This series captured me from the start and I have really enjoyed both the overall story and the performance of the narrator. However, in this book, a trend that started to emerge in the last book becomes very evident - our 'hero' is tainted by evil. The question is if he has always been that way, or if this is something relatively new? He kills without cause, shows little remorse over causing death and destruction to thousands, and has pretty much screwed up the actual universe because of his own petty pride. As much as I liked him to start with, I am starting to hope he gets served up the punishment he deserves. Pretty odd direction for an author to take a reader, but I am still interested in the series.
I really enjoyed the first three books of this series. However, in Scattered Suns, many of the key character actions suddenly become illogical and against established norms. The only reason appears to be continuing the complicated plot, as logical, in-character actions would cut out much of the conflict. Some of the chapters are drawn out for no apparant reason, while others skim over important events in almost a summary. If I read any more of the series, I will probably jump to the last book. The narrator does a good job, though the change from the original narrator was a bit jarrnig at first. There was no attempt to match any of the previous narrator's pronunciations or characterizations, and rather curiously, this younger narrator makes the characters sound older than they did with the orignal narrator.
I like Judith Tarr - her characters are often flawed, and our heroine in His Majesty's Elephant is definately in that mold. The story is interesting and well written. Unfortunately, the narrator seems only able to read short segments, breaking the flow with awkward timing and inflection. It's not awful, but really mars an otherwise really good novel.
Aliens, superheroes, mutant monsters, shapechangers and more - Wild Cards creates a world with all of these and more in a series of short stories artfully woven together to create characters and plots that flow consistently throughout the book. Writing styles differ, of course, but the overall quality remains excellent throughout. The fine stories are further enhanced by Luke Daniels' terrific and consistent voicing of a whole world of characters. I ordered Wild Cards because of my enjoyment of his reading the Iron Druid Chronicles, and I was not disappointed. Read this one before you read Wild Cards 2, but get them both!
NOTE - Before you start this, the first Wild Cards book is a must read! I was amazed at how seamlessly multiple writers were able to create individual stories that not only built on everything created in Wild Cards 1, but enhanced and carried on the plot and characters. I started the first book because I liked Luke Daniel's work in the Iron Druid Chronicles. He does his usual fine job here, despite the wide variety of characters. I could recognize the individuals through his consistent 'voices'. Sometimes dark, sometimes humorous, this collection of science fiction stories often paints an unpleasant portrait of humanity that is sadly realistic. Yet they also provide moments of inspiration and herosim. Highly recommended.
I vaguely remember reading this novel when it first came out, and thought I had liked it. Either I mis-remembered or my tastes have changed a lot. The premise is interesting: gamers who get stuck as their characters for real. However, the characters in this novel would never survive a game campaign, much less real life. Most are selfish, untrustworthy, and have no honor or loyalty to their companions. Some supposedly high-level characters are whiny and incompetent. Being a long-time gamer, I cannot imagine adventuring with such a treacherous lot - yet Rosenberg would have us believe that these are the 'real' characters translated from the gamer's imaginations. The awkward casting is made worse by narration that is harsh and oddly timed - much like having it read by an angry 'Joe Friday' from the old Dragnet TV series. I struggled to get through the first few chapters and finally erased it.
Oliver Wyman does a terrific job of creating the varied characters of Lost and Found, especially admirable as most of them aren't human. The story itself is fast paced and provides a mix of humor, adventure, and tension that should satisfy most anyone. The only issue, which I hope is short-lived, is that the other two books in this series are not yet available from Audible.
This was one of the stranger choices I have made on Audible, and I am really glad I took the risk. Pretty much what it says - an owner's manual for your new werewolf body. The narrator is perfect - he has a dry, clinical style that remains interesting and easy to listen too. He could just as easily be talking about how to refinish your dining room table, yet manages to convey a sense of authenticity that reinforces the excellent writing. Too bad most 'real' manuals are not as thorough or well-done as this one. I laughed out loud more than once, and thoroughly enjoyed The Werewolf's Guide to Life from 'cover' to 'cover'.
This story's premise is somewhat unique and is surprisingly easy to accept given the subject of physical transformation without the easy-out of magic. The writing is intense, and the characters and dialogue are realistic and believable. Narration is excellent, though I admit a bias for British accents anyway. The logic stumbles a little and things feel a bit rushed towards the end, but overall, it is a good choice for juvenile or adult science fiction readers.
This book takes Star Trek's (original series and others) lame plot device of killing of some hapless young crew member before the opening credits and turns it into an entertaining, humorous, and at times, gripping story. Scalzi has captured the flavor of those early adventures perfectly, and then managed to make it all fresh. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who liked Star Trek, and sci-fi fans in general. And how can you go wrong with 'Wesley Crusher' narrating?
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