I should start off by saying that my comments will not pertain to the story, plot, characters or descriptions contained within "A Game of Thrones." If you are curious about these things, other reviewers have described them at length and in a far better manner than I ever could. If I was just going to judge this book based on its content, I would have given it the highest score possible.
However, I was sorely disappointed by the quality of this audio book. It is obvious that the producers did not spend a good deal of time reviewing these recordings or they would have noticed several things.
First - The narrator does not pronounce character names the same every time he says them. Within the first six hours, I heard Lady Stark referred to as CAT-LYNN, CAT-EH-LYNN, and CATE-LYNN. I also heard Prince Joffrey referred to as Jeffrey, Theon referred to as both THEE-ON and THAY-ON and the man somehow managed to put an "h" into Sansa's name several times. There are similar problems with some of the place names and words invented by the author. This is distracting, to say the very least.
Second - No less than three times during the first six hours, a small portion of the text was repeats at least twice (either due to a poor editing cut or some sort of glitch with a track break).
Third - When not reciting dialogue, the narrator's voice is fairly flat and monotonous. During scenes of heavy description/exposition (the set-up for the tournament, for example) this slows the pace of the book to a crawl.
IN short, I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who wanted to read it, but I would suggest that they stay away from the audio version. Sadly, the others in the series have the same narrator, so I suspect that they suffer from the same problems. I, however, am not going to spend the money to find out.
Marvel meets Chandler
Well done, but I saw it coming.
There were points where I laughed out loud. The "tear-jerking" bits came off as rather forced.
I applaud the author's ambition - he manages to blend together several different genres in a relatively seamless manner. This story is what would happen if Raymond Chandler had envisioned the "X-Men" running around the United States during an alternate version of the Depression. Mr. Correia's construction of an alternate reality where magic has been in existence for about 80 years is unique and fun and he does a particularly good job of tracing the chain of cause-and-effect throughout history.
Mr. Correia's other strengths are that he writes great action sequences and the story as a whole moves quickly and logically. His characters, for the most part, do tend to be archetyppes (the tortured hero who is much smarter than he appears, the tough dame with the sensitive soul, etc.) but they serve the story well. The plot is somewhat predictable and the author puts in enough foreshadowing that there were no real surprises. If you're interested in guns, you may find the author's detailed and loving descriptions enjoyable - I did not. I also felt that his explanations about the technical aspects of the magic - while logical and well-thought-out - got somewhat boring and repetitive.
Bronson Pinchot does, on the whole, a very good job reading this book. He speaks firmly and clearly and I had no difficulty hearing or understanding him. He does a particularly good job with the action sequences and I found that I was riveted through most of them. He also understands--and is able to convey--the author's humor. My only real quibble is that he chooses some very strange accents for some of the characters which can be extremely distracting.
In conclusion - I enjoyed this, but I doubt I will get the sequel.
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