is a huge waste of money and time. Relying on sex scenes to propel the story is just cheap and beneath the author's skill and my respect.
Skip this one - you won't miss out on anything.
I love scifi and fantasy. I've been reading the genre for over 35 years now. While this book is well written and fairly narrated, it was just depressing. I listened to the entire book and there isn't a single scene that is amusing or light. There are three main characters. One is learning at a monastery where extreme deprivation and even torture are used as teaching methods. An example is being buried standing up so that only your head is exposed and being left there for several days. Another character is learning to be a warrior but is being singled out for ridicule and deliberate belittling by the instructors, is trying to avoid being assassinated while he and his friends are being beaten up by the bullies. The third character is undermined in her political tasks by treachery and dismissal as a woman trying to do a man's job. Even though the three survive to the next novel there is no real feeling of celebration or joy...just constant setbacks and an overwhelming feeling of hopelessness. Don't worry, I've not given away any spoilers - what I've written is what you find in just about every fantasy novel but in the good ones, you are given something to be happy about and hope that the protagonists will do more than just survive, that they will win in the end. That hope is not presented in this book.
Simon Vance as always does a good job of narration.
Cyborg Dragon Space Ship...that alone should tell you something. This is just a bad book. It is poorly written and poorly narrated. The dialogue is stilted and truly odd. One minute we're listening to characters speaking normally and then it changes drastically. It's as if the author pulled out his thesaurus and went wild. The result is the following sentence: "[,,,] exposing her magnanimous ivory breasts." (see time stamp 4:22:31) I was so startled by this particular sentence I had to go back and see if I had heard it correctly and then I bookmarked it so I could let others hear it.
I really tried to listen to the flat narration and the confusing and poorly written story. I really did try but after 4.5 hours, I had to stop. I just couldn't take it anymore. Save your credits. I hope someone gives the author a dictionary to go with his thesaurus so he can see the entirety of a word's definition before he uses it.
I like these kinds of stories that offer suspense, a bit of mystery and quick-witted dialogue. It's written as a series of log entries and I was worried that it might be stilted and boring. Then you realize that when you are writing with the expectation that no one will ever read it (especially when you're still alive) you have the freedom to write exactly what you want with all the social commentary you choose. Don't misunderstand me, this isn't a book filled with social commentary of the political kind. The deepest commentary in the log has to do with why anyone would choose to bring only DISCO music on a journey to Mars.
This is a story where things go wrong and our hero ... well, does heroic things. Unbelievable, sure, but not so totally outside the realm of possibility that you get hung up on it.
Bottom line, this book is fun. If a book can cause me to laugh out loud spontaneously in the midst of a quiet Dr. waiting room, then it's a book that I will endorse with 5 stars. This one did that repeatedly.
Get it just for the fun of it.
I don't want to give anything away but plan to laugh, cry, worry and in the end be satisfied with the conclusion of one generation's stories and the beginning of another. Tug and Will offer laugh out loud moments. Flanagan's wit is quick and sharp so pay attention. Keating delivers a great performance, as always.
One of my favorite lines goes something like this...Maddie said something, Will snorted, Tug broke wind... Flanagan's prose sometimes just sneaks up on you like that and you find yourself laughing out loud in the grocery store when reaching for a gallon of milk.
There are moments of angst and concern for the characters. There are moments of revenge, moments of heroism and moments of growth. I loved watching Maddie grow from a spoiled princess into a young responsible woman and the first female Ranger Apprentice.
I've enjoyed McDevitt's work in the past. This book, however, just frustrated me. It was disjointed, and the world building was not well thought out. For instance, do you imagine that almost 200 years from now we would still be using the phrase "global warming'? The author agrees that it is of great concern but in 200 years the consequences of such would have a huge impact. Yet in this story it is only mentioned in passing...again, it's an idea/concept that isn't well thought out. Also, in 200 years, Hollywood is still the movie-making center of the world...
If you took the world as we know it now and added FTL flight, a space station as hub for people traveling to and from earth, and people concerned with terraforming you would have this novel. Colloquialisms, political issues, society - nothing seems to have changed in almost 200 years. The space station is a glorified airport being threatened by terrorists.
Early in the book there is about 15 minutes dedicated to an encounter with another species...and then nothing. Perhaps it's setting up for the next book but I found it a red herring, lacking in excitement, no problems with communication at all.
It took me several days to get through this book - I simply wasn't interested in listening to it. This from a person who often listens to books 8-10 hours a day while driving, cleaning, etc.
Yep, half way through the book and we're still focused on the gang rape of a teen virgin. Look, I'm a huge fan of KKR but seriously this is going too far. Now the protagonist is in a situation where she is forced to face the man who staked her spread eagle in her village and 'gave' her to his 'men' (soldiers)...all because her lesbian lover was both greedy and oblivious to her pain.
Nope, not going to finish it.
Btw, this is the second time I called out a book for gratuitous rape scenes and have had my review disappear into an internet black hole...come on Audible, I'm getting suspicious here...
I bought the first two of this series in a 'buy 2 get 1 free' sale. I listened to both of them but it was a bit tedious. The problem is that the story is about 2 juveniles (13yo) written in a juvenile manner. The basic premise is great but there is no character development, no real world building and really little more than a conglomeration of interesting encounters set in a very broad framework of 'bad guy rules the world'. I've been really sick with the flu and these books required little attention and even if you fell asleep for an hour while listening, you wouldn't miss anything in terms of action. Duels are started and completed within about six sentences, You may find the central character doomed to a life of imprisonment and torture and within a few paragraphs the 13 year old boy is rescued easily by a friend.
I would say this is perfect for the young teen to read but I remember that Harry Potter was perfect and still challenged and held the imagination of those who read the series.
I was disappointed.
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