I was impressed with this book. The writing is good, the performance very good, and the story intriguing. Though listed as a young adult book, adults will enjoy it too. The characters are by far the best part. They have a depth and realness not often seen. That said, this isn't an action or adventure story. I've read some reviewers say "nothing happens!" And yeah, the characters aren't fighting dragons or doing battle. The story is more nuanced. This is a quieter book, the kind that sneaks in and makes you think about it when you aren't reading/listening.
I like Terry Pratchett, he writes funny things that make me laugh. But the audio quality on this is so bad it gave me a headache. It's hard to hear the narrator over the white noise, which is a pity, she has a cool voice. It sounds like someone played this book in cassette form on a bad tape player, recorded it on their phone, and then sent it out for release in digital form. YUCK.
The story is kind of interesting, not very complicated. But I couldn't get past the attitudes of the main character. The story is told from his perspective so his rampant objectification of any and every female is on display for the entire book. For him, a woman is a thing. A collection of body parts to be possessed. The main female lead is very smart, brave, and resourceful. But all the main character thinks about is her bottom, her lips, and how annoying it is when she rolls her eyes. At one point in the book, a powerful male vampire threatens a female vampire by saying he might compel (magically) her to allow the main character to do "whatever he wants." When the male vamp says this, the main character thinks about great that would be, because then the female vampire would have no choice but to have sex with him. So... he's ok with rape.
The main character also complains about the bad attitudes, the "frat boy" mentality, a group of male vamps have towards women but he is just as bad.
The author seems believe that because the main character is a nerd/geek who plays D&D and video games, programs for a living, and lives with two other really nerdy men, that he must also objectify women and see them only as objects for sex. And the character never evolves. Despite being exposed to to a strong-willed smart female who can and does kick him around several times. He doesn't change his attitude at all, just keeps all his smarmy thoughts to himself out of fear the lady will hit him.
I don't know who the author has been hanging out with, but this characterization of nerdy guys as incapable of recognizing a woman is a person and not a moving sex doll is giving nerdy guys a really bad name. And the rape thing really bothered me.
The story and the writing are as awesome as I've come to expect from James Butcher. I found the story line, and the changes to the situations of the characters, really interesting. Also, James Marsters is back! For me, he is the voice of Dresden. I didn't like the last audio book as much because someone else narrated it.
I tend to consider this book and Hyperion as a single book. Broken in two because it would be too heavy as a single book, or too intimidating for many people. So, my review for Hyperion is also my review for Fall of Hyperion.
I first read this book years and years ago. One of my first forays into "hard" sci-fi. I loved it. I've revisited many books I read way-back-when, and sometimes find myself disappointed. Not Hyperion or Fall of Hyperion. Still as good. Still as thought provoking. I liked how each character had their own voice, it was well done. Very smooth transitions, voices at the same volume. Not at all like the "dramatic readings" I've listened to before. I did not like the voice of Martin Silenus, the poet. He annoyed me. But maybe that was the point of casting that particular voice actor, Martin Silenus is a very annoying character.
I first read this book years and years ago. One of my first forays into "hard" sci-fi. I loved it. I've revisited many books I read way-back-when, and sometimes find myself disappointed. Not Hyperion. Still as good. Still as thought provoking. I liked how each character had their own voice, it was well done. Very smooth transitions, voices at the same volume. Not at all like the "dramatic readings" I've listened to before. I did not like the voice of Martin Silenus, the poet. He annoyed me. But maybe that was the point of casting that particular voice actor, Martin Silenus is a very annoying character.
In any case. I really enjoyed both this and its twin, the Fall of Hyperion.
A few reviews likened this book to Twilight. Aside from the paranormal flavor and the star-crossed lovers, I don't see much overlap. Well, some of the ways the author references the main romantic relationship are pretty sappy. I think the book is on a more interesting and intelligent level than Twilight. I liked the story.
The performance was lacking. The performer has two accents she uses and most of the scenes where the main character is experiencing wonder or melancholy, she just sounds flat. It really detracted from the story.
The characters are so well done, very nuanced. I also liked how Correa worked historical events into the book's universe.
At first, the deep country accent of Fae was off putting, but as I got to know the character, it really worked. The voice for Sullivan was perfect.
For a while I passed this book by because the cover looks ridiculous, I wish I hadn't, this is a great book.
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