I never thought I'd say this about something written and spoken by Garrison Keillor, but I just wanted this book to end. Lots of words but no story...and no magic.
The first book in the series, Steelheart, seemed to me to be an average YA book, disappointing given who wrote it. I thought maybe Sanderson had blown the dust off an early unpublished novel. Firefight is definitely better, though still not as rich as his other recent books and Legion short stories. I thought the narrator was competent for Steelheart but really hits his stride with this one.
It might be a coincidence, but this book seemed like it was patterned after the Dresden Files and came up short--but not bad--in comparison. I might have enjoyed it more if I'd never read Jim Butcher's series.
This book reminded me of a *very* long PowerPoint presentation, each slide full of bulleted facts. I was hoping for a more informal, more anecdotal introduction to what it is like to have bipolar disorder or to know someone with the illness. Somewhere in all the facts were probably several valuable for someone coping with BD in real life, but if you get this book, be prepared to be overwhelmed with information.
After reading many books, I've thought to myself, "I could've written that"--even though I couldn't. This book...wow...I couldn't have written it because I couldn't have imagined it. My interactions with computers are mundane, and this book made me realize that the computer "revolution" has barely begun. This story is both thought-provoking and action packed.
The Bloody Jack series has always been a safe harbor when I haven't been sure of what else to buy. While the Irish immigrant angle in this episode was interesting, the book seemed to have a lot of filler--and definitely too many songs. (Maybe they don't seem so tedious in the printed version.) The narrator is outstanding as usual, but even she came across as a little off her game.
I don't know if "jumping the shark" applies to books as it does to television and cinema, but, if so, this story jumps shark after shark, followed by two preposterous shark bites at the end. I kept listening just to hear the next outlandish action sequence. And the ending...I won't give it away, but you'll catch yourself saying, "Are you kidding!?" All that aside, the narrator is very good.
Usually I'm not a fan of authors reading their books, but Robinson does a good job. I very much enjoyed the story and will be happy to spend more of my credits for his books. Just when you think you'll never find another good book, there it is...like finding an egg a week after Easter.
Someone else compared this book to "Lost," and I'll agree: Great at the beginning, but the last third...I just couldn't stretch my belief that far, although I wanted to. Great characters, great dialogue, great narrator. Overall, worth the purchase.
I really wanted to like this book because I have a hard time finding new good books for my high school library. Unfortuately for this book, I listened to it right after listening to Terry Prachett's "I Shall Wear Midnight," which is outstanding. "Anna" is just time-killing brain candy; although that's sufficient for some students. The reader of "Anna" focuses so much on pronunciation that he sounds robotic, and he's not very good at creating different voices. In short: don't expect much.
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