This is basically a police procedural placed in a world - filled with magic - that somewhat resembles Renaissance France. It does take a bit to get to the main plot line, but Berg's world building is as good as it gets. This is a literate and finely crafted tale, peopled with intriguing characters who are as fully realized as any I've come across.
To top it off, Mr. DeVries offers us an excellent narration. Bravo!
The character of Faith Smith (Shewolf). She was funny and capable, not that she was a comic, but that her uncensored remarks and reactions were the high point of the story.
Good job with voices and pacing. I enjoyed the narration.
Frustration. Characters were brought in, like Rusty, then mostly ignored. There was no one main character. The story didn't feature a challenging obstacle, other than the overall hopelessness of a few people trying to save themselves and the world. That's less of a problem in the book than it would seem. Each challenge was taken in stride. There was no fighting to a climax. Success piled on success. Problems were presented as no more than routine matters. Without a main character, a main character arc couldn't show up.
This seemed more like a series of snapshots than a dramatic narrative.
I enjoyed the story after I got over the narrator.
He read like an AM radio announcer, overly modulated and didn't differentiate the characters well.
No. I found the reader annoying and had to break up the listening until I got used to his reading.
A TV show.
Probably not. See below for why.
Mr. Dufris is a competent and consistent narrator. He does a good job with Human Division.
I loved Scalzi's Old Man's War and the next two books in the series. I laughed at Agent to the Stars. I'm having a hard time finishing this story. I've met the primary character before. He's the same sarcastic, wise cracking guy we saw in Agent to the Stars, Red Shirts and Fuzzy Nation. The name has been changed, but not the voice. I want new characters in a new book.
A small but irritating point is that Scalzi almost never omits the "he said - she said" after dialog. This intrudes into the narration. Wilson said. Schmitt said. Wilson said. Schmitt said. Wilson said. Schmitt said. Wilson said. Schmitt said. Wilson said. Schmitt said. That works fine for written work, but with more and more books getting made into audiobooks there should be a class for writers that brings home the point that not every utterance needs a he said after it to keep the conversation clear.
Another minor point is that this, strictly speaking, isn't a novel. It reads like a series of TV shows that loosely revolves around a theme and cast. Honestly, it isn't working to hold my interest, and I've read or listened to every novel that Scalzi has had published.
This is the third book that ends with Harrington winning the day in personal combat. The plot device is a bit old by now.
It's nice to find a competently written urban fantasy that isn't paranormal romance. Sorry, I have the wrong chromosomes to appreciate that kind of stuff.
We get a combination of wizard apprentice story combined with police procedural. It pretty much works. The main character has a well fleshed out personality and the supporting cast are good also. Plotting is a little uneven but competent. Street level London is wonderfully diverse and ethnic. So are some of the supernatural characters. Good job.
The narration is competent. The narrator does a mostly good job.His ethnic voices are the best part of his performance. He does tend to run his sentences in a predictable pattern with not a lot of inflection, ending on a lower note and somewhat drawing out the last syllable. It's a minor point but does draw my attention at times from the story to the narration. It's not enough to keep me from enjoying the audiobook.
I assume that this will be the first in a series. I hope so.
I was thrilled to see a new Melissa Scott book out and ordered it immediately. I had a hard time getting through the story. The premise is good: a lodge of magicians in 1929 needs to stop an evil spirit. Historical detail seems okay and the story takes includes a lot of stuff about the old airplanes, which I have an interest in. The plot follows a decent arc to a tense confrontation and has enough action throughout the story to keep things moving.
My problem is with the characters. There are four protagonists. The point of view switches between them, but there's little to differentiate the voices, let alone the characters. It's as if we have one person broken into separate pieces and whomever is convenient comes to the front. That makes the story flat.
The narration is adequate, but to carry the book it needed to differentiate the characters more. That wasn't there. The narrator doesn't do accents well and there is no different pacing for the different voices. Also, he would at times get into repetitive lilts when the sentences were of equal lengths. I blame this more on the writing than the narrator. Still, it was at times an intrusion into the story.
Before listening or reading this book, do yourself a favor and listen to the song, "Brandy," by Looking Glass. It's on YouTube but worth buying a copy. Since the song came out in '72, many of you may not have heard it, even though it was the number one song of the year.
Anyway, Eddie's client is the Brandy from the song. It sounds cheesy but it works. This isn't like Red Shirts where the gimmick is the whole story. Bledsoe makes this book as good as any in the series, which means that it's way above average. There's the mystery, some fighting and a couple of old favorite characters. Definitely worth it.
Yes, this is early Bujold, but she still shows the talent that has made her one of the best SF/fantasy authors writing today. The story moves quickly and the characters seem like real people. The latter is rare in the genre.
The narrator has a nasal and high pitched voice, which I never got used to. She's skilled enough, but is someone I'll avoid unless I really want to listen to a novel.
Complex with some of the most fully realized characters I've encountered in years. The world building is beyond first rate. This is one of the best fantasies that I've ever read/listened to, and it's beautifully narrated. The climax left me breathless. It you like well plotted, character driven novels, treat yourself to this one. Pass if you need testosterone driven action in every scene.
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