Parts of the story are a solid continuation of the first 3 books but the plot does not really progress and introduces new characters we don't care about. There are already plenty of reviews written about this book in Amazon so I won't repeat them. See my comments on the narrator.
The fate of Cercei is surprising but I won't spoil it.
The narrator is fairly weak and is particularly challenged with female voices. There are only a few voices he actually uses and fits each character into one of them: the quavering old man, the common man, the highborn man, the highborn woman, the common woman. The women's voices are strangely shrill and unnatural.
The rest of the plot is found in the follow-up book, A Dance With Dragons. So yes, you need to listen/read it to find out what happens to the rest of the characters.
If you like Neil Gaiman you will like this story. Gaiman finds a way to tell the hero myth story in a new way with fascinating characters every time. You will still be pondering the mysteries of some of these characters long after you've finished the book. And he has the unusual gift of great writing and great narration, with different characters and nothing short of fine acting.
Old Mrs. Hempstock is a fantastic character.
Some fresh ideas, decent character development and a few plot twists. Narrator breathes life into the story with a variety of character voices including some authentic accents.
I found the writing and narration compelling, but the plot becomes unnecessarily complicated and silly. The idea and characters are interesting enough on their own without the implausible surprises and "it's crazy but it just might work" second half. That said, I did enjoy listening to it.
This installment in the Ender series is fun and an acceptable bridge from the remarkable Speaker for the Dead to the remarkable Children of the Mind. You need to listen to this one on your way to the last book which I found deeply moving in the same way as Speaker for the Dead.
The cast of characters in the Bean saga starts to get a little tired in this one. It's entertaining but my least favorite of this series. Card leaves room for another one after this so I hope he takes a fresh approach to it. He's an amazingly talented writer but the ideas in this installment are worn out.
Well written and narrated, the narrative moves at a reasonable pace and helps explain how we got into our current predicament. I finally feel like I understand the driving forces behind something that from our perspective looks like insanity.
Probably the most emotionally moving science fiction I have read.
I picked this book up by accident at a friend's house because their 12-year-old was reading it. I loved LOTR but have never been interested in Harry Potter. Couldn't put the book down and when I got home immediately ordered it on Audible. Simon Jones makes it twice as fun with his terrific characters. Buy it!!
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