I really wanted to like this book. I seem to be currently waiting for the next installment of 3 or 4 different series. I was looking for a series of books that were already complete, and this story looked like a good one. I listened to the preview before downloading, and the narrator seemed to have a good voice, and I was excited to get started.
Unfortunately, I listened through this story, and never seemed to get into it. I kept listening, hoping it would get better as many books do, but it never did. Initially the story seemed to have promise. I liked both the characters of Llian and especially Karan. But soon Llian began to seem like a spoiled kid, and I lost interest in his part of the story. I continued to like Karan, but her story seemed jumbled and tedious. In one scene she is being chased by creatures through a swamp. The description of her struggle goes on forever. Just when you think it can't go any longer, she is suddenly free and the story takes up days later. Another thing that lacked was the magic in the story. Some sort of mind fighting between the characters that made little sense.
The last thing I didn't care for was the narrator. While I initially thought this would be a strength of the book, I soon found out I was wrong. Cartwright has a decent voice that was initially pleasing to listen too, but I started to notice that he continually stopped to swallow, and make noises that seemed like he was licking his lips. It became very distracting. I have never heard anything like it before in an audiobook.
Overall, this book had promise, it just never seemed to fulfill it.
I went into A Dance Of Blades right after listening to the first book A Dance Of Cloaks. In my review of the first book, I noted that I really liked the story but didn't much care for the narration. The same applies to this book, however after listening to the first, I have become somewhat used to the narrators speech, and I didn't find it as bothersome this time around. So I won't spend a lot of time on it here.
A Dance of Blades finds Aaron, now named Hearn to his friends, and The Watcher to everyone else, now on a vendetta to stop his father and the other thief guilds. The book starts out the action quickly, and Hearn even leaves the city of Velderin, showing a little bit more of this world. While on the road he encounters an ambush of the caravan carrying the son of Alyssa, one of the characters from the first book, and now a powerful merchant. Hearn intervenes to try and save the boy, but is later blamed for his death. This sets up the rest of the story, with all characters seeking revenge.
There are several characters that continue on from the first book, and some who didn't survive the first book are missed, although at least one reappears having apparently survived. There are also a few new characters, Death Mask, a wizard who joins the Ash Guild in a plot that is not quite fully uncovered in this book, and Ghost, an assassin who is very skilled and entertaining. I did have to laugh a little at their comic book names though.
I would have liked to seen a little more of the world this book is set in, but almost as soon as the story left the safety of the city, much like the main character Hearn, it seemed to grow afraid of what lurked outside the walls and quickly retreated back inside. Overall though, this is a very exciting second book in the Shadowdance series, and I think author David Danglish will become a name in the fantasy genre if he continues with books like this.
A Dance Of Cloaks was another Audiobook where the narrator almost ruined the book. But before I get to that, I want to say that I thought the actual story itself was good enough to keep me going. Dance Of Cloaks begins with the story of Aarron, the son of the leader of a cities thief guilds. The father Thren is a bastard of a character, and runs the city with viciousness. Throughout the book he is not a very likable person. Despite this the book is enjoyable due to a cast of other characters, both good guys and bad, who bring the book to life. The first is Aaron who is torn between his devotion to his father, and his distaste for the things he does. I also liked Sinke, one of Thren's henchmen with a good sense of humor, Kayla the pretty street wise girl who Aarron has a crush on, and Alyssa the daughter of a wealthy merchant and rival to Thren. I also really enjoyed the nuns called the Unseen who were more like ninjas than nuns.The story it's self is interesting and well paced. There is not a lot of world building in this story as it mostly takes place in one city, but it is the first in a series, and will likely expand. Had it not been for the aforementioned narration, this book would have gotten a solid 5 stars from me.
Unfortunately, I really did not care for Elijah Alexander's reading of this book. His main narration is not horrible, or the worse I've heard, but right from the get go I felt he was talking way to fast as if I was listening to a commercial where the announcer was trying to get in 5 minutes of information into a 30 second spot. I had to rewind a few times to get things he had said. That wasn't what bothered me so much though. It was his voices for the characters that were horrible. All of the characters had quiet feminine voices, and for a story that takes place in one city, each had a different accent. Characters had accents reminiscent of British, Irish, Indian, and everything in between. The character Sinke sounded like one of the German guards from Hogan's Heroes. And then when you thought you heard it all, a priest shows up about three quarters through the book who sounds like a hillbilly redneck. I did manage to eventually get used to the voices and Mr. Alexander's speed about halfway through the book.
