This book and its sequel (really the second half of the story) are 2000 pages or 80 hours of setting and character sketches in search of a plot. I don't wont to spoil the story for those that want to slog through this, Hamilton had some great ideas for settings, technologies and characters and tried to string them together with a plot that was a variation on the
Relief that I'd finally finished it.
The story was pretty clunky. The characters were flat. This reads like what it was, an early effort that Card tried to fix up and publish. There's a good idea for a book in there somewhere, but this one would have fared better with a complete re-write.
Lots of good sf/fantasy action here in an alternative history setting. The noir detective style lingo lends a good period touch, too.
Hearne comes through again on this second installment. Great plot planning with good pacing and just the right blend of action and humor. This is a fun series if you're a fan of the genre.
Daniels does a great job with the narration and gets the accents and voices just right. Listens more like a dramatization than a pure audiobook. Lots of fun!
The story is a decent one for fans of the series and part of a bridge between Shannara eras. The narration is overdone. The female voices are particularly painful. The reader would bring my grade lower, except I enjoy the series. If you want to have the bridge story, borrow the dead tree version from your local library.
Good reader. Don't buy this if you're new to the series though. I made this mistake and could not make it through the first segment.
I enjoyed the readers in this one, though I did not think they were as strong as those who previously handled the series.
Hearn once again shows an ability to create a wonderful setting and story premise. However, she once again shows an inability to conclude a plot line consistently with either the characters or the plot lines she has developed. There are many equally fine places for a story to end and Hearn chose one of them. She just did not get us there in a way that was true to the characters (one in particular) or a logical plot line. I am reluctant to use more detail for fear of spoiling the story.
I am grateful to Audible for releasing this book. I thought it was well read and well produced.
Also, because I "read" it while driving, I was actually accomplishing something. Had I read it the old fashion way the time would have been irretrievably lost, stolen from me by Dan Brown and this truly awful book.
Brown violates every rule of suspense writing. He alternately makes the characters more knowledgeable than the reader. (They spend pages and pages--- hours----just spouting off on varioius inane theories and leaps of logic designed to do, who knows what!) Then, they miss clues that are so painfully obvious as to cast doubt on whether they are truly worth caring about. Plot twists without prior support abound. He also can't stop indulging in a cliff hanger at the end of every (almost every) chapter like he was writing a treatment for a made for TV movie.
Finally, he seems to come from the school of writing that any point worth making, any metaphor worth making, is worth beating again and again until it's nothing but a pile of dust. Did someone run a word count on how many times the phrase "sacred feminine" was used?
Obviously, some people liked it. I didn't. If you take my advice, you won't waste your money, and more importantly, won't waste 15 precious hours of your life on this book. That much of my life is gone and my only consolation is that at least I got to work and back several times in the process.
Don't read this one unless you are a die hard Tom Wolfe fan. It is Wolfe at his worst (or best if you're a fan).
The reader was good. He's the only reason this one gets even a single star in my book.
I was really disappointed in the substance of this book. If you set it some place other than in mid 20th century Japan, it would not have drawn any sort of notice.
I also thought the reader was a very poor choice for this. She might have done a good job on some other material, someone who could at least come close to pronouncing a Japanese word would have been better.
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