This book is exactly what I was looking for. I read the concept and was sold immediately. The narration is excellently done. The use of two narrators to tell the two sides of the story is great and well used. WARNING: You can enjoy and still be surprised by the twists and turns in this book even if you read on... that being said this is only SLIGHTLY spoilerish so read on at your own risk.I can't help feeling cheated by the potential for this book. At it's heart this is a love story. The power of love contrasted with the almost supernatural power of the Poets who have the ability to persuade anyone to do anything. It's a good premise.,. slightly used but well chosen. It's the execution I have a problem with. The main character has 2 love affairs. One when she is 16 which feels actually pretty genuine, and reading this I was sure that this was going to be the love story which shapes the book. It wasn't. OK... so she finds a new love, but the interactions between her and her new fling feels more shallow than any relationship I've ever heard of. When I realized that the love story the author was describing was the "true love" that we were supposed to believe can surpass all boundaries I was kinda shocked. I never felt it and that made it ring really hollow. It lacked the gravity that I wanted. I'm not sure how one would fix it. I don't want a 300 page romance novel thrown in the middle of the book so I can get the payoff I wanted, but there's got to be a way to make the feelings the lovers have for each other feel genuine. Now that the book is over. I only remember that she complains he doesn't talk enough and he never says anything at all. It's hard to feel those people have a love that can overcome a speedbump... let alone a mountain.
I was still sustained by the description of the Poets and the society they work in. I would like to have read more about that and less about this love/fling story. If Max Barry writes another novel with the Poets in it I will be the FIRST to get it. I LOVE the concept and the intrigue that you can have with this kind of power and suggestion in it can be incredible to read about... so... I will still recommend this book. But just go in with the understanding that the love story is GOING to fall flat so you have to take it on faith that there is some love story you don't really get to hear about happening.
This has to rank in my top 5 audiobooks of all time! This book above all others allows me to experience almost exactly what the main character is experiencing. The amnesia opening allows us to discover a world with the character and with the same sense of wonder and suspicion as the character in the book. The performance choice could not have been better. I've listened to several books with Susan Duerden and I'm never dissapointed with her narration. Her voices and accent bring me into a world that feels alive and vibrant.
This book is just enjoyable all the way through. The mystery enthralls and has the right amount of humor and fantasy without being trite or too over the top. I chewed through this book at every available listening time. I can't recommend it enough.
14 does a perfect job of doling out the perfect amount of information about the mystery to keep you on the edge of your seat without revealing too much. The revelations at the end are enjoyable and well done. The characters are a little plain but the fun of exploring the apartment building with the main character is enough to keep me enthralled with every minute of the book!
Absolutely! Only work and sleep kept me from listening to this in one sitting... and even then... I did sneak two lunch breaks with my book.
I have recommended this novel to several friends. I have a caveat however when recommending this book. The writing comes off as childish and immature. The author has a FANTASTIC story and world for some pretty banal characters to do things in. At the end of the day this is a showcase for a fun idea and a fun world.
Being read by Wil Wheaton does make it THAT much more awesome.
I LOVE listening to books. My major complaint about this novel probably is only exacerbated by the audio, but this author doesn't know how to diversify his phrases.
EVERY LINE OF DIALOGUE ENDS IN (BLANK) SAID.
"Hi," Dahl said.
"Hello," corinsky said.
"What's up." someone else said.
"Why is every line of dialogue ended with someone said?" I said.
"I don't know." John Scalzi said.
"STOP IT," I said.
"No," John said.
It's pretty bad that way. Someone tried to argue it was a stylistic choice by the author, but I don't buy it.
The setting and the world and what gets done with it is almost totally worth putting up with the bad writing for.
I love Wil Wheaton. He's the perfect choice to read this novel. I can't think of ANY other novel that chose a better person. In a novel that is about a metastory, you can't get any better than a character who WORE a redshirt on the show you are reading the meta about. I applaud this choice. His performance was great and was only marred by the fact that to read the book he had to actually read what was written on the page.
Absolutely! All my problems would be solved.
Never been more mixed about a book before. It needed to be said.
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