I like (not love, like Book 1) the story and character but the reader Carolyn McCormick puts too much of herself into Katniss. Her emotional renditions seem unauthentic and whiny quite often. I actually began to cringe when I felt she was ruining a given part, which increased in frequency over time. Also, I feel the story and situations become predictable in the 2nd and 3rd book of the trilogy. I found myself wondering what the story would be like if reading and avoiding the overlay of the reader (too heavy in general).
I just finished a few books in a Lequin series. I was expecting something like that. The difference is none of the ad nauseum scenic descriptions, more forward movement in the tale, and none of "I wish this book were over so I could get the point". I love scenery, especially in imagination, and McCaffrey does a better job in a digestible amount of words. The characters, though obviously in a fantasy world, are much like people I know and struggle with. To me, the sign of a great author is one who blends fun with reality, so that when we read we are entertained and moved, or inspired, or driven to thought about our own life. I'm finding this book entertaining and thought provoking, and I walk away from each listening time filled with pictures of another world, and thinking about emotions and schemas in my life. I anticipate each listening time with a sense of joy, as opposed to "I hope this is the time it becomes really, really interesting and moving".
In my opinion, this book has depth, reflection, well developed emotional themes, interesting and varied characters, and an engaging, multi-level, story line.
Almost forgot, the narrator is very engaging and interesting, and seems made for the period. But she almost sounds as though she has a vocal impediment or strain. It takes a little getting used to, maybe like listening to Katherine Hepburn in her later years. It doesn't interfere, and it's feminine, obviously, like the main character, so she works well.
Ok, someone compared this to Harry Potter. In my opinion Suzanne Collins doesn't have the depth of soul of Harry's author. She can't explore characters the way Rowling does, and setup such amazing acts of friendship. Gregor books are good, and a great setting and story, but for me, the 2nd book was only 1/2 as good as the first. I did cry, and cheer, and laugh out loud, but then was feeling stale, and seeing very similar trends in the Bane (2nd) book. I was sad about that. Teh Narrator is amazing, but RipRed had a very different voice and character in the Bane book. Weird. He was my favorite Character. I realize this is all personal, but I promise these books are not on par with Potter. Don't expect that and it's a good read and fun tale that is easy to get lost in.
This book has the usual deep meanings that Kate Dicamillo imparts. The heart warming and mysterious stuff. But it feels emotionally, and message-wise too much like a rewrite of her other books. I did enjoy it though, very much. But it just wasn't original and each page fascinating and moving, like Edward Tulane for instance. Kate's books are so deep and the reader is so good, though, that you do get transported into this inner world of the book, so maybe if I was emotionally in a different place, or different events in life, It would have hit me harder.
It moves too slow. Way too much detail for enterntainment. Fun in parts. Takes a long time to warm up. Obviusly, very well researched. Great for history buffs. Dry as a bone in most parts. The male reader doing a southern accent is enough to make me angry and want to turn it off. It would have been fine to do no rendition of accent. Then all the sudden when the female read, the whole feeling of the book changed. The man's voice feels like a dry, dull, boring teacher. The women put emotion into it, and I actually felt something. This book has no emotional impact until the woman reads. If you like reading a newspaper, then you may like this.
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