I really like these books, and think Miles and the other characters are worth following. But there's so much discussion of internal states, twisting and clenching of stomachs, and recitation of backstory that I find myself sometimes telling the narrator to just move on instead of dwelling incessantly on some of the details. Perhaps an abridged version would be more enjoyable. Nevertheless, I look forward to the next installment, having discovered some surprising information about Miles and his family. The narration is good, too.
Scalzi outdoes himself here, with a book that has a full story in it, followed by codas that continue and develop the ideas in the main story, wrap up loose ends, and are a tour de force of writing style. The idea is one that has been around for years (since the original Star Trek, at least), and Scalzi handles it very deftly and in an original manner. On the way we get hilarity as well as scenes that are very moving.
Wil Wheaton is a good choice for the narrator, and he does a good job overall. He is very good in scenes with emotional content, but could use a little more punch in the rest of the material.
Well worth the time and expense.
Please, please, give us back Joe Mantegna. While the writing is as enjoyable as ever, the narration is quite disappointing after listening to Mantegna for so many other novels. While Rudnicki is vastly better than Burt Reynolds, no one does Spenser and his friends remotely as well.
I was interested in this book mainly to find out about the gray man, who appeared in a later book (I'm encountering the books out of order), and the book, itself, was not a disappointment.
The narration, however, was abominable. Reynold's mumbling required me to increase the treble and decrease the bass and backtrack occasionally to try to hear what he said. I was amazed at how many cops in the Boston area had good ol' boy southern accents, and Reynold's renditions of Ives and others were lame. Vinnie and Fish sounded like Rick from Casablanca.
Please, let Joe Mantegna do Spenser. Though his rendering of women is sometimes weak, it's ok, and the others are usually very good. And audible.
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