If you are waiting for Skin Game by Jim Butcher to come out and are looking for something to read, this is it. I have been looking for something like Dresden for years and I finally found it.
I listen to lots of children's stories since I have toddlers and most adult books that I tend to listen to are not appropriate for little ears. I wasn't a fan of the defensive/ sometimes bratty attitudes of the main characters and it took me awhile to become more interested in the story. I can't say that I ever truly "got into" the book. However, it wasn't so bad that I won't listen to the next books in the series. This story didn't hold my attention as well as Peter and the Starcatchers, Harry Potter or the Bartimeaus trilogy. But it did pass car time.
I love the Just So stories. I wouldn't have thought that anyone could have ruined them...and boy, was I ever wrong! The narrator doesn't speak clearly and tries to do his own sound effects. He should have stuck to just telling the stories. One example is "How the Camel Got His Hump." I remember this well from my childhood days...but the way this narrator tells the story- you would never get that the camel was going around saying "humph!" to everyone (instead it is some extremely loud noise that's supposed to be a camel)...and so you would miss the point of the story. Unless, of course, you already knew the story. My children usually pay really close attention to audiobooks while in the car- this didn't keep their attention at all. They love the stories in book form. If you are at all picky about narrators- DO NOT GET THIS!
I really enjoyed this book! I developed a love of SciFi in college when said channel would run movie marathons while I should have been studying. I first started listening to these authors after getting Relic. I was hooked! If you watch movies on Syfy and enjoy them- these books are great and then some! I am extremely picky about narrators though. I think that this narrator is better than Scott Brick...but unless the narrator is truly heinous, or a woman, I can try to overlook them if the book is engaging enough. I've actually listened to this book twice and enjoyed it both times. I didn't take away stars for the narration because I am so picky- this guy does an ok job compared to a lot of the narrators out there.
I am always on the look-out for child friendly books that I enjoy listening to as well. And that one of my favorite narrators is reading is icing on the cake! I highly enjoyed this entire series, though this particular book took me a little longer to get into than the others. I don't think anyone would be disappointed with these books!
I love Preston/Child books. They are usually right up my SciFi alley. Sadly, many of their books are narrated by Scott Brick. He is definitely not the worst narrator I've ever heard. The narration could be made worse by a woman trying to read them (I can NOT stand women narrators)...but he definitely takes some of my listening pleasure away. Though I did get impatient with some of the characters- Preston and Child still kept me entertained though I wouldn't say that this was one of their best. It's not enough to not buy the book. This book took me through several days of intense yard work- and made the time pass much more quickly.
I agree that this book is a bit different than the books in the trilogy. I loved the trilogy- and I highly enjoyed this book as well. I knew from reading the summary that it was way before the other books so I didn't expect anything other than Bartimaeus to be carried over. It was slightly slower getting started (and I mean very slightly) than the previous books. But there was nothing about this book that could possibly get me to subtract any stars. Definitely a stand-alone book, and highly enjoyable. I sincerely hope that this is not the last Bartimaeus book! Don't hesitate, get this book and you won't be disappointed!
The other reviews really sum it up: another excellent book and another excellent narration by Simon Jones. I can't imagine anyone NOT enjoying these books. These books are almost too good for kids! lol I was sad that this was only a trilogy. I was definitely wondering the entire way through how everything would be resolved and I was definitely surprised at the ending. Though the ending was nothing I would have expected, I thought it worked well. Now we just need more Stroud/Jones books!
This trilogy is one of the best, most entertaining series I have listened to in an extremely long time. Stroud does a great job keeping things moving with plenty of witty repartee. And I can't say enough about Simon Jones! He is now my favorite narrator- and I'm insanely picky! After I listened to the first book, I bought the rest of the series immediately! Well worth your credits. I listen to kids books when my young children are around so that they aren't hearing profanity and adult content...if I'm listening with headphones, I'm often listening to Preston/Child books and I save the children's books for when we are in the car. Not so with this series! I had to listen to them till I finished, whether it was in the car or with headphones.
I love listening to books when I can't read them. But I am rather picky about narrators. With the wrong narrator, I can't even make it through a book I highly enjoyed reading. In the car, or working around the house with my iPod docked, I listen to children's books because I have two small children and I don't want them hearing profanity or adult content. All that being said, this is the ONLY book that I have ever become completely enthralled with in the first 5 minutes of listening! The author was extremely witty and Simon Jones does an excellent job. I can't say enough about Simon Jones with this set of books!!! He easily replaced Jim Dale as my favorite narrator (which I thought could never happen). Some kids books are hard to listen to- this one is not. I can't imagine anyone, old or young, not enjoying this book and this series!
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