Gretna, LA, USA | Member Since 2006
As I've stated previously, I LOVE Armageddon and dystopian audiobooks. Let's not forget my predilection for the superhero genre', as well!
Oh, wait, did I mention zombies? AND good writers?
Clines is one of my favorite writers in these genre'. Why? The man can WRITE, people. And write quite WELL, thank you.
Keep in mind that good writing is simple, descriptive, rich, has a destination and moves you toward that destination. No, that's not a dichotomy, It CAN be done, but not by many writers, ESPECIALLY in the zombie genre'. Seems like any and everyone wants to write a good zombie novel or series, but pulling it off? Not so much.
Clines, who's given us his enjoyable and unpredictable "14" and his recent smaller but worthy "Quatrain" audiobook, just keeps giving us good reading and listening, period.
When I first cracked open my wallet, pulled out my Audible credit, and purchased this audiobook, I had my doubts. Well, Clines proved himself worthy of the daunting task. I liked this listen so much, that I listened TWICE. Yes, that correct. I did it. Don't judge me! It was that well written.
Here's what to expect herein:
Great writing (Already said that!), a conceivable storyline, excellent hero origin stories (especially the zombie origin!), wonderfully descriptive plot lines, and a strong interwoven story that punches forward boldly into the following two novels. The zombie aspect of this novel was descriptive, believable, and in the end, enjoyable. In all, a welcome departure from the recent authors that stumble together into a muddled mess of a novel, and therefore a listen . Believe me, I know, because I'll be review a few of those soon, and I won't be gentle, nor will I be forgiving.
But back to Ex-Heroes.
You'll be excited, nervous, thoughtful, sad, mad, and at the end of the listen, satisfied, yet ready for more. I've already purchased and listened to the other two audiobooks in the series, and YES,they are AWESOME listens, if you like these genre'.
Clines, what have you done to me? You've written three great novels in this series, THAT's what you've done.
So, hurry up, and get to writing the next one!
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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