Maybe it's because I've never read anything else by this author that I was so unhappy with this. I chose the book by the description, listened to a sample and read reviews. I was expecting an interesting mystery set in Africa with a lot of local flavor. I was intrigued with the idea of a new detective. The begininng was fine and I was getting into the storyline when the whole thing morphed into a bad romantic novel. The sex scenes (which didn't need to be there at all) were really badly written. It was as if the author lost the thread of the African mystery and decided to throw a little sex in to pick things up. The only thing I actually did like about this book was the narration. That, however, was not enough to save it. This is the first Audible seclection I have chosen not to finish in several years of membership.
I was looking for a book and got an e-mail from Audible suggesting that if I enjoyed Robert McCammon's Mister Slaughter series (the Providence Rider et al), I would certainly enjoy this. I can only surmise after laboriously listening to the first half of this, that whoever came up with that has not listened to either one or both of these authors. I enjoyed every minute of Robert McCammon's novels. The mysteries were riveting and the author kept you completely immersed in the period. Everything was accurate - the language, the history, the descriptions of the locals, clothing, etc. And the narration was also superb. The accents, pronunciation, different voices were all in keeping with the narrative and the time period. So . . . that's what I was expecting. It is certainly not what I got.
It started with the narration, which sounds more like someone doing a documentary than recording a historical piece and things went rapidly downhill from there. I don't know if it is perhaps the result of careless translation or if the translator was trying to make things sound up to date but there are many, many instances of words or phrases that are out of place in Anno Domini 1660. In once instance there is a fire and people hear the sound of
"all the breaking glass in the windows". This is Europe in the 1660's! Glass in windows was reserved for the very, very rich. At another point, after referring to a group of children who were running away from him as 'the little bastards' a character them refers to them as those 'kids'. Again, not a commonly used phrase for the time. I find this sort of thing so off putting that it's pretty hard to even concentrate on the plot.
I will most probably struggle through to the end just because it's hard for me not to finish what I start. But it is also probably the first book that I will use to take advantage of the new 'return' policy that Amazon has started.
I'm not sure yet.
Yikes! A lot! I don't think I've actually ever listened to one of his recordings in the past and I'll listen to the sample very carefully before I do so again. The characters sound so much the same. I feel like someone is reading me a book he doesn't really care for. And notice I said reading, not performing.
most of them
I love the quirky main character
Almost everything!!! The main character was Welsh and I've heard Welsh people speaking English but NEVER with an accent like that. It was so bad I had a hard time listening to it.
Her other accents seemed fine.
Absolutely. The author did a wonderful job of describing the sights, sounds, smells and feel of Bombay during the time period. And the prose is so poetic that I found myself rewinding and listening to certain descriptions or thoughts more than once. I really cared about the main character - what he did and what happened to him. All of the characters seemed like real people not caricatures. The narrator did a superb job, also, with clearly defined differences in voice, cadence of speech and accents. As long as this book was and with as many people as there were in it, once you heard a character you could recognize them immediately as soon as they started to speak. And all of the accents for the many nationalities were good.
I'm not attempting to retell the story here because the synopsis is quite good, but it sure is worth the listening time and credit.
I'd love to see this made into a movie.
It was fine, fast, very light (as far as needing concentration - lots of blood and gore!). I got it because I was in a hurry and I like the Mitch Rapp type character. But this guy is unbelievably lucky. And the narrator, who did a good job as any of the men, can't do children's voices. I didn't actually listen to a sample. I was in a hurry and just picked it. While it wasn't horrible and would probably appeal to young guys who like shoot 'em ups, it wasn't nearly good enough for me to get anything else in the series.
The grey man could have been a little less god-like in his performance and ability.
I just finished the fourth and am about to get the fifth. I've been listening to them back-to-back, something I don't usually do for this long a series of books. I'm waiting to see what Tremaraire and Will Laurence will get up to (and into) next. All of the characters - human and dragon alike - are complex and well written. The battle scenes are great and the Napoleonic wars have never been so interesting! Adding to all of it is Simon Vance's exemplary narration. He makes me happy to be listening to, rather than reading, these books. Well done!
I enjoyed this 'first of a series' immensely. My thanks to Audible for offering it for sale as I probably wouldn't have tried it otherwise. It's amazing how interesting dragons can make the Napolionic wars to someone who's not a war buff. All of the characters,including the dragons, took on form and substance in my imagination. Simon Vance did his usual superb job. Just got the second in the series and I highly recommend them to one and all.
If I were reading instead of listening I'd just flip a couple of pages. I really like the story line. I love the narrator and think he adds a lot to the work. And, I admit, I will probably get at least another of the series to try. It is, in part, a love story so a couple of the sex scenes would be fine. They're even well written (if extremely explicit). But after the fifth or sixth it's just too much. They get in the way of an otherwise good tale. Too bad.
I think Brendan Frazer did such a great job on all of the characters (and there are a lot) in this audiobook that they came to life for me. It's as if story was performend by a troop of readers. Each character has a unique tone, accent and cadence to his speech.The series is well written and draws you into the story so complety that when this book ended I was caught short. I so wanted to hear what was going to happen to Dustfinger, the BlueJay, Meggie and Fareed that as soon as I got home today, I purchased InkDeath. I am, however, very disappointed that there is another narrator for this final book. I'm sure it will be good, but . . .
It was such a pleasure to listen to this book. An adventure tale that captured my imagination with the first sentences,it held it until the very end. The narration was perfect also. As I listened I could visualize the author creating these wonderful charatacters and I'm sure only he could have brought them so vividly to life. I hope that no one is put off from purchasing this because of the 'YA' category. I think it would be enjoyed by lovers of fiction of almost every age.
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