I enjoyed this story of imperfect characters struggling to find meaning, in a dark, and often times, savage and merciless world, through their brotherly bond shaped by their union: The Black Company.
My favorite character is Croaker: The Black Company's doctor and annalist. He, to me, is the embodiment, and the voice of the The Black Company and what it represents; though out the story, Croaker's struggles and attempts at finding some good in a very dark world, where to survive one must often times ignore the incessant inner voice that is always telling us to do what is morally right, seems to mirror The Black Company's struggles to do what is honorable, yet at the same time, do what it needs to do to survive; and what it needs to do to survive is not always the right or moral thing to do.
I have not.
There were several moments throughout the book that moved me. I love the way the author would pull the characters down to the point of utter despair, where all there is left is the brutal task of surviving at all cost; but when it appears this harsh and bleak world had reduce all the inhabitants to savage beasts, these same beasts/characters would pleasantly surprise you with their acts of kindness.
My only complaint with the Black Company is that the authors style of writing takes getting used to. At times, it was difficult to follow and determine what was going on. It seemed to me, that the author would transition from one point to the next without any transitional glues. Sometimes, I had no idea that the author had stop writing about some current event, but instead had already gone on to describing another event.
Although, I would like to note whether this is because of the way it was narated, or if it was in fact the way the story was written.
The beginnings of the story was really intriguing to me, as it tells a story of a person living in solitude, for many years, beneath a metropolitan city with no human contact. He is an exile from society because his appearance is so abhorrent to the normal person, that when seen, drives them into a rage for his destruction. Dean Koontz's writing, once again, is so elegantly done, in its depiction of this grim world he has created, in which exist this exile of humanity, that it borders on poetic beauty. In fact, the whole story reads like a grim fairy tale.
Now for the bad part. After such elegance, and work, in creating this dark setting, the author fails, in my opinion, to delve into the exploration of what the consequences are of a person existing in such a state. Instead, the author relies too much on superficial means as his escape out of the darkness he has put his protagonists in. Now, having read many Dean Koontz novels, one is to expect a certain amount of divinity sprinkled throughout his stories, but it's usually the characters in those stories that determine the outcome through their choices and actions; in "Innocence", I felt as though that was not the case.
Once again, I felt the beginnings of the story was a beautifully created setup for, what I thought to be, some kind of precursor in the exploration of the human condition in its lowest levels, and that Dean Koontz was going prose something profound. Unfortunately, I felt like he fell short to deliver anything new. The whole story seemed to be blanketed by an aura of predestination and fate driven. So much so, that it took all suspense away from the story. I never felt once that the main characters were ever in any peril.
I always think listening to audio, especially when the narrator is good, brings the story to a level of aliveness, that reading, sometimes, did not reach. Macleod Andrews did a good job bringing the story to life.
I don't believe so. I think Dean Koontz told what he wanted to tell in "Innocence". I can't imagine what more about this story that hasn't already been covered that would interest me enough to return to the world.
I had high hopes that this book might have been Dean Koontz's next ongoing series to replace the Odd Thomas series, which are my favorites. But now, I sincerely hope it was just a standalone, And that he has something else in the works that would rival the Odd Thomas series.
The way R. A. Salvatore weaved the story together like a jigsaw puzzle, fitting each piece perfectly as he brought the story together.
I was a little worried at first. I thought maybe Mr. Salvatore had lost his touch, as some of the characters weren't behaving like they normally do. But as I stated, like a jigsaw puzzle, with each piece connecting, things started to make more and more sense as Mr. Salvatore weaved his story together like a masterpiece painting.
Wulfgar, Catie-brie and Bruenor's battle with the yochlol and the drow party from Menzoberranzan. It was a very powerful and emotional moment.
I have listened to all of Victor Bevine's previous narration of this epic series. And once again, he does an amazing job. I can't imagine anyone else voicing Drizzt Do'Urden but him. I've gotten to the point where I hear his voice while reading the books in the series, when I am not listening to it that is.
Yes, it was tough to stop listening. In fact, I had to buy the next book in the series right away after this one.
I thought I would have to wait for the next book in the series, like I had to wait for Audible to release this one after the Iced Dale Trilogy, which I admit was a tough wait. But to my surprise, Audible release all four books to this series on the same day. Celebration!!! Good job to Audible.
The return of Croaker as annalist of The Black Company and also Marc Vietor as narrator.
I soldiered through the last four books just to get to this one, because I knew The Black Company that I fell in love with in the first four books would finally return.
It was Croaker by far. His annals/perspective of The Black Company, to me, is why I fell in love with the series in the first place.
