Member Since 2011
Deadhouse gates was much more fun to listen to, thanks to the grounding in the universe lent by Gardens of the Moon. Then characters and plot lines continue right on, and the scope of the series really becomes clear. I loved every second!
Ralph Lister's narration was great, it takes some getting used to, the first book was hard to get adjusted to his narration style. But once you do, it's a pleasure to listen to.
I really hope audible adds the remaining books quickly!
This novel moves very slowly. VERY slowly. Usually I am prepared to endure slow character and plot development for the greater reward later, and with a long book and long series ahead I didn't mind the aching slowness of Firestar. That was until I realized that it wasn't getting any faster and things weren't getting any better. I couldn't bring myself to go on to the next book in the series because I can only assume it would be the same as Firestar, and I can't endure it again. Things never got going in Firestar. Sure there was plot advancement and character development but it all felt like it was building towards a climax that never came.
Minor spoiler warning
The premise itself was unimaginative and a tad implausible. The entire story is based on a girlhood experience of seeing a comet burn up in the sky, inspiring the main character to develop paranoia about asteroid strikes and start a great corporate effort to develop a defense system against asteroid strikes.
The story plods along the long and complicated path towards manned spaceflight missions as part of the grand scheme of developing orbital defenses. What drew me to this story was the space aspect and the science of it was well developed and detailed, however after 30 hours the entire aim of the book is barely reached and I can't abide by an entire book's worth of buildup.
Aside from the space aspect the book carries a detailed and opinionated social commentary on education among other things. At points it sounds more propaganda then a novel, which I suppose is the author's right.
The other big stumbling block for me were the characters who were almost universally unlikable. I don't know whether the author was trying to show the humanity of the characters, or just has no room for a hero or something to identify with. Each character is complex, but retains almost no redeeming qualities.
Once I got the end I just felt like I was left hanging, with no resolution to the plot at all, which typically makes me eager for the next book, but there was nothing in Firestar that made me want to experience more of the same.
The narration was fantastic, but it wasn't enough to redeem the unrelenting boredom of the plot. Usually its the the misfortune of the audiobook listener to endure the the poor narration for the sake of the excellent story, this time it was the other way around and good narration couldn't save this book.
What got me to read this is the generation ship/ big ship angle. I am a total sucker for novels in this vein, and that's the only reason I got through this and the second book in the series, Chill.
As strange and otherworldly as the characters are none of them are really likable or well developed. They hang on the strength of their unusualness, aided by a fairly well developed set of technological enhancements that provide enough interesting aspects to keep you going to a point. To the author's credit the setting and various technologies are interesting and mysterious, yet they aren't enough to hide the sheer strangeness of the interactions between characters. There is a sheen of ill-defined sexuality that is hinted at but never well developed enough. The two main characters have a depth and connection that is unwarranted and inexplicable given the background provided.
If, like me, generation ships and arks are your thing, then the draw of this setting and the mysteries the ship holds will be enough to gloss over the unconventional aspects of the rest of the novel.
When you get past the slightly confusing timeline established in the beginning chapters, Aurora: CV-01 operates on a fairly basic premise. Earth's first exploratory spaceship/testing vehicle for interstellar travel. There are hints of compelling characters dropped lightly throughout but nothing really develops into something that makes you care about the characters. They felt mostly like caricatures and props for the science and overall story. However, most books or series in this narrow genre get by just fine on the strength of the plot and science. For me though the story got a little carried away too fast without giving anything away, I felt things just advanced too quickly on a shaky foundation.
One is better served checking out the Lost Fleet by Jack Campbell, which has many of the same elements yet presented far better.
The narration was fine barring the atrocious Russian accent of one character. I always cringe when narrators are forced to attempt accents due to the characters they've been given. Nine times out of 10 those accents are terrible and detract from the story and listening experience. On the rare occasion when the narrator has the ability to pull off an accent well, it exponentially enhances the experience, this sadly is not one of those instances.
Relic as a standalone novel is gripping and very good at keeping one's attention. As others have mentioned, what would normally be an implausible monster story is bolstered by the evidently careful and detailed research by Lincoln and Child. The best thing about it though is that it serves as a great opening into the world of Pendergast. Aside from the man himself a couple characters who feature heavily in later books are introduced here as well. If you intend to dive into the rest of the series you'll recall Relic with fondness during later listens.
The narration isn't anything special but by no means detracts from the story. There're actually some interesting effects thrown in there that I found added to the suspense and realism of the plot.
I had Relic sitting in my WishList for very long time and I'm glad I finally took the plunge. I am now well into the world of Pendergast, and haven't looked back.
So the story itself was great, but as we know as audiobook consumers, narration is key.
First off: Michael Page is a big adjustment from Ralph Lister. Since Lister's unique style took some getting used to for me in the first place, this was even more jarring. There are some distinct differences in pronunciation, but Erikson steps in and makes his desires known for how they "should" sound in future books in the series. Once you get to Midnight Tides, you will notice some changes in pronunciation. Honestly, Page is not a bad narrator by any stretch, there are much worse, he retains a good voice diversity, and is the narrator for the rest of the series which Brilliance has already recorded and is just staggering releases.
You do wish that Fiddler could continue being the wry joke cracker off beat sapper, but Page's rendition of him is just different. Just how it is, personally I like the voice change for some characters like Karsa Orlong.
Since Page is our man for the next 6 books, I am still completely excited for when they are finally all out. Even with the pronunciation changes, I really didn't notice the difference about 20 hours in. You will get used to it, this story is too good to be ruined by a different narration in my opinion.
The narrator was superb, she really brought the story alive. The premise is interesting, and I would love to see how the rest of the tale goes. Unfortunately audible doesn't have the rest of the books.
I discovered the Dresden Files by first reading Codex Alera, and not the other way around like most people seem to. I am a few books into the Files, and looking back Storm Front is a great introduction to the setting, and Dresden and Co.
Reading some of the other reviews I have seen some negativity towards James Marsters' narration, I found it to be great. Marsters' voice and style fits Dresden's personality very well in my opinion.
This is my first review, I decided to participate in the process simply because so many of my purchases are driven by the reviews of my fellow listeners.
Theft of Swords is excellent, a genuinely compelling tale with very rich characters.
As the first book of the trilogy, it very ably sets up the greater story.
The narration was excellent, and enhanced the tale instead of detracting from it. Royce and Hadrian are a memorable pair. I don't really know how else to go on without digressing into spoilers, but the character development over the series as a whole is wonderful. I always am drawn to series over stand-alone novels for this very reason.
It was edge of the seat listening, and length of the story (which attracts me) flew by.
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