Wow, for the first time ever I've found a reader that I actually hate. He gets the tone of the book entirely wrong in nearly too many ways to explain. Here are a few of the highlights:
Most of the time, during dialogue, every character sounds like some snotty stuck-up rich-kid from the "right side of town" talking down to one of the "average folk". In other words, virtually every line is delivered in a condescending tone. It's unbearable.
There is also a tremendous amount of strange, seemingly unnecessary inflection going on throughout the reading. It seems like, possibly, and attempt to "lighten the mood", although I can't tell for sure because it is so strangely delivered. At any rate, it is completely inappropriate for a novel which is largely dark in tone.
Also, the reader appears to mispronounce "Shannara" and "Eventine" rather horribly. Of course, this open to interpretation, but he pronounces them in a way I've never heard anyone else use in discussing the books, so I have some evidence to support my claim....
All in all, I can barely manage to listen to this, not because of the story, but because of the reader.
About the story:
Yes, it is a relatively blatant rip-off of The Lord of the Rings, but it is still a good tale for the young adult reader. The writing is relatively poor, but the story is fun and truly enjoyable. The rest of Terry Brooks' works are not rip-offs, so don't let that put you off.
But for heaven's sake, READ IT yourself, because this reader destroys it completely.
It could have been written a lot better. Sounds like it was written by high school students. The relationship between the male and female protagonists was written in an especially sophomoric way.
Like many of their other works, the story itself is simply a fun science fiction tale. However, the quality of the writing in their work continues to degrade over time. This work is no exception, being extremely poorly written. It reminds me of a lot of Clive Cussler's stories. The story itself is quite fun in a kind of Indiana Jones way, but the writing is so god awful that what you really want is an abridgment down to just a few hours so you can get the story without having to wade through all the crap writing. Even the story in this case, however, isn't up to snuff. Considerably more predictable and less interesting than many of their previous works.
This performance was mediocre. Not terrible. And not good. Too average to even find anything to like or dislike about it.
I certainly hope these guys get their act together and start producing the kind of averagely written, but extremely entertaining stories they used to tell. This is a very poorly written story of only average quality. There's just nothing to recommend here. Skip it.
Not really. The first novel in this two part series was absolutely phenomenal, one of the best works of literature I've ever read. Not just a "horror story" or a "mystery", but truly great literature, up there with the very best of Stephen King (i.e. Hearts in Atlantis) or even older greats like Fitzgerald. This book, however, is just a typical crappy kinda-horror story.
It should have lived up to the first story or never been written.
Wasn't really a great scene.
Not a chance. Even reading it was a mistake. Kind of the literary equivalent of Highlander 2, or the Matrix sequels, or the Star Wars Prequels: A work so bad it damages the enjoyment of the earlier works.
Rumor has it that Dean wasn't happy with this novel either, and that he's waiting to finish it with a third when he can really do it justice. I hope so!
An excellent and traditionally dark Donaldson story.
The layer-upon-layer of story. The peeling away of those layers...
Scott Brick is possibly the single worst narrator ever. He routinely gets the overall tone for a book wrong, and he has an incredibly odd and annoying rhythm and inflection. He overdoes "sympathy" horribly. Maybe a tollerable reader for some kind of happy/sappy romance, but godawful for all the SciFi and Fantasy he is ruining.
Anyone except Scott Brick.Would be a great series if done "darkly" like Battlestar Galactica (the new one).
Please get the publishing houses to stop using Scott Brick. Please request that they have all works read by Scott Brick re-read by someone competent. Please provide those new performances free to those of us here who have the misfortune of finding some many of their favorite works destroyed by him...
This book is pretty much typical of Preston. His characters, with only a couple of exceptions, are generally flat. Preston is not a great writer. He does, however, tell a pretty darn good story, and that is also the case here. I expect many of the negative reviews seen here actually stem from Preston's straight-forward approach to the nature of human faith and religious belief. It is certainly a book which pulls no punches in this regard. It would be admittedly difficult for most religious persons to look at this book from "the outside" and give it a fair review.
It should be noted however, that although Christianity in particular is the religion Preston chooses to oppose rationality and science in this work, the actual point of the book is much broader and more disturbing. It is actually a very sobering look at human gullibility, stupidity, mob-mentality, "The God Gene", etc.
Definitely a worthy read for anyone who looks a the world around us and wonders where it all went wrong.
Ben Bova has great talent. Unfortunately, it is all too often submerged beneath a plot rife with political bickering. Not that Bova doesn't have a point (that our near-sighted (or totally blind) politicians are stifling the expansion of man into space), but he shouldn't hit us over the head with it in nearly every book. There is enough SF here to keep the book interesting, but you'll have to wade through some muck to get to it.
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