Marc Vietor, to me, is the best narrator of the series. He adds grittiness to The Black Company that the other narrators of the series could not match. His portrayal of Croaker is simply perfect.
I found the phrase: "Soldiers live..." uttered throughout the book by Croaker, to be deeply profound. And it particularly moved me when Croaker uttered it for the last time: "Soldiers live and wonder why."
I now understand why Glen Cook wrote the last four books with different annalists. I think it was to give this well seasoned version of Croaker more flavor to contrast the younger Croaker from the earlier books.
What can I say, this is Terry Goodkind at his best. "The Third Kingdom" is finally the return of the Goodkind we've all been waiting for: character driven, compelling, action pack, emotional-joy-ride, suspense, all these factors will keep you reading/listening far into the late hours of the night.
The battle with the halfmen in The Third Kingdom during the escape. All I can say is "WOW!" Joyful, tear jerking, anger, despair, hope, hate, sadness, relief...'nuf said.
Sam Tsoutsouvas does what he does best, he brings intensity and authority to voice of Richard Rahl. His narration, especially the battle scenes, had me on the edge of my seat as the intensity of them sent chills up my spine; I could feel the hot anger from the Sword of Truth, as though I was holding it, as Richard cut and cut and cut the enemies to pieces. lol.
Yes. And there are so many questions left unanswered. I can't wait for the next book.
I got a little worried there towards the middle part of the book, it felt a little dragged out with the dialog between Richard and Sammy, but after that, wow, all hell broke loose. The intensity, which I didn't think was possible but Mr. Goodkind somehow did it, it reached another level.
If this was any other book from a different author, I would have given the story five stars, but because Terry Goodkind has spoiled me with such books as Wizard's First Rule, Stone of Tears, and Faith of the Fallen, I hold Terry Goodkind to a higher standard, so I only gave this book four stars because, although it is very good, it's still not as good as his earlier books and pales in comparison to "Faith of the Fallen" which I consider is a masterpiece.
Yes, Dean Koontz writes great books, but this one: not so much. Angela Dawe did a pretty good job, especially voicing the boy, Joey.
I have read/listen to numerous novels by Dean Koontz and have enjoyed most of them. Some of my favorites include: Odd Thomas, Hideaway, Intensity, Demon Seed, Frankenstein, Mr. Murder, Lightning and many more. Suffice to say, I have enjoyed pretty much most of his books for the most part. But I have to honestly admit I had to struggle to get through this one. The main characters lack depth, and Christine just started to annoy me more and more as the story went on. I mean the two, supposedly bad guys, if you can call them that: Grace Spivey and Kyle Barlow had more depth than the supposed good guys, if you can call them that, which are: Christine, Charlie, Joey, and the dog Chewbacca(or is it Brandy?) Lol, I grew to care more for the dog than I did for Christine and Charlie. Spoiler alert: The dog got bashed in the head twice and left for dead in a blizzard and still soldiered on to defend its master, never complaining once.
Christine on the other hand just whined for the most part throughout the book, throwing tantrums here and there..."Oh life is so unfair, why me why me?! My mommy is so mean; she made me do my homework and work extra hard and she wants me to be humble. Me? No way, I am a supermodel, and I can strut if I want...Oh the injustice!!! Someone save me, preferably a handsome knight in shining armor."
The only reason I kept going was because Mr. Koontz kept throwing in little teasers here and there of the boy possibly being the anti-Christ. Is he, or is he not? Keep reading/listening and you might find out. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but the ending/answer left me wanting to pull my hair out in frustration. This book is like listening to a debate between a theist and an atheist, waiting for one of them to knock it out the park and prove once and for all who is right...but off course you always leave feeling disappointed, with uncertainly still firmly chained upon you, with questions left unanswered.
Can't think of one in particular. All the scenes that started to developed, that could have developed into memorable scenes all fell short. They were all teasers, answering nothing, leaving the reader unsatisfied.
Maybe. But it has to have a better ending. I don't want to waste my time again.
Dean Koontz always has something profound to say in all his books via his characters. But in this one, there was none, or if there was, it was beyond me. Unless his goal was to leave me frustrated and unsatisfied. In that, he did a superb job.
Unwholesome gloomy fun.
