There were small inconsistencies in this foray into fantasy; the chief amongst them would be the unlikely romantic plot strain that festers semi-predictably through the plot. Additionally the protagonist is slightly clichéd as he jaunts from slave to savior...all that being said this is well worth experiencing for seasoned Bujold junkies and those seeking a refuge from overdone fantasy epics.
The strongest elements of Bujold's fantasy may be her attention to political intrigue and treatment of fictional history rich with conflict and real human fallibility. Her characters are also multi-dimensional, and the farfetchedness of their trademark rise to fame can be chalked up to either genre or, I would only acknowledge this possibility with a writer as gifted as Bujold...medium.
The narration is excellent with balanced accents and dialects that help to construct the action and imagery. At times it seems as if the narrator loses contrast between various villains and more ambiguous plot participants, but he regains his footing quickly, and the confusion is minimal.
As always Bujold is wildly creative with a flowing prose and crafted structure that is unmatched in any genre of adventure fiction. For the questing sort this tome leaves nothing lacking in regards to deeply visceral themes, and subtly constructed humor.
Don't miss it!
Miserably predictable…introspective clichés sprinkled with infrequent imagination. The plot is so predictable it was almost as if the text was computer generated. It is disturbing and sad that this book has garnered so much attention and generated so much revenue. The popularity of this series provides a statement not only of the tastes of our culture (and where the true buying power resides), but also the publishing industry. Enough said.
More specifically I would state that the narrative voice of this production closely matches its tone and substance; unfortunately that is not a statement of praise.
While the initial volume "Hunger Games" was decently original in concept, when it comes to literary execution (i.e. dialogue, structure, phrasing, language) I have experienced more originality in Saturday morning cartoons than this series holds.
I would strongly encourage serious readers/listeners to explore other novels in favor of the time investment this series requires, which, although small, was in my estimation a total waste.
Try "The Graveyard Book", by: Neil Gaiman for a fresh face on imaginative children's literature, or "Watership Down", by: Richard Admas for an excellent 20th Century classic.
If this is the "Lord of the Flies", or even "Lord of the Rings" of a contemporary generation, the direction we are headed as a culture is a shallow and thin intellectual direction indeed.
This culminating work by the timeless master of evangelical expression moves quickly into the heart of the matter. This is a short volume so I won't spoil the fun, but as always Stott's theology and application interwine to produce memorable and poignant understandings that gestate in the soul and resonnate with believers from all denominational backgrounds.
There is some recycled material from conferences, but to my knowledge it was previously unpublished in any readily accessible format. If you are like me, and can't get enough of Stott's wisdom and kindness this final installment is a must have. I can't wait until more of his works are available on Audible. His commentaries, especially those on Paul's epistles are deeply insightful, and he is no less so in "The Radical Disciple" as he explores the same question Bill Mahrer ponders on his HBO show...what does following Jesus really look like, and why aren't we seeing more of it?
Enjoy! "The Cross of Christ" or "Ephesians" are wonderful next steps if you are just getting into Stott.
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