I was unable to get through the 2nd chapter because it literally put me to sleep at 10 am. There is no definition between characters. The narrator made no discernable voice inflections to separate the characters, male or female all were given the same sound, monotone. the story didnt really start anywhere, rather like hearing a few sentences of a disjointed conversation you have no interest in. It wasnt worth a credit, wasnt of value if free. I read to be entertained, educated or research..... not to replace warm milk to put me to sleep.
the story was good but too slow, make a nice 3 hr but it lagged and I found my self guessing at what might be happening, thinking what should be happening. forced myself to finish and it is going back, a credit is too much for a decent 3 hr story that took much longer to tell. Narrative good and I am seeing others in the series rating 5 so I will try maybe one more but I am not sure of that either.
I was not to sure of this book but since the author had improved greatly, and the narrator had become a true connection between story and author, I thought I would give it a try. It was fabulous.
We all have a dark side, or may lack control in certain situations but to truly try to keep inner most feelings buried and only acting out to keep from imploding is too human a nature to ignore. We are talking of independent beings of different heritages and backgrounds, various ages and trying to respect the privacy that keeps leaking out in ways that can get you shunned or loved by all. Mix that in a school yard and you have social learning skills going backwards. That is why there are so many watching everyone so carefully just to keep them from leaving, not really being present, and difficult to communicate with.
Some release tension by yelling, some by dominating, some by seeing below the surface and then there are those few who cannot understand themselves so they do not want anyone else to figure out anything because the person of interest isnt able to tell whether it is true or false. Only after an action has been taken can they seen what others saw or suspected before the person did. Very scary position to be in..... for everyone but especially the person who couldn't see it in themselves.
This entire group of super beings is all this and more. The two major characters have qualities that they see in each other and do not like but dont recognize in themselves. Sure it shows differently but the mind set is the same. So, send them on a field trip and see who completes the task, do they both return? Can they work as a team? Do they care and if so about what or whom or why? Now add what becomes a highly dangerous assignment that should have been just about killing, or not, each other.
The situation they are forced to deal with also forces them to see strengths and weaknesses in each other and themselves. How honest do you have to be in a fight? Or when alone? or when together before, during and after the assignment? Can they figure it out? Their lives, not just their positions in the organization, is on the line. They have run out of time, they are forced to face themselves and each other. Is there a winner? Is there a team? Who will live or die by the last paragraph, so to speak.
Now that is what a real author does. Holds your interest in every sentence right up until the last word spoken. If you want to know how this author did? Take a listen. I listened twice. This is a keeper.
This is not the movie. Even though I didn't see nor was interested in the movie, I figured the book would flesh out the story and I could always return it. Like that was going to happen. Carolyn McCormick brought words to life in a way they had never known before. I listened as a smart, wiser than her years, young girl became much more than just a survivor of games held once a year, pitting children against each other and making them killers as only one can win, survive and go home. I saw her place her life in jeopardy by volunteering to replace her younger sister, kinda expected that, but the speed in which she grasped how dangerous a position she was in before the games had even begun? was written with such clarity and told with such knowing acceptance that I knew I had to get to know this young woman. This is what the book is about. She won over those that were there to assist her, in training for the games, even though they had been scarred by their having survived the games and training young children only to watch them die? horrible deaths? year after year til they could not be present in mind or spirit but only in body. She did it not by playing the pretty girl or flattering them or trying to kill the other competitors before the games even started. She wouldn't even know how to do that but she learned, she got through to them by fighting for her life from the moment she volunteered to take her sister's place. She learned who to trust and when. To do what she was told to get what she needed to survive and yet she still did it her own way. Knowing that even if she won, it was still going to change her forever, she would not go home the girl she had been. Only one can survive the games, pitted against children from 7-y-o to young men several years older then herself, who had be training for years just in case they were called. She had a spirit that believed so strongly in the way things should be that she refused to become a killer just to kill and she won the heart of many territories as she showed proper respect when appropriate and learned subterfuge to survive those that controlled the games. What should have been a story about how wars are fought in the future becomes a tale of learning the cost of heroism, self-respect and the power such knowledge can make you more than a target for just the games. Forget the fluff of the movie trailers and listen to the hearts, or lack there of, of a world held hostage by The Games and a girl, who simply wanted to save her sister, lead a silent war on so many levels that she wasn't even aware of the effect she was having on the masses. She just knew she didn't want to die. She had just needed to get home to care for her family and friends. This one leaves something behind, tangible, inexplicable, real. It stays with you like ..... a small pin of costume jewelry...... worth more than its making but far less than the standard required to wear it.
