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The character development was not sidelined. The story was just as much about Rigg, Umbo, Param, Loaf, and Olivenko as it is about saving the world. And OSC never lets you forget that Rigg is 14. Or.. 16.. Depending on how you look at it.
Vadesh. I can't tell why without being a spoiler, but there's more to 'everybody lies to Vadesh' then meets the eye.
This is right up there with everything Rundnicki does. It took a while for Kirby to grow on me, I did not like his performance in the Alvin Maker series, but he has gotten much better, and does a much better job as the whiny brat in this series as he did in Maker. And ESC's voice is so sweet, it deserves to be in every OSC book. I just wish they could have fit Scott Brick back. Since there was no Point of View from Ram Odin, I guess that's why he's not there.
It did make me laugh out loud several times, especially the relationship between Umbo and Param. When Umbo tried to philosophize about peeing while skipping forward through time, it was so...Umbo...that I just couldn't help it.
While there's heavy sci-fi in this series, it is not very serious, and if that is something that you must have then you might not like it too much. But I seriously doubt any Orson Scott Card fan has that expectation. Now Mr. Card, get into gear and finish Ender, and finish Alvin Maker. I'm so mad at you for leaving Alvin Maker hanging for so long.. Two have made me cry and my life, the first was Fahrenheit 451 and the second was Bean's death in Shadow's in flight... You stand in good company.
Simply, I'm thrilled to find this. I really like Oliver Wyman as a narrator, listening to his narration of both the Monster Hunter series and Brandon Sanderson's Legion series. So I searched for other books that he narrated and found this gem. The author is not as polished as some, and his theme isn't original, but the book works, and really works well. This is definitely high or epic fantasy, and I'm writing this while book 2 is downloading.
Why you should read this:
The Characters: Character progression in this book is very well done. You care about the ones you are supposed to care about, and are outraged at the ones you are not. There are is a lot of mysteries and secrets about each of them, and you enjoy each morsel of the authors puzzles as he gives them to you.
The Magic System: Borrowed heavily from Patrick Rothfus in my opinion, but it too works, and works very well. The way magic is done in the book is logical, and it's not 'wiggle your fingers and shoot a fireball' magic. What is known in the authors world of magic, is known to the reader, but it's very obvious that a lot about magic was lost during an event he calls 'the shattering'.
The Pace: I dislike reading short books. I want a good long juicy novel, and that's what I got. The pacing is right, and nothing really drags on too long. At 21+ hours of novel, you are getting your credits worth.
The Narrator: Oliver is great. He has some great voices, and I really enjoyed everything I've listened by him. If you haven't listened to the Monster Hunter series (Which is the worst name for a series, but one of my favorites), or Legion, they are worth the credits as well. As a matter of fact, I think Legion is 5 bucks, worth just spending the money instead of using a credit. But I digress.
In short: If you are fans of Patrick Rothfus, Brandon Sanderson, Robert Jordan, or Tolkien, then this series will fit you like a glove. Do yourself a favor and pick it up.
The Divergent series (which I will sum up in this review instead of writing a separate one for each book) helped me decide that I do like Dystopian Fiction. (If Brandon's Steelheart didn't push me over the edge). The books follow the story of a girl named 'Tris' and her friend 'Four'.ion These are nicknames, of course, because in this society, you are tested at 16 via injected with a serum that puts you in a trance induced simulation and you are offered scenarios. How you react will eliminate certain factions from your choices The factions are Abnegation (Selfless), Erudite (Intellect), Dauntless (brave), Amity (Peaceful), Candor (Honesty). I found it odd that 4 of the 5 are virtues.
But low and behold, sometimes the tests are inconclusive. The testee makes choices that don't narrow down your faction choices. These people are known as Divergent, and since we are in a dystopian world, that must mean that Divergent people must be hunted and killed, and why? Well It's a secret.. If you're lucky, the person who tests you knows the Divergent secret hand shake and will help hide your results.
While the story was good enough to make me chug through all 3 books in 2 weeks, the writing style did not lead to a good translation of Audiobooks. It was told in first person... First person that hits you like a Mack Truck Her's an example
"I walked down the hall. I saw Four. I told Four hello. He said "Hello Tris". We walked down the hall together. We saw a computer. Four went to hack into it. While I waited, I watched him. He is hansom'.
You get the picture. The third book, which is told from both Tris and Four's perspective, helps with the problem, but it's the major flaw in the series. This didn't chafe me as bad as the "He said She said" problem that some books have, but it did become distracting to me. Luckily, Emma Galvin did a great job with the narration.
The pacing of the series is rather nice, and by the time I got to the parts that started explaining what was really going on, it was predictable, but I honestly didn't mind.
The characters stay true to their natures throughout the series, and for me, that's important. They are all young, and they all mature through the books, but I never felt like any of them did things against their nature
So, I'll rank this one high in the dystopian fantasy genre, and if your looking for a dystopian series that does not include Zombie Outbreaks or apocalyptic events, then this will satisfy you
I am beginning to have a love/hate relationship with this series.
The love comes from how most of Brandon's book ties together in subtle ways. He has a cosmere designed, where The Stormlight Archive, Mistborn, and many other of his books are all in the same universe. If your interested, you can search for a web site called the 17th shard to learn more about that.
The hate comes from the waiting. By chapter 8, I had learned so much of the mysterious Spren, Shadspere (The spooky realm that Shallan visited at the end of book 1), the Radiants, the Void Bringers... I was just giddy with the answers to how things worked. By the end of the book, I now have different questions, and it will be another year of agonizing wait, at least, before book 3 comes out. But none of this really has anything to do with the review.
