entertaining, engaging, non-stop-action
Luke Daniels is amazing. His voice is incredibly well suited to playing Atticus and his voices for the other characters are also expertly done (especially Oberon!). I'm often annoyed by male narrators' voices for female characters, but I have never once run into that problem with Daniels. I love his narration so much that I'm searching for other fantasy novels narrated by him (and I've never before sought out books based solely on the narrator).
This whole series has been amazing and I never want it to end. I wish each book was longer but their brevity is part of their appeal. I typically prefer to delve into epic fantasy series, but I gave the first book in the Iron Druid Chronicles a try because I was looking for a light, quick "read" to give me a break from the emotional investment that comes along with being wrapped up in a long, heavy epic fantasy story. Each installment in this series has been fun and generally light, and I always enjoy listening to them. I usually don't like stories that take place on modern-day Earth because I prefer being transported to entirely new fantasy worlds. But these stories have enough magic to keep me satisfied, and the way Hearn interweaves gods from a variety of cultures and times into the plot is intriguing and compelling. In the sixth book, I started to miss some of the characters from the earlier books that have necessarily (based on where the story-line has gone) taken on smaller roles. These books are just serious enough to put me on the edge of my seat with anxiety for the fate of the main characters, but the overall tone of the books is still light enough that I always come away from them in a better mood than when I started listening.
I came across this book while looking for other fantasy stories narrated by Luke Daniels (he had me hooked with his narration of the Iron Druid series). As expected, Daniels delivered the story brilliantly. He uses a variety of convincing voices and accents, which makes distinguishing between the characters easy and also makes them more real in my mind. His narration is never distracting, which I've found to be a problem with other narrators, and really enhances the listening experience.
This is perfect for when you're looking for a light, witty, entertaining, fast-paced story that still maintains a unique magic system and an interesting plot. My only qualm is that the book focused more on Miranda than on Eli--whom the whole series is named after--and so I was left wondering about Eli's motives. That being said, the overall effect was to leave Eli's character as a bit of a mystery that I look forward to exploring further in the next novel.
The book also did a good job of telling a complete story, so it didn't come across as being entirely set-up for subsequent books in the series (The Way of Kings--I'm looking at you). And rather than using an annoying cliffhanger as a device to get me to buy the next book, it wrapped up the story nicely while still leaving just enough elements unexplored to pique my interest in the next book.
The premise of this book was really interesting, it was fairly fast-paced, the characters were developed just enough (perhaps a bit underdeveloped), and the plot was good if a little simplistic. Despite being 24, I still like a lot of young adult novels, but this one came across as a tad too young for my taste.
Overall though, it satisfied what I was looking for: a quick, entertaining listen. And I do look forward to the next installment.
Be warned: almost all 45 hours of this book is set-up for what will presumably be a long series. There is no conclusion to anything, which is incredibly frustrating after 45 hours of listening. It seemed pretty clear to me that Sanderson is setting himself up to write a long, lumbering epic fantasy series, and he is taking his time and dragging out every little detail to milk this series for as long as possible. I am not against f long fantasy series in general, but each book should still have its own plot in addition to the overarching storyline that connects the series. Clearly this book has many fans, but for me, the plot was just too lacking to hold my interest and I struggled to get through it.
The book follows the separate storylines (if you can call them that) of three main characters. One of the things I liked most was getting to hear the story from the very different perspectives of these three characters. They were (over)developed deeply and they seemed genuinely human, flaws and all. Unfortunately, they did not accomplish much in the entire book, which is why I would not necessarily say they had "storylines." Rather, the book just followed their day-to-day lives.
The world-building was excellent; it felt real and engulfing, complete with history, different cultures, and unique plants and animals. However, the same effect could have been achieved much more concisely.
My main huge problem was with how little actually happens plot-wise, which is really astounding given the book's length. We got one of the main character's entire life story, which was good in that it made me feel like I knew him really well but at the same time almost none of it was actually relevant. For example, many of the flashbacks to his childhood could have easily been omitted and it would not have affected the book in the least.
Nothing of real interest happened until the last 10 hours. Then, at last, there are a couple surprising occurrences, some great reveals, and the plot actually moves forward a bit. I was torn between giving this 3 or 4 stars because there really is a lot of interesting set-up here. But in the end, it was just too infuriating that none of that set-up came to fruition in this book. I sincerely hope more happens in the second one.
On a minor note, it was also extremely annoying that the two narrators pronounced one of the character's names differently. I actually didn't know to whom the female narrator was referring the first few times she said "Suh-DEE-as" as opposed to "SAD-ee-us" (which is how the male narrator had been pronouncing it throughout the entire book).
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