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.
I love Terry Brook's books. I think he is one of the best authors currently around. Unfortunately, I didn't think this book was up to his usual high standard. What's there is well written, but there isn't much there. I know its over 10 hours, but it feels like 10 hours of background information leading up to the actual story. We now know a little about the main characters. I hope the next book has a story for them to be in.
I have to be honest, I only made it through the first chapter before I returned this book and got my credit back. In the past, I would have forced myself to listen to the whole book before making a judgment. I have learned though, that if the author appears to be an anti-Christian bigot early on, then he probably will turn out to be one. This author couldn't wait to spew his hatred. In first chapter "born again" Christians are cast as hateful, lying, murdering, drunk, hypocrites. I couldn't envision this picture changing later in the book, so instead of punishing myself, I just returned the book. I buy books for enjoyment, not to endure a bigots insults.
Seeing the average rating for this book makes me thinks that the ratings have been rigged. This book is just bad. I don't like the first person voice of the book. It's barely Scifi, but at least they threw some aliens in. Could have just as easily put them in togas and set this in ancient Rome. First 9 or 10 chapters are nothing but protagonist working his way through high school and into college. Very exciting to read about all the alcohol he drank, all of the joints he smoked and all the girls he laid (yawn). Finally we get him into spaceship with the crocodile people and he is thrown into arena. Rest of book is him going from one unbelievable victory to the next in his fights to the death. I just wish he had died in the first fight to save me from the agony of listening to the 2/3 of the book I was able to stomach
It's probably not fair that I write a review, as I only made it to the second chapter of the second part. Two things kept me from listening further. First, I was bored, and second, I hypersensitive. It appeared that Mr. Sullivan was going to make the antagonist a hyper-religious Christian, or a right wing nut. I just couldn't stomach yet another author taking my money with one hand and insulting me with the other. Again, I didn't finish the book, so I could be wrong. Maybe Warren turned out to be a wonderful person. If so, I stand corrected and am embarrassed by my comments, but that is where the book seemed directed.
I must say that I did enjoy his Riyria novels, and I believe Mr. Sullivan is an excellent author. I just found this novel to be incredibly dull, and without an interesting story, I was unable continue listening.
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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