If I had to describe the book in a word, it would be "unoriginal."
The major concepts have been been tired for years, having been thoroughly explored in B grade television sci-fi anthologies (i.e. Outer Limits) and present nothing new. The characters have some minor depth, but are never developed enough for me to care about them, an essential feature in a book where the universe and vision of the future are hackneyed ideas. I don't recommend this book at all, unless you are specifically looking for something that feels like a made-for-TV SyFy channel movie extended into many hours of audio.
If Cargill wrote novels for adults, I would try them. As far as Adams's shrill, cringe-inducing reading, I'd just as soon go without.
That's not relevant to this review.
Most of Adams's reading was acceptable, but some of his voices, particularly of children, were nails-on-chalkboard grating, coming out as a cross of a movie gremlin and Karl from Sling Blade.
Disappointment. The comparison to Neil Gaiman was particularly unhelpful. Though both authors do draw on the dark side of fairy lore, that's where the similarities end.
This book was a young adult level horror story. The characters in this story are largely passive, at the whim of the storm of random awful events that befall them, and to no useful storytelling purpose.
*slight spoiler*: In particular, a group of oversexed teens get high on hallucinogenic mushrooms and proceed to get themselves graphically dismembered by evil forest creatures. This is a good example of the quality of the book as a whole.
Fairly high, though not my favorite Erikson novel, still much better than a typical fantasy. This certainly is not a book for those who want fast pacing, lots of action, and quick resolutions.
Because this book is a prequel which delivers the promise of lore made mostly in Erikson's Malazan books, the most memorable moments are those that reward you for having seen the future, and how these events will shape it.
Philpott is not my favorite reader of Erikson, and his pronunciation of certain fantasy words is... disappointing, but he does the character dialogue justice. Anomander Rake and Lord Draconus in particular.
The pacing is (by normal standards) *very* slow, and the plot is driven by almost glacial forces of divine interference, political intrigue, and personal ambition. Because of this, I only recommend this book to those who appreciate this approach. Speaking personally, I can't get enough of Erikson's contemplative philosopher kings and warriors.
Nothing I can imagine. The tween supernatural romance is so far outside of my desired scope for reading that only a misrepresentation of the book could have gotten me to pick it up in the first place.
It is very doubtful, though I don't blame the author for this. The book was presented on Audible as a modern adult fantasy novel, but is really quite squarely in the Young-Adult genre, with many romance novel tropes. It reeks of the influence of Twilight. The protagonist is hardly out of the gate when she encounters the Sexy Vampire, and a very predictable dangerous/forbidden love ensues. That is the true plot of the novel. The story of the manuscript and her growth as a wielder of magic and as a woman are is really just a backdrop for this romance.
The book's presentation on Audible needs to be very seriously adjusted to reflect the appropriate audience.
Jennifer Ikeda is a great reader. If not for her reading, I surely would not have completed the book. Ikeda's accents are quite good, her voice has a very wide dynamic and expressive range. The life that she breathes into the Diana saves the character from being just another
Skip this one unless you really do like the YA supernatural romance novel. For that genre, I suspect it is a good choice.
A young reader who hasn't already read much fiction would probably be able to read this without seeing it as a patchwork of tired themes.
Many things, but I'll try to pick out the things that bothered me most.The antagonist is a cardboard cut-out of a career military bully whose personal goals never advance beyond projecting government power. As for the protagonist, his driving principles are no more complex than "keep them government hands off my alien gift," which is, I guess, an appropriate complement to the flag-waving military robot antagonist. Most of the characters are without any character flaws, have little more than a threadbare scrap of personality, and are utterly forgettable. The protagonist chooses his team of heroes uncritically from a smattering of his personal friends and their families. This very unremarkable good-guy team is full of broad smiles and automatic, frictionless cooperation- as one might expect from a group of well-meaning and gregarious robots. The author isn't capable of any explanation other than direct and very manufactured-sounding exposition in the form of direct Q&A sessions between characters and their "gifts."The only *interesting* part of the story (what the gifts really are, why they are there, and what they intend to do) isn't covered! The story is more about "some guy running around evading the military" than it is about mysterious powers and looming planetary drama.The author thinks that giving someone a scar or
The reader varies between kind of boring and annoying. The voices he affect can be annoying, and he has no gift whatsoever for accents. He also gives virtually everyone an improbable accent. When he's not doing that, he's giving them over-the-top cliche voices. One older character sounds like a Werther's Original commercial. The military-minded antagonist sounds like the Full Metal Jacket drill instructor.
It made logical sense, for the most part. Events were caused by events that preceded them.
The main character lacks depth and fails to reveal interesting internal processes. In addition to that, she is almost magically spared having to be the aggressor or "bad guy" in any situation she finds herself in, allowing her to be a rose-perfumed protagonist while those around her make the tough decisions. It saps the life from the story, and with very shallow characters, it leaves little to like.
It is not impossible, but highly unlikely.
