I've been listening to a few audio books lately that while were good always felt like a bit of work to get through, that was not the case with Shadow Games.
First off let me say you really don't want to start your Black Company experience here. While Cook does a very good job of allowing this book to be an intro to the series it really will shine in it's proper place as #4.
Following Croaker from book 1 to now you really get a great feel for the guy and are either really interested in his journey or have given up before now. This books picks up right from 3 and does a good job of answering a lot of lingering questions you may have had.
It has as much action as the previous books and brings back enough of the past characters to keep you attached to the events while also adding in enough new gems to keeps things fresh.
Don't get me wrong there book is not perfect. My main gripe relates to the mystery surrounding the villains. It makes some sense but it also is annoying that Cook couldn't come up with better.
Vietor does a great job as always of voicing Croaker and I always felt his performance fit. I have more to add but I want to avoid spoilers even the most obvious ones.
All in all this is a fun read and if you are into the Black Company or this kind of military fantasy style you would really enjoy it.
First let me say this is another very enjoyable book in the RCN series but if you are looking to check the series out you'd be better off with an earlier book.
If you have enjoyed the series to this point you will enjoy this book as well. Nothing new gets added in here which might usually cause me to lower the story rating but I just found it too enjoyable.
As has been the case for most of the series Leary gets sent to another world with a simple mission which then leads into another more twisted and complex mission etc. For me I read this book at the right time so really liked it but the plot needs to start moving along. While we got a bit more of the politics in the universe it is too much more of the same.
Victor Bevine does a great job as always. At this point I could not imagine these books being read by anyone else.
So while I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who has enjoyed the series so far, it really is just more of the same.
If you haven't read any of the Hollows series you really should not start here. While you likely wouldn't be lost you would be short changing yourself out of a lot of surprises.
That being said, people who are returning to the series will find more of the same. If you've enjoyed the books as much as I have that is good news.
Now I gave the story 4 stars because the main plot that has been developing across the recent books doesn't really progress much, which is a bit disappointing. Don't get me wrong the plot does introduce a new group of friends or foes? and adds a bit of character development.
As has been the case all along Marguerite Gavin continues her great performance and really adds a lot of enjoyment to the book. Without her these books might lose a lot.
In the end if you've read the last few Hollow's book you will really enjoy this one too but don't expect any great shifts or revelations. But it does a great job to set up the next book and I can't wait.
If you are just starting out in the Lost Fleet series, this is not the place to start. Go back to book 1 and see if it is really your kinda book.
For those who are in the thick of the series I can say I enjoyed listening to much of this book. Don't get me wrong it is really just more of the same as the previous books but I still felt it moved fast and was enjoyable. It was also done well enough to have me looking forward to the next book in the series.
My only gripes story wise was that it was as I said more of the same and that Campbell uses a few too many tropes. Mostly this is a minor issue overall but it is annoying at times.
Narration wise, Rummel has his own style which at first can be a bit dry but overall I never felt distracted from the work. Also like much else here he does his reading exactly like the past books so if you liked him before, this is more of the same.
So I can say in the end it is worth listening to if you are caught up but nothing new which is not all that bad if you've liked things so far.
First off, if you have not read\ listened to the other book in the series don't bother starting here. This book marks a transition for the series but is based on tons of past event.
Over all I enjoyed my time with this book, and while I want to give the story more stars I felt it was in many ways incomplete. I didn't mind how much of it is a departure from past books. How much of the focus shifts. What I didn't like what that this book was designed to be the setup for future stories. So while I liked what I got I felt like there was a lot missing.
The narration was great as always. Same story as the past books.
So I would say if you've read the previous books you need to read this one but I wouldn't judge the series by it or start here.
I think I tend to be pretty fair on my reviews of books here and I can truly say this was a great book to me.
Wil Wheaton does another amazing job reading this book. He finds a way to make each character distinct and have a strong sense of personality. He really draws you in. I plan in future to activity search out other books he reads.
First one note: as a person who grew up in the 80s I can relate to tons of the content in this book. Many of my likes, loves and fond memories are from that time period. If you don't share some of the same fondness then some of the story may fall a bit flat to you.
The story itself is very interesting. Cline has managed to create a very strong view of the world to come with exceptional level of detail and thought. True he has the advantage of often relying on previous work, but even outside of that he talent comes through.
