I wish I'd heard this story with a different author. While he lends sufficient gravitas to the narration, the high-level vocabulary, and the historical nature of the story, to say nothing of the male characters, his treatment and voicing of the female characters - strong, vibrant women with complex personalities, make them sound like Tinkerbell. The falsetto he uses makes me think not of a woman, but of some animated caricature, and I feel that it does the entire storyline a grave disservice.
Disclaimer: I read everything Brandon Sanderson writes. However, I was taken aback by the absorbing complexity and uniqueness of this premise, and wished it had been far longer. I can't wait for a full-length novel in this universe, it was immediately engaging, and held my attention completely. Absolutely worth reading.
While I read a tremendous amount of sci-fi/fantasy, I'd never come across this author before, and I was a little dubious about the recommendation of this book. I was NOT disappointed by Audible's recommendation. Bronson Pinchot does an absolutely delightful job of voicing these characters, the story was quick-moving and engaging,and the action was non-stop. I am extremely glad I listened to this book, it was a great way to spend my commute, well worth it!
This book was one of the most marvelous and moving that I have read in some time. The deep consideration of the various "voices" of the narrators, the rich and complex history expressed so movingly within the story, the crafting of the storyline itself, the amazing number of passages that I marked, to go back to and understand more deeply, the basic human truth and emotional resonance that I have not encountered in a long time, all make this story worth five stars and more. I HIGHLY recommend this book.
Witty, complex, excellent.
In sheer worldbuilding and breadth and depth of characters and plot, I'd say it's up there with a lot of epic fantasy, like Wheel of Time, and other sweeping books like Follett's Pillars of the Earth. In its wit, it's got a very Hitchhiker's Guide quality to it. Loved it!
Banks is not an American author, and the voice in my head is American. His narration - especially the myriad of different voices and accents he brought, combined with his ability to truly capture the dry humor in this book, had me laugh out loud in several completely unexpected places that I think I might have missed but for his interpretations.
I can't say enough about the narration, I'm considering additional books from this series simply because he was so fantastic!
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