As the title implies this is a great 4th novel in the series. Unfortunately Allyson Johnson is a horrid reader, She reminded me of the people who do the automated warnings at amusemment parks "Please keep your hands inside the raft" Its a shame that such a good story had to be read by such a poor reader.
I loved this Book when I was a kid, It was for me, an excellent step away from the Forgotten Realms regulars and developed some of the most enjoyable characters I ever read in the genre.
If you are a F.R. fan give this a try.
I won't go into much detail about the story line, suffice to say its post apocalyptic, with vampires. As imagination goes, I love the concept of seemingly feral vampires with a select few still retaining some measure of individual control of themselves, Reminds me of the older vampire books.
I like long books that are well thought out, well researched and written with a skillful mastery of the language and how it effects the readers perception of the story. To that end I have three areas of frustration. The first is the constant way in which a dramatic action event will be taking place and just at the climax of the event the author will stop and a character will become reflective from a future eye. "He would wonder, years later, if she had done XXXX or if it had been his imagination" THIS is terrible sophomoric writing because it immediately tells us who will live and who will die. If Character "A" says he would wonder in the years to come, than bingo you know he will live through the events. By the middle of the book you pretty much can tell who will live and who will be dead. So suspense is gone. My second issue comes form the way in which the author becomes pedantic in telling the same event from what fells like hundreds of angles and points of view and does it in a way that disrupts time continuity forcing the reader to pause and decide if the event is taking place now or if ti is an event that already happened and we are seeing another point of view.So people like me, who have a very linear, structured mind may become frustrated with it. Lastly; research, authors who don't take the time to research real world things like weapons, trains, HMMVV, electricity, etc etc generate an almost automatic distaste. Basic stuff like how an M-16 or .50 Cal works, or not using the word "clip" over and over again to describe a weapons magazine. Anyway, that is more my own pet peeve and other may have a greater willingness to suspend disbelief.
As for Narration; Brick was the best choice for "Atlas Shrugged" not so much for this book. He is not an action narrator he is a dramatic narrator and his sorrowful way of telling a story pulled some of the life out of it.
Last but; and more directed to Audible; Enough with the 2 credit books, especially when they turn out only to be fair bordering on mediocre.
Anyone who Knows Tracy Hickman from the good old days will remember the collaborative works with Margaret Weis know as one of the greats Fantasy Sagas of all times: Dragonlance. It would seem, based on this confused, meandering and downright boring story of a blacksmith swept up from his home into high (or at least an attempt at high) adventure, that Margaret was the truly gifted author from Dragonlance. This story is banal, unfocused, and awash in cliche stereotypical characters with so little depth that it makes the story a regrettable waste of valuable life. Oh and nice Job stealing the Blind Dwarf who forges the Dragonlances to put in to this Book. SO pathetic, I am ashamed to have ever counted Hickman as one of the greats of Fantasy, all credit should have Gone to Weis! Oh and the "Election": steal much from Hunger Games, Hickman? Not to mention that all throughout, the author makes jumps into sections of the "Canticles" which were wrote AFTER the adventure would have been completed, ergo we find out right from the get go who lives and who dies, because they tell the history of the story in the canticles from the specific characters perspective.
It sickens me that this tripe, this adventure in to apathetic triviality is made into an audio book when Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance are left to die on some shelf. BAhh!
Maybe it got better towards the end, BUT I just could not finish it, so miserably awful.
Lloyd James did his typical excellent Job trying to breath some life into very dull characters. That was about the only Bright spot in the whole damned thing,
The story fit the title. A rising thunder is designed to build up all the causation for the push in the second half of this installment due later this year. The story is actually made up of several short stories interlinked by the main common theme. I liked the quick pace of multiple events happening in succession all over the the galaxy and being interlinked with the "rising" plot. I am salivating for the missile crescendo that will spell the end of Manpower....
As For JOHNSON's narration. Ok one Good compliment and one little criticism. The critical first: Johnson had a tendency to confuse scenes a bit in this one. For example: At the end of a certain Board meeting in old Chicago (towards the end of the book) she cuts away to a conversation between a powerful Male and Female character without a breath, it was a little disorienting. On the bright side, People have been hating on Johnson for her changing of the pronunciation of Manticorian. She used to say Man-Tic -or-n. BUT she has grown as a narrator and now pronounces it Manticorian, which is the correct phoneme structure. The old way was 4 distinct Morphemes while the proper (new say she says it) is only 3. Proper pronunciation is defined "Communicating a words intent using the least morphemic units" SO major kudos to Johnson for this.
