I am a fan of science fiction and fantasy novels. In addition I enjoy novels with strong character development (i.e. George R.R. Martin, Robert Heinlein, Robert Jordan etc.). This book was an enjoyable listen- not as fully developed as books by the afore mentioned authors, but a "lighter read". The Narrator was excellent; the plot easy to follow with just enough sci-fi, political intrigue, romance, and action; and the characters believable and enjoyable. If you are looking for a novel that contains these elements but is not highly complex, I would definitely recommend this book-you won't be disappointed.
Unfortunately, I do not. I listened to this book back in late 2006 - I am writing my review now (on this and other titles) to try to help other audible listeners find the 'right' novel for themselves. I have over 200 audiobooks in my library, and have written only a handful of reviews... so here goes.
Short and simple - this is a graphic (not offensively so... I am not a prude) 'bodice ripper' romance (romance is used generously, here- 'lust-mance' would be more appropriate) - not the kind of novel I enjoy.
I highly prefer novels with well-developed characters and intricate (or at least well thought out/developed) plot lines. This novel has none of those characteristics. It is a story about lust, unwanted lust, and unfulfilled lust. In that category - it's not a horrible book, just a bad one.
However, if you really like lusty romance novels that are light on plot but with entertainment value - you might enjoy this.
This is one of the most 'juvenile' (here, I am referencing the 'quality' of the writing and the story, NOT the fictional category) fantasy novels I have ever had the misfortune to read. The characters are 2-dimensional; the plot, while promising, is so predictable - so "perfectly, perfect" - that it fails to be the driving force of the story (a Critical Point, here); the dialogue is stilted, and unconvincing (I can feel the PAIN the author suffered while trying to contrive this work) - yet, the DIALOGUE is the driving element of the 'story'. The author uses 'conversations' - mostly internal postulations by one of the 3 main characters- to "TELL" the listener/reader what the story is about. The author never "SHOWS" the alternate reality- that other place, where all great stories take you and and your imagination to - he simply states "Here There Be Fiction".... or at most, an awful lot of writing that amounts to very little.
First, as others have stated, the only thing this book has in common with the movie is the Title. This is a great sci-fi read which delves deep into ideas about the human condition, its ideals and its faults. If you have ever served in the armed forces - this is a must read! It will make you laugh and make you cry - the insights and believalbility of the main character are just that good.
Please don't think that this a purely "cerebral" book. There is plenty of action as well as character development to round out this story and make it a well rounded excellent piece of fiction - a true classic!
I chose this title because it was the "editor's pick". I was somewhat hesitant with the choice after reading the "Editorial Review"; therefore, I put it on the back burner for a while before finally breaking down and giving it a try. Wow, was I in for a surprise. I thought the book was wonderful! The characters and story are well drawn and believable (fantasy from an author who obviously has studied history - this always makes for a better spun yarn, i.e. Robert Jordan, George R.R. Martin, Tolkein etc.). The narrator does an excellent job as well, which can also make or break a book. Overall this is a great fantasy with something for everyone: war, romance, intrigue, magic, and mystery.
Compared with Crichton's other works, this book was a total let-down. The characters are very poorly developed (and unlikable - to the extent that it is possible to care about any of them). The plot is completely unbelievable-the story catapults the characters all over the globe and through one "fast paced adventure" after another without any cohesive agenda (unless you consider the author's thinly veiled "political agendizing"). This book was a total disappointment-it just did not measure up to what I've come to expect from an excellent writer like Michael Crichton.
I was able to listen to about half of this book, before I gave up. The narrator's complete lack of intonation and its variance ruined the story for me (Imagine a repeated rythm...up, up, down, down, up, up, down, down...this is the the narrator's "reading style". It rather reminded me of droning calculus lectures from college-at least they had overheads!). I would highly recommend all of Colfer's works on audible with this one exception. Take a pass and "read" the book.
I have read every one of Dean Koontz's books - I can't believe he is capable of spinning such drivel. This book tops the list of "The Worst Books I've Ever Read/Heard". This book lacks plot and character development, however it is full of trite conflicts (the use of the word "conflict" is a compliment) and an insipid over-dramatized "message of personal importance" from the author. If you want to be bored to tears, never "know" or empathize with the characters, and ultimately be beaten over the head with an almost evangelical personal message from the author - then this is the book for you.
I have read almost all of Dean Koontz's works-and loved them. His characters usually have so much depth. Lately, however, I'm beginning to wonder if he isn't using a Ghost Writer. WIth that said, this book is somewhat entertaining-however, I would recommend you choose something else. The worst part was the narrator. He whines through the reading in a horrendously nasal voice-agonizing! I almost decided not to listen to the book after the first 5 minutes based on this alone. I will never purchase another book spoken by ths narrator. Don't bother buying "The Taking" either. I just finished reading this book and it was terrible. It had about as much depth as a plate glass window.
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