The First Book of Swords by Fred Saberhagen published 2012. Narrated by Derek Perkins.
8 Hrs 52 Min 9 Sec
The narrator Derek Perkins did a very good job in making this story come alive.
Although I am a ardent Fantasy reader this book did not really grip my attention as much as I figured it would after reading the blurb.
The story is never slow though it is simply that the book is setting the stage for a series that I am sure will be much more captivating than the first book in the story. It had it's moments though and I would recommend you read it yourself to decide if this fantasy world is one where you can get lost in.
Here is the review I did on the book after I read it.
Literary fiction at it's best.
This is not an easy read, nor a fast one. The reader is immersed in the life and love of a complicated family. The plot is complicated. The theme is one of perspective and in this lies part of the beauty of this novel. The readers perception is formed from multiple point of views. As soon as one perception is formed another take on the reality that is displayed is introduced.
The above is nice extra topping on literally poetry in motion. The authors ability to economically use words in a fluid descriptive manner is akin to see a master painter start a work of genius on a blank canvas. By the end of the process the observer is left stunned and awed.
I know this for this is the effect this book had on me. With almost every known emotion exploited and turned topsy- turvy, I stand in awe.
Now on to the narrators, David Kudler as Ben and Bens' dad did a masterful job in bringing to the fore, for me, what a pathetic man Ben really is. At 27 he never had a job. He blames his folks for everything. He drifts around like a hobo and assumes it is his right that his father keeps looking after him for he is his son.
Anita came to life with Heather Jane Hogan. She may not be well educated or even brought up well but she has smarts. The real type, the deep type that gives her insight into the human state of being that is actually kind of chilling. The two narrators added so much to the story, amplified it. Made it sharper, made the contrasts that more deep. I absolutely adored this book after I was a bit hesitant to start on it since I could still recall the book pretty well after reading it not that long ago. Absolutely amazing. A must listen.
Awh this is such a fast sweet read. I am convinced that most of this information is not only new for me but will help other pocket pet owners. Also for children I think this story is a must especially in audio format like I listened to. The narrator has a calm soothing voice and this should also assist to calm children down while educating them.
I received a review copy of this book from Netgalley and was totally stoked! I chanced upon the series on audible and could simply not wait to read what is going to happen next...
So I started reading but all was not well. Alex did not sound so strong in my mind. Tom sounded like a girl. And and and I had a lightbulb moment. The story is even better than the proceeding two. The pace was fast and action packed BUT what was missing was their voices. Alex sounds deep, strong and wise beyond her years. Tom sounds tough, sexy and mysterious. In my mind they all sounded like me!
So I waited and bought this audible copy and voila! Lightbulb. I was missing the narrator! Katy is totally brilliant. Alex when calm and collected sounds strong and self assured. In crises she breathes harder and her voice rise an octave or 8 but she is still undoubtedly Alex!
The story, the final in this series is truly brilliant and even better than the first two books in the series.
By now you know how I feel about the narrator.
Overall this series has made it to my top 5 series of all times.
I am generally not a fan of female narrators but I must confess that I will need to reasses my take on the male vs female narrator brilliance.
Can I give it more than 5*? I really want to give it a perfect 10!
I bought my copy of this via audible!
I knew nothing of the story going in.
This is what I found.
Extreme -- you have mad scientists. Terrorists. Hero's. One with real super powers, and yes! ALIENS!
That is alotta stuff in one book. If I read the blurb and it mentioned all this then I would have bought another in its stead.
I mean seriously...I would have made a big mistake. The author pulled it off brilliantly!
Hard to pin point within all these plot lines but I think it is the plight of autistic chldren and how they are being marginalized within "mainstream" life in general. Well, that is what I took from it.
Amazing. Really and at this price, try it, you might not like it, you might love it as much as me.
Editing and formatting
Not applicable since I listened to it on audible
I absolutely adored this narrator. His pacing, calm and soothing voice added so much to te characters that I know I am rating this book higher due to the narrator than I would have if I read it. The narrator is absolutely a master at his craft
Get the book....it even has a bit of romance......
Trust me. It is worth the read.
