Orlando, FL, United States
Let's get this out of the way first... I don't generally like short-ish books. I like my audiobooks 20+ hours at least and I love series much more than one-off books. All that said, this book had such great reviews and was on sale for $5 so I took a chance.
I didn't dislike it at all but nor did I find much to like. The narrator, especially how he did the main character's voice didn't really seem to fit to me. I get why he made the choice to do it the way he did but based on other reviews I kinda expected someone sounding like Han Solo rather than an old man.
Also, the story was way too short. I'd just started liking some of the characters and it was over. I'll likely forget about this not too long from now. It just wasn't that memorable. Even the "plot twist(s)" were very predictable if you were paying attention.
All-in-all, this came off like a Scooby Doo mystery more than anything else.
Semi-spoiler alert here... but I think it will actually HELP you enjoy this book. There will most likely be another series of books that will get us from where this one ends to where I and probably a lot of other people expected this series to end. If you know Mazer's story from Ender's Game, then you know what I'm talking about. Contrary to what I thought going in, this series does NOT end with the events told in that story. That's actually a good thing though because Card has left a lot more room for additional content and more Ender's content is always a good thing.
Despite being somewhat baffled all the way through this book at how they were going to get from Point A to where I KNEW Point B had to be, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the series as a whole. Card did an amazing job with the plot and the narrators did a great job 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.
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