This book spends quite a bit of time talking about magic, but almost none is ever shown. It's a good book overall, but not great. For me, the narration brings it down a notch. I can normally get past most narration, but the narrator has an odd way of highlighting sentences that are meaningless and giving a deadpan delivery to the exciting bits which serves to remind you that someone is "reading" this book to you. Most narrators fall into the background and become the voices of the book, that didn't happen for me.
My biggest impression is that the book is just not that smart. Not many surprises, the characters are fairly standard for a fantasy book, they have one or two dimensions at most, and at the end I was left with the feeling that the author left many things out on purpose because he knew he was writing another book. Characters are introduced, not fully fleshed out, and some even go away (when they logically would not). Overall, the characters, plot, narration, and lack of detail left everything feeling a bit contrived.
I'm not a literary snob by any means, but I do have two fully function brain hemispheres that I like to have engaged when reading. This book was good enough so that I have purchased the second book, so there is plenty to enjoy here, just not as much as I wanted. What I really wanted was less talk about magic and a little more actual magic.
I now have a new author on my "watch" list. I really enjoyed how this book was written. It reminded me of a cross between Joe Abercrombie and George RR Martin. It started out feeling a bit scattered, but then all those pieces started coming together and it was a joy to behold. A good mix of action, a little romance, adventure, magic, history, and humor.
Sean Barrett is a marvel at narration! I couldn't think of a better voice to be given to these characters and this story. He's credited with well over 100 narrated books on Audible, so he is no doubt narration royalty :)
I bought this book and just sat on it for a few months because even though I was sold on it, I wasn't quite sold on it. I just love pleasant surprises and this was certainly one. I can't wait for the next Angus Watson book!!
This novel has everything you could want! Plenty of sci-fi-ness but also a great storyline, character development, and dovetail into the overall Commonwealth universe that Mr. Hamilton has created.
This book was a little less technical than many of his books, but that just left room for more story and characters. If you've read the others in this series, this one won't disappoint you.
What hasn't been said about John Lee, simply superb!!
Wow, this book is a real page-turner! But, more than that, there is a lot of character development. I would be hard-pressed to find things about this book that I don't like, so I won't invent any here.
I don't normally read books this short because they don't usually do a good job of developing the characters, and that is very important to me. But, we got plenty of that here. We also got lots of action, tension, romance, and sex. The writer did not try to sugar coat things or imply things. The writing was true to the central character.
The narration was very good! Not among the best I've heard, but certainly above most and added a lot to the listening experience.
I will definitely be getting the next book in this series!
I really liked this book a lot, and liked it even more when I saw an article about a real person who actually was "locked in". So, like most of the best fiction, this book has it's feet planted in reality.
Wil Wheaton is a good narrator. Not great, but really good, mostly I think because he actually enjoys reading the books he narrates. He doesn't have enough "voice difference" between many of the characters, so it can get hard to know who is talking during very quick back-and-forth scenes.
Like all John Scalzi books (I loved Old Man's War), there is plenty of action and things move quickly. But, that is also my primary complaint with this book. He spends almost zero time explaining how things got where the are when the book opens. There are actually several "extra" chapters added onto the end that do explain things, but those should have been at the beginning. But, his books tend to be written in this way where he just jumps into the middle of the story and often does not end up fully explaining things. Not that I want chapter after chapter of dry history at the beginning, I think it can be worked into the overall story, but you gotta have it!
I just don't feel right calling this a novel, it is a book. It's a good book and a really great read! You will enjoy it, but you will probably also feel, like me, that it could have been excellent.
I have enjoyed listening to this entire series, so far. This book obviously advances the overall storyline and does so in the typically wonderful way of the previous books. For me, toning done the love-lines in this book made it more enjoyable. If you liked the other books in this series, you won't be disappointed. In fact, I think this book lifts the series a notch!
I really enjoyed this book! It is long (which I like), easy to listen to, full of good story, action, love, magic, etc. The plotting is very good and fits well with the first book. Nick Podehl is not my favorite narrator, but he's better than a lot of others, and does a good job here. The book keeps things moving along very well and does a lot of deep character diving. I could stand to have a lot more magic on display, but that's a small nit for a very good novel.
