Gretna, LA, USA | Member Since 2006
"What if?" This is the core of the best audiobooks written, and this fantastic series is no exception. What if electricity, part of the very laws of physics, was suddenly switched off, along with all major explosive chemical reactions? Stirling, one of my favorite authors explores this wonderful concept in an original fashion. At once a harsh, nightmarish event, it builds quickly into a medieval society, steeped in knights, almost forgotten skill crafts, castles, field warfare, subterfuge, pagan religions, and secret societies. Without giving away plots and story lines, you will be, in a word, entranced, by this initial foray into Stirling's creation, and you'll find it a good solid read that can easily be discussed and argued about over coffee or a meal. You'll discover tremendous character development, continuity, growth, and a believable milieu, and in the midst of all this, an undiscovered and perhaps intentional cause of this worldwide event. It lies out there in the distance, and awaits not only the characters in the story, but the reader, as well.
This is, simply put, GOOD LISTENING. So, buy this audiobook, and dive in.
If you follow my reviews, you know that I like to roll the dice, to randomly buy a series on a whim, on the luck of the draw. Sometimes, it's a bust.
This time, it's a definite win, but if you go by how the series was created, you'd probably run in the opposite direction.
Here's one for the books: Jim Butcher is well-known for his "Dresden Files" series, created a fantastic fantasy series on a BET. Yep, a bet. Read on.
To quote the Codex Alera Wiki site, "the inspiration for the series came from a bet Jim was challenged to by a member of the Delray Online Writer’s Workshop. The challenger bet that Jim could not write a good story based on a lame idea, and Jim countered that he could do it using two lame ideas of the challenger’s choosing. The “lame” ideas given were “Lost Roman Legion", and “Pokémon”.
It DOES sound lame.
Well, Butcher makes it work. To the nines.
I've finished this first novel, and I'm enjoying this unique story line of humans with Roman similarities binding with elemental furies. Add unique races, backstabbing, politics, military battles, duels and an interwoven story line that pulls it all together, and you get a fantastic story that's simply put, a VERY VERY good listen.
The whole concept of fighting alongside elemental familiars used here is wonderfully executed. It's deep, well-thought magic-based partnership of man and magical creature is a pleasure to experience.
So, what about the writing?
Again, if you follow my reviews, you know that I love ENGAGING fantasy or scifi writing. Anything less won't do. And this is definitely engaging. There's great characters that plot, backstab, challenge, fight for their beliefs, devour their enemies, and celebrate their victories. You're taken on a great romp of a story, and in the end, isn't that what we all want in a good listen?
I know I do, and I so enjoyed this first audiobook in the series, that I bought the entire series. Yep. And I'm not disappointed with the decision.
Who knew that Lost Roman Legions and Pokemon could knock it out of the park?
Home run, Jim. Home run.
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