I still can't seem to connect with these two characters. It's possible that it's something to do with the narrator, though I thought he did a great job on Snow Crash...and he certainly doens't lack experience... Maybe it's just a hard book to read aloud. I dunno...but from chapter to chapter...it doesn't seem like these characters are developing. I don't like or dislike them...I just feel like I don't know them...and almost like they're different characters every time a new chapter starts.
Also still find the stories to be...missing some depth...and some are boring (yes, I know some are just to lead to others), and strange to say about fantasy...but some things are not terribly believable.
But as I said in my review of book 1, I'm just coming off of Jordan's Wheel of Time and Martin's Song of Ice and Fire...maybe just hard to compete with that. And maybe I'm expecting this to be one epic saga...and maybe it's just not...or at least not in the way I'm used to...
I would give this a 3.5, but not a 4 (so it gets a 3). And sorry, but I don't give credit for the "Citizen Kane factor" - I sat through it in film class and listened to the professor tell me how great it was...but as a movie compared to other movies I like, Citizen Kane was boring, slow moving, and had a boring ending - however groundbreaking and innovative it was for the time.
That said...there are plenty of good things about this book... and I'm going to go get book 3 now.
Once again, I've ventured out of the sci-fi/fantasy genre...again with a book I never would have picked up on my own. I am not a diver, I know almost nothing about...the WWII related stuff...It sounds vaguely interesting, but the kind of thing I might watch on a Saturday afternoon on discovery...if I was sick...and nothing else was on.
But...this book...was really, really good. It's billed as a "True Adventure", and I'm sure it's as "based on a true story" as much of written history is... I only mean that some of the characters are so good, it seems like they can't be 100% real...I'm sure liberties were taken...but once I remembered that I usually read ONLY fiction, I didn't think about it again.
The whole thing is very well written...presented like a fast-paced action/adventure movie (that may not make sense, but it's the only way I can think of to describe it). They give exactly the right amount of information about diving and the dangers of deep wreck diving, backed up with horrifying real accounts. They give exactly the right amount of background on the main characters...no boring crap - really interesting and action packed stories... By the time they got to the diving...I couldn't put this book down...I was on the edge of my seat...
Now that all lasted for about 3/4 of the book - which is about the point any sane human being would have just "let it go", but Chatterton was obsessed. There are some more tense and exciting parts...but there is also entirely too much time devoted descriptions of the lives of non-characters... Don't let any of that stop you from getting the book though - even if you care nothing about diving or WWII history (beyond what you learned in school) - just get this one - seriously.
I'll admit, I'd never have picked this up without someone repeatedly prodding me to do so...but I'm really glad I did. I mostly read/listen to sci-fi/fantasy, so I'm skeptical about anything non-fiction...if I wanted non-fiction I'd watch the flippin' news (is about how my poor attitude would respond...) - but this story is good...hard to put the feeling into words - kind of intriguing and horrifying...on many levels. Not just the...main tragedy part - but what makes someone want to do this...the normal things they do...that they don't consider tragedies...from the catching and processing of whales, to the stuff that happens on the islands (like the Galapagos)...my god...
If you already know the story of the Essex, there probably isn't a ton of new info - but still worth the listen. If you don't know the story that was part of Melville's inspiration for Moby Dick, you should probably pick this one up!
Got this to check out Brandon Sanderson back when we learned he'd be finishing the Wheel of Time series, ended up getting the whole series, and loving it! Honestly, I'd give this one 4.5 stars - but it's good enough that I can't just give it 4! I've said it before, but Brandon Sanderson really knows how to write - not just new and very interesting ideas (like Allomancy, Feruchemy, and Hemalurgy), but also how to keep a reader/listener engaged (and he gets even better at this in the future...). If you're a fantasy fan and haven't read this series, you should get it! If you're new to the genre, add this to your wish list - you'll thank me later.
It's short (compared to some of my favorites), but what it lacks in size it makes up for in content. The level of detail is perfect, the world and characters are believable, and the story is interesting and fun. This series is definitely targeted for readers younger than myself, but it's one of those that's written well enough to be enjoyed by all. (Examples of other books targeted for younger readers I've enjoyed include the Bartimaeus series, Lord of the Rings, Ender's Game, the Discworld books, the Wheel of Time series, etc.).
