Unfortunately, I started the series and so it has to be finished. I say unfortunately only because the audio in this series is terribly inconsistent. The audio for this SPECIFIC book in the series is the worst ever!
The narrator actually mispronounces the names of main characters over and over. Meaning, the narrator not only starts the book with his own twist on announcing the names of principal charaters but then goes on to pronounce the same name differently later on. Then he switches back and forth!!!! What! It doesn't make sense and it is frustrating. Yes, I had read the reviews before I bought this title. Unfortunately for me, I wanted to continue the series and now have to trudge through it. It's horrendous.
This book was amazing! It is one of the few that I had to tell everyone about including everyone on my facebook page! Why? What made this book special? There were so many layers to the ending of this book that I was just flabbergasted. I went through similar emotions to Ender when he realized that things weren't what he believed them to be either.
For me this book utterly defines Sci-Fi! On every level it excels. The description of the way that we might live many years into the future was original and dynamic. The characters were varied and well developed. Ender's Game's overall plot was well structured and compelling. This is a fantastic book.
One thing that was particularly well done was the author's ability to give the antagonist's such depth and dimension. Even the bugs were not depicted as something simple such as evil. In the end, they did not even realize that they were attacking and destroying sentient beings. Did I mention that the plot was rich enough to provide multitudes of additional storylines. I highly recommend this book to both young and old to new Sci-Fi readers and veterans. It is one of the best books that I have ever read regardless of genre.
It pains me to write such a bad review but this was an amazingly difficult book to get through. I am an avid book reader and once I have started to read a book I have to finish it. It's a way of letting every author have a chance to redeem themselves (or continue to enchant me with their skill, creativity, and craftsmanship) right up to the very end. Many times I am wishing that the story will never end because I love the written word.
Sadly, this was not the case for The Skin Map. I couldn't wait for the story to end and yet I was still surprised when it did because the ending was so abrupt! If the truth be told, I have no idea what the ending of this story was supposed to be about. It is a poorly written book.
Besides the cliff dropping ending, there are many other problems with this book. Beginning with the lack of character development and ending with missing half of its plot! It did not do a good job of tying up the storyline. There are huge gaps in the storyline concerning all of the principal characters. And the reading of the story was done in such a wooden way that you could barely tell when the narrator was switching characters. It also sounded like it was recorded in somebody's bathroom with a weird echo throughout the book.
Although there were many things that did not go well for The Skin Map, the best thing about it is something that is quite dazzling. The idea of ley lines that allowed inter-dimensional travel is a dazzling idea. The underlying premises of this book are grand and inventive including: the ability to travel within both time and place through static points along the ley lines and the idea of being able to interact with any point in history and possibly to other worlds through portals that could be mapped and repeatedly travelled is awesome. To me, this means that I will have to give the author another shot on another story. If he could think up this story line then that means that there is hope that this may have been a one -off
This is a decent story, but nothing really special. The character development was somewhat better than most for at least attempting to explore several different characters. But it seems as though the author can't quite decide on the essence of who the principal characters really are. Both the heroine and the hero are complete flip flops to some degree with the heroine flopping the most. In the end, the hero turns out to be much less than we bargained for. While the heroine appears to be still finding her way.
Althought I really like the series, I did not particularly like this installment. This story in and of itself can be quite compelling, but the narration is so limited in its range that I would almost rather that the book was just READ rather than almost acted. The ending is incredibly abrupt and leaves a lot hanging. If this were characteristic of the series then I would at least be used to it. But it is not and that makes the ending terrible.
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