I was introduced to the Phryne Fisher series via the excellent ABC TV adaption. However, if you think that having seen the TV series spoils the books for you then think again! The plots of the books are quite different to that of the TV adaption and, whilst I could see the origins of the episodes in the books, I was completely enthralled by the books. In fact, it was quite fascinating to consider the differences and similarities while listening.
Without taking anything away from Kerry Greenwood's masterful writing, I can say without any hesitation that Stephanie Daniel's reading made the series come alive for me. Her style captures the character of Phryne perfectly and her versatile voice somehow manages to give every single character their own distinct recognisable voice.
I cannot recommend this series more highly. You will not regret your purchase!
The problem with this book for me was that it tried to be too many things and didn't really succeed at any of them very well.
As a detective story it was far too simplistic and I knew who the villain was long before the end. As hard SF it was clear that while the author was trying to come up with some kind of scientific justification for time travel and... well let's just say that the 'baffle them with bulls***' tag applies far more than the 'dazzle them with brilliance'. Her lengthy explanations were not self consistent or convincing enough for me to suspend belief (lasers? Really??) and took up time that would have been far better spent on developing her characters more.
The reader was quite good; her reading is entertaining and evocative, although she does not differentiate her voices for different characters quite as much as some others do.
Disappointing overall and not one that makes me want to read others by the author.
I'm a huge fan of Rusch's Retrieval Artist series so I went into this with high expectations. Unfortunately, although the reader was great, the material was not and I was not very impressed.
The protagonist is a very unsympathetic character; this is not necessarily a fatal flaw in a book but when it's being told in the first person it doesn't help. I also found myself unable to see the internal logic in many of her decisions (despite the first person narration) and quite often I just wanted to slap her upside the head and tell her to grow up. Particularly when her bad strategic decisions got others killed. There were a number of technological issues that jarred, such as space suits that only had enough air for an hour and were fragile enough that brushing against a sharp edge was fatal. Apparently self-sealing isn't around 5000 years from now even though we routinely use it in car tyres. I also found the complete reversal of attitude of the protagonist at the end of the novel completely unbelievable in light of her actions and attitudes to that point.
I'm going to stick with the Retrieval series.
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