Orlando, FL, United States | Member Since 2006
This is one of the best "one-off" books I've ever read/listened to.
I love epic stories and this one is about as epic as they come. The characters are fantastic and the glimpse into the Indian culture is probably about as good as you can get without spending time there.
The narration is some of the best ever, and I've listened to nearly 100 books since joining Audible in 2006.
Lin and Karla are great.
Read this. As I just said to a friend of mine who I was telling to read this book; "It doesn't matter what it's about. Just read it. It's one of the most beautifully written, artfully told stories I've ever read. Oh, and it's based on a true story too!"
First things first, I love Shadow! His character is what hooked me in and the voice seemed perfect!
As for the book, it's one of those books that seems like they would talk a lot about in a college course somewhere. There is a lot going on and some if it makes perfect sense. Some doesn't. The thing I walked away with is that beyond all the surreal stuff is a pretty good story that can be enjoyed without really delving deeper into the other stuff that professors would love to dissect.
Elantris immediately feels a lot like Way of Kings and from what I hear, the Mistborn series as well. It seems like Sanderson is building up to something and while Way of Kings and that series seems to be it, Elantris is the genesis of the kind of characters, plot lines and magic he goes on to use in later works.
A great story in it's own right, Elantris is an origin story of sorts for Brandon Sanderson's style of world building and magic systems.
Oh, and the fact that he managed to write a single volume fantasy story is pretty amazing in it's own right!
I liked this book. I actually picked it up because, of all things, I was photographing a wedding for a client that was themed after this series. I'd seen it before on Audible and had it in my wish list but bumped it up for research reasons.
While I generally am not a "monster of the week" reader, preferring long, arching plot lines to one-off books, Harry is such a good character that I liked this. It's funny and pretty light reading. Overall an enjoyable read.
I love this series. I really do. Despite some issues I have with the writing, in the end (and really beginning with this installment) they don't do anything to affect how much I enjoyed these books.
Tommo and Hawk is a tad jarring at the start because unlike the first book, the Potato Factory, this book is first person, switching between the two main characters Tommo and Hawk. Initially I was struggling with this because I simply didn't like one of the characters but that changed as the book went on.
Obviously as the 2nd book in a linear series, you are going to read this if you read the Potato Factory but know that after listening to all but the last 1/4 of the third book, Tommo and Hawk is the best of the 3 books but not by much since they're all fantastic.
I gave this book 5 stars but really based on this volume alone, it may be more like 4 stars but taken as the foundation of a fantastic (so far... 3/4 through the 3rd book now) series, it's bumped up a bit.
The story does start out slow. I'm not gonna lie that I had to ask my buddy who had read it already if it was going to pick up and he said yep, and he was right. The biggest problem is not really the pace but how little I liked or cared for a couple of the main characters. It wasn't until the end of this book and some way into the next that the reasons for what seemed like a very drawn out character development became clear.
Just know that the author is using his characters not only to advance a great plot but also to tell some facts/history about the times and place they lived so we're seemingly not meant to love them all.
Also, the one real criticism I have of the series as a whole and somewhat of this book is that at times the author chooses to "wrap up" certain parts of the plot without really letting the story play out. We hear about "the rest of the story" through a conversation between characters or a letter read aloud. Sometimes I found myself really wanting to have stuck with a certain character or part of the story because it was interesting only to be taken into the future (this is an EPIC story spanning generations so it does skip forward from time to time) and left hanging about what actually happened.
That said, I HIGHLY recommend this book and this series. This genre is not in my usual wheelhouse either so it was surprising to have loved it as much as I did/do.
I am a technology oriented person so this seemed perfect. Except that it wasn't. Bad narration and a slow story. I didn't finish it and don't plan to.
First off, I have LOVED the other John Corey books. I loved the plots (mostly) and the humor. Most of all, I love John and Kate. That is until this book. I've never rooted for the bad guys in a book so much as I did this one.
The book is 95% setup and 5% climax. In between is an incessant, horrible, forced string of Corey sarcasm.
Again, I have loved this character in the past, especially his humor. I don't know if it's just me getting tired of the same old jokes and reactions to situations or if this is really bad writing.
The last John Corey novel was outstanding and according to Nelson DeMille, was supposed to be the last. He even did an interview with Scott Brick about why he was not going to do any more Corey books. Seriously, he should have quit while he was ahead. This really seems to be a cash grab.
The only high-point was Scott Brick as John Corey. Spot on as usual. Sorry he had such bad material to work with this time around.
Let me just say that I HATED this book for about 3/5 of the way through it. Way too many times I found myself thinking "this is just stupid" or not understanding why these characters were doing what they were doing. I can't say it's "all better" in the end but it did get better and there were reasons why certain things happened in the story.
I generally like Dan Brown books. I think I've read them all and if you can get past the usual convention of "Nerdy but somewhat attractive man somehow teams up with stunningly beautiful and intelligent woman to solve a Scooby Doo mystery..." plot then you're on your way to liking this book.
Like all the Langdon books, it's equal parts plot and art history/religion education. The education part is actually, most of the time, more entertaining but there is a lot of talking among characters to get those points across.
Overall the pretty good latter 2/5 made up for the nonsensical first 3/5 and raised what was going to be a 2 star review to a 4.
First off, I have read and now listen to a ton of sci-fi and fantasy books. This seemed right up my alley but for some reason, I could never work up to caring about most of the characters or story line. Yes, there were some good set-pieces in the plot and some things that "worked" for me but overall, I found this book slow and tedious. I didn't make it through the 3rd book, just not willing to invest all the time in the parts I didn't like just to get back to the ones I did. Like Tom Clancy, Martin seems to like to interweave very dull, boring plot elements/characters with more interesting ones, almost as if the dull creates artificial interest in the better parts.
When you compare this series to something like The Way of Kings or The King Killer Chronicles, well, to me there is no comparison. Game of thrones has some sex, violence and I guess enough characters to appeal to just about anyone. The problem is that if you are like me, there is bound to be parts of this book/series, large parts where you are just not interested.
Oh, and add to that the fact that after 2.5 of these books, I still have absolutely no idea what they are about or where the story is going. I get the basic plot but it has to be more about in fighting between families and the change of the weather. Seriously?
I really liked this book. I bought the first 2 in the series when they were on sale and put them aside for a rainy day. I knew they were particularly popular with female readers and a genre I don't typically read (historical romantic fiction) but with so many good reviews, I decided to give it a try. I also liked Twilight (books NOT the movies) so I figured I may be more tolerant of the female perspective than some of the men I've seen that didn't like this book.
Overall, while I do agree that the narrator doesn't sound much like she should when reading the main character (she sounds MUCH older than Claire), she does such an amazing job with all the rest, especially the men, that it really was easy to overlook. Sometimes narration can make an otherwise good book bad. In this case it really helped me get through what was a very slow and (IMHO) boring start.
That said, once the story kicked in, slightly after 1/2 way in, it never stopped. For such a long series of books, I suppose it's ok to have a lot of character development and such to begin.
I really liked this book and I think those with an open mind probably will too.
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