An interesting concept that devolved into a somewhat ridiculous and mostly dull story. The time travel and it's implications become a minor sub-plot. Virtually every main character starts out single and quickly succumbs to love at first site (which always works out, of course). All the females get pregnant. Far too much unnecessary detail in some parts (on and on and on descriptions of music being blasted at a castle) and not enough detail in others (How are they maintaining a telephone service and other modern conveniences? Did a water treatment plant & sewage treatment plant move with them? as just a few minor examples.) And why did they call it "Ring of Fire" when, as far as I can tell, the only fire was a farmhouse? Why not "Ring of Light" -- that's what they all saw, a very bright light. I know that's kinda petty, but again, just an example. Overall, this book could've been much more interesting. If you're not into unrealistic romances & repetitive descriptions of medieval battle tactics, you probably won't like this.
To echo what many others have said, Dotrice's character voices include some so terrible that I want to cover my ears. I don't care if the ugly "voice" he gives a man with no nose might be realistic... I don't want to hear it! I was very glad when a main character died just because I wouldn't have to listen to his "voice" any more! (And his voice wasn't the most offensive to the ear!) Ugh...
Some of the details in the book(s) get old after a while. Do we really need all the details of what every character is wearing, when it has nothing to do with the story? Maybe Martin is trying to help us visualize, but with an audio, where you can't glance at and skip over such details, it gets a bit irritating.
But those are small things in the big picture, which is that this is a fantastic story, a great book, and a series I can't get enough of!
I made a big mistake when I bought this (it was on sale) before listening to the first book in this series, "1632." That book was only so-so and if I'd listened to it first, I would NOT have purchased this one.
This one, "1633," was mind-numbingly dull most of the time. I enjoyed listening to about 10% of it (primarily the action scenes). The rest was torture because I was NOT interested in the boring descriptions and LONG, dull conversations. I almost quit MANY times, but then something briefly interesting would happen and I (foolishly) kept slogging on.
I do NOT recommend this for anyone who is not fascinated by 17th Century European politics, military tactics, religions, culture and philosophy. If you're not a fan of the history, much of what is discussed will be of zero interest to you.
Much of the "story" is actually thinly disguised lectures by the author about how society and politics SHOULD be.
The plot was lacking, as well. Minor spoiler example: the Americans have an expert sniper. They had no problem in "1632" having her shoot enemy officers & leaders. Yet they ignore the obvious solution to virtually all of the problems they're facing in "1633" -- have her assassinate Cardinal Richelieu. It would be ridiculously easy, and save countless lives.
The narration was excellent, but this was the worst story I've listened to.
Entertaining and kept my interest, but not quite as good as the first two in this series. The plot was just too weird (and yes, I know how that sounds in a review about a book where the hero sees dead people). I enjoyed the verbal sparring between Odd and the Russian (whom I think would be a great recurring character in this series).
Besides what many reviewers have already said about TOO MUCH OBERON and TOO MUCH PREACHING about the evils of oil/coal/etc., another thing disappointed me: that Atticus would not even consider helping Leif. I understand why he would be reluctant. But the consequences of NOT helping should have outweighed that reluctance and convinced him to assist Leif -- not for Leif, but for the people being threatened by Leif's maker. In past books, Atticus has wanted to protect the community in which he lived. So why all of a sudden does he not give a damn about the death and enslavements that Leif assures him will happen without his help? He can be selfish and unreasonable, but I couldn't accept that he would just turn his back on his former community. Especially when it would be very easy for him to help -- much easier than what he had to do in Asgard. It doesn't jive with the character of Atticus we've come to know. If this had been the first book in the series, I'd have thought, "What an asshole," about Atticus and not read any more.
I have no problems with wizards, werewolves, etc. -- but FBI agents who feel the best way to eliminate "untouchable" criminals is to become werewolves? That was easier than getting a sniper or hitman to do the job? Just didn't make sense. And Harry going after them without ANY plan on how to defeat them was also dumb. Seemed like the writer was being a bit lazy. It was still entertaining, but if this had been the first in the series, I wouldn't buy any others.
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