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Jim W

Cleveland | Member Since 2011

11
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 47 ratings
  • 166 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2014
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  • Legends: Stories by the Masters of Fantasy, Volume 4

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Anne McCaffrey, Raymond E. Feist, George R. R. Martin
    • Narrated By Sam Tsoutsouvas, Kathryn Walker, Frank Muller
    Overall
    (122)
    Performance
    (71)
    Story
    (72)

    The monumental series of audio original fantasy concludes with this collection of three all-new stories by Anne McCaffrey, Raymond E. Feist, and George R.R. Martin. All of them are set in the uncanny realms of their phenomenally popular novels.

    Jim W says: "The Hedge Knight is great, skipped the others"
    "The Hedge Knight is great, skipped the others"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I picked up this book solely to listen to George RR Martin's Hedge Knight. At this point I haven't listened to the other stories and I don't expect I will any time soon.

    The Hedge Knight is and enjoyable listen. Overall, it's a bit lighter in tone and content than the Song of Ice and Fire series, but it still feels completely grounded in the world and is a satisfying filler for GRRM waiting for the next book in the main series.

    While the performance didn't ruin my enjoyment, I didn't care for the way the reader lets words and the ends of phrase hang in a somewhat breathy way. After a little while I was able to ignore it but was not a particularly strong performance in my opinion.

    Paying the full price of the collection might seem a little steep if you are only interested in one story, but fans who are already deeply invested in the events of Westeros will probably find this story a worthwhile listen.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Theft of Swords: Riyria Revelations, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Michael J. Sullivan
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5527)
    Performance
    (5091)
    Story
    (5087)

    Acclaimed author Michael J. Sullivan created instant best sellers with his spellbinding Riyria Revelations series. This first volume introduces Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater, two enterprising thieves who end up running for their lives when they’re framed for the death of the king. Trapped in a conspiracy bigger than they can imagine, their only hope is unraveling an ancient mystery - before it’s too late.

    AudioAddict says: "And I didn't think I liked fantasies..."
    "Disapointingly boring overall"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I'm not sure I'd change anything. I respect the author's voice, I just think that I'm not the ideal audience for this book.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Michael J. Sullivan? Why or why not?

    I'd most likely pass. There's nothing here I particularly dislike other than I think it's really intended for a late elementary school audience. His writing just seems to frequently parrot semi-cliched dialogue and characterization that seems too shallow and familiar to capture the imagination of an adult reader.


    Any additional comments?

    When listening to this book there was no moment that particularly annoyed me but there also was no moment that I particularly enjoyed. I kept waiting for the point where I would care about the characters but it never really came.

    Nearly every character is a fantasy cliche. The ambitious unethical mid-level noble. The mysterious thieves who also have hearts of gold and semi-unwillingly do the right thing. The spoiled Prince who has to grow up. The hooker with a heart of gold. The naive and sheltered but curious monk.

    At least so far none of the characters really seem to defy their stereotypes.I guess the telling thing about the book is that despite me wanting to find what is special about it, I found that I could rarely listen for more than 45mins before I would realize that I'm bored and stop.

    I think this book will be enjoyed by children but I think it lacks the complexity and intrigue to keep adults that are accustom to the works of George R R Martin, Patrick Rothfuss, Brandon Sanderson, Tolkien, and the like engaged.

    Lastly I'll make a note about the voice acting performance. Again there is nothing about it that I hated but I think that there is a fine line between using sterotypical voices for the sack of clarity and giving the reader something familiar to grasp on to, and having those voices be so cliched that they make already cliched characters even more one dimensional. Tim Reynold seems to periodically cross this line, particularly in the case of the monk character. None of the voices or accents seemed terrible or super cheesy but they also don't really add to the characterizations or sense of setting in the book either.

    Overall I've been somewhat critical of the book but I do want to emphasize that for me it is a 2 star book. That said I can definitely see it being more enthusiastically embraced by a younger reader or adults that simply have different tastes.

    7 of 14 people found this review helpful

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