I didn't read the print version, but since I don't read many spy thrillers I think I enjoyed it more as an audio then I would have reading it myself.
Well, the ending was since it was all so unexpected. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it.
I felt like his voice really fit the story and Michael and in my head, reading it, it wouldn't have been the same.
I'm not sure. Maybe toward the end when Michael found out some new information.
Sulan, Episode 1: The League is a different sort of book. I went in expecting a science fiction book but this one was just so much more. It just really caught me up in the story and I found myself completely in love with each step of the story.
The author did an incredible job with world building and character creation, along to go with a plot that was action packed and intense for the full last quarter. The entire novel was easy to soak in and never boring, constantly progressing with character growth as we learned about the world.
Sulan was an excellent character and while a bit too headstrong for her mothers liking, she makes sense. They live in a dangerous world and being able to protect yourself is a handy ability. Especially if you're a hot commodity for the anti-American league and have special skills like Sulan does. When Sulan goes into Vex (cyber world) to learn to fight it's really no surprise. She gets lucky and finds someone to train with her. Through the book we are introduced to a variety of great characters and each one was easy for me to 'get' and picture.
The whole idea of this world is almost over my head, like it's so well created and so different, so technically different. At the same time it's almost easy to imagine us in that place one day. Maybe not quite to the extreme we get here, but you never know! I'm not at all tech savy and this was not difficult for me to picture. It's crazy, but it's really cool and creative.
There's a lot of action in the last quarter or so. Maybe more like the full second half of the book. Since I was listening on audio I'm not sure, but it was at least two hours, maybe 3, of constant action. I even drove around extra long one day when listening because I was desperate for a good stopping point.
This leads to the narration- while I wouldn't say it's the best I've ever listened to, I did end up enjoying it. The studio quality was good and after a short while I fell into her voice. She doesn't sound like a teen girl but she did a good job and I found that after the initial 15 minutes or so that I liked her voice and it fit the style of the story. She got the inflections correct and used the words in a way that just 'went'. If you listen to audiobooks I think you'll understand what I'm saying.
The end of the book was kind of perfect. There's major stuff ahead but the first 'battle' is over. I think calling them 'episodes' fits perfect here. I highly recommend this one!
This is the third Zoe & Zak book I've listened to on audio and I have to say, they just keep getting better and better. There are so many things I love about this series so I hope that I can express my love well enough that you know that this is a series you MUST get!
Zoe and Zak are perfect compliments to each other. Zoe is more serious and Zak is all about the fun. In the past they've had to deal with some serious life or death situations, but things step up another notch in this one and things are so serious that Zak could die if they don't figure things out. It's clear that Zoe is freaking out and it's not really helping much. Zak on the other hand is handling things well and gives us some comedic relief. Not that the book feels so 'scary' or whatever, but knowing that things really ARE serious makes it a bit more intense.
In this book there's a new bad, but who would have guessed it to be the new student who seems to get his way with everything and everyone? He has it out for Zak and will go to any lengths to make Zak look bad, or to get him in trouble.
One thing I really, really love about these books is the culture. I think it's important to teach our kids about other cultures and so them being at a boarding school in India is perfect. It's an international school and Zoe and Zak are American, so we can follow things easily. But they are experiencing Indian culture everyday. And Zoe does a good job of explaining the foods and the different words used, etc. So we don't get too much and can feel like we are really there. I appreciated that the words they use in India were used and explained. For example, the word 'walla' (I listened to the audio so the spelling might be wrong) is someone who sells something. So when they say the 'bike walla' we know what they are talking about, it's the person selling the bikes.
I have watched some shows about the scary roads in the Himalaya's so it was easy for me to really picture things as they were barreling down (or up) the mountain and Zoe feeling like they would fall off the cliff at any minute. There were so many times in this book that I found myself just staring off into the distance listening intently. I listen while doing things usually (cooking, cleaning, etc) so this was impressive that it pulled me out of doing stuff to where I concentrated completely on the story.
The narration is pure BRILLIANCE. I have listened to quite a few audiobooks and there's not many narrators that can pull off a variety of voices. Sonja Field does it all perfectly. We get Zoe and Zak and their two distinctive voices that are easy to tell apart. We also get the various Indian accents, somehow still distinctive from each other. We also get some British accents and a few other voices but on top of that we get the various things like the talking elephant Alta, the creature called Mon Sta and various other animals that all had their own incredible voices. Oh and the parrot that we get in this one, also done perfectly. This is definitely the best narration I have heard in an audiobook yet.
