So I actually disagree with the other review about how you can hear her breathe and swallow. You can a little but it isn't distracting. The problem is her interpretation of the text. Sure, the main character is carrying around a ton of baggage, has absolutely no patience, and is insecure about her ability to do almost anything (and yet keeps doing it all), but the tone the narrator gives to the woman makes her flat-out unsympathetic. Goldy ends up just sounding immature and whiny. This same treatment is given to multiple female characters. It's one thing to read these books and see the issues of the characters but the narration adds an extra level which pushes them over the top. The wimps are wimpier and whiners are whinier, and the cheerful optimists are so full of bon mots in the face of grumpiness that they all become extreme caricatures. I listened to this book on a road trip and found myself not caring about how it all ended up even though I have enjoyed reading other books in the series (actually reading, not listening). A different tone for many of the sentences uttered by characters could have salvaged this. They are predictable but would be pleasant enough to listen to when falling asleep except for this issue.
I won't repeat other reviews too much. If you see the same thing multiple times, I probably agree with it. The characters are complex. When the servants of Satan are kind and angles are annoying even if they do not technically sin (at least not without serious consequences), any plot is more likely to be fun. Each book in the series involves the main character solving some sort of mystery that has baffled her superiors with help and humorous breaks from a cast of immortal and mortal characters that are also well developed for the most part. There aren't too many shallow charactuers even if minor characters are not as fully developed as the leads.
It took me a bit of time to get used to the narrator. Unlike other reviewers, I found that her style of speaking did not quite match what I expected for the main character. However, it wasn't so off that I could not enjoy the book and before i reached the end of the first book, her style didn't bother me any more. Given that there is a whole series narrated by the same person, this is only mildly distracting for a small portion of the overall series.
I really wanted to enjoy this. I love good light fiction and a mystery with an interesting background is always fun. The narrator was fine. I didn't expect much from the plot and it was fine albeit as predictable as you might expect from a mystery/romance. I just could not sympathize with the main characters. I found myself thinking "these idiots deserve each other" multiple times. By the end, I found them less objectionable than at the start but I never really found myself feeling more than apathy for them.
I think this book is much more limited in its audience than some other popular young adult/kids series. The characters are fun and multifaceted enough to be generally interesting. The story develops nicely but the plot is fairly predictable.
The story was pure Pratchett. I really enjoyed this recording and feel the need to address some of the comments about the narrator.
While I also adore Nigel Planar, I found Celia Imrie a very appropriate narrator for this story. I have a hard time with narrators that are different genders than the main characters and I suspect I am not unique. I did not find Celia Imrie at all difficult to understand. Her Granny Weatherwax is perfect and I will have a hard time moving on to books about the witches read by Nigel Planar in large part because of this.
This is a classic tale of missing people, government corruption and a beautiful damsel in distress (of a sort). Unfortunately, I have to agree with the first review of this book. The story is a classic but the narrator is terrible. She sounds like a computer and her high pitched voice was a poor choice for a first person narrative with a male protagonist. The narrator's voice has almost no inflection, perhaps contributing to the impression that this was read by a computer. All of these issues increased the time it took me to become engrossed in the story. I'd suggest people try the other recording of this book now available on Audible but the sample of that also sounds a bit like a computer with many of the same issues. However, the other narrator is male if nothing else.
It is a wonderful story though and the fact that we could enjoy it in spite of the narration is probably an excellent indicator of just how great a tale it is.
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