Unremarkable, forgettable, fair
Not sure, but I would absolutely have barred the phrase, "The girl who was on fire." It's clumsy to say and read, and sounds ridiculous out loud. It defies common sense about how people respond to catchy, memorable events and names. The ponderous, doubly-passive construction might make sense in dialog once, but for it to catch on like a new fad is absurd.
True, YAF is slim pickings these days, and it's hard to find anything that isn't a trite retread of "Beverly Hills 90210 + vampires and werewolves." If you *must* read a YAF book and it must be BOTH recent and dystopian, and geared toward teens, then this may actually be the one to read, though City of Ember may be a better choice in that case.
It's not likely to be possible. The plot outline is basically sound in theory, but it is fleshed out in a way that I found impossible to enjoy. The only thing that could work would be a complete rewrite of the text. I couldn't decide what age group and audience the book was intended for. Much of the narrative is simplistic, even cliché, and is in a tone one might expect in a young-adult novel. Other sections are graphically violent or describe torture in a way that seem only appropriate for a book written for mature adults. In addition, the story is padded with a lot of irrelevant and uninteresting information. The magic is also disappointing. Most fantasy novels involving supernatural powers have either a rational quasi-science to them, or an appeal to the mysterious and arcane. In this book, magic is frequently like an inscrutable and annoying genie- the characters just want something done, and it is magically accomplished without any explanation, and the characters are given a cost frequently nonsensical. Just one example I found especially irritating is the morality in the story. For saving his life, the magic demands a character be celibate for a year. Even if we gloss over the annoying lack of exploration into how this is accomplished, or how the characters receive the information about the cost to be paid, there are problems. This exchange (celibacy for being saved) is portrayed as self-evidently guided by some ineffable moral force, the “Wild Magic,” which is always shown to demand things like cleaning a cistern, escorting an old woman to the market, and other cloying helpful acts. The implication is that sex is immoral. This strange reflection of rudimentary Victorian sensibilities in the structure of the fantasy appears is obnoxious. That is merely one problem among many.
Possibly, but only if reviews indicated that it was written well and for adults by reviewers.
I'm not familiar enough with available narrators, but someone experienced in reading books for adults and mature readers. Ericksen reads as though to a child, which would have been appropriate in other circumstances.
Acts of torture are described with a little too much grim enthusiasm. Other than that, no simple scene editing could have done much.
I stopped listening 90% of the way through- an exceptional event for me. I just couldn't take any more. Save yourself the trouble.
Not as inspired as Sanderson's previous contribution to the WoT series. The individual character story lines are beginning to stutter and slow as badly as they had in book 10 or so. Without providing spoilers, it's at least fair to say that the story *barely* advances in the 1000ish pages this book must be- with the exception of Rand, who, unlike everyone else who is stuck in repeating loops of their previous problems, has suddenly and inexplicably moved ahead. The story should be reaching some kind of climax or at least a plateau, but somehow Sanderson manages to make Tarmon Gaidon drag on like a long airplane flight.
Worth a listen, but only as a stepping-stone on the WoT path.
A pretty solid modern fantasy novel, if not especially original. A bit of a Tolkien heritage style quest story with the addition of a coming-of-age story. The three most major characters are all interesting, along with one or two of their companions, but most of the others are shallow and more or less interchangeable. The irritating nonchalance that the characters deal with their quest grates, and I found myself wondering many times why they kept dawdling when they could be wrapping the story up. Eddings didn't convince me that there was anything preventing an easy finish.
I have rarely felt that an audio book suffered seriously from the choice of reader, but in this case, it is a unfortunately the case. For one thing, he has a tendency to drift around in his accents. As an example, the main character, Garion, drifts between Midwest U.S., Canada, middle-class Londoner, and cockney throughout the books, sometimes sentence to sentence. His failure to pronounce certain words (foliage comes out "foilage") is distracting and annoying. His habit of exaggerated enunciation is also wearing, especially his articles. All of this "a's" are pronounced long-A and "the" as a "thee". Imagine, "Pie is A good dessert after THE main course." Sometimes he sounds like Martha Stewart.
My feelings are mixed. On one hand, the writing style is fairly clever, but there is nothing to move the story forward. As a reader, a vision of an alternate pre-enlightenment era is entirely insufficient in itself to warrant so much reading. This book reads like a late-era European history textbook with a narrative structure. I was never enthralled by the lives and doings of boring rich gentlemen the first time around, and adding a bit of sci-fi to their lives does not, in itself, nudge them into being interesting. Even still, I'm sure I'd have probably enjoyed the book if it had had an interesting plot, (environment and characters being already dismissed to my mind,) but alas, the plot, again, reads like a historical account. The tides of history aren't an interesting plot in and of themselves. For me, there needs to be some serious degree of human drama to propel the story, and there mostly isn't. For readers who enjoy the style, the victorian language, and period, and love the idea of combining something magical with it, I recommend Clarke's "Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell" instead.
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