Straight up, Luke Daniels is perfect for this Irish druid. But you would think said druid would know that all things aren't the same all the time. Giving your word completely and keeping it no matter what is not always the most honorable thing to do, especially if you don't look down the road to see where it can lead. You would think a man of this age and with his acquired knowledge would know that but then again sometimes you do what you gotta do and rearrange your life as necessary. A druid's life isn't all tea and cakes and always knowing what the right answer is. This is what makes this series so acceptable, so close to what leads our thoughts to conclusions knowing there isn't just one answer and there may not be a right answer. He is the last druid but he is alive, not a hermit or insane from living and losing so many he has truly cared about from old age, if nothing else. He still cares about humanity, individuals, probably deeper than I can because he has outlived so many and chooses to keep caring. The language isn't for children but it isn't slapping you in the face every sentence. You see yourself, your friends, your losses through his eyes. He thinks like you, screws up like you and has to go on living just like you. This book is where some of the characters, so fleshed out in the previous novel, don't survive and so well written that we feel the loss. I found myself grieving for one in particular. I felt the struggle to let go and either move on or let the grief swallow me. The druid has had to move on for over a thousand years yet his humanity is intact. He shoulders his responsibility to the earth, humanity and tries to keep his friends safe. But all isn't as it seems and in there lies the mystery, the subterfuge and how to survive betrayal, questioning friendship and/or loyalty. This is the book that tells you the price of things you never dreamed off. Grab you 2 fingers of something the color of dark golden honey, add a bit of ice, feel the sweat on the glass and ......... listen.
I actually have listened to this series twice, except for the novellas. With each new story the characters introduced in the previous story is filled out while new characters are given just enough to make them real and you look forward to learning more about them. Its fun to read of a druid who isn't stuffy, keeps up with the times and actively engages in the current civilization he is living in, visiting or looking for. You learn of his loss and yet it doesn't define him, he isn't maudlin nor withdrawn. He has learned to live in the moment. To enjoy his life, keep his values and offers kindness to those in need. This character has learned what most of us will learn..... as we age we lose loved ones, life goes on and you either grasp it and enjoy what you can or withdraw and just wait for who knows what. He is old and has buried all those that he has loved. As we age we bury all that we have loved and respected and even our mentors go ahead of us. We are alone. Or we choose to live and interact in what ever healthy capacity we can. Even if it is a chilled glass of the Irish in an old woman's hand. These aren't stories for children, not if language is a restriction but the story is not defined by the cursing nor is it used excessively. I wasn't offended as I may have said the same thing in certain situations. These stories hold your attention, make you want to listen long after you should be abed but it sure will get you through some icky chore that takes time and makes your day run smoother. You will find yourself thinking about the characters when you aren't listening and listening whenever you can. I hope you enjoy these stories as much as I do and I hope there will be many more new ones.
this was a recommendation from a customer service person. She said it was a favorite series and was well liked by many. I have learned to read reviews as I am too picky for my own good but I am so glad I took her word for it. This book is intelligent, written in today's modern world introducing someone old, wise and yet humorous in his screw-ups as well as his fast thinking to get out of his own way. He has seriously dangerous parts to his life and yet can be light-hearted with his best friend, a canine. There is enough descriptive introductions to those in his day-to-day life that makes him and them endearing. This druid is someone anyone would love to have in their circle of friends. Me? I am going to get to know his friends and enemies more in the 2nd book of the series. Join me. Smile, laugh, worry and find an escape into fantasy right in today's world.
Well, it looks like the Kanes are saying good-bye. It has been such a wonderful trip for my whole family. We listen as a family for an hour or so and discussions just began springing up, about the books, about school. This has been the tool that made the bickering far less important than what was happening to the Kane family. Egypt has become a place that is real. One of the more studious boys is looking into archeology,... Egypt, My daughter is gathering research and wants to try writing a book that mixes facts and fancy. My youngest son just wants to start the series over.... so we have. 3 nights a week is what they want, for an hour, then discussion about the book and anything else on there mind, Their study room is crammed with downloaded Egyptian facts and folk lore and as parents,,,, well, we just want the series to continue. Did Rick know that what he wrote for his own children would have such a positive change to other families? We also have started the first series, it has lots of books. and more research is being planned. Thanks for the opportunity to bring something to the table my whole family can love..
Each book is new and exciting in characters, places to go, As a family night favorite we have now started to gather info on Egypt and have added it to our discussions after the listening hour. We were surprised to find how many references in the series is associated to some extent of what we do know about Egyptian history. The kids have even downloaded maps of excavation sites and are working as a team to research. Swapping out research data so everyone learns and can participate in sharing. My daughter wants her room to represent Egypt. Because of budget concerns they have actually started crafting the tiny bedroom as a research room and are duplicating what they read about in the decorating of the room as a team effort. These books are awakening research hobbies as well as superb entertainment. Please, can't the Kanes have a growing future?
I love the series. It makes family night so much family fun. We can gather round the computer and listen for 1 hour or till the chapter ends and then it ends up opening conversations between adults and tweens. We do this now 3 nights a week because the kids asked if we could, instead of just 1 night. The discussions usually start with what we just heard but often leads to communication about what is on their minds, what is happening with school and friends. I try not to cheat but sometimes I listen while doing boring chores around the house. Its a secret. Don't tell.I wish this series were longer, like the previous series by this author. We loved the lightening kid and his friends too.
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