1. The author's depiction of a non gender-biased society, people are valued for their skills and not their gender. Inherent sexism is given no space in this book.
2. Dialogue, when it's developed. In fact, the dialogue, when it heralded originality, i.e. wasn't overtly borrowing from other authors, was the very best part.
3. Direct connections between the fallibility of the character's judgements and the outcomes of their futures. Everyone makes errors in judgement. As a reader, this allowed me to better identify with the character development. Killing off characters due to their own ego indulgence or faulty judgement was strangely validating, especially in comparison to other stories that refuse to allow characters to experience the consequences of faulty/immoral decisions.
1. Liberal borrowing of concepts/passages from other book series was thinly veiled: e.g. The Hobbit... Blend of faerie species on quest to dark land, led by powerful magic person, to recover stolen powerful magic treasure that will save the land; Star Trek/Dune/Harry Potter...think Volcan mind meld ala BeniJeserat mind probe ala Dumbledor memory threads; Star Wars... undisciplined, young son(s) with extraordinary skills and passion for flying machines, desperate to assist widowed mother, possessing special magical skills -wishsong aka "the Force"; King Killer Chronicles... Tempi warrior; Clan of the Cave Bear..."the Mogur used to have a name, long since forgotten, now he is just called The Mogur" and in this story, "the Speakman used to have a name, long since forgotten, now he is just called the Speakman;" Darkover... forbidden crystals that power flying machines skimming over the land (also StarTrek dilithium crystals, and more), Harry Potter/Darkover... Order of magic, prejudice against species and attempt to annihilate/genocide, etc., etc, etc,...
2. Rush to character development: too much telling/description, too little showing/dialogue. As a reader, it's always more enriching for me to assess the characters through dialogue so I can draw my own conclusions, rather than be told what to think about the character, especially without supporting evidence.
3. The chaotic, undeveloped entrance of myriad new characters. Plot twists and complexity are one thing, ADD plot twists are another.
4. Abruptness. Everywhere.
Yes. Despite the liberal borrowing, there was enough reconfiguration of used ideas and sprinkles of originality that I feel the need to finish the series.
No. I've seen all those movies. Give me something entirely new.
The narrator's vocal abilities were fun. Nice job.
The entire story rose and pitched like a small ship in a great thunderstorm. Raw and descriptive, heartfelt and gripping. I enjoyed the story and the narrators' skillful talents. Thank you!
The narrator. Rosalyn Landor has such a wide range of voices and manages them extraordinarily well. She especially does a fine job with the male voices.
Yes, the final book in the series.
Yes, the first book in the series. However, now I will go looking for other stories narrated by Rosalyn Landor.
With the exception of my appreciation of the narrator, my reaction was mostly one of disappointment. The first book in the series managed to show a world where sexism was absent. This second immediately disappointed by having extreme sexism suddenly appear in a society where there was none before. Then it went away again. The book was consistently inconsistent in this way (there, then not), leaving the impression that those details were not well thought through. They weren't so much what I would call "plot twists" as a maze of undeveloped dead ends. I found myself asking "why start this new story line if it just ends abruptly without apparent purpose or adding to the plot?"
There was less "borrowing" of concepts from other stories... Most notably, lizards with mind links, like Star Trek Next Gen Borg ("what one knows, they all know, what one sees, they all see").
Finally, the love relationships, in both the first two in this series, are consistently strained, awkward and ill at ease, describing romance novelestic intimacy that allows for only one of two limited love options: suddenly realize true love for someone with whom they'd previously shared few words or pine unrequited for endless years.
When the author takes the time to develop character dialogue, it's really entertaining and intriguing. But there's relatively little dialogue and a glut of description.
I will buy the final book in the series, to see where the hodgepodge of plots end and further appreciate the skills of Rosalyn Landor.
Personal note: I bought three stories and absorbed them in days. That's got to say something. I'm having a hard time balancing the dissonance of sitting here in the comfort of my living room, making casual scathing comments about years of the author's hard work. It feels so callous. My opinion means so little, I know. If there wasn't a solid story underneath the jilting plot, absent dialogue, and liberal borrowing I'd have nothing to complain about. The story shines through a canopy of distractions. Thank you, Terry Brooks, for your writing, and for your efforts.
The Testament of Mary offers an unapologetic perspective that requires thoughtful insight on the listener's part. The mother of the human Jesus, in times of political upheaval and oppression, offers her thoughts and opinions. They are secret thoughts that would inconvenience society, the powers that be, and the powers that want to be. It is a darker story of an already dark story. I appreciated the non-committal nature and query offered by this story. It's one of those stories that one can ponder over for months.
When Mary dared to take a stand and speak out.
Everything, it was Meryl Streep, after all. Meryl Streep captured the nuances of human expression with well placed, sighs, pauses, tone of voice and character that only Meryl can.
A must for any theology, political science, or gender studies course.
If you are at all interested in the complexity of human and family relationships, Japanese American intercultural issues, or environmental issues, this book successfully manages to weave all these topics into a wonderful mosaic of life and love and what's truly important. The author successfully moves between a bright 16 year old perspective to adult woman, to pride filled man, to wizened crone with seeming ease. Give it a little time to get used to the changing perspectives and you won't be able to put it down for long.
If the author had removed the incessant word for word repetitions of virtually all the highlights of all the other books in the series and omitted the endless repeats of said repetitions, the book would probably have been 30 minutes long. They ruined the story and did not add to it at all. By the time a 5th book is written, only the true fans remain, so ad nauseum repetitions are a disservice to the reader. By now, I can recite the Mother's song and the history word for word myself I heard it so many times (at least 10). Really? What was the point except to fill up pages?
no - just turned me off from this author.
All of them. She did a great job narrating. I can only imagine how tired she got of repeating the same thing over and over and over.
Merona - too predictable and shallow, poor character development.
Making Jondolar suddenly stupid, shallow, and conniving in the last book - when he'd never shown the inclination toward either shallowness or infidelity - was a huge deviation from character. Listening to this book was a chore in comparison to Book 1. Each book became more and more diluted with word for word repetitions of previous books. I would not recommend reading past Book 3 of Earth's Children series. Or, just read Book 5 and you'll get the whole 5 stories summarized (repeatedly!) in 1 book.
Pema's gentle humor and delightfully natural manner lend depth to the teachings.
Pema discusses how life progress and growth is never very smooth and is always a struggle when she says "our progress is 5 steps forward, 5 steps back, 5 steps forward 4 and 1/2 steps back." This attitude of the whole book allows for us to be both flawed and hopeful as we grow.
Everything! Her understated sense of humor and the way she laughs at herself is so refreshing. Her humbleness and wisdom go hand and hand and it's simply amazing to listen to her words flow so smoothly carrying you along with the story.
That it's okay to be flawed and that while progress is slow, just the act of recognizing failure is, in itself, progress.
Very good book for anyone working to recover from addiction or has been effected by another person's addictive behaviors. Also good for human beings in general.
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