In writing this review, I'm assuming that 99% of the readers will have read the first books (The Blade Itself, etc.) with Logan Nine Fingers as one of the main characters. Suffice to say, it was great having him back. Even better was the return of Steven Pacey as narrator. The Abercrombie-Pacey alliance makes for an exceptional experience.
This book is a great follow on to the early stories, but can stand alone on if the reader has no background of the characters. Indeed, many characters are new. Although not as epic in scale as the first three books, the story has a simple entertaining plot that moves along nicely. Be warned, however, that this book tends to the darker side, as do most of the books in this series. Joe Abercrombie’s characters are neither good nor evil, which can make for some interesting sub-plots.
Overall, highly recommended, but you should start with the first 3 books in the series to get the best appreciation of this one.
This was very enjoyable story that kept me entertained, had some unique concepts embedded, yet went too far in demonizing adults and in the idea of body parts retaining a "soul". These later two points detracted from the story somewhat, leading me to drop my rating from 4 stars to 3.
The concept - unwanted teenagers are eligible to be used for body parts under the authority of uncaring and unfeeling adults. This part overlooks paternal instincts and makes victims of teenagers; hence the large appeal to the YA audience this book holds.
This being said, the concepts were unique, the writing good, and the narration complemented the story. The result was a very acceptable listen that I can recommend to those with a good imagination.
This work should be consulted by everyone before considering war as a means to an end. On completion, there should be self reflection and that important question "is this what we want to subject our citizens to".
An interesting collection of stories, I was never really certain if all of them were real or not, bu,t as the author points out, they are all real on some level. The net effect is an stunning and dark portrayal of conflict post WWII.
This book takes it's place among other great stories, such as All Quiet on the Western Front, and, on reflection, it's interesting to note how war has changed over the past 100 years. If the brutality described in this book is true, then I would have to say that modern war has taken a turn for the worse, if that is even possible. Having recently read "Generation Kill", it certainly seems that this trend of brutality continues.
Read this book. Struggle through it if you must. As a citizen of a democracy, whether British, American, Canadian, etc., it is your responsibility to be educated as to the impact of war before routinely accepting the political and media hype surrounding key issues of conflict. If only for that, this is a must read.
I picked this up after exploring Crouch's series of Whispering Pines. Bottom line up front, this book wasn't as good, and I can see a pattern developing in his work that could get repetitious.
First off, the basis of the story: an aurora appears over the USA (and only the USA, of course), turning those who saw into fanatical killers who work together against anyone, including their own family members, who didn't see it. Unfortunately, that's the only explanation for what then becomes a "preppers" (those who constantly prepare for the collapse of society) wet dream. Even the ending is quickly explained away. All of a sudden, the effects of the aurora vanish. Come on Mr. Crouch, you can do better than that!
Other similarities to the "Pines" series: The nearly failed marriage with disloyal spouses, one of the spouses lovers being a "bad guy", and, in the end, the crisis drawing the family back together again.
There are some good points to the story. Mr. Crouch is an accomplished wordsmith. His character portrayals and scenario set-ups are executed well, and the action scenes draw you in. Unfortunately, all this can't overcome the thin plot line.
So, I really can't recommend this book to someone looking for a story that isn't just an excuse for action scenes.
The author did a great job in painting and developing the atmosphere and characters in small town, backwoods USA following on the heels of the second world war. This allowed the reader to be immersed in the division of societal classes that is at the root of a murder that occurs. Combined with the slow drawl of the narrator, it was easy to fully engage in the story for a most enjoyable experience.
The only detraction was that it was a touch predictable in places, and I was able to foresee some upcoming developments, but that is a minor criticism. Don't let this deter you, as the places, character, and atmosphere all make for a very worthwhile read.
Well worth a credit for this one!
I acquired this book after being amazed at Nevile Shute's most famous work "A Town Like Alice". I'm glad I did, as Mr. Shute once again drew me into a simple tale through masterful story telling.