Overall, this is a very good beginning to a new fantasy series. It would be a shame to miss it due to the narrator, so if you cannot get past the voices, I would suggest you buy the book and read it instead. Or, you can do like I did, and push through and enjoy the audiobook despite it's faults.
I guess I should start this review by saying that I am a huge Brandon Sanderson fan. I should also say I am not really a big fan of comic books or super hero books. Not a huge super hero movie fan either. I know that may be crazy to some fantasy fans, but I haven't had an interest in comics since I was a kid.
With that said, I was initially excited when I heard Mr. Sanderson was releasing a new YA book after I had just finished a very enjoyable book in The Rithamist. So when I started to read the reviews describing this book as Sanderson's attempt at writing a super hero book, I was skeptical I would like it. As I began the book, my fears began to become reality as I initially felt the super heros, or more super villans, were a bit cheesy. Bad guys who killed people by pointing, shoot guns without running out of bullets, or turn everything they see into steel, was a little too young adult for me.
I pressed on through the book though because of my love of Brandon Sanderson's work, and because despite not caring for the concept of the book, the central character of the book David began to grow on me. Narrator Macleod Andrews does an excellent job of performing the voice of David from which the story is told first person. As the book went along, I began to stop thinking about the concept of the book, and began to enjoy my listen.
Overall, even though I had a difficult time initially getting into this book, the combination of Macleod Andrews' reading and Brandon Sanderson's always excellent story telling had me enjoying this book whether I wanted to or not.
Heir of Novron takes the steam that was built from the last book and builds it into a wonderful and exciting ending. What begins as more of a buddy story in a fantasy setting ends as a top rate fantasy story. The author Micheal J. Sulivan seemed to grow as the story grows, and I am looking forward to future series from him as well as the new Ryria Chronicles books.
Narrator Tim Gerard Reynolds was solid as usual. I highly recommend this series.
After reading the second Riyria book, I am starting to understand some of the good reviews for the series. While the first two books were more single stories within the same setting, with Rise Of Empire, author Sullivan begins to expand the story beyond the exploits of Royce and Hadrian, and with this, the series begins to become a new and much more enjoyable experience. Characters from the first two books take on expanded roles, and new characters form to provide the listener with a larger epic fantasy type world.
I really enjoyed the larger roles for the women, Arista, Thrice/Modena, and new character Amelia. Their additions opened up what was an average story to something much more grand.
The narrator Tim Gerard Reynolds continues to be solid, and I think his voices are growing on me despite some of characters sounding the same.
Overall, I am enjoying this series very much, and have already moved on to the next book in the series.
As I read Theft Of Swords, I got into the book pretty quickly, and the story continued to move along at a good pace. I began to realize though, that there was nothing really new or original going on. The fantasy world is nothing special, featuring kings and queens, princes and princesses, and your usual array of nobles and church leaders. There is a wizard who hints of magic not much used in the story. And of course, your main characters must be bad guys with soft hearts, or a child born of poverty who grows to become hero of the world. In the case of Theft Of Swords, the heroes are the former, thieves who are famous for their ability to steal anything, and are also dangerous enough to scare anyone who might want to stop them.
With this said, I still found myself enjoying the book despite it’s short comings. Though there weren’t any wow moments in the book, it didn’t take long to become comfortable with the main characters Royce and Hadrian. It’s like going on vacation to a new place, and when you get there you realize the attractions aren’t much different than where you usually vacation. But you decide since you are there, you are going to enjoy attractions anyway. This book is much like that, a familiar setting, easy to like heroes, and a fun if not original listen.
The narrator is kind of like the book itself, he’s good, but not great. It took me a bit to get used to his reading, but once I did, all was good.
Overall, I’d say this book is worth a listen, especially with the added value of getting two books for the price of one. I wish Audible would bundle more series like this. Maybe even three books for two credits for trilogies and such. I liked the second book better then the first, as the story seemed to improve as it went along. This is a good easy listen for those who are waiting for the release of the next installment of another series. I’m sure I will listen to the next book in the series to see if it continues to improve.
