The first book in L. Frank Baum's Oz series is a masterpiece, and Anne Hathaway's narration only makes it better. She doesn't just read the book - she performs the book. I could listen to this book over and over. I wish that she would narrate all of the books in the series.
Preston & Child do an excellent job of crafting a story that keeps the reader on the edge of the seat. The narration by Marosz does an equally compelling job of bringing life to the words and enveloping the listener in the world of this mysterious thriller. However, at least a half dozen times, I was ripped out of the hunt for the historical serial killer Leng and his modern day copy cat, the Surgeon, by substandard production. In each instance, the story would repeat itself - a sentence or two would be read, and then the same sentence or two would be immediately repeated. Even more jarring, at times it came at the height of suspense. It's not frequent enough to skip this excellent entry into the Pendergast series, but it was just frequent enough to disappoint and substract from what would otherwise be a five-star review. Similar to how books are edited, I'm also disappointed with audio publishers, who fail to do this simple quality control.
A classic science fiction epic that is only marred because it is more of an audioperformance than an audiobook. The primary narrator has a rich magical voice, and I believe he could have easily voiced the entire book himself. I also found the addition of sound effects and occasional segue music unnecessary. It was more distracting. Frank Herbert wrote a masterpiece that can stand by itself. However, the overproduction didn't horribly detract fromt he story, and some individuals would probably enjoy it as it makes the book much more cinematic.
There is one huge thing I would change about the book - I would include the narration for "What Happened Before . . . "! The Afterwords, for lack of a better term, are one of the more creative elements in Angie Sage's Septimus Heap series. I was looking forward to listening to it.
In some ways, Septimus Heap is a battle of magical good and evil in the vein of Harry Potter. However, where J.K. Rowling's novels become increasingly more mature as her characters and her readers aged, Septimus Heap remains age appropriate for younger readers throughout the series. Additionally, Angie Sage injects her books with more humor that helps keep the books from becoming too scary for most 8-year olds.
I loved how Gerard Doyle was able to create numerous, distinct voices, and I never was confused over who was actually speaking.
Yes. My only disappointment was the failure of the book to include the content after the final chapter. It definitely cast a pall on the remainder of my drive to work.
As you can tell from the rest of my review, I loved this book, loved the narrator, and my only disappointment is classifying the book as Unabridged. Shame on the publisher and the author for not noticing.
This could have easily been a 4 or 5 star review if the production value wasn't so bad. In this 9th entry to to Jordan's Wheel of Time, a new company took over production. This resulted in multiple times where the narration would repeat the previous 2 or 3 sentences. Additionally, there were numerous extended pauses that were just long enough that you wondered if the recording had stopped. Both of these production errors truly hampered the ability to get lost in the moment. Seeing as neither of these problems arose in the previous eight entries, also narrated by Reading and Kramer, the fault lies solely with the publisher.
Once again Kate Reading and Michael Kramer made Robert Jordan's world come alive. Despite the numerous voices and characters throughout the book, I always know who is speaking as their ability to bring life to each character is truly inspiring.
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