Feckless protagonists, poor character development and unoriginal story line. Honestly, they all deserve to get eaten by some creature because they behave so stupidly at every point in the story that I couldn't care much about their fate.
I'll probably get the last book of this series, but I won't be happy about it. Nothing more after that.
Overly dramatic, but her range of voices is quite good.
Brooks' portrayal of female characters borders on being sexist.
Delete the shallow, romance-novel like treatment of the male lead, Declan.
The fantasy aspect of the story is pretty good, but some of the writing seems lifted straight from a romance novel. Perhaps this is due to there being two authors, one male and one female. We know who is responsible for the gooey parts.
Our hero, Atticus, doesn't have a shred of Harry Dresden's personality or complexity, and all of the other characters are likewise paper thin, completely undeveloped. The character of Oberon, the dog, is idiotic.
The story also lacks the, oh, intellectual depth of a Dresden story, which often wrestles with the ideas of right and wrong. Atticus seems relatively amoral, and demonstrates an indifference to the implied deaths of two humans at the hands of an immortal towards the beginning of the story. I almost stopped listening after that.
The story doesn't really build any suspense as it moves towards the climax, so there isn't much satisfaction afterwards, particularly since it's difficult to care much about Atticus or his stupid dog.
There really isn't the slightest bit of tension in the whole story, not even a harsh word between characters. Almost every bit of dialogue is accompanied by the narrator pointing out the "grin" on the face of the speaker. The first third of the book is a dry rendition of the story of our protagonist growing up, without the slightest shred of personality development. Our protagonist, Nimisha, is clearly perfect in every way.
The story picks up a bit once she's marooned on the planet, but the characters still aren't developed as distinct personalities. The plot summary of the book hints that dark forces are scheming to take over her ship building company while Nimisha is gone, but in reality, that only occupies a few paragraphs and then disappears as a threat.
The writing style of the book is awkward, as if the author was thumbing through a thesaurus to find the most obscure word to say something simple, and of the characters talked the same way. You can't tell the difference between the narrator and any other character in the story. I surely expected something better from an author of McCaffrey's experience.
The narrator talked too fast, didn't make distinctions among voices, and stumbled frequently.
The two main characters, Torin and Craig, are two-dimensional stereotypes of the damsel stolen by the bad guys and having to be rescued by the high testosterone manly-man, except that gender roles have been reversed. Here, the man is the equivalent of the helpless pretty blond, and Torin is the tough-talking kick-ass character who must prove her manhood through physical brutality and profanity. Neither had any personality beyond what was needed for them to perform in these roles.
And I really groaned at the hackneyed climax where Craig urges Torin to allow the chief bad guy to live rather than having her "become just like them" by killing him, only to have to blow up his escaping ship minutes later. How many times have we seen this scenario played out?
but as another reviewer pointed out, our main protagonist is a bit feckless. Perhaps it's just a build up to make him more of a hero when he develops more of a spine.
My review is probably colored by the antipathy I feel for the narrator. Every character bellows his lines like he's standing on a Shakespearean stage; there is no sense of anyone having a private conversation. And so many characters cackle like witches around a cauldron.
Locke Lemora really isn't a very good liar, and I'm not sure whether the author is actually trying portray that, or he doesn't know how to depict a character who lies well. I got very, very tired of hearing his whiny voice struggling to cobble together implausible stories without any advance thought. Likewise, he doesn't seem to be much of a con man; neither of this "big cons" of this book or the last went well at all, and he seemed more resigned to being manipulated by others than in doing the manipulating, in spite of all the boasts he made about his own competence. There was simply nothing to admire about this character.
The author also seemed to have constructed only one personality and then used it for all of his characters; they all, for instance, liked to engage in long, humorous similes, very similar to the ones used by the narrator. And every character used the same type of vulgar language, to the point that it became monotonous.
The narrator, too, was an assault on my ears. His voices were much more suited towards a Shakespearean stage, because they "boomed", as if they were talking to an audience rather than to each other.
All in all, I really hated this book.
Two dimensional characters and hackneyed dialog prevented me from caring about anyone in the story.
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