I enjoyed this book very much! It didn't have that gritty, personal feeling of the first book in this series however. Actually, much of this book felt like it could have been written by Robert Jordann, which is a compliment, but also tells a bit about the classic feel and storyline.
The pacing of the book waned a bit in the middle, then lots of things happen in the last 25% of the book. This is likely what would happen if I wrote a book, but not what I expect from one of my favorite authors. There was plenty of action and good writing to keep me entertained, but it felt like he was playing catchup to close the book out, near the end.
A very good book that any fantasy fan will really enjoy!
Michael Kramer and Kate Reading aren't my absolute favorite narrators, but they are in the top 10. This is another rock solid performance!
In the past, I have not been a big fan of Stephen King's work. He was always a master storyteller, and able to tap into many base human emotions, but I never thought he was a really great writer. I'm glad to say that I am starting to change my opinion, specifically with much of his newer work.
I like the way he handles the time travel in this book. It is done very well and has consequences, unlike in most books. The story is a very human story and does a good job of taking you to a place in time.
Normally, Stephen King does not write books that are this long, and in this case I don't think he should have either. There is a good bit of stuff in the middle of the book that kind of feels like filler. He could have shaved a lot of that part down and not lost anything in the telling. But, when you are Stephen King, I guess not too many people are telling you to shave down parts of your book :) Another slight case of my pet peeve about missing editors in most books today, but not overly egregious, and still told very well.
Overall, you will like this book, even if you (gasp) don't normally like Stephen King.
I'm a little over half way done with this book, but I am going to go ahead and write this review, because at this point I've been mostly bored, so even if the book does pick up the pace, half of the book was still boring, thus earning 3 stars. I'll listen to the rest, because I'm this far in, and I find the premise of a pandemic highly interesting. So, I'm just hoping something will actually happen (and hopefully not all in the last chapter - pet peeve).
Some of the problem is the semi-bland narration. It's not offensive (like too many I've listened to), but makes the characters sound bored most of the time.
The writer talks far too much about details that don't matter. I don't really care which shoe a character puts on first. I like details about surroundings or characters that actually tell me something about what/who they are. But too many details in this book don't enlighten you in any way, they just fill pages and waste time.
Yes, some of these kinds of details are also in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, but they told you something about the character and there were far fewer than in this book.
Are good editors so hard to find? Or is nobody listening to the editors? It just seems that too many books suffer from a lack of editing :(
I'll admit it, I'm a grown man and I still like comic books. I don't have a "collection" per se, I just really like the art and the inventiveness of the storylines. So, I thought this was a very cool re-imagining of the whole super-being concept (and it is). I also really really like Brandon Sanderson's writing and have read all of his previous books.
Why did I give the "Story" three stars then? It's hard to pinpoint exactly, but I really thought it could have been better. One aspect is the information that is withheld until near the end of the book answered some of the questions that bugged me through the whole thing and I thought the author was just trying to be a little too cute by withholding some of these things. It's also very very hard to pull sci-fi/fantasy into the real world in a successful way. When you build a completely new world, you can suspend all disbelief, but when your book opens in a bank lobby in Chicago, my mind starts putting me in those places and thinking about what I would do.
I also have a hard time believing that completely normal people would stand any kind of a chance against someone with more powers than superman or that superman would need any kind of an armed military. Also, if someone like superman could rule Chicago, why would they stop there? Do ego-maniacs ever have enough?
So, see, maybe it's just my geek brain getting in my own way. I would probably like it even more if I listened to it again, knowing what I know now, and making an active effort to suspend disbelief.
This book is clearly laying groundwork for what I hope will be an epic series. Yes, I will certainly listen to the next book, it's Brandon Sanderson for crying out loud! I promise to be a better listener next time around :)
The narration was very good!
The characters were well done and complex. There was plenty of action and interaction. This is a very inspired concept!
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