This is a pretty good historical suspese/romance with apparently fairly accurate depiction of life in the Victorian age. Unfortunately, the brightness of the story is dimmed by the narrator. Clearly not British, it's hard not to notice the lapses into American and/or the stilted supposed British accent - sometimes, it works, sometimes, it definitely doesn't. Also, the narrator has a tendency to read. In a very. Staccato. Way. which is infuriating and just about murdered my enjoyment of the book.
Good enough that I'll keep an eye out for the sequeal, but only if it's read by someone else.
Dan Brown is a terrific storyteller, but not a great writer. His books are great rides that also make me look up information about art - good combination. If you don't expect more than that, you're in for a good time.
The narrator was so terrible I returned the book after only reading a quarter of it. Definitely better read with your eyes than your ears.
I like a dystopian novel as much as the next person and this book had a good idea. Unfortunately, the author seemed to have gotten so caught up in the theme that there's no break from the misery. Everything awful that can possibly happen to the 11-year-old protagonist does. It reaches a point where you just want to curl up around her to protect her from the next blow. On top of that, whoever edited this should have paid attention to the continuity errors, excessive use of simile and reined in the foreshadowing (note: foreshadowing can be a useful tool when building tension. When it is used in every single scene in the first quarter of the book, it loses impact). The narrator was excellent, though - she effectively heightened the themes and moods as a good narrator should. The only problem was that this made the whole exercise much more depressing and sad than it already was. And that's saying something. If you want dystopia, read the The Hunger Games instead. Or better yet, The Handmaid's Tale.
The story itself is serviceable, but two-dimensional. The editor should've have demanded another rewrite - would have made it a better book. Still, would be an OK romp as a read if not for the narrator. Absolutely terrible - every sentence is pronounced in the same rhythm. It's mechanical and distracting. I lasted about 1.5 hours and then gave up. Too bad - wouldn't have minded seeing where the story went, but couldn't abide the narrator.
I'm about done the first of three parts and don't know if I can go on. The Swan Thieves seem to have the same feel as The Historian and I think it's probably a better book that it's allowed to be with the chosen narrators. Every now and again, I catch prose that's elegant and has a beauty into which I'd love to disappear, but... WRONG narrators! I like Treat Williams as an actor, but his narration is terrible. Monotone, same intonation in every single sentence, no change for different characters in a conversation. Anne Heche isn't terrific, either. I simply can't finish. I'm really disappointed - I bought this the minute it was available and have saved it for a special listen. What a letdown.
The one star is for the narrators - I'd give the book itself more, but it's hard to say how many more because the book itself disappears in the drone of Treat Williams' voice.
I wasn't too pleased with this in the beginning - the parents were so ridiculous and there was so much anger I was kind of turned off. But I decided to keep going and I'm glad I did. Sure, the book has its flaws, but I was won over. The narrator grew on me until she became George, the story with its mix of technology, journalism and horror really worked. It's a good listen if you're feeling geeky and I loved a late development I didn't expect. Immediately got the second in the series - the flaws ended up not mattering much and I couldn't wait to learn what happened next.
I've been a huge Reichs fan since her first book and have thoroughly enjoyed the transition to reading by listening. Michele Pawk (previous narrator) did a phenomenal job bringing the subtlety and humour to life and made Tempe seem complicated, yet interesting and relatable. This new reader is not suited for the book. Her French is exquisite, but her Tempe is horrible. With such a prickly character, you need a reader that udnerstands Tempe and her universe and this one seemed very wrong for it - this Tempe was peevish, irritating and fickle and the narration brought out the flaws in the story (of which there weren't many, granted, but this reader made them seem blatant). The three stars could've been more, had I not been so annoyed by the narration.
Bring back Michele Pawk!
Boring, not scary, the action is drowned in too many words. It gets going a bit in the last quarter of the book, but that's too long to wait.
Like Urban Shaman, this is a fun read with undertones of thoughtfulness. Unlike Urban Shaman, the narrator does nothing for the story (hence only 3 stars instead of 4). Christine Carroll (who read the first in the series) hit just the right mix of wry humour and emotion, whereas Gabra Zachman is entirely too laconic and urban-cynical and the story suffers because of it.
I loved the first three books in the Outlander series, but had trouble with this one. About two hours into the books, I was bored out of my skull and although the narrator is incredible with accents, I didn't like her. I get the sense that both author and narrator are technically good, but lack soul. Considering my previously fanatic love of Dianan Gabaldon, this was a huge disappointment.
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