I'd probably listen again as I pine, wishing for more books in the series to appear in audio. I've been reading Watt-Evans' Ethshar books for 20 years and about seven or eight years ago even emailed the author to ask if any audiobooks had been produced. He replied that as far as he knew, a few had been made as part of a "talking books" program for the blind but weren't available to purchase. I was elated to hear about this audio version, but there is some indication that due to complicated publishing rights issues this may be the only one in the series to become available.
Ethshar of the Spices. Although not anthropomorphized, the city still feels like a character.
He tried a little too hard to differentiate characters so the voices were a bit exaggerated and therefore sounded forced. Also, it's pointed out in the story that Emmis is relatively young so the gruff voice didn't really seem to fit. Didn't really bother me; it's just something I noticed.
If I had that much free time, yes.
Read all the Ethshar books. They're smart, funny, and entertaining. The worldbuilding and magic systems are very consistent and although there is a definite chronology and some connections between books, they don't have to be read in any particular order.
The essays collected here are very good and cover a variety of aspects of the Ender books with a concentration on Ender's Game.
The only real problem I had was that one name was consistently mispronounced. It's not the narrators' fault; most people would pronounce "Bonzo" like the chimp that acted with Reagan, but as Petra clearly pointed out in Ender's Game: "Not bahn-zoe, pisshead. bone-so. The name's Spanish. Bonzo Madrid. Aqui nosotros hablamos espanol, senor gran fedor."
The producers* should have known this and told the narrators. Normally audio versions of Card's work are exceptionally good so an obvious error like this is particularly jarring.
*Especially if Stefan Rudnicki produced it since he read the above line himself in the Ender's Game audio. Can't remember if he did this one, but he's produced several of the Ender titles.
There's not much point in commenting on the story. If you're listening to this, you're (hopefully) at least somewhat familiar with Neuromancer and Count Zero.
As for the narration, it's fine. Neither outstanding nor abysmal. His Japanese isn't as good as his French, but it's not bad or jarring. My biggest problem (as with many audio books) is the lack of preparation. If I knew I was going to be narrating books two and three of a trilogy, I think I'd be sure to listen to book one first, particularly since Neuromancer was read by Gibson himself* so I would know he pronounced all the names the way they were intended. Had Jonathan Davis done this he'd know that "Armitage" isn't pronounced Armitahj (just one example). This happens far too often with audio books, as if the producer hands the narrator a book at random and says "Here, read this" without ever checking with the author or publisher to make sure they get the names and accents right.
*A true pity Audible doesn't carry it and evidently can't acquire the rights to produce their own recording.
This book has great characters, a well-defined magic system, political intrigue, and lots of action. It's a great selection, but still not nearly as compelling as Weeks' earlier Night Angel trilogy, all of which are also available from Audible.
The narrator does well enough, but has a tendency to raise the pitch of his voice at the end of sentences, making everything sound like a question.
The sound quality and production were fine...except that, for some inexplicable reason, the pauses between chapters are much longer than with most other audio books. Several times when I encountered long silences, I would get to the point where I had decided that it wasn't just terrible editing--there must be a problem with my player. As I reached for it to check, the next chapter would finally start.
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