Normally, second books in trilogies tend to fall flat. We already know the characters, we have an idea of where the overall story is heading, and the middle sort of sags. Well, not this one. This second novel is told from a different character's point of view, and has it's own wonderful story arc that stands well on its own. I would recommend reading Feed first, but this one is quite good.
I really enjoyed seeing Shaun Mason's point-of-view and his breakdown associated with a loss he faced in the first book. The way his friends helped him continue to function despite his obvious mental problems was fascinating.
My only disappointment has to do with the villain. The bad guys, in general, could have been more well-rounded and less two-dimensional. I have a hard time accepting the moral compromises that so many people were willing to make, but I think I could have accepted them more easily if they'd been explained better by more "fleshed-out" (zombie humor... sorry) villains.
I really enjoyed Chris Patton's "Shaun Mason" character. The voice actors in this audio book were excellent and very well chosen.
(Spoiler) I particularly liked the part where Shaun first sees his sister. His response was what one would have expected from a man who has been hallucinating for a while, and very memorable.
I must say, I loved Cloud Atlas. Each of the six stories was well written and engaging, and I loved that each was written in a completely different genre and that each had a unique style. How the stories linked together was not obvious, but they all dealt with some sort of prejudice, and they all had a protagonist fighting against enormous odds. That being said, this might not be for everyone because, I as I mentioned, the things that tie the story together are not obvious. Also, the author stops each story at a midpoint, just as things couldn't seem to get any worse, before completing it later in the book, which can be disconcerting.
I'm terrible with character names, and it is difficult to pick a single favorite character from six stories, but I particularly liked the clone from the future, both because she faced so much overt prejudice with her unique dignity, and because she had to travel so far as a person in order to transform into her final self.
It is among my favorite audio books
I particularly liked the fact that the two brothers were two sides of the same person.
Lenny Henry brings a lightness to the book and also brings the various characters to life.
I hate tag lines
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