This is only the 2nd review I've ever written, but when I read the negative comments, I just had to put in my two cents' worth. I found this a highly absorbing book to listen to. It isn't the best of his books, and I did anticipate most (but not all) of the plot twists. Even so, with my 3 hour near-daily commute, it kept me glued to my iPod each time I climbed in the car. I thought the narrator did a really nice job with the voices. For sheer entertainment, I felt this book was a really great value.
Nothing deep, just a nice mystery to pass the time. The only thing that took me out of the story was a bit of the teen dialogue that tried too hard. I appreciated that the romance part of the story was subtle and not a main focus.
I will admit that I bought this mainly because Jim Dale was narrating and I'd enjoyed him so much with the Harry Potter books. This story, though, is beautifully written and well-plotted. The characters are well-developed in the best way: you're shown who they are via their actions rather than told. The mythology of this "other London" is realistic in the manner of the best fantasy books. This is a great tale for all ages. (And Jim Dale, as usual, does a bang up job with the voices -- he had me laughing aloud at The Dictionary.)
I love fantasy and fully expected to enjoy this book; however, I coudl barely listen to the end. It was just too much work to follow the plotlines in audio. I listened to the first hour of audio three different times to try and understand which character was which. And when the book finally got to the end, there was no resolution. It's so much of a serial that a single book doesn't finish any of the plotlines. The narrator was way too melodramatic and really annoyed me. His volume (as mentioned in another review) did get to be an issue for me as well. The whole experience was very frustrating.
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