A demon possesed sorcerer-vampire runs amuck in the Tri-Cities, and its up to Mercy Thompson, mechanic and coyote "walker" to rescue her werewolf and vampire friends. Very good story, second in the series, and we learn more about Mercy's background, watch her juggle a love triangle between two werewolf beaus, and in general kick-ass while staying likable and relateable. I love the narrator's performance! Excellent voices for each character.
The storyline: great! The performances: great! So, why only 2 stars? Because of the %&*@$ mixing of the music with the unending credits . between . every . single . chapter/episode. Instead of getting 5+ hours of story, I would imagine its barely 4 hours worth of storyline, and interspersed another hour of music and credits. The music itself was wonderful, just at a volume MANY levels above the dialogue. And full, (I mean full) credits were narrated between each and every segment of the story. It was beyond irritating to have to constantly turn down the volume from blowing out your ears with John Williams wonderful music, to having to readjust the volume to hear what was being said in the radio play It was also beyond irritating to hear multiple times the full credits that no doubt took up a fifth of the length of the entire purchase. I would NOT recommend this version because of the bad mix edit.
*Black Sheep* is one of my all time favorite Georgette Heyer novels .Sadly this audio version was very disappointing. I don't want to slam the performer, but rather whoever cast her to be the reader. All the voices came across as slightly querulous old ladies; including the impish teenage niece, the 28-yr old heroine, and even the very masculine hero of the piece. Timing, pacing were fine, the story itself (when read to yourself) is sprightly and a delight. I could not even finish listening. It was so painful to envision the story with the narrators tonality, quivers and shakes.
The hero, Kvothe, is now living a simple and anonymous life as an innkeeper, but his past catches up with him in the form of a biographer named Chronicler. This is book one of a trilogy as Kvothe relates his life story, warts and all, over the course of three days. It starts out slow, and becomes absolutely riveting. In this first volume, he tells how he began life as a child in a traveling troupe of performers who are slaughtered by the mysterious Chandrian, demons of legend. He survived as a street child until he was old enough to attempt entry to the University of Magic. There he learned many arcane skills and grew in power. Kvothe the 15 year old is smart, funny, arrogant, downright stupid, as should be expected for a talented teen struggling to find his place in the world. The magic makes sense in this world setting, as does the music, the social structure, and the enemies and friends he makes along the way. Jumping back and forth to the present in the rural inn, to the past where some of the legends about Kvothe began is handled seamlessley.
The biggest flaw is the lack of dept for secondary characters, especially female. But that could be because Kvothe, as an adult relating his lifestory, is really only interested in his own actions and motivations. It also could be that Kvothe is, as an adult man, still totally clueless about women. Or it could be that the author needs to work on deepening his female characters beyond stock madonna whore jealous cats.
The narrator is spot on for all the nuances from the various characters.
I did enjoy this story, and I am looking forward to book 2! It is well worth the read, even if it does pale next to Ender's Game. But just about any young male hero will pale compared to Ender (or Bean)! I was caught up in this story of Danny and his powerless, dangerous situation at the very start. The transforation of Danny of a kid fearing death to the smartmouth actor at Walmart and again at the Library of Congress did not quite hold true, even though both scenes were hilarious! And sometimes his vocabulary was just too, too genius considering the bare-bones upbringing he had that included lack of extensive, independent computer access. I know it was all part and parcel of being an emergent GateMage, but still, it seemed chunky, and like a data-dump at times. The changing around to a parallel story througout the book really worked for me. I loved the character Wad in the other universe! He too is an emergent Mage. I have high hopes for book 2 continuing the story along ... and I want to see Loki!
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