K.S Haigwood - Save My Soul
Reading as much as I do it is almost inevitable for me to reach a point where a novel plot line is something so elusive it almost becomes a myth. So when I started on this audio book I was shocked, delighted and intrigued with the authors ease in taking a concept so apparently logical and yet never really before explored in fiction and weaving a tale of love, loss and lust around it.
As far as novel plot line -- a 5 *. I am sure I might very well come by a guardian demon battling alongside a guardian angel in future but for now bravo to the author for entertaining me with a novel concept.
Title -- love the double entendre. You'll have to read it to know what I mean. 5*.
Theme -- as old as time it self. Love conquers all. How can I give it less than 5 *.
Execution and pace of the novel. Very well done. Sometimes I figured too much emphasis was placed on the lusty scenes but this will resonate with romance lovers.
Character building and setting. 5 *.
This was an audible copy and in this I hit a hitch.
Erin Mallon narrated the book for 7 hours 23 minutes.
Either the mixing or the narrator herself caused the first few segments of the book to be somewhat hard to listen to. The narrators exaggerated breathing at the end of sentences was extremely distracting.
Honestly she sounded like an asthma sufferer who needed to control her breathing at the start of an attack. This lasted for a few segments until it evened out. Again, I am unsure if this is the narrator or the productions fault. I also, due to the breathing issue became aware of how exceptionally well the narrator pronounces each word. I am torn between a rating of 2 due to the rocky start and 4 due to precision and eventual correcting of the problem so I will stand off at a very high 3.
In total a 4* listen and read.
Ok overall, this book might be even better than book one in the series. Which, as most readers knows, is really not the norm. However, I can see how the author is growing, the story line is better plotted. The pacing is extremely well done. The characters keeps growing in this book and the world building is very well done.
The performance of Heather Hogan really added so much to this story. Especially the scene changes from the waking to the dream world is done with a clear and non negotiable twist.
The world building of a woman in medical school is brilliant. No glossing over, no hours and hours of free time to do as she wishes, no instead this woman hardly has time to turn around twice without regretting the wasted seconds. I loved the reality that was brought in by the author in the setting of the plot. It felt real, it felt authentic which naturally translated toward the suspense in the story making it even more chilling.
A great read/listen for lovers of this genre.
I always have a problem rating a true story i mean, how can you not like a true story? Even if it is a sad or brutal one?
I have no such problems with this authors books. She writes in an every day conversational style with no thrills or fuss, no big drama it always covers the events she herself lived through. In this case it is herlife as an air force wife in the 70's.
Starting a family, starting a life together with a new job. Living a life. Now for me the most amazing thing about this authors books is what a legacy she is leaving for generations following her. Her children and grand children must be so impressed with having these books as a reference to what life is like for their parents.
The narrator, also an old favourite adds to the authenticity of the story as she relays the story as it is written, with little fuss and even less drama. Stunning.
Ok so this book will not be for all.
It has a strong Christian message. It is never preachy instead it is all action all of the time.
The main protagonists are brilliant characters. One a reborn Christian and her spouse, a believer but with certain judgements.
These protagonist has an amazing report with one another. This makes the reader connecting to the story line as they grow to love the couple.
The theme is clear. Beware!
The world building is quite believable and the narrative form makes this a seamless and amazingly entertaining story.
The male narrator sounds like a South African which is fine if your target market is South Africans' unfortunately I think the voice will grate on international listeners.
I first saw this book in a book store. It looked awesome. So when I found it on audible I was delighted.I immediately bought it. Then I kept it as a special treat.
I should not have bothered. With professional editing, the removal of the first person voice in 99% of the story and the fractured sentences which this author adores, I think the book would do well. The plot is unique if a bit ...no not a bit very gruesome and depraved.
The editing is my major complaint. Using too much SA vernacular will put this book outside the grasp of international buyers and that is always the aim. Every author wants as many people as possible to read and enjoy their work. Somehow I doubt if this book in this form will get a wide readership.
I am unsure where my initial review went but in short. This is worth the listen!
The narrator, the plot etc is really well executed and if this is a genre you like then you will probably love this book.
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