The story for the most part never sits around or gets boring. Throughout the book there are multiple crescendos so you almost always feel events are building to something. Also all the pieces fit together really well. Almost every question gets answered by the end so your don't feel like you are left hanging or that this is just a setup to a sequel.
All of the characters are distinct and seem genuine. Bad traits and good are there to round everyone out. Throughout the story you see the development of people based on the world they find themselves in and the events that surround them. I don't recall it ever feeling forced or fake.
I highly recommend this book and will likely be gifting it to a few people in the near future.
While normally I would suggest people read this before the rest of the Coldfire series, I can't say that here. While this book was fine it did not really do a good job of really getting me interested in the world or the characters.
Years ago I read the Coldfire books and really loved the first one. Listening to this one brought back a lot of memories but if I was going to suggest it, I would do so only to people who enjoyed the first book.
First let me say I am not usually a big fan of getting shorts books via Audible. I am always iffy about the value. But I felt this book had enough going for it to push it over the edge.
Let me say it is an enjoyable story and I am happy I got it. In particular Wil Wheaton really makes the book with an excellent job. While I have seen him in a lot of tv and dvd roles I wasn't sure what to expect with him as a reader. He was able to bring a lot of emotion to the characters and really bring the story to life.
As to the story itself. The first 25% is really good. I was really into it and loved where it was going and what it was doing. The second 25% was fairly predictable and a bit slower but still fun. The 3rd 25% was still good but seemed to be going by the numbers and closed off the main story. I felt so much more could have been done with the premise and was disappointed that the author seemed to choose the easy way out. The final 25% was mostly a waste. It was made up of the codas and didn't seem to really add anything interesting. By the way the main plot ended I had hoped things would have gone in a different direction but alas no.
In the end while I did enjoy the book and loved the narration it ended up being less than it could have been which is too bad. I would still recommend it to people who like things like Star Trek and sci fi with comedy but I can't say it is anything awesome.
I've listened to a ton of audiobooks here and right now I can't say many had me more enthralled than this one. This is a true case of the whole being greater than the sum of it's parts.
While the story was interesting it was not different than a lot of other sci fi. Also it takes a lot to get used to the way the story hops around from time period to time period, person to person. I found myself having to check Wikipedia just to sort things out.
The narrator is fairly deadpan in his reading. While he is clear and crisp if he was reading other books I would not have been impressed.
But with that being said I could hardly stop listening. Maybe it was the style of the writing, which is very detailed. You can clearly see in your mind the color and textures of the world being created. Maybe it was the universe the author invented, which is filled with layer upon layer of history. Maybe it was all of this in combination with a narrator who did not seem so much performing a story as seemingly recounting events that recently happened.
I can't say any one thing is what made this story so good, but working together it really made for an interesting listen. I immediately went and bought the next two in the series (already flying through 2). Now to pick a few friends to convince to pick up Revelation Space.
I read\listened to the first two books in series and enjoyed them. When I saw there was a third book I wondered why, as I felt book two tied the story together very well.
I felt that the base story was fine but nothing special. The entire story felt kind of phoned in. All the color that the previous books seemed gone. I didn't see any character development, and really didn't care about anyone by the end.
While the new narrator (different guy than book 1,2) is not bad he pronounces words differently that the previous guy, which can be very jarring if you listened to the prior books.
Overall the book is not bad but it is also nothing great. I'm glad I read it but if there was a 4th I would likely skip it.
For those who have never read\listened to the Kitty series I would suggest to not start here. While there is some background given you would get much more starting 2 or 3 books back at the very least.
For those of you who love this series well then you will enjoy this one as well. While nothing really new occurs in the overall story line you do get the sense that pieces are being moved into place. The story itself while being somewhat predictable (even to the characters) is a fun and fast listen and it self contained for the most part.
For anyone on the fence all I can say is this is a fun and entertaining story. The characters are rich and well developed. The story stays interesting and fast moving throughout. The only negative may be the cost per length is not as good as other audible titles but to me it was worth it.
The performance by Marguerite Gavin is great as always. She does an excellent job in all the roles I've heard her. She really adds a lot to the enjoyment of this and other books in the series.
Overall I would recommend this book and I have already purchased the next one.
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