I bought the printed book some time ago but never got around to reading it so I decided to get the audible version. I am glad I did as it is probably the best audio book I have heard to date. From the very beginning I was entranced and drawn into the world of this Geisha. The accent and tone of the narrator was so appropriate it made me believe it really was Sayuri telling her story to me. I could not stop listening until the story had been told through to the end. In fact it wasn't until I picked up the physical book did I realize that this was in fact a fictional novel based on actual historical facts rather than a true biography.
I enjoyed the first book in the series as a refreshing angle on the supernatural genre. However, I was very disappointed with this book and wanted to give fair warning to those who are on the fence that they may want to consider using their credit on a different book.
The story starts with much potential with the introduction of new interesting characters such as Bastien her Incubus best friend. However, the story soon becomes very irritating in many ways:
- The pace is much slower than the first book
- Georgina a Succubus who regularly devours men's lives and souls, gets on her high horse about morality and starts trying to interfere in the sex life of a female friend... give me a break!
- Georgina is regularly out on the town seducing men while her boyfriend Seth steadfastly remains chaste. The one so obvious solution to giving him some relief isn't discovered till the end. This relationship is so unrealistic it is painful to listen to.
- Bastien the expert Incubus who has no trouble going home with two beautiful women at a time every night has trouble seducing a woman. The reason becomes so painfully obvious early on but somehow doesn't get resolved until... you guessed it, Georgina comes to the rescue.
To put it in a nutshell, Georgina becomes much too unrealistic for a 2000 year old Succubus or even a 26 year old Succubus for that matter, in this book, and the main supporting characters aren't much better. This is a shame because the premise for this book was interesting; it could have been so much better if the author had spent time with more realistic character development and plot.
It is not often that I listen to a sample to be smitten enough to immediately download and continue. This is one such book.
I wished to convey to others what to expect and the differences between this and the subsequent title Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith.
First I want to emphasize that although written after Grahame-Smith's book, this is a PREQUEL. It is set in Jane Austen's countryside together with the stuffy English society of the time and the Bingley family are the main characters. However, it does not follow the plot of any of Austen's books; unlike Grahame-Smith's book which followed the plot of the original Austen book quite faithfully... with the exception of the Zombies and humorous modifications.
In my opinion this allowed the author of this book the freedom to craft a much more more adventurous and fast paced tale. This is done with exquisite mastery of Austen like prose which adds much to the hilarity and enjoyment. He does a good job of attempting to match the Zombie elements of this book with the Grahame-Smith version although the discerning reader will catch several discontinuities. There are also some elements that may be more unbelievable than the existence of Zombies. These include the ability of the Bingley girls to become extremely proficient at the Deadly Arts including the use of Ninja Throwing Stars and Katana in mere days.
Listen to this book expecting to suspend disbelief and it will be extremely enjoyable. The narrator was absolutely perfect for this book.
It has been a while since I have listened to such an audiobook as enjoyable as this. Definitely worth 5 stars both for the story and narration.
It is a wonderfully unique and refreshing angle on the Vampire/Werewolf genre. The alternate Victorian English setting with its rigid societal rules and hierarchy are presented in such a witty and vivid manner that I found myself being irresistibly drawn into the streets of nineteenth century London. The narrator is also perfect, the accents ... "Queen's" English and Scottish as well as both male and female characters are effortlessly rendered. I do hope they will bring out the next two books in the series on audiobook soon.
It took me a few minutes to decide if this merited a four star rating. It was a book that I finished feeling somewhat unsatisfied, yet I remembered laughing and feeling chills at different points while I listened. Not all the stories in this book were of the same quality of writing but I felt that the best ones alone were worth the entire listen.
"1922" the first story in this book was my favorite. Although incredibly gruesome it surprisingly didn't come off as scary to me. In fact it was the one that elicited the laughs.
"Fair Extension" as some others have said is the weakest. It has a wonderful premise but falls far short of what it could have become if King had made it longer. It feels unfinished and is missing the unpredictability of a typical King novel.
I would have preferred a different reader for the female voice. Hecht has a slight laugh in her voice that sometimes comes out at the wrong times ruining what should be a more sombre or sinister mood. She also does a poor job in creating a voice for Darcy in the last story making her sound like a mousy little old lady, which didn't fit the image that I felt should have been created.
Overall I enjoyed listening to the book enough to recommend it even though it could have been better.
Having read Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow and Sarah by Orson Scott Card, all of which I enjoyed immensely, I decided to try this book based on the numerous 5 star reviews. despite my concern there were several 1-2 star reviews. Unfortunately my fears were borne out....
I am in the camp of the 1 star reviewers. This is nothing like Ender's Game or Ender's Shadow. It starts off incredibly slowly with chapters that read like a very dry philosophical textbook. Speeding up the audio or skipping forward in the hope that I might reach a point that would be interesting enough to capture my attention did not help.
Perhaps diehard fans of this author may be able to stomach and even enjoy this. However if you are looking for a sequel to Ender's Game with the same gripping pace, you will likely be sorely disappointed. There is far too much unnecessary Theological, Philosophical discussion and "fluff" that moves the story forward at a pace that feels like you are trying to walk up a hill dragging a 100lb log.
This is probably one of the few audiobooks that brought tears to my eyes. I normally choose unabrigded versions and but since I wasn't sure I would like it I got the abridged version then later the unabridged version.
It is along the lines of Da Vinci Code but told more like a drama than a thriller. The abridged version is a good choice for those who like things more fast paced and I personally prefered this version.
The reader is overall quite good especially in the beginning, but later I think has a problem switching between the several different accents required. She sounds almost like the middle eastern accent she uses in the beginning in parts when she has to portray a french accent.
I listened to this after I listened to the abridged version and found that I enjoyed the abridged version better. This version does add quite a bit of detail but nothing I would say that detracts from the story significantly and the extra length made it slower paced than some people would like. Choose this if you have time but choose the abridged version if you are more used to a Dan Brown type thriller.
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