I have read the other reviews available, and I feel like I'm listening to a different book. It is described as fast paced, but I found it to be extremely slow, with very minimal action. Other than two or three situations, in the book, the entire story is dialogue. This is unfortunate, because the dialogue is very amateurish. The characters talk in circles, with an occasional tangent thrown in. They will start the conversation with an issue. They will settle that issue. They will drone on and on until 5 chapters later they decide to rehash the initial issue as though they had never discussed it. This is not an exaggeration. I believe the conversation between Magda and the spiritist, when combined with one of the early conversations between Magda and Merritt, takes up about half the book.
I feel bad about being so negative regarding this book, but it was painful to listen to. I have read thousands of books and listened to over a hundred, and I have never felt so compelled to write a negative review. As a matter of fact, I have never felt compelled enough to even write a negative review.
I didn't have as much problem with the narration as others apparently did. I just don't think a narrator can save a bad book. I do agree that the editing was poor and am surprised that despite all of the comments about it, nothing has been done.
Possibly, as another reviewer suggested, this is for a younger audience and I am just too jaded to enjoy it.
This is the first audiobook written by Gene Wolfe that I have listened to. I read a comment rating it as one of the best fantasy novels of all time, right after The Lord of the Rings, and so I had to listen to it. I thought the narrator was great. I actually thought the writing was very good as well. I guess I am just one of those listeners who buys a book to be entertained with a good story. This book did not have one. I felt that it was 12 hours of prologue, with no real story ever developing. Frankly, I was bored. I assume that by the end of the book, we have met all of the primary supporting cast that will carry on into the next book. Hopefully, they will do something interesting. Unfortunately, I don't want to waste a credit to find out.
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