If I remember English Lit correctly, your typical novel is supposed to be about character growth and transition ... or something like that. Not here. Old Jack Reacher starts the story as a smug, violent b**rd and ends it the same way, albeit after quite a few dead people, damaged property, and wrecked cars.
Don't get me wrong, as an action movie it's great. Wow, even. Loved how the action just never seemed to stop. But unfortunately I have also just listened to Jim Butcher's new Harry Dresden novel, Cold Days. Harry definitely changed, grew and discovered things about himself while ALSO blowing up things, wrecking cars, etc., etc. At the end of Cold Days I felt like Harry had grown. At the end of Killing Floor, I felt that Jack Reacher was not only betraying the standards of American jurisprudence, he was also going on to more novels with more mayhem for mayhem's sake.
Not sure if that came through right. Good story but way too alpha male for me. Anyway, as an action story it was satisfyingly violent. I won't be reading any more in the series, however.
And after reading this story, I won't be watching 5 foot something Tom Cruise play 6 foot 4 inch Jack Reacher. Dissonance!
the narrator is not the worst I've ever heard but she makes absolutely no sense narrating a story where the two main characters are male. It grated. Also she speaks in what I think Brits call a posh accent EXCEPT for dialog which is all done with American accents, other than for Scotty, of course. Huh? To quote Spock, "Highly illogical." Brit pronunciations of common words detract from story comprehension for this American. There are occasional missing words.
Foster has written Star Trek episode and movie novelizations for something like 40 or 50 years. Great writing. Loved movie. Slogged through listening just because it cost me a credit and I liked movie.
Heroic WW2 sailors fighting inhuman monsters ... imagine the possibilities and Taylor Anderson has. Loved this concept from the first. I'm currently reading book 3 (borrowed from library), but this first book is still my favorite. I knocked the narrator down one star. He does a fine job, especially when half of the characters aren't human, but he does give pretty much everyone on the destroyer a southern accent.
Curry takes one of the most lovable and best known stories in English literature and makes it better. Superb timing, voicing and expression. Loved every minute of it.
This short story, while a little dated in some aspects (Bradbury wistfully predicted humans will soon abandon cities because we will all learn to fly helicopters) is still one of my all time favorite sf short stories, mostly because Bradbury manages to brag about humans without having a single one in the cast. I knocked it down one star because of the datedness.
I found the storyline in Janissaries to be a bit confusing. The janissary of the title is not the main character (a janissary is a child raised by a conqueror to be a soldier against his own people) and is not really a janissary anyway since he's not a soldier. I think Pournelle probably just thought it was a cool word. Anyway, while the plotline holds together it was just a little to convoluted unrealistic for my taste. It was roughly the same plot as H. Beam Piper's Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen (guy with knowledge of history of firearms and warfare dumped into medieval, pre-firearm culture). Piper did a better job. Maybe future books in series will be more engaging. I'll take a look.
I like Simon Green's work for two reasons -- first, they're silly and second they're British. This new series seems is pretty similar to the Nightside series, same author voice, same phrasings, same random inclusion of highly unlikely characters and plot directions. I'll probably keep reading it, provided the prices don't get too high. Green appeals to my sense of fun, although I wish he'd drop some of his over-used phrasings. "It was the easiest thing in the world" comes immediately to mind.
Harry Dresden, who is fond of blowing up buildings and finding new and inventive ways of getting injured, does not spend much time in this book commiserating his appointment as Winter Knight even though he basically attempted suicide to avoid the job (Ghost Story). Instead he works out his issues in his usual way -- blowing things up, rushing around looking for clues and did I mention blowing things up?
Most of Harry's still-living compatriots make some sort of showing in Cold Days, except Marcone. I don't think he shows up and he is one of my favorites. The book contains many dramatic developments that will keep me waiting eagerly for book number 15.
As I mentioned in another book review, I have read in print all the previous Dresden books and Marsters' voice isn't as deep as the one my imagination gave Harry. Also, his squeaky renditions of Toot-toot and other tiny fairies were hard for me to understand. Cute, but hard to understand. On the other hand, Marsters' has a wonderful professional actor's command of narration, using a full range of pitch, pacing, and tone to evoke the content of dialog and Harry's first person comments. I believe that first person stories like Cold Days are basically a long, one-sided conversation between the narrator and the listener. And a really good narrator like Marsters remembers that.
I figured Summer Knight was probably going to be the main precursor of Cold Days among the early Harry Dresden books so while I waited for the latter to be released I went back and read it. It didn't hurt that the price was reduced to $4.95 at the time. I think Marsters is a great actor and puts a lot of inflection, interest and variety into his readings, but frankly I had imagined Harry with a deeper voice when I was reading text versions. Also, while the squeaky voices Marsters uses for the miniature fairies is cute, it was impossible for me to understand. That said, as everyone else has observed Marsters is Harry Dresden and I will howl with the rest of them if he doesn't continue as narrator. Oh, and Summer Knight was great. Not as long and complex as Cold Days turned out to be, but still a great Dresden story in the typical staff waving, Forzare! and reluctant mayhem sort of way.
I just love finding old favorite stories in the audio format. This was the very first Audible book I finished and such a great old story. I couldn't help thinking "with a little more romance this would make a great Syfy Channel Saturday movie" and I'm pretty sure the original text is out of copyright. Oh well, dream on. Anyway, the young narrator of the story did a good job although I think there was one or two stumbles in there. Like I said this was my first Audible book so what do I know. A quick fun read.
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