I have to admit, I had initially given up on this book before coming back and trying again. Expecting this book to start off where the first book left off, I was initially confused when this book starts off back in modern times, and begins jumping around from place to place with characters that had not been introduced to the story before. I began to wonder if this book was going to begin a totally new story separate from the one in the first book, and not involving any of the previous book's characters, and decided to shelve it for awhile and listen to another book.
I eventually returned to “The Twelve”, and it appears I gave up just as the story was beginning to take shape. On my second attempt to listen, I found myself quickly falling into the story and it’s new characters, an ex-military loner, a secret service agent, a doctor left behind by her husband, and a teenager, her brother, and a slow man who drove their school bus. One character, Grey, had a small part in the last book as a janitor in the facility that housed the virals. The story begins to take shape as the new cast of characters attempt to flee their homes at the begging of the plague.
Eventually the story switches back to the future, and some of the old characters you grew to love in the first book begin to re-emerge, with Peter once again as the focal point. The story begins to take shape from there, and you start to see the reason for the additional characters added at the beginning of the book. All the characters from the first book, including Amy, slowly gather together to once again fight the twelve viral leaders.
In the end I enjoyed the book very much, although there were a few things that could have been better. The beginning of the book was jumbled and confusing. On the other hand, I suppose I could have been a little more patient while the story developed. The book spent a lot of time on the teenaged girl who traveled with her brother, their school bus driver, and a ex-military loner, and eventually they’re introduction went no where. Perhaps they will show up in the next volume of the series, but it seemed to be a waisted investment in characters. The narrator is a little dry, and it takes a while to get used to him as well, adding to the difficulty with the books beginning. Also, while the last book ended with a cliff hanger, this book offers few details about what happened during the viral attack on the Texas colony Roswell, or how the characters got scattered all over the place. Or how Amy and Peter end up in Texas themselves for that matter.
Overall though, this was a pretty good middle book in the series, and I look forward to the next installment.
Insurgent is a book I have had on my back burner for a while. I listened to the last book Divergent on a whim, and enjoyed it. As with the first book, much of the charm of this book is the reading by narrator Emma Galvin. She is perfect for these books, and I think I would not have enjoyed them as much without her.
Insurgent, unfortunately though, suffers a little bit from the middle book syndrome I think. While I found myself engrossed in the first book by learning about the factions and the world they live in, the second book has lost this novelty. The book takes a little while to get going, and most of the book is about tying up loose ends from the first book, and setting up things for the next book. Also, being that I am not the teenager that this book is aimed at, I grew a little bored of the teen romance and self pitty.
With that said, Insurgent is not a long book, and for a middle book in a series, I pretty much enjoyed it over all. I am looking forward to the final book in the series.
I had been highly anticipating the The Daylight War, and mostly was not disappointed. The book gets off to a wonderful start, this time giving you the background story of Inevera, the wife of Jardir. As with the first two books, the story of Inevera draws you in with the tough but enticing life of a girl destined for greatness. Unfortunately, once Inevera's story comes to an end, and the story of The Daylight War begins, the book found itself in the unusual place of not much happening. The middle third of the book drags a little bit as the story of the Hollow doesn't move with the excitement of Inevera's story. It's not a bad thing really, as much of it is meant to give a build up to the ending and future books. The book does pick up at the end finishing with a surprise cliff hanger.
Narrator Pete Bradbury does a good if not great reading. Also, I was put off a little bit by some of the overly descriptive sex scenes. I know this is adult fantasy, but some scenes bordered on pornography. A little more imagination, and a little less descriptiveness would have fared better. Overall, The Daylight War is another good book in the series, and I have enjoyed them all very much so far.
Brandon Sanderson continues to amaze me. I wasn't sure what to expect from his new YA book The Rithmatist, but I have enjoyed all his other books and decided to give it a try. While not on the scale of his other works, this book is more than a dumded down fantasy for kids. I was drawn into the story from the get go, and sadly it was over before I knew it. The magic and world were exciting and fun, and I am hoping there are more books in this series to come. Micheal Kramer was perfect as always. Awesome book.
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