I am a confirmed fan of the Wheel of Time series. It is easy to read, though the plots and subplots are challenging to follow. I read this prequel after finishing Book 7, and really enjoyed it. This "prequel" is really a vehicle to develop the characters of Lan, Moiraine and Siuan. Since the mystery concerning these characters and the reasons for their quest to find the Dragon Reborn helped make the first three or four volumes more interesting, I recommend a new reader read at least the first three volumes before reading this book. Jordan's prose sounds excellent when read. The readers are talented and, as a result, this is one book that might be more entertaining to listen to than to read.
I agree with the other reviewers that the narration is poor. In particular, I found the accents poorly chosen and jarring. For example, the Roamers all sound like Southerners (with really artificial accents) and several characters have exaggerated English accents. This narrator is terrible and ruined the book. In contrast,the first three books were well done. Read the book and skip the audiobook--or you will be disappointed. I have listened to almost a hundred audiobooks of all genres and with many different narrators. I often find myself disagreeing with reviews of the sort I have just written. This is the first time I have felt compelled to share my thoughts about a narrator.
Any discussion of food in the context of what one should eat and why is bound to have a strong point of view behind the prose. Such is the case with this book. I was fascinated by the author's presentation, since he obviously loves food and tried very hard to remain objective as he showed how organic food has progressed from counter-culture to mainstream. The discussion of the organic food industry is one of the best I have ever seen. I highly recommend this book for that reason. The remainder of the book is also very interesting and enlightening.
Very informative and interesting discussion of this issue. His presentation of the history of the global warming theories and debate is the best part of the book because he demonstrates the theories are rooted in science that has developed over the past 100 years. The second portion of the book is not up to the high standard set by the first half of the book. While the author states that he is presenting a scientific case for global warming, his ad hominem attacks on President Bush and Australian leaders belie his bias (scientists are, after all, supposed to use dispassionate logic when presenting their point of view). Still, most will benefit from his discussion of this topic and I, for one, came away believing that something should be done now about this problem.
Of course, since I have read the entire series, including the prequel, I liked this book. Many readers of this series are waiting for the climax, but this book merely sets the stage for it (and we may be way off stage as yet). Jordan is in no hurry and apparently needed to develop the parallel plots for the major characters (and I think this is why he released also a prequel to this series this year). I enjoy the detail and the manner in which Jordan develops his characters and plots, so I found this book very enjoyable. There is a lot happening to the characters in this book, but nothing much is resolved. What is wrong with that? If you have a relationship with this series, then this is an interesting book. Not the best book in the series, not the most exciting, but a good read. I prefer the audio version of this book to the printed version. The reader does a capable job on this book. Frankly, I think the printed book is difficult to complete. If you have not read the previous 9 books, then wait until you have and then I think you will find you'd rather listen to the audio book than read the print version.
This was a very entertaining and informative audiobook. The reader is excellent and the prose as read very entertaining. The best characteristic of this book is the gradual and deliberate development of the parallel stories the author is telling. The plots are interesting and the author interrelates them well. There is one potential fault. The author went into considerable detail in developing the story of the Columbian Exposition and I suppose he felt he needed to add a lot of detail concerning the activities of the fiend Holmes as well. Since I can do without the gruesome details of the murders (particularly the way he dealt with the bodies), I simply tune out that part of the book. These portions are really very short and those who want to listen to those parts will probably find them interesting. I judge audiobooks as good or excellent when I look forward to continuing my listening and when I am sure that I am following the book over the period of time it takes to finish the book. This one meets those criteria and therefore it is a "5."
I am a Bernard Lewis fan. I think he is worth reading to compare how the media handles issues with Lewis' treatment. Other writers are more cautious when dealing with issues (for whatever reason). Lewis is tough when he criticizes Arabs and equally tough on Westerners who try to deal with Islamic peoples and their govrnments without bothering to understand them and and their governmental system. His spoken prose is also entertaining.
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