This book is like driving by a horrid car crash. You know you shouldn't look, but you look anyways because of some deep morbid fascination that hypnotizes. That's what this book is like, even though you know you shouldn't turn the page, or in this case, to stop listening, but you end up listening/reading on anyways. Until, before you know it, you're at the bitter end and your like: "Yuck!!!" And then you laugh to prevent yourself from crying at the brutal and meaningless world. You know that saying that goes: "No good deed goes unpunished", well the author here seems to have taken that saying to heart. Indeed, whenever someone did something remotely good in this book, you started to expect hell would soon follow and exact punishment for such a righteous act. Mr. Abercrombie doesn't hold back, he punches you and punches you until your numbed all over, until you're as miserable as the characters are. LOL. Spank me some more, I must really like it. This book is a masterpiece on describing the human condition at it's lowest and most deplorable levels. I found myself cheering and almost weeping whenever even the smallest act of decency is displayed, but it's short lived at best, for such acts are quickly swept away by the onslaught of the brutally meaningless existence of the all the characters in this world. Which sadly, a lot of times, reflects our world.
Yes I would. Normally I would give Michael Page a high rating because he did a good job, but I have been spoiled by Steven Pacey whom narrated the previous books by Abercrombie, so my rating of Michael Page is a bit tainted by extremely high expectations. It also didn't help that the sound quality was subpar to what I am use to by Audible. I tried listening to different formats but they all had this echoing sound to it, like the audio was EQ/set on: "Hall" or something, like listening to sounds in a cavern.
I have to be honest and say this book sickened me, but entertained me all at the same time. I am not sure what this means yet, but it's somewhat frightening, like watching a scary movie and coming out saying, why did I just do that, but then can't wait to go watch another scary movie to subject myself to even more torment.
Once again, the sound quality was not up to the standards that I have become accustomed to with audiobooks from Audible.
Yes, Steven Pacey's performance brought the characters to life for me in a way that the printed version could not.
The Bloody Nine off course. His venture from wild barbarian of the North, to civilization, the heart of the Union itself, was a joy to follow. His dry humor, witty perspective of the world, and grim persona was well done. He is a reluctant hero, but seems to do the right thing when he is face with the choice, although he is far from perfect. Come on, you have to be realistic about these things. :)
I have not.
Yes, I kept listening late into the night when I should have been asleep for work the next day.
I can't say enough good things about Steven Pacey's performance. There are bad, average, good, and excellent narrators, and then there is Steven Pacey. There are not enough stars I can give that would sufficiently describe how good Steven Pacey's performance was for this book. Great Job!
Drizzt and Belwar's exploration and journey through the Underdark.
I was introduced to Drizzt Do'Urden and got to know him a little bit in "Homeland", but it's in "Exile" that I became emotionally invested in Drizzt and his moral integrity. His willingness to sacrifice to help his friends and, sometimes, even strangers is an example of his heroic nature. And that even though he dwells in the depths of, seemingly, a hell of world in Menzoberranzan, in the Underdark, he never gives in to the darkness but instead holds true to his standards and ideals.
Drizzt Do'Urden of course. But I also like his protrayal of Belwar Dissengulp, he really brought that character to life for me.
Yes, it was hard to stop because I wanted to know what happen next.
"Homeland" started in a measured pace as we were introduce to the world of Menzoberranzan and gradually picked up with the emergence of Drizzt.
In "Exile", there was no need for conservativeness. The action starts of with a bang and bangs you to the end.
The world of Menzoberranzan, it is very creative and well written; the City of the Spiders is dark and brutal place that Drizzt must endure and not succumb to it's evil ways.
Drizzt rising up against Menzoberranzan evilness...and the sacrifice made at the end.
Victor Bevine did a wonderful job. He was a good choice to be narrator for this gruesome world.
I thought the ending was pretty good in it's hinting of what is to come. After Drizzt's decision at the end, right after what Zaknafei had to do, I think the best is yet to come.
I have put of this series for awhile because of it sheer epicness. I knew if I started in on it, I might become hooked and would spend the next few months devoted to reading/listening to the rest of the series and doing not much else. I fear I am hooked. Yay.
There was to many characters. It felt like most of the book was focus on introducing characters, but didn't really focus much on any of them. Thus, I didn't feel any emotional attachment to any of them and didn't have any sense of peril or emotions for them when they were endangered.
It was to simple and felt rushed. It did not meet my expections of the grandeur of the events taking place in the Pendleton that lead up to the end.
Winny and Iris hiding from one of those creapy monster things. And then Winny ultimately deciding he had to fight it to protect Iris. To me, Winny and Iris saved this book.
No...I did not become invested in any of the characters and have no desire to revisit them.
I think Dean Koontz should write more about Crispin and his dog Harley from his Novella: "Moonlit Mild". One of the main reasons why I picked up 77 Shadow St was in the hopes that the story somehow interweave with "Moonlit Mild", since they are both in the same world, and brought Crispin and Harly back again, and I was greatly disapointed that 77 Shadows St had nothing to do with Moonlit Mind.
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