This is an interesting, adventure story that exposed me to a period in history I had not previously explored. I agree with previous reviewers that character development is somewhat lacking and I found the "love scenes" to be quite unimaginative, despite the detail. Like others, I too tired of the overly long and gory battle scenes. I understand that this is the first book of a trilogy and I hope that future volumes are a bit more fully realized and not so bloody.
This novel brings forth a few interesting ideas about the manifestation of magic and illusion and attempts to draw the reader into a story of two lovers pitted against one another in a magical challenge. I really enjoyed the depictions of the circus and the various attractions that were created by the main characters. Unfortunately, Morgenstern was unable to make these characters real or in any way sympathetic or interesting. Celia and Marco bored me to tears and their love story was very one-dimensional and bland. The narrator did his best to draw the reader in with a very good performance (in spite of a small speech impediment that bothered me for a while). I would not recommend this book to others.
Yes, I would. I enjoyed Ikeda's narration very much. Harkness' story had some very interesting ideas that, I think, brought a new twist to the increasingly popular paranormal fiction genre. I enjoyed her conceptualization of a world in which demons, witches and vampires exist in tenuous balance. Her treatment of the growing need for these groups to move past their xenophobia into a place where members of each
I would have focussed less on the boring details of Matthew's eating habits, the yoga classes and the tedious and repetitive details of their early courtship. I would also introduce more complex characterization for Diana and Matthew.
I am looking forward to the next book. However, I hope that Harkness matures as a writer and spends more time detailing her interesting ideas about xenophobia, warfare, desire, time travel and love and less time boring us with the details of what people are eating and doing for exercise.
This book is a wonderful contribution to the world of African-American literature. At first, I had a hard time getting used to the cadence of the novel. However, after a while, I had no trouble following the narrative.
This story spans seven generations of strong women. It starts off just after the end of the civil war and the reader follows successive generations to the 21st century, following the well-researched thread of struggle, hardship, joy and song. The authors do a wonderful job of exploring the tensions within and around African-American communities throughout the century, weighing issues of race, class and gender with sensitivity and understanding.
The narrator was very skilled in giving each character a voice. The sung portions of the book were enchanting and I'm so glad that an audio version exists. My only criticism is that the operatic sections were a bit lacking, but this is a small quibble. Overall, well done! This book is well worth a credit. I learned a great deal and was sorry to have it end!
I loved this book. It offered an insightful view into the world of an elderly man, struggling with issues of mortality, memory, love, guilt, joy, loss and regret. Gruen masterfully portrays the plight of many very old people and the ways that they report living more vividly in the past than in the present. Both narrators were very skilled and brought the characters to life in a way I've seldom experienced in audio format. A memorable story and worthwhile download!
Another great book and reading from Pullman and cast members! (Although, I did find my teeth set on edge by the terrible music preceding each chapter.) The different characters are well realized by the talented cast and the plot expands to include new, interesting characters and worlds. Pullman presents an engaging commentary on and critique of organized religion. Some groups have opted to boycott/ban the books, but I think the trilogy opens up new areas for discussion on the meaning of truely authentic faith and spirituality.
The author/narrator has many wonderful things to say, but he's very hard to understand. I had to keep rewinding to listen a second and third time.
A great story, masterfully told. I was very impressed with how sensitively the author addressed the highly complex issues of gender and sexuality.
A very interesting story with a wonderful cast performance.
Such a wonderfully told story . . . I was glued to my earphones for weeks! I read this book in preparation for a trip to Egypt and, "faction" (fiction + fact) or not, I felt quite prepared once I arrived at the pyramids. George meticulously researches her books and I found her sense of Egyptian history to be quite stirring. The narration was also excellent.
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