THIS IS NOT for the first time Weber reader, it would be like trying to read Lord of the rings and getting irritated because you choose to start in the last half of the third book.
Overall I enjoyed it for its purpose; to build up for the coming storm and it was needed synopsis for the major events enveloping every major and most of the minor star nations in the series.
Are you sick to death of the same story being told over and over again in the fantasy genre? The weak protagonist finds out hes a big shot, gets trained by a master who invariable gets killed and then the young hero must kill the all powerful bad guy...BLAH. IN the Iron Druid Chronicles we have a spunky fast paced fantasy about a very old and very powerful druid who dose not need to rely on everyone else to find answers to magical problems. Add in a well researched story involving multiple pantheons of gods interacting in the modern world and you have recipe for a fun listen. The protagonist is witty and comes at a the problems in the story with "great, just great. well lets go argue with a goddess, hope I don't get incinerated..." kinda attitude. Hearne loves the English language and dose a wonderful job blending the right words to convey his story without drowning the reader in a heavy handed prose. However younger listeners may find themselves reaching for a dictionary from time to time. I also need to mention that this book series takes a unique approach to the mythical "gods" and the modern collections of religious figures. At any point you may find yourself having coffee with Jesus of the Christian faith, or running along with Coyote of the Native American beliefs while dodging hell spawn demons, Thor (that bastard) or any number of witches, vampires and metro police. Yup, pretty much all the Gods from the Morigan and Angus Oog to far flung Asian Powers could show up in this series. As I said it is a lot of fun.
I have listened to the entire series and I am looking forward to the next Book in April
Beautiful in its delicate intimacy. The prose draws one in with a structure that evades the jarring bullishness of "sudden action" fiction. Instead the author lets the story build slowly; "action" is treated with the same tempo as any other scene. As one listens, it is easy feel a little lost in the maze of time lines, characters, places and and emotions, but I think that is what the author had in mind. A book that tells a dream like story in a way that makes you the reader, or listener in this case, feel like you are witnessing the events in a dream. Each description is so detailed yet is only a snapshot of a given view, as if you focused for only a moment on one object in time and space and then moved on into the next. This book is uncommon in its power to antagonize the imagination to "see" the images in the same way we see images in a dream. The story line itself was a touch to well known for me, as a codification of Shakespearean tragedy, Greek, and Modernistic redemptive tragedy and I could see the tales that the author drew from to form the basis of this work. The story does travel at one speed never going faster or slower from beginning to end, yet that was what was intended to maintain that dream-like feeling. This is an excellent snowy night book, or a nice glass of mulled cider on the porch in Autumn kinda day.
A word about Jim Dale. I wonder if I was not the only one who had a few minutes disorientation when I heard Hermione Granger's "voice" come from Celia Bowen's mouth. Or Albus's voice from Alexander. The voices were well chosen and Jim went to the extremes of his talent to maintain the beauty and power of the dream. I don't think anyone could have done this story better....well maybe lLoyd James or Gerard Doyle could have given it a good run. You will have to forgive me because Jim narrated the Potter series and for over 200 hours I heard Celia's voice used for Hermione, it takes a little bit to transition :) Well done Jim!
Like the other reviewer, I too have read every book in the series. This is the first time I ever found Nita and Kit to be boring, clich??d and trite. This book lacked the wonder and power of the previous stories. Worse then that, Dari was kicked to the curb with only vague explanations and no real direction on what she was doing. The writing style was...bland even stodgy. Its like Mrs. Duane didn't actually write this one. I hope that this is not the last book she has to offer as this would be a truly disappointing way to end such a wonderful series.
This narrator is absolutely pathetic, not fit to read a children's book to a Chinese speaking kindergarten class. Vance, Maturin IS IRISH, not some prattling high toned ninny best left to the English bad guys in Starwars spoofs or on flying circus. An Jack being voiced with a deep sort of mindless pompous accent. Dear God it burns the ears! Did the Vance even read the first book??? Further the narrative is so noninflected as to border on diesel engine monotone. What a true massacre of a most excellent book.
Heinlien will always be one of the grand masters of the political scif world. This collection of short stories presents a diverse look at how RH precieved his time periods political moraies and moieties as well as a bare knuckled presentation of that not matter how much Tech our society gains, its natural tendency to inhumanity and disintrest in o the well being of our fellow man will allways rise to the surface.
The narrator did and outstanding job with all but one story. He did not understand Reisling at all and presented him in a way to young characterization. So true Reisling fans may be disappointed but overall very good job with the rest of the characters.
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