This is one of the best Doctor Who audio book I have listened to so far. The performance is so good that I sought out other books performed by Meera Syal. This cautionary tale captures the quintesential Whovian style, eeping you just a half-step ahead of the story, yet occasionally throwing you off the trail.
The best moments would be spoilers, but the fates of certain characters are classic.
Meera's performance is outstanding, her voicing brings the characters to life.
Yes. But telling would be spoiling.
If you need your Who fix, this is the right drug.
If this was a TV series it would be one of my favourites.
By that I mean that the stories are not rich sweeping vistas of cinematic quality but they certainly are great, captivating stories that keep me listening. It's a bit like The Ghost and Mrs. Muir meets Remington Steele.
In fact (and this is out of character for me), I found myself forgoing my PVR, Netflix, and other entertainment choices to listen to just a few more chapters. For that reason I gave it 5 stars.
Amanda Ronconi is perfect for the main character, although her range of voices is a bit limited. This is actually not bad considering that the book is written in a first person memoir style.
I defiantly recommend this series.
First, let's get the elephant out of the room. Marc Vietor pronounces Iceni differently than Christian Rummel. Get over it. Move on. I thank the reviewers who have commented on it for preparing me for it, but it happens with names (I was three books into Harry Potter before I found out that Hermione is pronounced Her-My-Oh-Nee not Her-Me-Own), it happens with with Worcestershire sauce, and even with tomatoes.
It is great to see the story from a different perspective and the only thing wrong with this is that it is too engrossing. It was very distracting because I kept trying to steal myself away to listen to just a bit more of the book.
For the last three days my personal productivity has been severely harmed by starting this book. The chapters are like peanuts: you can't consume just one.
I am glad that I waited until only a few weeks before the second book is released to listen to this one.
Listening to this book without the Beyond The Frontier series would be ok, but you would be missing some context. I would not recommend this book if you have not finished The Lost Fleet series, however, as you will miss a lot of the back story.
If you have not listened to the Beyond The Frontier series yet. I would recommend that for you read/listen to the books in the order in which they were released: Dreadnaught, Invincible, although you might swap it with this book (Tarnished Knight), Guardian, then The Lost Stars:Perilous Shield (which I am looking forward to). This book takes place during the time line of Invincible.
After listening to this book, I replayed the start of Guardian again. It was interesting how the story seemed to have changed.
Like peanuts, (to complete the metaphor), there may be a few people allergic to change, for whom this book could be very bad.
If you read my review of book one in this series, you will know that I hated the fact that it didn't feel like it had an ending. In fact, I returned the book so I can't rescind my bad review of it (although the caveat still stands: these books do not end -- they draw you in to the next one).
Christian Rummel is the most amazing narrator of any audio book I have listened to. This series is an epic saga with dozens of characters and he gives each one a unique voice and personality. Not only that, but they are consistent over the six books of this series and on into the second series.
Yes. You may have caught that... I am hooked. After a few weeks it kept eating at me and I had to get book two, then book three... As I write this I have listened to all six books and so far the first two books of the sequel series.
The battles are exciting, the relationships are engaging and the character arc is compelling.
I assume that if you got this far you are already hooked, so just relax, credits in hand, and enjoy the ride.
I still took one star off the story rating solely due to the fact that I personally do not like the fact that this series is written so that you can't read just one.
The dilemma here is that the "story" was great. I laughed. I cried. What more can you ask from a book?
The writing, however, was painful. In the dialog (of which there is a lot) every sentence ends with "(character name) said".
Unfortunately, the performance needs all of these "said"s since Will Weaton does not use different voices for each character. Without the continued explanation of who is talking, there is no way to know.
It was so painful that I was going to ask for a refund after the first chapter, but I was driving and by the time I got to my destination, I was hooked on the story.
This story reads like a book written by a screenwriter. Unable to deal with the fact that in a book, you don't put the character's name at the start of each line, the author just tacked "said" to the end (unless the character whispered, exclaimed, cried out et cetera).
Maybe I am spoiled by Christian Rummel's performance of the Lost Fleet series, an epic story with dozens of characters, each with a unique voice, but this book was painful.
Now for the surprise ending...
If you can get past the writing style and the performance, the STORY is worth it!
Ok, so I downloaded this because it was a promotion, but I rushed back, credits in hand, to get more.
Alas, the only thing bad about this story is that there are no more stories about these characters (should it be plural or singular?)
This is an original story and there are so few truly truly original story concepts. It feels like a "pilot", and I really hope there are more.
Do not miss this listen.
This book is expertly ghost written. You can really envision this being written by Richard Castle.
If you are a fan of the TV Series, this (as are the Nikki Heat books) is a must-listen because it gives insight to the back-story of Richard Castle and enhances the character.
The story is engaging and hard to turn off. This book may have cost me more on gas because I found myself taking the long way home to listen longer (I listen to audiobooks in the car).
I wish Audible would do this with more short story series. I enjoy short audio books but it is painful buying them one at a time at a price that is higher than buying a full video production that takes many dozens of people to produce.
I bought this book because I heard rave reviews about it. The story was engaging and I even found I was listening to it at odd times because I wanted to know what happens next.
Then, all of a sudden it ended. Just smack dab in the middle of the story. No conclusion of any of the story. Just "to be continued in the next book".
Now I realize that reading one book is a $100+ or 6 credit commitment. Do not read this book unless you want to commit to all six. It felt like this book was all set-up and no substance. It is a good tale but I felt cheated.
Yes, I knew that this was book one of a series. I enjoy other series, and it's expected that there will be some character arc across the series. I also expect, however, that one individual story will come to conclusion in each book and (as you can probably tell) the lack of ending just made be upset.
I am now torn between returning this to exchange for another book (ironically probably in another series) or making a 5 credit commitment by buying the next book in the series, knowing that the next book will probably have no ending either.
I almost skipped this one because I red a few bad reviews. I am so glad I didn't!
To say why without spoilers is difficult. Let it go as this book has key character developement points that you do not want to miss.
As I write this I have yet to read the next book, but I expect that if I had skipped this installment I would be exchaiming an old military term, "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" and going back to read this anyway.
Of course the style is very technical and somewhat over explanitory, but that is the style of the series.
Overall I give an overall rating higher than either the writing or performance alone because this is one book in the series that youshould not miss.
Maybe I am getting used to the highly technical nature of these books, and the first-person style in but this book has a great mystery and more twists in both plot and relationships.
Kate Harper is also a better performer for Kathy Reichs' style, and she kept the characters different and entertaining. I was disappointed to see that she is not narrating other books in this series.
The only detraction was that the characters took a little too long to catch up to the reader. It is always good to let the reader come to conclusions a moment before the main characters -- that helps the suspension of disbelief, but at times this story takes it a tiny bit too far.
Over all very entertaining. If you are a fan of the series, definitely don't skip this one.
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