This novel was original and made me laugh. I loved the characters, and the manner in which the author wove the underworld and the "daylight society" together to create her version of Victorian London. Her writing was fluid and witty. She even built in some Victorian hang-ups for the werewolf and vampire set. The characters were especially engaging, with clever dialog. I thoroughly enjoyed the blatant stereotypes because we were all in on the joke. Because she doesn't take herself so seriously, any lapses could be forgiven, even relished. A bit of sex thrown in for added spice. A very clever novel made even better by the flawless narration of Emily Grey, who alternated between drama and dryness as called for, and gave each character a unique voice. Everyone needs to bug Audible for the next installments. Write in and demand more!
Not sure why this has received such high ratings. The characters are one-dimensional and the plot is okay, but nothing special. The main character, though in the 1800s, has the ideas and sensibilities of a modern person, which strikes me as inauthentic. This is the kind of story I would have enjoyed when I was in the 6th grade - Indian lore, black and white morality, a succession of events in which the hero is always always strong, brave and is invariably triumphant against all challenges. Makes it seem sophomoric to me as an adult, though.
The story seems fine, but I can't get past the narrator. She uses the same inflection for every single sentence. That is, she sounds resentful and angry, regardless of context. A reader who varies her expression according to the story might use such a voice to actually sound ominous. I realize the character was angry and scared for the first part of the story (I never got past that part,) but a bit of variation would have made this story bearable for me.
This is a great series. It is like a traditional, hard-boiled film noir plot with a tough, but often down on his luck detective. Except there are complicated magic elements. Fully fleshed, it starts small and develops into a fight to save the planet. The characters, their magical qualities, the foes and the personal stories are all developed beautifully. Lots of excitement, and yes, violence. But it all serves this story of this alternate world, which is one that we can all recognize, at least for the most part.
Because I enjoyed the author's other 2 books, Can You Keep a Secret and especially, The Undomestic Goddess, I took a risk on this one. I also loved Emily Gray's narration of Soulless. However, this protagonist is so dumb I finally had to stop listening before I had finished part 1. Maybe other people who shop for entertainment or escape or a thrill can relate more to this one. Emily Gray's narration did not impress me, either. Not this time.
Unlike others who have a sentimental attachment to the book from having read it in the past, this was the first time I read or listened to The Blue Sword. After reading that it was published in 1982, I got some insight into why I am so unimpressed.
The story is slow and repetitious, yet abrupt in some ways. For example, there isn't much justification for the main character, who was drugged and kidnapped, to feel "safe" almost immediately with her abductors.
But the real problem is the excruciatingly slow pace of the narration. For the first time ever, I had to raise the speed on my player. Even at 2x, it was easy to keep up. Long pauses between sentences, listening to the reader draw breath, the slow enunciation and lack of expression made for an aggravating listen.
I am very disappointed in this audiobook, both from the story and the reader's presentation.
At first, I was put off by the narrator's continually mispronouncing Erudite Every time I got into the story, I'd hear Air-ee-oh-dite and get jerked out again . And the simplistic writing - mostly present tense. "I look here," "I do this," "He sees that," etc. was off-putting at first. But I was won over after a while by the characters and the suspenseful plot and found myself wanting to continue to listen. I think the author was influenced by the Hunger Games. A dystopian society that uses its young for dark purposes, and a high level of violence. I wonder where we are going with so much violence for the young people. Or for anyone for that matter - it just keeps getting more intense.
I can't help but think that Neil G. is indulging himself a bit overmuch. I found the first several stories suprising enough (they actually worshipped Satan? They would probably not get away with that now!) and charming enough. But then I got sick of the perky voice of the narrator, and I felt I had sampled quite enough of the character. Perhaps, had it been a serial released periodically, I would have looked forward to the next installment.
This is an okay novel. Some of it is awkward, even lame, but mostly a workmanlike effort. The narrator was hard to take, hamming it up and creating a couple of characters that spoiled my listening experience. I had given it 3 stars but tried to listen again and could't take the over-emoting and had to stop, so now it has 2 stars from me.
This was, indeed, for a younger audience the Soulless books. It seemed more over the top (if one can say such a thing in comparison to a steampunk supernatural comedy of manners) and a bit sillier. I appreciated the backstory of a certain Scotswoman - that was fun. For those who read Jane Austen, Etiquette and Espionage is to Soulless as Pride and Prejudice is to Northanger Abbey. If that helps.
After struggling along I realized I was reading a computer game. First, this barrier, then that barrier to overcome, then out pops the monster to fight, blah, blah. Where is the novel? All populated with a bunch of dislikable characters. I finally got tired of trying to like this audiobook and stopped struggling. I feel pretty ripped off. If I wanted a computer game, I would play one, not try to read one.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.