As a huge fan of Peter F. Hamilton's other works I was greatly looking forward to his latest epic. Of the 10 Hamilton books I've listened to or read, this was not even in the same league. The characters are boring and lacking in depth, the plot is ridiculously slow and the unnecessary story lines make up more content than the relevant ones!
Great North Road is comprised of 2 related story lines; one an extremely long winded police procedural and one about a supposed elite military unit on another planet looking for a scary alien. The police procedural plods along at a snails pace, lacking direction and substance. Hours are spend on the main character's search for a new home or other inconsequential elements that bring the plot to a screeching halt. The military unit section is basically a very bad lost-in-the-woods horror movie about a bunch of inept soldiers who go in unprepared and make one bad decision after the next. Implausibility is the rule for this section so don't expect it to be realistic.
Throw this all together with a bunch of ill-timed flashbacks to explain plot holes, a narrator who does such strong accents they are at times incomprehensible, repetitive phrases and a book that should have been edited to 8 hours and you get Great North Road, all 36 hours of it. I never thought I'd say this about a Peter F. Hamilton book but you should spend your credit elsewhere.
While the basic plot is interesting and there's no doubt Ringo is a capable writer, Live Free or Die is bogged down by constant political commentary. I'm slightly right of center politically and not normally bothered by this sort of thing (especially as I live in a very conservative area) but it was really extreme and detracted from the otherwise good story.
The theme of "Liberal city idiots" exploiting the hard working country patriots is repeated on nearly every page of this book. Global warming is a joke, Democrats are lazy moochers off the government while Republicans are working multiple jobs, CNN is a bunch of foolish idiots and Fox News is the only station worth talking to and Washington DC should be nuked. Even the aliens society is failing because they are liberal. Even if you agree with all this, the non-stop nature of the barbs is amateurish and very distracting.
I'm sure I will get down votes on this review by people who will vote purely for political reasons but if you stop and analyze the book from the perspective of a Sci-fi fan, not a political rant, you will see the political aspect of the book was so overdone it ruined the intent. There is much to be said of subtlety.
I didn't have high expectations coming into this book as the reviews had said it's a good intro but not much depth but I found myself looking for excuses to listen to Theft of Swords any chance I had! The characters are believable and well written, the plot moves forward through every scene and the depth of the book gets more and more involved the further in you get.
I'm typically more Sci-fi than fantasy but this book is very well written and while there are fantasy elements, mostly it's a fun adventure story set in something like the middle ages meets Lord of the Rings. Well thought out and descriptive, if I could give 4.5 stars I would!
While it's not the best book I've ever read it's paced well, has enough character development and the plot is interesting enough to keep me listening. There a some pretty big holes in the premise the Disappeared is based on but if you can get over that you will be entertained. 3.7 stars would be a fair overall rating.
While I have re-read Lord of the Rings several times as an adult, The Hobbit should have been left in my childhood. The plot is very disjointed with odd jumps in time that make the book feel abridged. In fact, I checked twice to be sure I didn't accidentally get the abridged version when entire seasons of the year were skipped without more than a line or two to mark their passing. LOTR is still one of my favorites but now I remember why I had never bothered to re-read The Hobbit.
A note on the narration: While the narrator is quite good, the production value is lacking. There were several chapters where you can hear Inglis swallowing or smacking his lips after every sentence. Good performance let down by technical issues.
After really enjoying Daemon and Freedom, this book was quite a disappointing effort by Suarez. The concept of Daemon was great and it was backed by a fun and exciting plot. Kill Decision on the other hand has an interesting premise with almost no plot and boring characters as well. I really hope Suarez pulls together another book as I think he has potential but this was not it.
I LOVE zombie books, even the bad ones, but this was too much. The main character is obnoxious with his ridiculous tangents, support characters are completely one-dimensional and the writing is pretty bad. "He said... He said.... She said..." There was no substance, no tension and nothing original brought to the genre. The narration is monotone and adds to the annoyance of the main character (though in fairness, his voice fits the main character perfectly).
This was definitely one of my most disappointing credits as with all the great reviews I expected it to at least be entertaining. Save your credit.
While I really enjoyed Pillars of the Earth and many of Follett's other novels, Fall of Giants is a long winded and somewhat disjointed quasi-romance/history novel that feels lacking in plot. It's the story of the early 20th century fall of the class system in Europe but is done so in stops and starts that feel unpolished and sloppy.
It's not intended to be a history of the times but the plot is just not interesting enough to be this long of a novel. At the end of the novel the reader is left asking "What was the point?" Maybe the point is in the next novels but will not find out.
As always, John Lee was exceptional.
Our 7 year old son has moderate to severe dyslexia and hates to read because of the effort it takes. We turned to audio books to instill a love of reading with moderate success until we found this series. Our son BEGS to listen to How to Train Your Dragon and would turn down video games for a chance to listen! Our only complaint is the stores are far too short for the price.
After listening to Leviathan Wakes I didn't have much intention of getting part 2 of this series as the immaturity and naivety of the main character was incredibly annoying and 1 dimensional. The story was predictable and not terribly interesting. I had to get a book quick for a long drive and couldn't find anything else...so glad!
Caliban's War was far more maturely written and constructed. Characters were flawed but developed well and the story was much more nuanced and complex. I have high hopes for James Corey, at this rate part 3 should be quite exceptional! I'd say 4.3 stars overall. To compare to other modern SciFi writers: it's not up to level of Peter F. Hamilton's recent works but it's not far off his earlier work. Very enjoyable, worth the credit, maybe 2!
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