This book was just as good as the first one, in my opinion. This book starts with action and just keeps going. I have some issues with some of the decisions made by some of the characters - such as not having an escape plan during an assault - but overall the book kept my attention and left me wanting for more! I was very happy to find out that the family decide to allow a Ghost Writer to finish off the trilogy. Hopefully Zack had great notes and the writing style won't be drastically different.
I very seldom like older sci-fi books. I usually find it distracting when they talk about an invention that has already came and the novelty has worn off. Childhood's End, however, is not like that. Arthur C. Clarke had a way of building his fantastic world in a way that it came alive but he was vague enough that it wasn't distracting. The concepts at the end are harder to grasp, by design, but the book is a wonderful read. I was shocked to find myself saddened by the end. The narrator does a very good job, as well, though almost all his accents have the same sound. Considering the cast of characters come from every corner of the Earth, however, he did a good job at making the voices distinguishable, even if they did have the same accent.
The fact that this book is told from the perspective of Jack, the very intelligent but naive 5 year old, certainly makes it unique. And the narrators did a wonderful job!! It is probably the best performance of any book I've purchased to-date. The story itself is intriguing to me as well, especially since in the last few years there have been two high-profile cases that are similar to this story. The problem I have, however, is the ENTIRE STORY is told from Jack's perspective. It is too much for me. It was like babysitting my nephew for 8 hours straight while I was reading this book. There are some really good scenes, however, and I do find those being told from Jack's perspective was exactly the right decision. But it would have been better, to me, to have an adult's view. At least while in Room. Overall, I was counting down the minutes until the story was over. I cannot point to the story itself nor the performance so it had to be the perspective that was bothering me.
The first half of this book is very disturbing. Dugard has a very small, girlish voice and when she reads the parts of the book where she is young you can hear the vulnerability and innocence in her younger self. It makes it even harder to comprehend what she endured. As she is older her voice does get a little more mature but it does still have a very girlish quality to it. It is somewhat difficult to sit through her reading, partially because of her voice and partially because of the words she has written.
That being said, this book has had a profound impact on me. She has shown how resilient the human spirit is. How strong and adaptive one can be when forced. How caring a soul can be even in the direst of circumstances. But also how cruel and self-absorbed some people can be. How manipulative and perverse.
My favorite part of the book is when she talks about her life now. It isn't rosy and she doesn't paint it that way. It's the story of real people coping with their reality being turned upside down and trying to find their own way in the world. They all have many, many years of therapy to go through, but it seems she passed her strength on to her daughters. They are survivors, too
Like many others in the comments here, I was VERY disappointed that the narrator was not James Marsters. I would have been willing to wait a few weeks or even months to have Mr. Marsters' reading if it was a time conflict. It was a very poor decision by the publisher and just smells like greed motivated the move.
That being said, the narrator was not that bad. There were phrases and inflections he used that I felt was NOT Harry Dresden (he put this whining quality in Harry's voice that did not belong). But overall he did an adequate job that got the story told.
The story (until the end) was classic Jim Butcher. I was glad to see Harry hadn't changed much in death. He is a stand-up guy and not afraid to face danger, hard work or even a "final" death for his friends. The end was ... lacking, IMO. I understand Butcher had to bring it to the place it ended but the path he took to get there just didn't make sense to me. This is NOT one of my favorite Harry Desden books but I am a big fan of this series so I was happy to spend my credit on it.
Oh - and not that it belongs here, but I just had to thank Audible for FINALLY adding a "performance" review. I was tired of rating books poor just because the publisher chose a bad narrator.
I really enjoyed listening to this book. The book is done tongue-in-cheek but I could really relate! The choice of narrator couldn't have been better. I've always liked Samuel L. Jackson as a film actor as well as a voice actor. Very, very funny! Definitely a must-listen audiobook in my opinion!
After reading the reviews I was worried about this audiobook. I decided I needed my Zombie fix and figured it would do, even if it was just mediocre. I am not a fan of military books and became very worried during the first few chapters as it focused almost exclusively on military/government agencies. I decided to give it more time and am very glad I did! I truly loved the book. I have not read many Zombie books so maybe that is why I loved it while others hated it. The narrator did an excellent job in my opinion and the characters really developed well over the course of the story. By the end of the book I found myself on the same roller coaster as the characters with the high adrenaline during the fight scenes and the up and down emotional effects of the situation. Looking forward to the Ghost Writer's addition to the series using Recht's notes. Hopefully Zack got a bulk of the story down before he passed away.
I wish there was a way to rate the narrator separate from the book itself. The narrator had very strange inflections in her voice and the "sultry" sound of it made everything painful to listen to. It was great during the intimate scenes between the main characters but way too distracting during the normal and fight scenes. She would sometimes whisper and slur her words I would have to back up just to make sure I heard correctly.
The book, however, was pretty good. So far, in the Demonica Series, it is one of my favorites. I'm glad I pushed through the narration to get through it. Unfortunately I started the Eternal Rider series first so I knew more about the Underworld Universe Ione created than I should have going into the first three books but she still did not disappoint. I haven't go ahead to look at any of the other recordings to see if Renee Raudman is a narrator, but if so I'm going to have to break down and buy the book. Not that I mind physically reading, but it takes me twice as long with time constraints.
If you truly love the Demonica books you could probably get around the narrator (it took most of part one for me to) but if you're unsure or get easily distracted by narration you might want to skip this one.
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