This book is good if one has read the others in the series. As a stand alone book it has a few failings and even if one knows everyone from Ivan's world the story is not compelling. It is a nice story and it is difficult to write about nice people. The narrator is continuity with the series. His voice is a challenge until it simply melts into the story. I am always surprised by that little magic. I always start not liking it, then getting comfortable, and then trusting it to carry the characters through the obstacles. This book is not the masterpiece A Civil Campaign is to listen to or read. Ivan is not a character with enough difficulty in his nature to create the humor of that book. There is a lot to be said for nice people and Ivan's turn into maturity is comfort to readers as well as his mother.
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