Absolutely fantastic!! I loved the Hunger Games, I loved Catching Fire and I cannot wait for the third book of the trilogy!! Narration was rich and full, the story is strong, complex and compelling. These are the best books I've read in 20 years -- in fact for great fiction, I put them in the same category as Pat Conroy (The Prince of Tides) and Ken Follett IPillars of the Earth) -- yes I know -- the genre's couldn't be more different -- buy hey -- a great story is a great story!!
This is every bit as great as the first book. It is so complex, so diverse so extraordinarily imaginative that YOU SIMPLY CAN NOT STOP
In a world of magic, each and every character is fully drawn and completely believable. Each one of them is so involving and each one of them is flawed....but the chance of redemption is not out of reach. Some of the characters are noble and some are evil, but no one is completely one thing or another, everyone is nuanced as are we all. Brandon Sanderson is quite simply a genius. In a world in which it is said there are only seven stories...prepare yourself for the eighth one. As with all of Brandon Sanderson's works, these stories are so original, so completely singular that they become utterly enveloping. I can't wait for the next book in this series.
These two expertly bring the story to life. There is never any question about who is speaking or what their gender. As a rule I do not much care for more than one narrator in a book, but these two are the exception. Not only are their voices simply pleasant, but also their acting skills are superlative -- in short...whatever they narrate works. You forget you're listening to a narrative and just feel as if the characters are speaking directly to you.
These books could NEVER be "a film" they would have to be a multi-year miniseries ala Game of Thrones.
$$ spent on ANYTHING written by Brandon Sanderson will ALWAYS be worth it! :-) <3
The protagonists are well drawn and realistic...they could have been you or me on a really stupid day. Every time you think the story is predictable...it changes course. These kids get themselves into one impossible situation after another until the whole thing spirals out of control...and yet...they pull it off. And as it gets nuttier and nuttier, even the goons get funny in a sort of twisted Tony Soprano/Quentin Tarentino sort of way. BUT the underlay is serious...and ultimately sad. Even though you KNOW how its going to end...you don't believe it until the end...and even then...you may not have quite guessed it. I guess you'll have to listen to find out. It is well worth the time. This is a great story!
What other book might I compare it to...I don't know. This is just really good writing and sound research. The story could have happened, just as written...unlikely, but possible, maybe not even unlikely. However although played out in different arenas, he is like Tom Clancy or Ken Follett or Daniel Silva in the quality of his story telling.
Ballerini is so good and the story creates such an array of interesting characters, that I can't choose one as my favorite. I have, however, decided that Ballerini is my new favorite male narrator. He really displays a full range of emotional vocabulary for each of Laukkanen's well-conceived characters - from deadpan to hysterical. Each voice was distinctive and there was never any confusion about who was speaking. And...he does a really, really good East Coast thug accent -- that one is really hard to do and in making the chief bad guy believable, he also humanized him. This book, this writer, this narrator...all top shelf -- Well Done -- top to bottom. I do have to say though, that I was more drawn to the kids then to Stevens and Windermere, I'm looking forward to the second book, hopefully Mr. Laukkanen has written another winner.
I had not heard of Owen Laukkanen before and took a chance because I like the genre and I was finishing up the last of Tom Clancy's books. Having just finished the Professionals, I would say that Owen Laukkanen has a new fan in me...
It's fun, it's sexy and what's really good about Suzanne Brockmann is that she has all kinds, types, looks of the men and women -- they're older, they're younger, tall, short, handsome, not so handsome but attractive, beautiful, pretty, not so pretty but attractive -- no dummies. The men are to die for...give me more Decker. Underneath all that great machismo, every one of these guys has ethics, compassion and a sense of fairness -- and all of them can carry on a conversation. I repeat, gotta love those Alpha men...thanks Suzanne.
Tess and Jimmy's breakthrough. Sam's conversation with Jimmy over barbecue prep.
I listened to every book in the series. There really is something for everyone in at least several of the books, if not all of them. Great escapist lit -- really good stuff.
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