This will be the third year I have listened to this during the holiday season. The original prose by Dickens is a refreshing delight to the modern mind - and the modern narrator shows amazing versatility through all the character voices. There are many television and movie versions of this story to enjoy but, as with most great literature, nothing beats the book.
Yeah, I meant hangover. This is incredibly well written, and it is so long, that you start to get used to having this great listen available. You get so used to it (with its 7 part download) that it is a bit dependency forming. You get a bit of a buzz. The more the complicated story with its many many characters develops and the more you start to understand what is going on and who the heroes are going to be and how the magic works...the more enjoyable it gets - and the farther you drop when it is over.
But not over. Ouch.
With book 2 not even in sight for 2013... what are you supposed to do until whenever 'then' is?
But still. I would do it again... (I probably will as part of the withdrawal)
The story is mostly on the battlefield - which I don't usually go for much- but this author writes like no other. Even the beginning of the chapters - where other authors quote of bit Shakespeare or something just as old to add a bit of gravitas - Brandon Sanderson creates his own ancient text to quote. And it ends up being clues to a slowing revealed mystery. 5 star stuff. If you want something lighter, and shorter, I suggest getting Sanderson's Alcatraz series which is excellently narrated and laugh out loud fun for any age.
Still, the emotional investment in this Stormlight Archive is an experience well worth the credits, the time, and (sadly) the wait for the next one.
This one is like a trilogy all in one book, it is so long and well developed. But I hope there will be a sequel anyway.
The magic is unique and the characters are diverse and interesting - though I confess it took a chapter or two for me to really be into the storyline - after that I was hooked. The end gives excellent closure - something I think all books should give.
Insulting a narrator's performance is something I usually don't do. Unfortunately this narrator gives a 1980's surfer dude cadence to several key characters (which doesn't fit). His in between the dialogue voice is very pleasant though.
* Still worth a credit for the many hours of high quality fiction.
I had two children (age 5 and 7) in the car for a 10 hour round trip. This audiobook was the saving grace (saving sanity) of the day. The narrator's voice is pleasant to adult ears and completely captivating to the children's. They loved it so much they requested it over the portable DVD on the way home. Really. It also kept their attention so well we even had less rest-stop requests. - but it gets better - Since the story is actually about children behaving badly and then learning to be good through Mrs. Piggle Wiggle - my children were careful not to behave badly. Pure magic.
So Amazon.com has been calling this series a trilogy, it's not. No closure here. But that's actually ok. Turns out this is the best one yet (though I think the 4th book should be it). The first book, The Demon King, was a slow builder as the foundations of the characters, their past, and their environments was filled out by the author with care. The second book, The Exiled Queen, had more happening. But this third one is full of action driving the story forward at a much quicker pace. There are many exciting developments and I was caught by surprise at the sudden announcement of the narrator saying, "The End." I should have noticed the subtle difference in the publisher description as a 'seven realms novel' instead of 3rd in a trilogy. But the listening hours were long enough and the story definitely engaging enough that I wasn't too put out. The narrator is limited in her range of believable male voices but is still enjoyable. I will be getting the next one... (I don't repeat story synopsis in a review since that is found in the book description already, but, since no ratings are given it should be said that all 3 so far have been completely 'clean' of adult content for anyone who is concerned about that)
Snuff is packed with action, interesting players, witty lines, thought provoking situations, and enough comedy to lighten the dark moments. This latest Sam Vimes installment is well worth the time and credit. In fact the quality of these books seems to just get better as they go (which is unusual to say the least) . However, it is not necessary to have read the previous ones to enjoy this as a fully stand alone novel. The author always gives a satisfying ending to each one in the series. All the suspense and the cliffhangers are contained and completely brought to fruition within each book. I wish some of my other favorite authors could manage this feat! The character development is also incredible- if you listen to this one first, you might want to then go to the first, much simpler story, "Guards Guards" and work your way through to "Thud", a relisten of "Snuff" and a more fuller appreciation of the growing complexity (and charisma) of one of my favorite Discworld Characters. [for listeners who would like a content rating; some bits of situational violence but nothing inappropriate for 10+]
This book is pretty short, in fact the publisher's description is almost all that happens in it - right up to the end. I suspect that the second book could be the first one you listen to and not be confused. It is written and narrated for a young audience (a magic tree house age group). I recommend listening to the audio sample to see if the overly soft tones of the narrator don't bore you. I gave it 3*s since I did become curious to see what would happen next but it's probably not worth a credit to mature listeners.
Written very much in the style of an Alice Hoffman book, this one has several very enjoyable characters and an interesting story. There is magic and (while it is definitely NOT for the Fantasy Genre) it does lighten up this literary equivalent of a 'chick flick'. The female characters are believable and you come to care about them very quickly. The male characters are a bit 2 dimensional though and serve more as a narrative device than a place in the cast.
That said, it kept my attention throughout and I did enjoy it. I think it also worth mentioning that nearly all the great books in any genre have some romance in them...
I enjoyed the first book, Accidental Sorcerer, but this one is even better. It is pretty much a guarantee that anyone who liked the first will love this one. The narrator is great, he portrays the characters so well you forget you are listening to only one voice. Though the focus shifts slightly from the main character of the first book to Mellisand, Gerald still plays a large and very interesting part in this one. In fact, it is his character that develops the most by the end of the story. I will definitely get the third one!
This story is set in a world where wizarding is a normal (though specialized) job. The main character Gerald becomes more 'real' to the reader as the plot progresses from a simple episode to a much more dramatic and involved ending. It is fun and interesting and clean enough for young listeners - but there is plenty of intellectual pondering for the older crowd. The characters are well written and fully fleshed out to become a memorable experience for you. I have listened to this twice - and the sequel is even better and more fun!
(P.S. I am a big Pratchett fan too, but this is apples and oranges. Take it on its own merits)
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