I love Tony Hillerman books and it is great to finally get some unabridged versions on Audible. We should have all of them here of course but that is off the point. Thus I was eagerly anticipating my acquaintance with a beloved old friends Jim and Joe when a started this volume. Sadly I was immediately put off by the voice, accents (or attempts thereof) and generally delivery of the narrator. He is totally wrong for this series. His effort at a Navaho or even Native American accent comes off as bad attempt at West Texas country. And that is being quite generous. I have listened to all of the abridged Hillerman CDs and never have I heard anything this bad. If fact, those narrators generally did a fine job with the main characters. I hate to make this about the narration but the bottom line is that the book is good enough to survive even narration this bad and still be enjoyable. After the first hour, I simply became numb to the pitiful efforts to reproduce a Native American speech pattern and concentrated on the words alone. Boy do I hope the other unabridged Hillerman books here have a different narrator.
First a disclaimer; I am only on the 16th chapter so my final impression may vary. That said, I have been waiting for 16 chapters for the "story" to coalesce. Maybe it will or maybe not. To be fair, it is showing some signs of converging so perhaps there is hope. As another reviewer noted, each chapter is a bit of its own short story. If that fits your fancy, you will be right at home here. There are some connecting themes but given how detailed and lengthy each installment, it is hard to keep them in mind as you "progress". I often listen to my books after I retire and almost as often fall asleep while doing so (pity an I-pod doesn't have a deadman switch). Finding my place the next day with this book is much harder that with any other I have sampled yet.
The story (or stories) are told with rich detail and the science fiction elements are most entertaining and imaginative. If it ever truly gets rolling in a coherent fashion I think I will like it quite a bit but for now I have been managing on hints of future glory. I hope to update this review at the end (I will not let it deter me from finishing it) so we shall see how it turns out. I must admit that it is an interesting twist to have the readers satisfaction as much in suspense as any of the story lines but for now I must say, if you tackle this one, patience is very much required.
LIke others, I have much enjoyed John Lee's narrations in other books here but the audio values for this one are all over the place. I find myself constantly adjusting the volume and still at times having to backtrack to pick up key bits of dialogue. The audio production values are really not very well managed here.
The general permise and plot and the detail in the science discriptions are interesting and fun. The descriptions of the space battles and some of the diologue are rather bland and undramatic. If you are used to David Weber and Jack Campbell, as I am, this will be a bit disappointing by comparison. Nonetheless it was overall a worthwhile read and I will probably continue with the series.
HIs female voices.
Yes but nothing spectacular.
This is definitely not as good as any of the space opera episodes delivered by Weber or Campbell but not a bad start. I am hopefully his space battle discriptions and diologue improve with subsequent efforts.
I admit to being a huge fan of Bernard Cornwell. I have thorougly enjoyed every one of his books and they translate extremely well to the audible format. While it would be difficult for any series to displace his Authur trilogy as my all time favorite, this one comes close. Sadly that series is not available her but I purchased the unabridged cds some time ago and I return to it regualarly. This series is indeed a close second. If you are looking for well reseached, exciting historical fiction with sypathetic characters in interesting situations, look no further. My only regret is that the first two books of this series are only available in abridged form. Cornwell is meant to be enjoyed in full unabridged splender, which makes this last book a treat.
I also found the reading excellent. The abridged reader is a tough act to follow but once I recovered from the initial shock of the change, I was completely satisfied. I look forward to his addition to the other abridged versions (a not so small hit). Listen to this one and enjoy.
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