The reader is excellent and the background information the author gives you is incredible. This author gives you details from the basics of geology and why the volcano is there in the first place to the general placement of animals and plants in the archipeligo to first hand accounts of the mountain's demise and the after effects on the population. The accounts are vivid and personal. I would highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in science and how it affects the larger world.
This book spends a great deal of time building totally unlikeable characters and detailing plot twists that largely go nowhere. You keep waiting for the fantasy part of the book to begin only to be disappointed by the unimpressive way it plays out. Somehow the author takes really neat ideas for ways Matt is attacked and manages to make their execution very dull. The ending is disappointing all the way around. The Nexus ends up protecting this unlikeable, unfortunate orphan who is hanging out with this cynical unlikeable journalist and together they plan on doing... nothing. The author also unsatisfactorily explains how the Old One gets stuck back in his hole. Basically the book was not particularly good fantasy, mystery, or science from start to finish.
The book starts off a smidgen slowly as he introduces first the world and then the characters. Then he really begins to flesh everything out and just when you think you know where the story is going and how you think it is going to pan out, the author shocks you with a plot twist. Even as you gasp in surprise you realize that he totally set you up for it from the start. His writing is clever, interesting, and exciting and if you don't catch yourself swearing by the Lord Ruler at some point in your day, then you weren't really listening to this extremely engrossing story. I can't wait to find out how the trilogy pans out! My husband tells me it just keeps getting better- hard to believe given the quality of book one.
I found many of the authors points to be interesting and found his descriptions to be very relevant to my own experiences with depression as a sufferer and watching my family experience it. He is very passionate about his views on depression which evoked some interesting discussions between me and my spouse.
Unfortunately he repeats his views innumerable times! Over and over beating the same ideas into the ground! He argues and re-argues points! By the final section of the book where he describes the history of melancholy in literature I was simply impatient for the book to be over. I also got very tired of his mentioning all the other books he has written.
He uses a variety of technical language, which, as a medical student, I feel pretty comfortable with. However, I am not sure that arguments about hippocampal size and neurotransmitters will appeal to everyone. I have also had a number of lectures on pharmacology that make it clear to me that he over-dramatizes the importance of many effects and under-appreciates others. For example, he talks about the drug interferon alfa as being difficult for patients to stay on- the number one reason being depression. The PharmD teaching my lecture only mentioned that side effect in passing.
Overall, it was an interesting book, but I don't see myself listening to it again anytime soon and I advise caution to listeners who are bored by mentions of medical studies or uncomfortable with medical rationale.
This is my favourite audible book that I have and I have about 30. The reader was excellent, clear and easy to understand. I was shocked and delighted by the content. I learned so incredibly much about history and the drive of history based around a single necessary resource. Did you know that a major reason that the South struggled in the Civil War was a lack of salt resources? or that the Great Wall of China was built entirely using the taxes from iron and salt? I felt that the author gave just the right amount of time to each topic and that his shifts from topic to topic were strategically placed to keep the reader interested and aware of when and where the stories were from. I loved it!
Brian Jaques is a great author and this series is fairly good, but get this one in text. If you listened to the previous novel, Mattimeo, you might remember an otter with an extremely annoying, goofy voice? That voice is back along with a woman with a horrible piercing laugh that is repeated over.... and over.... and over. WOOO-HOO-HOO-HOO-HOO! The music that he has chosen for the beginning of each chapter is repetitive, loud, and irritating also. I really enjoyed the first three books, but this one was weaker. The story felt like bits and pieces of the previous books and all the little annoyances amounted to me refusing to get any more of the series simply to save my aching ears.
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