In Book 1, I loved Kaladin, liked Dalinar, and was a little annoyed at Shallan. She seemed whiny to me. The book featured flashbacks from Kaladin's childhood, and how he got to where the book started.
This book, I loved Shallan, liked Dalinar, and was annoyed with Kaladin. He was, again, whiny. This book features flashbacks of Shallan, and her back story, which was hinted to in book 1, was amazing. I loved her as a child. She was a rock to her family, and while the tragedy that set her journey in motion is blanked in her mind (she is lying to herself, and has blocked out the memories), it is unfortunately predictable. But I didn't mind that at all.
Dalinar's character was not as amazing in this book, but I think Brandon didn't want him to outshine Shallan. He take a step back from the front lines and takes a more political role in the book.
Kaladin.... Well, I just didn't understand. At the end of book one, he said the first ideals of the lost radiance and became infused with enormous power. They are spelled out in the first book: "Life before Death, Strength before Weakness, Journey before Destination".
Life before death - The Radiant seeks to defend life, always. He never kills unnecessarily, and never risks his own life for frivolous reasons. Living is harder than dying. The Radiant's duty is to live.
Strength before weakness - All men are weak at some time in their lives. The Radiant protects those who are weak, and uses his strength for others. Strength does not make one capable of rule; it makes one capable of service.
Journey before destination - There are always several ways to achieve a goal. Failure is preferable to winning through unjust means. Protecting ten innocents is not worth killing one. In the end, all men die. How you lived will be far more important to the Almighty than what you accomplished.
He spends half of book 2 'conflicted', knowing that a member of nobility is going to be assassinated and ponders on whether or not it is right. Syl begs him to not let it happen, and Kal see's that she's starting to lose herself and forget things. He know's it's his conflict that's causing it. But even that doesn't help him make up his mind. Not in his character at all. Watching Kaladin fully explore his powers (especially where he's trying to learn how to run up and down walls) were a very fun part of the book and helped distract from the conflict.
With that being said, a very solid book. I don't want to spoil anything, but if you haven't read Warbreaker before this, read it, because there's a tie in that is fantastic.
While not a perfect book, it deserved to be #1 on the NYT best seller list it's first week. I am a Sanderson fan for life, and once you get into how his books tie together you will be too.
Malazan Book of the Fallen is one of the most complex Epic Fantasy series every written. I listened to book one, and book two, then book 3. When I listened to book three, everything clicked. I went back and listened to the series again from the beginning, and this vast world is amazing. Gods walking among men, warrens, magic.. I could go on and on.. Ralph Lister was amazing. And now we have Michael Page... Who I've never heard narrate before... And to be blunt, all his voices are the same voice, with different variances of 'grate' to it. And I couldn't concentrate on the book. I couldn't connect to the characters. I was sad to look on Brilliance Audio's website to see the rest of the 10 book series will be released over the next 3 years, and they all have this new narrator. I've never reviewed a book where I focused on the narration before, but wow. This world is too rich to go from someone who narrates a character like Fiddler with a very fast, witty voice... Then have the have the same character turn into a gruffy sounding soldier who just grunts.
I'm just... Disappointed.
Yes, without question. There is lots of foreshadowing in the series, and it's obvious the author had the story planned out from the beginning. To me, a good book has a great story, but a great book has great characters.. And you can't help but care about the characters in this book.
There's no one moment, but I will say that it's very satisfying to have hunches about the main characters, Royce and Hadrian, and find out that your hunches are right. The author gives very little away about their background, and just gives nuggets as you go. Enjoy this, it's one of the best elements of the book.
I owe him an apology. I bashed him on his performance in his performance on against all things ending, and I didn't realize he was narrating this series till after I bought the first book. He is BRILLIANT. His voices are fantastic, and I'm now a huge fan.
I love Robert Jordon and Brandon Sanderson too. But how can people be giving the audio book reviews, when it's 45.5 hours long and it's been out around 10 hours?
Please.. Read it first then review it.
Cold Days is one of my new Favorites, and easily trumps Dead Beat as my new favorite.. I feel like Harry Dresden is someone I know, someone I understand. Wrestling with inner demons (and outer demons), you just can't help but feel for the guy. You've heard the Spider Man motto "With great power relies great responsibility", but Spidey has NOTHING on Harry Dresden. And with no disrespect to Mr. Glover, James Marsters IS the voice of Harry.
1) Harry breaking down in front of Karen when she forces him to talk about his daughter
2) Harry confronting shark face during the Psychic duel, and screams"I am Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden"
3) Harry ranting about the magazine article he read about how women communicate on 6 different levels while men have just the one, and it must be some kind of superpower.
Lacuna. Oh my god, I want to break out laughing right now just thinking about her voice and her asking Harry why he wears clothes.
The whole book moved me. But Harry crying while admitting to Karen that he was afraid to see his daughter is probably on top. Also (trying to keep this as spoiler free as possible) the consequences of the winter lady and the summer lady at the end of the book.
Listen to this book twice, you will understand it much more deeply the second time. Everything happened for a reason.
Family w/ Daddy Issues.
Corwin of course
Not too hard, it's not very long.
There are 10 amber books. I read them all as a child, and am enjoying them again in audiobook format. I really loved the series. However, they are very short. 1 credit a piece is wrong. Amber was published as 'the great book of amber' in one large paperback. I'd rather pay 2 or 3 credits for that then 10 credits for the whole series. I got the first three, but sadly, I just cant see spending 10 credits on 10 books that are 7 or 8 hours long. Quality is there, but the value is not.
Everything seemed feasible.... Very Hi-Tech, but not Science FICTION.
I would have liked this to be a continuation of Freedom(tm) instead of a new story. There's still loose threads in that series.
Not as good as Daemon or Freedom, but definitely stands on it's own.
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