This book is a great fantasy adventure, but be prepared to have a desire to listen to them all. I started out by reading my son's copy of volume two and was so intrigued I decided to listen to volume one while I read volume three (confusing, but worth it to catch up).
I have to say that I really enjoyed the narrator's voice characterizations. The range and diversity of voices for the various characters helped pull me into the story. I found it difficult to put away my Otis audio player after transits to/from work.
The story itself is very richly detailed. It is not difficult to imagine yourself being there and seeing the grandeur of the country, the hustle and bustle of towns and cities, the customs of differing contries or even towns, hearing histories of people and places, the shock and sometimes fear of seeing different races for the first time, and the tension of living during hard times.
The only detraction I fealt was the occaisional parallel references I would draw to other SciFi works such as Dune, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars. These didn't occur often, but when they did, it was like ripping you out of one world and into another (particularly the Dune / Star Wars parallels). Usually, it was just when encountering, for the first time, names of people or places that sounded familiar.
All in all, it's a good book almost on par with Tolkein.
If you like comic books, you may like this. There's no pictures, but it's a predictable piece complete with capes, catchy super villain names, and explosions. After listening to his other series, I was hoping for another winner, but it was not to be for me.
There's nothing new about super powers, or super mutants, or having the secret "kryptonite" invulnerability. There's nothing new about combating evil power or teenagers fighting evil to save the world.
The characters seemed only half developed. Yes, I found the quips from the main character amusing at times and yes, we seem to know him the best, but I found myself caring little for whether any of the characters lived or died. As a comic book in audio form (a truly odd twist), it has lots of action, but I find that rather dull in a book. It doesn't make me think.
I thought it was predictable, or at least partially so. There were some aspects that I had not figured out on my own, but nothing that engrossed my attention. I have to say that it doesn't leave me with the cliff hanger feeling that I can't wait to get the next book. Instead, I'll be avoiding the rest of this series (assuming there is ever another).
The vocals were fair. Voice characterizations were good and maybe even rated four stars, but I couldn't justify that with such a low overall rating of the book.
If you don't expect to find Brandon Sanderson uniqueness and quality, then it might be a decent diversion for the comic book types. If you haven't read any of his other series, then you may actually even like the book.
I really liked this series and Brandon Sanderson was an excellent choice to finish it up, but the ending really didn't meet my expectations. It's too bad, since other Jordan and Sanderson books are well worth the read or listen.
Asking a non-author how to make a story better is like asking your plumber to be a doctor. However, I thought there was too much time spent on head smashing and bashing in "The Last Battle". Perhaps that's to be expected, but it went on for too long and I expected more intrigue out of the Jordan / Sanderson characters.
If politics isn't your thing, then this book is probably not for you. Although it has a scifi twist to it, it's really more about the politics and power plays of families in control of things. I find that pretty boring myself. However, the characters lack any values that make me interested in them and the plot leaves dangling loose ends all over everywhere.
To me, this book was a sci-fi murder mystery for the female art lover. I was never able to relate to the characters much because it was so focused on life for the artsy crowd. The sci-fi aspects were mildly interesting, but tame compared to what could have been done. Again, it was focused on the artist's ultimate fantasy, to create something so real that it becomes real. The murder mystery aspect wasn't touched much either. Someone was killed, lets move on was the general tone. The female target audience perception is based on the female main characters and their conversations and reactions to the world around them. I also had trouble at times with the distinguishing characters when conversations occured between two of the main female characters. As I am neither an artist, nor that much of an art lover, nor a female, and with not much drama to hold up the sci-fi / murder mystery end, this barely rates a 3 (I almost gave up listening at one point).
I found this book to hold my interest all the way through. The story was interesting and the characters were developed and differentiated enough to keep things moving along. The reader did a great job with voice characterization.
I found the first person character switch to be only mildly distracting. There was only a small amount of overlap, so it wasn't boring hearing the same thing happen, just from a different perspective. If there were any real flaws, I found the plot to be predictable in places and I wished that more time was spent developing some of the not quite so main characters.
Anyway, I plan to pick up the next book to see where things go.
A found this book to be somewhat less than engaging. I can't tell if it was the book itself or the narrators lack of voice characterizations and flippant tone. The book certainly didn't help with overused cliches of the military and government. I liked David Baldacci's book last man standing, but I'm having a hard time recommending this one.
I thought this was going to be more focused on the perception of warfare from the soldiers point of view. Instead, the beginning of the book is more of a "win one for the gipper" view point and doesn't seem to portray warfare from the view of the soldier at all.
It did improve later in the book with more detailed stories of what it was like.
If you want a linear history of the war in Europe with a mix of impressions from soldiers, this may be a good book for you. Since I was looking for more soldier experience used to tell the history, I only give it 3 stars.
Tensions mount as problem after problem pile up on one man who has a chance to save his own life and that of the few survivors of a mid-air incident.
This was an engaging book, but the bad guys are a bit of a push. It positions both the military and big business as the bad guy and while this is possible, I had to shake my head at the justifications and decisions being made by characters in the book.
Being a private pilot myself, I have to think that I'm not alone in thoughts of saving the plane when some mid-air mishap occurs. This has to be appealing to other pilots as well. There is a lot of familiar cockpit decisions being made here and it's easy to put yourself in that plane through the narration.
All in all, I found it entertaining and a good listen.
If you like an odd mix of characters, Tourist Season may be for you. This is the second book I've tried by the author and both have been odd and a bit of a reach for plots. The wacko characters will hold some interest, but I think I've tried enough from the author to hold off getting any more.
A found the pretense that an eco-terrorist gang made up of such disfunctional characters could ever hold together long enough to accomplish anything quite a stretch. You definitely need to suspend disbelief here.
I also think the ending was a bit rushed and incomplete.
The narration was reasonable and I didn't have much trouble in following character dialog changes.
All in all, I found the book an ok diversion, but nothing that is going to keep me coming back for more.
As a continuation of the John Corley books, this was a nice addition. I like the wise cracking main character and the reader does a pretty good job with voice differentiation. However, the plot (or at least the ending) was a bit predictable and the end of the book was not as good as I think it could have been. If you like the John Corley stuff, then pick it up as another diversion for those hum-drum drives to work.
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