All I mean is that the prologue is included in the book - which is going to be released in about 2 hours - so if you're getting that, there's (probably) no reason to also get this. I happily paid $2 for this before the book was released because...I'm deeply invested in Jordan's story, LOVE what Sanderson has been doing with it, and truly enjoy listening to these two narrators who have been here since book 1. I am sooooo excited to start listening to the actual book tomorrow!!!!!
Twiddling my thumbs waiting for the next books in various series, I decided to take the advice of a co-worker, and give this one a listen. Reviews that start out like "if you've ever played an MMORPG or were alive in the 80's..." are correct - you'll probably like this book. It's a pretty fun listen - the keyword there being "fun". It's a walk down memory lane [I love/loved most of the referenced movies, games, music, and authors] but it is neither presented as nor intended to be some sort of documentary... This is a sci-fi story set in 2044 that even people who view World of Warcraft as "old" and have never owned an Atari 2600 will be able to get into.
And then, there's Wil Wheaton...who happened to be on one of my favorite shows that ran from when I was about 12 until I graduated high school...and...was...let's just say "not my favorite character". I've gained some respect for Mr. Wheaton since then, though still probably would have decided against getting this book if I'd noticed he was the narrator before buying it. That would have been a mistake, though...in fact...now that I've listened to it, I think he was probably the perfect choice. He has a good voice for narration and does a very good job, and...where some of his Star Trek cheesiness does show...it actually seems to fit.
Everything I liked about the first one - interesting, clever, well written, great characters, very funny, and I really love getting the demons' points of view. As with the first one, I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and I'd have no problem with my kids listening to or reading it.
I find the audio version of this series more enjoyable than the print version. This is mostly due to the wonderful performance by Simon Jones. I...sometimes give 5 stars for performance when it...maybe...isn't deserved - but in this case, it REALLY is.
Another reason is that in the print version there are multiple footnotes on nearly every page...which is not soooo bad, but having the footnotes read inline by Simon Jones is MUCH better!
We're all familiar magic and the summoning of supernatural beings, and we understand there are rules that must be followed or...bad things will happen. You've gotta use the correct words, and draw your circle and...protective magical symbols exactly right, and don't let summoned demons trick you into coming out of the circle...we get that.
What makes this series stand out (aside from brilliant writing, very interesting, clever, and funny story, etc.) is getting the point of view of the summoned beings..what are they thinking and feeling...what drives them...what determines if they do what they're ordered to do or...do something horrible to their summoner?
Amazon says this book is for "ages 10 and up" - I fully agree. I'm in my late 30s (that's the "and up" part), and I loved the whole series. Also, I plan on buying the print version for my kids this holiday season.
I read this one years ago, so I knew what I was in for. The story is HUGE...there's really a lot to process (and honestly, this book only covers a small slice...) - more than 99% of the world's population dead...that's a lot of rotting corpses...but there's so much more...power plants without people to run them...sure there's plenty of food and gas for now...but nobody is making more... Likely everyone a person knew is dead - so what to do...try to live alone - stay in the city - head for a cabin in the woods or a mansion in some gated community? Surviving...”this”...was one thing, but what about a broken leg or strep throat? Who else survived...are they good guys or bad...what are they doing - trying to get by alone? Organizing? Going crazy? What's happening in other cities...states...countries? How does humanity continue...regroup and try to get back to what they had...try to change things...? I'm a sucker for this kind of story...and when you throw in a little supernatural good vs. evil, it makes it all the better. The characters are very human – which I both like and dislike – like because they’re believable, dislike because some humans make decisions that drive me insane!
This is one of the books I won’t actively recommend to “everyone”. The story is great – don’t get me wrong – it’s just so long. I know several people who didn’t make it half way through – both the print and audio versions. There are a million professional reviews – go read them, and then decide.
I read my dad's hardcover copy of this book once in high school, and thought it must surely be the best book ever written. Not only truly scary (in more ways than one), but also truly beautiful... It's not just about horror...and it's not gory simply for the sake of being gory - it's about childhood and friendship and imagination and adventure and love and...loss and pain and hardship and...real life...(and a super evil monster to mix things up a bit).
While I...might...argue with my high school self...a little...about it being the best book EVER written, I'd agree it's definitely a masterpiece. It's been nearly 20 years...but I actually think I enjoyed the audio version even more....
Get this one.
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