Once the shock value wears off, this is another socially/politically correct diatribe. It's entertaining, but it's not funny.
Gaiman and Reeves channel early Heinlein and AE Van Vogt in this updated pulp sci-fi adolescent fantasy. There is everything from the kid learning about special powers, steam punk scenes, a reluctant team turned loyal followers...you name it. Great for my 10 year old and it left us eagerly wanting the next book.
Avoid. Piece uses sound effects in place of narration -- at some points more than 1 minute long. This makes the story sequence disjointed and hard to follow. And the voice of the villain is lost in the climactic dialogue. Sound levelling is atrocious and the effects are questionalbe (squeaky chair during a confrontation?).
The story channels Heinlein's teen hero genre mixed in with some space opera, and the actors -- who sound like high schoolers imitating 1930's style radio theater -- do their level best to keep the listener engaged.
Their efforts would be acceptable but for the truly awful production quality.
Far and away the best Clancy novel since Red Storm Rising. Sadly, it marks the apogee of Jack Ryan's career. There is nowhere to go from here, and Clancy is not going to keep re-writing the West Wing. All his books from this one forward talks about someone else. Too bad. But enjoy this one. It's the real deal.
Note even as good as the cliff notes. Despite valiant narrative efforts, it is just too short. This version captures none of the grandeur, sweetness, scale, or depth of the book. Get the unabridged version.
Not just a reading, but a performance. A tale told at camp by the firelight. This book has always been more than a children's fairy tale. Still, Ellison's version calls to every listener's inner child. I wish I knew more storytellers like this when I was a child. The usual critiques of this work (the lack of catharsis, many loose ends, etc.), should not diminish the brilliance of this rendition. Take this as the first chapter of a longer epic tale. Highly recommended.
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