If you have a reluctant reader this is a series I recommend. This is perfect for middle grade readers up to adults. It's a series the whole family can enjoy together. It's a perfect pace of adventure with fabulous characters, a wonderful setting, and an intense plot that keeps you wrapped up and anxious for more . I couldn't recommend this any more highly. It's perfection.
Blown Circuit takes off only days after Lethal Circuit ends. If you haven’t read or listened to the first book, it’s kind of okay. This was definitely it’s own story. There are things mentioned in this from the first book though and I think you would benefit from reading it. This book is fast paced and action packed, without really a moment to relax as Michael is constantly on the run for his life.
Characters~ Michael is the main character and I really like him. He’s not perfect and we see that, but that makes him even better as a character. Michael is one of those characters that knows a lot of stuff. It may seem a bit far-fetched that he knows so much about all these things, but it’s easy for me to write it off as him being smart and having a good memory. His father also kind of trained him as he grew up so he knows how to work with what he has, in the situation he’s in. He might not always make the right choices, but he makes the best choice he can with the information he has. And it’s always entertaining seeing how he’ll get out of it.
There’s a lot of new characters in this installment, but also some from the previous book. I don’t want to spoil anything though, so I won’t say more. This is a book where you never know who is good and who is bad. Who you can trust.
Plot~ This is an action packed spy thriller and Michael is constantly on the run. He’s originally trying to find his father but he’s sucked into a different thing and that becomes priority at the moment. He has to kind of solve a puzzle and piece the clues together and then make sure that the wrong people don’t get their hands on it. This is easier said than done… The book is full of twists and turns. Some are more predictable, but for the most part I felt like I was on a wild ride that I had no clue where it would take me. And it was fun!
Narration~ This has a new narrator and he did perfect! I thought it was amazing that he sounded similar enough to the narrator from the first book but better. He did the many various accents absolutely perfect and I have not a single complaint about the narration. It was perfect!
Negatives~ My only negative is actually something that fits the story and the genre so it’s only a personal issue (remember this is kind of outside my normal genres), but it felt like some things were explained a bit too thoroughly. Like too much explanation. For many this would actually be a positive because they need these explanations to really understand what is happening. I found that I didn’t really care so much about all that stuff, like what kind of gun it was and what it can do, etc. This is a negative that is actually a positive for many (if not most).
Overall, this was an excellent book and I think it’s a series that I’ll have to continue as I’m really loving Michael and want to know more about his father and what is happening in those regards.
Yes, definitely! It's good for the whole family and has something for everyone. The main characters are kids so they are easy to relate to for kids, but they have fun voices that adults will enjoy as well. And the setting and adventure are just wonderful!
My favorite part of the story is the adventure. I would love to have been able to experience some of the things that Zoe and Zak are able to. Maybe some things are really scary and intense, but being able to go to school in India and learn about their culture and country would be so fun! But you add in the fantasy elements and it's even better! All I can say is- Flying Elephants!
I liked it all! She is brilliant at the different voices and manages to make each character sound different. She gets the accents perfect too!
It didn't make me cry, but I was on the edge of my seat sometimes. And I definitely laughed a time or two!
This is a fun fantasy adventure that has wonderful characters, setting, and fantasy elements. I would definitely listen or read it again. I think it would be perfect for a car trip with the whole family.
If I were to point out things that I liked less, it would be that sometimes I felt the plot moved along a little slowly in the beginning. I wasn't clear what was suppose to happen right away. But it is a shorter story, so I'm not sure it could have been different. And I did love when they talked about the school.
Narration wise, it stands near the top!
It's hard to say. I loved Annie, the main character, but several secondary characters stole my heart as well. Barrett and Captain Hawke are two of them.
I laughed several times! Annie really got up to some real antics! There was a point that definitely brought tears to my eyes as well though.
Very fun book and a brilliant narration! Highly recommend this one on audio.
Yes! It was a fun adventure and I loved 'visiting' India.
Zak. He was the one willing to jump in with both feet and while at first that was annoying it became one of my favorite things about him. He rarely questioned things, he trusted in what he saw and felt.
Zoe because she's the one narrating the story anyway. I felt like the narration was spot on for Zoe's voice.
I loved when Zoe finally started finding her strength and started trusting in herself. Even if she had to do it alone, she was going to keep the promise she had made to protect the ghost leopard.
This was a fun ride with great fantasy elements, truly scary bad guys, great adventure, and an amazing setting. I very highly recommend to fans of middle grade fantasy!
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