Although somewhat dated, as transoceanic air travel is no longer the wonder it was when this work was penned, the sense of adventure is still there. Mr. Shute's attention to detail is marvelous, and his description of ocean voyaging is very well done.
Of course, it is once again his characters who steal the show. As in "Alice" the subjects are simple people but, as you get know them, they are incredibly complex and, in their own ways, kindhearted.
Frank Muller did a great job narrating the book. He definitely added to the experience and brought the characters to life.
I'll be exploring some of Nevile Shute's other works now, and I highly recommend you give this work a try if you enjoy great story telling about people that are not larger than life.
This is a tough one to review, as there are a few stories in this compilation that really stood out, and few that we so convoluted and odd that it detracted from the story line. In the end, I gave a middle of the road rating, as I think that reflects the sum total of the book.
There are some unique ideas in this book, and there are some ideas that are too complicated and/or odd. Narration, conducted by a variety of authors, is well executed and adds to the work.
In summary this is an odd book. I can recommend it if you like fiction that explores how our world will look in the not to distant future. If this isn't your thing, then you may just find this book a little too weird.
If you've never experienced Dr. Who before, you may wonder what the heck this audio book is about. Rest assured, Dr. Who always comes with a pinch of cheesiness and a dollop of the ridiculous. It must be a recipe that works, as the series has a cult following the world over.
I won't describe the story, as it is typical Dr. Who, but I will applaud the production and performances. BBC, as usual, does a top-notch job of making this an entertaining and well produced version.of the TV series.
So, if you like Dr. Who on TV, don't be afraid of trying out this format. It 's almost as good as watching it on the tube.
I had no idea what I was getting when I decided to give this a try, but it turns out this is the an early radio series work remastered for the audio book format.
This was a trip down nostalgia road. As with many of those early radio broadcasts, it is as much audible-theater as it is the reading of a novel. As such, this really was a performance that was ell engineered and directed.
Be advised, however, that this novel doesn't cover all aspects of the movie. It only touches on the relationships the crew developed with the islanders, and doesn't follow the ship once Bligh is deposed.
Of course, the performance by Wells is first-rate, as he is perhaps the first master of the audio format.
Get this book for your morning commute. It's short enough to finish in one sitting and will certainly show you the power of audio performances as they were in the past.
Don't believe some those reviews comparing this favorably with works such as Enders Game, The Forever War, or Starship Troopers. This is what drew me in and I ended up very disappointed.
Whereas the works referenced above take the time to develop the background of "future society" in which the events take place, in this novel the author jumps right in without any explanation of how society ended up as it did, or even how that society functions. The result is a novel that follows the worn script of basic training description-first unit description-combat description-combat description, etc. I could deal with this if there was background to work from, but there was none.
As an example, the hero's first combat mission is against an embassy taken over by civilians. The author takes pains to note that the civilians have military grade weapons and training. The hero's win the fight, and are extracted. There is no follow on or speculation as to how or why the civilians acquired the weapons, or their motivations for taking the embassy. In short, the author needed a scenario for combat and an explanation for how the heavily armored soldiers could be harmed in combat.
So, if you enjoy description after description of squad level combat, then this may appeal to you. If you are looking for some deeper sci-fi, then look elsewhere.
I was impressed with various topics covered within this book. While the central theme revolved around the launching of the first satellite, this book touched on topics such as the relationships within the Kremlin, the White house, and between the USA ans Germany post-WWII. This is not the limit of those topics, but just a sampling.
As such, this is an excellent read for anyone who grew up in that era or who can recall the cold war. Of course, if you're young enough to have heard of these things and are curious, this book will be of interest. It should be of interest to everyone, as it shows how politics and personalities can, and still do, drive national policy.
The author managed to weave all of these elements into a well paced and flowing work. The material in this work could have been very dry if presented wrong, but Mr. Brzezinski managed to breath much life into this book. He's the type of history teacher I wish I had.
If you read just one book about cold war history, make it this one.
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