I found this to be fairly routine fantasy writing (not that this is a bad thing) - I was somehow reminded of Ursula K. LeGuin's "Wizard of Earthsea" books. The sound effects mentioned in the other review were an interesting addition - I'm not usually a fan of hearing anything but the narrator, but here they were not (generally) out of place. The narrator's voice is pleasant, and although the story lags in places and does not make for particularly challenging listening, it is a reasonably enjoyable tour through an interesting world of magic populated with likeable and realistic people.
I love audiobooks. I love books, period. I can listen to just about anything ... it takes an awful lot to get me to give up on a book.
I gave up on this one.
It started off reasonably enough ... and then it got really, really strange. Now, I'm open minded and interested in all sorts of odd philosophical and metaphysical ideas, but ... wow, this just stopped making sense.
Not even worth it for free. Spare yourself.
I love the way Lois McMaster Bujold's tales weave together fantasy, adventure, and speculative theology. :)
I was surprised to find little mention of Chalion in this particular story, but enjoyed learning about the characters and the unpredictable predicaments they found themselves in.
If you have religious views that do not permit imagining alternative theologies, avoid these stories. If you like a good fantasy and don't object to a few bits of the supernatural showing up, listen on!
I fully expected this to be a book with a Christian orientation, but I was hoping for much more than a trite storyline and a few flashbacks to 'pioneer days'. The 'pioneer days' part of the story was actually fairly good, but there wasn't much of it, and the 'modern days' part of the story was utterly painful to listen to.
I suppose if you find comfort in simple answers to complicated situations, then perhaps this will work for you. As someone who has had plenty of complicated situations in her own life, I found it insulting.
Another reviewer compared this to the Red Tent, but I feel that comparison is extremely misleading. I found the Red Tent to be engrossing and rich, with an open mindedness about ancient customs and traditions and how they entwine with modern takes on Christian faith. This book was narrow minded, predictable, and shallow. I could not possibly recommend it.
I've enjoyed the first two books of this series, and definitely wanted to listen to the third as well. I found the first part of the book a bit slow - it seemed to take a long time to "go anywhere", and I was getting worried that there was going to be too much focus on the romantic relationships and not much of the detective work / adventure stuff I'd so enjoyed from the earlier books. The tale definitely improves before long, and it is fun to follow the twists and turns. Some of the names take some concentration - it's a bit hard to sort out who is who sometimes, but in the end, it's a satisfying addition to the series. Fair warning to the less open-minded in the crowd: if the thought of romance between people of the same gender is disconcerting to you, you'll want to avoid this book. There's nothing explicit, but it's just kind of assumed that the listener will be "okay with that sort of thing".
It sounded like a great concept for a book - modern folks lost in a parallel ancient Celtic universe. It started off slowly, making me wonder if I was in the right story ... then it picked up, and I thought, hey, this might be all right. However, by midway through the book I could see the plot turns coming from miles away, and by the end I found myself saying "well DUH!" out loud to the characters, as they couldn't seem to grasp things I'd figured out an hour earlier. I wish it had turned out better, it's a really interesting concept and the author paints a rich picture of early Celtic life ... unfortunately, it just doesn't live up to it's promise.
This story keeps unfolding into new and more thought-provoking places as it goes ... one is never quite sure what will come up next, but when you see what it is, it makes sense. Everthing hangs together. There's a really intriguing theology in this universe, which adds quite a bit to the tale (particularly if that sort of thing interests you at all). The narrator is very good, although some of the names are a bit tricky to get used to when you can't see them written, still, one does get the hang of it. Highly recommended!
Although the universe in this story had some interesting ideas, the plot just ... well ... it just didn't really all hang together, in my opinion.
It's a bit slow to get moving, and not quite as engrossing as the first book, but it definitely has the same intriguing speculative theology and intrigue - all spiced with good humour and engaging characters. The narrator is a pleasure to listen to, and the story moves along at an good pace (after the first hour or two). I will definitely watch for any more books by this author, I find her work interesting and enjoyable.
I'm enjoying this series (I've reviewed the second book too if you're interested). The characters feel like 'friends' after awhile, and I like that sense of companionship. They face interesting adventures, and take their time revealing themselves to each other and to the listener, so there's always something to discover. I listened to the story steadily but not obsessively ... which to me means it's a good tale!
The universe is not difficult to imagine (even without a map), and it's culture is intriguing and presented in such a way that it makes sense to the listener. I will note that this is a culture where varying forms of sexuality are considered normal (something I seem to keep stumbling across in the books I've read lately - I find it refreshing, but I realize there are many who would find it distressing so I mention it here).
I thoroughly enjoyed this second book in the series. The story clearly is going to continue, but as another reviewer said, you get to the end and go, "oh, well, that's all right then." It's interesting to see how all the pieces fit, even though there aren't really many startling twists or big surprises, it's nonetheless a thoroughly enjoyable tale. The characters feel like friends after 2 books now, and I like that feeling.
I also liked the reader's voice - this is a series that I think I would have enjoyed far less were I reading it to myself.
For those who are more "traditionally minded" it is worth noting that this is a universe where sexuality in all it's various forms of expression is considered perfectly acceptable - it's not graphic, but it is 'normal', so if that bothers you, you'd best avoid.
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