This being book 2 of the series you would expect an improvement on the writing, as often happens in series, this is partially true in this instance. the use of "he said", "she said" has diminished to a large degree to be replaced by context identifiers, however the story often has large descriptive sections where very little appears to be happening. these descriptive points are mostly useful to the overall story, but surely could be descibed in a more interesting way or in smaller chuncks.
The performance in this book is greatly improved from the first. Different characters are better seperated by voices, and the female narrator does not attempt to do voices that in the first book sounded terrible.
If you were greatly dissapointed in Book 1, I would recommend stopping while you can. if you could cope with it then continue and enjoy.
I am not one much for American authors, but Carl Hiaasen is a great writer. Combined with a fantastic narration this audiobook is well worth the effort to listening too. After listening to this audiobook my wife has been fired to read other books by the author as well as pressuring me to get another Hiaasen audiobook.
Bujold once again excels herself ina great story that has well developed characters in a fantastic cultural setting.
Set in the same world as Curse of Chalion, this book takes a different angle from previous books in this world by looking at a country that has been 'invaded' by the five god religion. It develops the hidden costs of using religion in perverted ways, and the reader soon finds themselves in the depths of a fictional theology. Bujold is excellent at developing this side of a story that other authors fail at, and it is a skill worth reading.
The narration is reasonable, and does not distract from the story. As in past Bujold books her use of long and unusual English words sometimes means the narrator mispronounces one or two, but this once again is not distracting to any degree.
This is a definate listen.
This story is an interesting story purely from a developed fictional construct. The world and characters are well developed and very detailed, however, the writing in this story is somewhat dismal especially when read out loud. The most common example is "she said" and "he said" constantly with little variation. The author does not use tact to direct the reader an is instead blunt. This bluntness does not work with spoken word and so becomes annoying.
The narrator is decent enough, but suffers from lack of voice diversity. this is not too much of a problem except when dealing with deep voices which can sometimes sound broken.
Curse of Chalion is a fantastic story that benefits from something that most fantasy books fail t develop on, religion. The intricacies of a fictional theology wind its way through society to develop a story that enters in the very weavings of each person's life to make it feel more real and more personal. Bujold has mastered a world that opens up your mid to a new culture filled with characters that entertain well.
The narration for this audiobook is well done if you can get past the parts where the narrator speaks fairly quickly. This is most evident in the first few paragraphs of the book. This problem arises occasionally through the narration, but to James' credit he does do well in the quoting parts containing discussions. If English is not your first language I don't recommend this being good for you or you will be having trouble.
Overall I highly recommend the story, it kept me up late at night listening to it, and I am sure it will you too.
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