Gretna, LA, USA | Member Since 2006
You probably haven't heard of Harry Turtledove. However, if you're into alternate history on a grand scale, or are passionate about the history, politics and leaders during the Civil War, you know EXACTLY who this author is, and his wonderful body of work.
If you look up his work, you may step back and say, "Where do I begin?"
You begin HERE. This audiobook is the doorway to all of the author's other tremendous and well-written works for this period, and beyond.
Once the story shifts to the changes that take place, the journey is both encompassing and engaging, which are true prerequisites for good alternate history novels.
You'll meet well-known characters such as Lincoln and Custer in this audiobook, but you'll also meet unsung heroes who complete a tremendously woven tapestry for the entire series.
Turtledove has done his research, and it shows. From speech patterns, descriptions, reactions and more, the author will take you there, and give you a thirst for more in this series.
Thanks, Harry, for such well-written and entertaining writing.
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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