Peter Brett hits his stride in this book (unfortunately it's a long one at times), and the other reviewers are mostly accurate.
1) I disagree that the sex scenes were too graphic, they were slightly uncomfortable, but that was their nature. There was really nothing described in such detail that it was ridiculous and graphic just for the sake of disgust.
2) As to the love story, it's hard times in that world, and I for one would have probably stopped listening if there had been any MORE romance. The characters are just complex enough to not seem 2-dimensional, but many parts of the character development could have been cut down. There were a number of times I just wanted to fast forward, rather than re-live what I am sure to the author was a very important building block.
There are some pretty big plot holes, and it is frustrating at times. Such as why would people not ALREADY have warding cloaks? You would think that the ward to turn fire spit to "a cool breeze" would have been on a few headbands by now??
In all, the book is enjoyable fantasy if you can suspend your irritation at ANY lack of ingenuity on the part of the warders, then you'll enjoy the book.
I'll look forward to the 3rd installment, but I would really like it if he tightened up his prose a bit for the next book.
This book is decently written, and well read. It drags a bit in places, but overall, it's a good listen. The author nails teen angst and magic use. The only issue I have is the almost template use of Narnia. It's like The Magician's Nephew (TMN) retold. There are too many parallels, and not enough original ideas. That would be my only fault with the book. There are just parts I feel like I'm reading almost verbatim from TMN and I wish he would have used a little more originality. That being said, I did enjoy the book and will purchase the sequel.
The book is read well by Bernadette Dunne, it's the story that drags a bit. This is like Kill Bill Volume I and II. All of the story is in one, and all of the action is in the other. I would have preferred to see one volume with part one and part two integrated. That being said, I'm really waiting for part 2! The Nonborn King was a great book, but you need the backstory in this book to really enjoy it.
While you would not technically have to listen to Pandora's Star and Judas Unchained, I would highly recommend it. They are good listens, if somewhat long and drawn out.
That being said... YIKES!! This was SO much better written and pared down to a more essential story line. There is a little confusion at the beginning, and if you have not read or listened to PS or JU, then you will be lost for the first few hours. If you have made it through the first two books, then you will be pleased to hear references and tie-ins to characters you knew before.
There were times in PS and JU that I wanted to fast forward, there is really none of that in this book. I was unhappy that it ended and immediately downloaded the 2nd book and I'm already looking forward to the third. This is a big story, and there are a lot of players and sub plots to keep track of. However if you like your stories to have a huge story arc, then dig in and start listening, you won't be disappointed.
So let's start with an ice field, and something extraterrestrial that does not play well with others. It's very John Carpenter.
While this book's flow is ok, it's a little obvious that the author never spoke with anyone regarding contagious diseases. If you like your science fiction based on science fact, then this is not the book for you. If you don't mind some gaping plot-holes, then strap yourself in for a "bumpy" listen.
Overall it's a little easy to predict what is going to happen, but still works for a distraction on my commute.
The reader kills this book. The first hour was so painfully slow, I fell asleep twice. I finally had to set my iPod to faster.
The story is very disjointed and painfully slow. I have read books where jumping back and forth from the characters memories to the present has created a tether, this creates a noose that makes the listener want to place their head in it.
There are holes in the "science" so large that you may need the Hubble to get a grasp of their boundaries. While there are elements that grab the imagination, the very tedious character development is painful to say the least. There was so much useless information that the author could have easily cut half of the book and it would be far more bearable. There are parts that are just glossed over that could be interesting, while others are examined in such minute detail that I almost turned the book off a number of times.
To be fair, this reminded me of Hemingway's Old Man and the Sea. There is just no redemption. If you are looking for something slow and artsy, this may just do it for you. If you found yourself liking the main character in Stephen R Donadlson's Thomas Covenant series, then you may indeed like this. If you wanted to slap Thomas Covenant because he was so self pitying, then this is not the listen for you.
I have been happy with all of my purchases except this one. I really wish I could get my money back for this book.
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