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.
I won't repeat the praise that's already been repeated several times but I do want to stress that while book 1 does have some action, it's primarily a character development book and a chance to get to know some great characters. I listened then was a bit reluctant to move on to the next book as there were some parts that dragged a bit. It's good, but more like a 3.5 star book. I am SO glad I hung in there as books 2 and 3 are edge of your seat, sit in your car after your commute, stay up late and an excuse to vacuum your house good!
Similar to other Zahn Star Wars books, the story is entertaining though sometimes a bit stiff and narrowly constrained. The plot isn't as developed as the Thrawn trilogy but it moves along and should keep the listener entertained. However, Marc Thompson's stunning performance brings the book to life and adds depth and quality to characters that might otherwise be lacking. It's worth a listen just to be amazed by the range of Thompson. Truly outstanding and worthy of a credit just to hear the best narrator in the business excel at his craft. 3.5 stars for the book, 10 stars for performance by Thompson.
Not sure what happened with this book but it's almost like you are reading the minutes from a court case. Very little action, almost no suspense, very un-Connelly-like book.
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.
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