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.
The multi-actor performance really made the story. They all did a great job, although if I had any advice to offer the actor playing Matt Cruse, it would be "turn it down a notch." Not every sentence needs to be imbued with great drama.
Lorn murders anyone whom he disapproves of. He seems to have no concept of the rule of law, and when faced with a warring neighbor, never considers that making peace is an alternative to escalation. While he does experience some remorse for his actions, he never is moved towards increasing his self-knowledge in such a way as to change his future behavior.
The first half of the book is at least full of action, even if wrong-headed action, but the second half slows down immensely, and we're presented with weeks upon weeks of family dinners and crying babies, just before a final flurry of action at the end.
The narrator has a pleasant voice while narrating, but he unwisely chose to give all of his characters some sort of foreign accept, which he proceeds to butcher. The accent is often something of a lower class British one, but shifts oddly to German and something vaguely central European. The narrator would have been better served by saving the accents for characters foreign to our primary cast of characters; making everyone foreign served no real purpose. Adding insult to injury, the emotional tone of characters was mostly flat, as if they were as bored with what they were saying as I was in listening to it.
The universe in this series is similar to that of the Liaden Space series by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, but although less attention is paid to exploring the universe's culture, the characters are somewhat better developed. There are also similarities to the Honor Harrington series by David Weber, but the lead character is more human and all the supporting characters don't get killed off.
The narrator is distracting. Most characters speak in the same voice, which has an odd cadence and comes across as slightly robotic, like the voice on the trains you find in large airports. The voice is unable to convey any emotional content, other than cheeriness, which is wildly inappropriate for many of the situations the characters find themselves in. The only variation in her voice comes when speaking as a male 14 year old and a male 20-something, where she manages to make them both sound like a whiny 7 year old.
More character development.
The people are all indistinguishable from each other. No distinct personalities.
Pleasant, but the character voices were too chirpy for marines.
All of them.
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.
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