The book itself is great, but the narrator sounds like she's on a respirator. Her inspirations are so distracting. I don't know if she's a heavy breather, or the book is just poorly recorded, but I would have skipped this recording if I had known.
Wow, where to begin. First, I really wanted to like this book. It had a lot of promise, but it failed to live up to it, in my opinion. It feels like a first novel (I have no idea if it is) and it needed *a lot* of editing. I found the the main character's internal monologues (and sometimes external monologues) endless and tedious. The author is fond of hinting at something (character X knows something *important* about the main character) but then doesn't reveal it (character X tells main character they're not going to tell her because she doesn't need to know even though it effects her directly) and the main character doesn't have any curiousity about it, she just accepts it. A lot of the mystery about the various marks and at least one major conflict could have been resolved so much more easily if people had just had an honest conversation about it. Instead, they create meaningless problems for themselves. Misunderstandings are apparently just a way of life for Kaylin, along with crazy mood swings and fits of sulking. The dialogue is pretty stilted and frustrating to listen to. About a third of the way through, I started listening to the book at 1.5x speed so it would be over faster. It kept my attention enough that I wanted to know how it ended, but not enough to linger over it in normal time.
Khristine Hvam was the best part of this audiobook. She did a good job distinguishing the races's accents and doing her best with the dialogue. I would definitely listen to more books with this narrator.
The Rook ranks at the top of the audiobooks I've purchased in 2012. I found it fresh, fun, and unexpected. Sort of a men-in-black with supernatural creatures instead of aliens.
I didn't read it in print, so I can't speak to that. The narration was good though, except for Jade's weirdly deep voice. Moon's voice was excellent throughout.
I was hooked on this one right away. I loved it and I wasn't expecting to, having not read anything by Martha Wells before. Moon's story is all about finding a place where you belong and it's easy to relate to. Moon's relationship with Stone is my favorite part. It's so painfully awkward, and rings very true that way. The author has free "deleted scenes" for this series up on her website, and there is a sweet moment there between Moon and Stone that I wish had found it's way into the book somehow. I can't wait to read more about them.
Moon, by far. Jade was the worst. Thankfully, Moon is the main character and Jade rarely speaks.
Oh yes. I downloaded book two before I was all the way done with book one just so I just have it queued up. I listened to books one and two back-to-back, and then read all the short snippets on the author's website. I wish book three wasn't so far away.
Without hesitation, and I have. If you like sci fi, this book, and the whole series are a win. You wouldn't think that space battles focused on manuevers and strategy would be that exciting, but the author makes every one of them attention-grabbing. Jack is a memorable character with a great set up. He reminds me a little of Commander Shepherd in Mass Effect, in a good way. This is a great series, from start to finish. And I have high hopes for the second series as it continues Jack's story.
I agree with the other reviews that say this narrator isn't the best. She's growing on me (or maybe I'm just getting used to her), but she still isn't doing these books justice. They're first person, so they should be especially emotional, rather than be so monotone/flat. I will say though, that after some recent books, at least she can pronounce words correctly. Compared to the first two books, this book is less focused. There are two POVs this time: Boss and Squishy. Boss's sections are ponderous and slow. Boss builds her business. She and the captain try to figure out where the fleet might have gone. They visit a few worlds and find only a few clues. Finally, at the end, they get a better lead, but the book ends before they can explore it. Very little seems to get resolved, although it looks like the action might finally arrive in book 4. Squishy's timeline jumps back and forth with abandon, giving you moments in time ranging from present day to back when she was in college. It tells her whole history with stealth tech and explains her reactions to the empire's research of it. Squishy's part has some action, but I'm not sure her story even needed to be told. It didn't seem to advance Boss's story much, and I can't help but wish the author had gone in a different direction and stuck with Boss.I wanted to like this book, but it just didn't live up to my expectations.
It's hard to even know what to say with the awful, plodding narration getting in the way. Mary Robinette Kowal's reading of the book is lifeless, populated with one horrible accent after another, and littered with awkward pauses and inflections. Despite the narration, there was some real potential in the characters and mythology. Once we get past October's lengthy backstory and into the current mystery, events are paced well, and the characters are interesting. I can only hope that the publisher finds a more competant narrator for future installments.
Riddled with unexplained inconsistencies toward the end and burdened with a lot of rather spineless, unintelligent side characters, I can't give this book more than 3 stars.
In addition, every action in the book takes so long to execute, I feel like I could have gotten the abridged version and not missed a thing.
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