I'm an avid audiobook "reader", sometimes going through up to 8 books a month (lots & lots of driving and no TV!). I believe I picked this one up on sale and it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable audio experiences I've had in some time. It took a few minutes to acclimate to the writing style of alternating between action (mainly academic) and science-speak. Noting some of the reviewer comments I was also very nervous about the narration style. While I can understand reviewers who were a bit negative - there have been several narrators who have cost me highly rated books - I have to say I was captivated by the dry inflection that Mr Bray used to portray the wit and and humor of an extremely smart and not-old man. I'm up for a second go!
I thoroughly enjoyed the previous book and expected to love this one. Unfortunately, the entire reading was ruined by the incredibly long gaps between chapters, odd pacing (really slow at times and normal at others), and irregular unexpected pauses between sentences. It seemed as though the narrator recorded random sentences and paragraphs in separate sittings, which were then pieced together. The amount of dead space between every single chapter was so weirdly long that a few times I thought the book had ended. How did this production get a 'pass'?
I love "good for grown-ups too" kids fantasy. This could have been one of them except for the narration. It's very rare for me not to finish a book, however, after four attempts to get comfortable with the juvenile cadence and voice inflections, I threw in the towel at chapter 4. Too bad. The premise is interesting.
This book (and hopefully the series) is the perfect combination of sharp, smart writing and pitch-EXCELLENT narration. I've listened to a huge amount of audio books over the years and this is one that stands out as one of the best pairings I've heard. Yes- there are spots that could have lagged a bit but they were saved - no, elevated! - by R Holdbrook-Smith's execution. Oh, and did I mention how often I literally burst out laughing? Good job guys. You both now have another follower! I start book 2 tomorrow.
Love you Audible but why was this book given a good rating?? Terrible narration. Every sentence is read the same and at an irritating near-shout. No acting, no nuance, nothing. In fairness, I can't really rate the story itself because I haven't been able to get through more than 15 minutes at a time without taking a long break. Even trapped in my car during a 2 hour commute. Really really disappointing. Side note - I gave 'Performance' 1-star only because the system wouldn't allow me to leave a rating category with 0 stars and still write a review (glitch or what?). I take it back.
I'm an avid reader of fantasy and "magic books", and have enjoyed the Charlie Bone series. This one, however, isn't written nearly as well as the others - the plot is hard to figure out and wanders, and too much of the dialogue is pointless. Still, I'll eagerly await the next one and hope for the best!
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