I've read a lot of orphan stories, but this one by L.A. Meyer stands out. The heroine grows from a timid beggar child to swash-buckling sailor, charming both her supporting characters and readers.
While the first book can get pretty dreary at times (Jacky is, after all, attempting to escape poverty and a life of petty crime by climbing onto a warship--both lives fraught with danger), it is worth being drawn to tears; subsequent books feature a pleasing balance of pathos and comedy. Katherine Kellgren's spirited rendition is priceless.
I would recommend this for readers 14 and older, due to some violence and sexual content.
The story is both overly melodramatic and tedious. If Simon Vance wasn't reading it I would have quit hours ago.
I adore Simon Vance, and I suppose this is about as close as I'll ever come to listening to him read a phone book. His performances are always top-notch, even if the material is weak.
I think Anglophiles and anyone yearning for 1930's period drama with a little comedy and romance thrown in would enjoy this despite the repetitive and predictable mystery.
I highly recommend this to everyone who loves A Song of Ice and Fire. If anyone reads the previous reviews for this title, please note that previous version from 2005 was read by John Lee, not Roy Dotrice. So the crazy comments about Roy mispronouncing names, etc. are about another reader, but somehow people failed to read the voice actor's credit. The only available downloadable version (as of Feb 2012) is now Roy Dotrice's, thank goodness! The John Lee version drove me mad about 3 hours in and I quit. I even went ahead and spent 2 extra credits to re-buy the audiobook. Even just from the audio sample, I can tell Dotrice's performance is stellar and worth the 4 credits I have so far spent on A Feast for Crows. Goodbye, cringe-worthy pronunciations (Cersei, Brienne, don't even get me started on the Dornish names). Hello again, Westeros.
Having listened to Roy Dotrice read over 100 hours of A Song of Ice and Fire, there can be no other voice in my head except his.
I hope that the next books in A Song of Ice and Fire will not suffer again from Roy Dotrice being unavailable for recording. As much I am willing to wait for George R. R. Martin's phenomenal writing, I am willing to wait for Roy to read it out loud. I will wait!!
I thought the ditzy Valley-voiced narrative would wear on me but after listening to the sample I couldn't help but laugh and enjoy Emily Eiden's portrayal of Evie, who knows nothing of being a real American teenager except what she's seen on a WB/CW-type teen drama. I'm impressed with Kiersten White's debut novel: the story is clever enough to sate those seeking Buffyesque YA fangs, claws, and things that go bump in the night adventures; the heroine is sympathetic enough to keep you engaged until the end. I even found myself eagerly waiting for the next time Evie would excitedly yell "SHUT UP!" (not in a "please be quiet" sort of way, but a "no way, really? that's awesome!" way). Heck, I'm excited for the next one, and I'll definitely get the audio. (And don't you dare change the reader! She's a keeper!)
I wanted a book to get away from real life just for a couple of hours but I'd never have guessed how far away the Study series would take me. I was hoping for a little romance and got action, adventure, and magic instead. (yes, there is a little romance. :) Yelena and all of the characters are so well fleshed out and Gabra Zackman reads them well. Ms. Snyder's otherworld is well-developed and so real, I could practically see myself there! Cheaper than a trip to Cancun and when you wake up, you're already home!
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