The volume level is far too low for enjoyable listening. Even at maximum volume on both my Kindle Keyboard and the plugged in speakers, I lost parts of the story whenever ordinary household noises occurred. Narration and music were in somewhat closer balance than The Shoebird, but not engineered well enough to keep.
This is best enjoyed as a Whispersync book on a Fire, if you like that. I especially like that one can double tap and expand the wonderful illustrations of the many characters, and the thoroughly entertaining Audible narration continues uninterrupted (there is a slight hiccup like a skip back a syllable, but not bad). I hope this is a general improvement in function applicable to all books. I completely agree with the many reviewers who loved this book.
The Audible production narrated by Katherine Kellgren is delightfully dramatic and deliciously funny. I'm sure I would have enjoyed the book alone, but listening to the perfectly over-the-top characterizations enhanced the story greatly. Though this is a middle grades book, any person who enjoys humorous fantasy will likely enjoy this. It uses familiar tropes, but with new and creative variations, and tells a fine yarn along the way. It is appropriately G rated, though with scenes of tension and drama, and a remarkable lack of bumbling idiocy by anyone.
The Kindle edition has minor chapter head illustrations only and I didn't really need it to enjoy the story fully, though it does have an excerpt from the next book at the end.
I would compare this in general feel to the Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom and the less known, but quite enjoyable, My Sparkling Misfortune.
The final 'book' of this story is now part of the Audible version. If you've listened to this before and were disappointed in the abrupt and unsatisfying conclusion, download it and enjoy the last two chapters that relate the rest of the story. Overall, an enjoyable duology with humor, intrigue, derring-do, and some interesting new fantastical ideas.
I hesitated a long time due to other reviews, but I found the narration to be very good. The pacing was good, the reading clear and accurate, the characterizations consistent and believable. Some were a bit nasal, but not whiny in my opinion. Most of the characters (including Mallory and the hisa) apeak within the first hour of listening, so if you don't like it, you can return it before becoming too invested. Go ahead, give it a try. I'm sorry I waited so long. I think Brian Troxell's narration suited this masterwork very well; despite the intricate plot and multiple viewpoints, I almost never had to skip back, nor correct some mistake. A 4 star narration, and a 6 star book; a 5 star experience, well worth a full credit.
Shows length as 1:50. Text is about half the length. When you get to about chapter 25, annoying flute music starts playing, and that is all there is to the end of the book.
This is an incredibly good series, especially if you love language, wit, and complex characters. The narration is perfectly marvelous, the characters (of all sorts) beautifully, distinctively, creatively and delightfully voiced. I found Chains and the Thiefmaker to be the same as in the first book, just far less of them (to disagree with another reviewer's impression). The narration is so superb that I chose the Audible over the Kindle when I couldn't wait any longer for Whispersync to happen (grrrrrr).
Scott Lynch creates strong and complex women and I applaud him for it. I really appreciated Sabetha and the refreshing change from a pat and predictable romantic arc, though I do hope further adventures in this series will satisfy my always strong desire for a happy ending. Sabetha may be difficult to get 'inside of', but she has her reasons, and we do get to see inside her head and heart at least once. Her feelings on her role in the Bastards are well articulated and raise issues not often addressed in fantasy fiction. The author appreciates and creates real characters of many differences.
The excerpts from the play the characters are enacting in one thread have the special complexity of language that so arrested my attention and challenged my understanding and tickled my fancy at the beginning of The Lies of Locke Lamora. Thank you. The insults here and there are a special treat, too.
The Shadow series is a terrific storyline, a true classic. This production almost ruined it. This truly needs redone. The voice actors are fine, for the most part, but the instrumental interludes are annoying in the extreme - untuneful, unrelated, interrupting, and overlong. However, the story is strong enough to overcome the production's flaws.
Production is better than the earlier books. Story reaches a conclusion, but there is obviously much more story to tell. Shorter than I would like, but not as short as I feared. Note to the author: I don't want to save money on impulse purchases with books in an established storyline; I want a full, rich, engaging story with multiple arcs and the continuation or completion of plotlines yet left unfinished or foreshadowed from prior books. Note to the producers: Thank you for not having annoying poor music interludes.
Be warned not to read this book before the first four Shadow books, it continues some storylines from those books, and therefore has major spoilers. It can certainly be read before or after the Speaker books. I very much enjoyed this interim story in the Ender saga, and recommend it. It would be nice if this producer would clean up and update the other audiobooks in this series. (Well, Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow were fine, but Speaker for the Dead and Shadow of the Hegemon were poorly produced, unfortunately.)
This space 'romance' is different and delightful. The interplay between the two protagonists and their cultures as well as each with her or his own political environment is very well done (though we only get to know her from the inside, a bit of a shame). The story is more epic and episodic and complex than I had remembered, so was a rewarding reread. The narration was excellent. While less manic and hilarious than Warrior's Apprentice, it has a lot to think about plus many moments of rueful irony as well as a few outright laughs. A very rewarding adventure.
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