This thing really needed tightening up. It is full of unnecessary asides with unnecessary descriptions of historical figures and battles and weapons that at times are laughably referential to Homer. The presence of an epilogue is the author's admission of defeat with regard to constructing a cohesive narrative whole. As with much of modern fantasy, this book needed a fresh eye and a sharp red pencil to whip it into shape.
This is another fantasy trilogy that would have been much better had it been reduced to two volumes. It is two bad one can't skim an audiobook.
Written by a computer or a twelve year old boy with a new found thesaurus. There may be an original idea in there somewhere, but I won't listen past the second chapter to find it. I can't believe that the positive reviews come from real people.
5 hrs into it pulled by good basic writing skills and good narration but I still can't see a story arc. Not much interesting science, not much plot development, no humor or wit, and not a very believable culture. Apparently it takes place on Earth but not a very likely one. If this were text rather than audio, I would be skimming pretty fast to find the meat of the story. As it is, I don't have any more time to waste on it.
I bought this because it was on sale and had a 4 star rating and because I like dystopian fiction. I should have read the reviews. It is bad YA fiction. It raises or rather, nods at themes too mature for middle schoolers and too poorly fleshed out for high schoolers or adults. Basically a little simple minded and poorly researched. This is not "A Handmaid's Tale" for kids.
Book 1 was good - borderline great. Book 2 was only so-so to borderline good. It had holes in plot characterization, and sociology and lots of filler. I won't waste time on a Book 3 that apparently doesn't conclude the series. Like a lot of fantasy writers Brett is trying to make a franchise by stretching 1-2 books worth of ideas.
Borderline viable narrative served by graceless prose with a witless economic back story. I am several hours in and have no idea why it's named for the boy. Maybe Joshua is special but I have seen no indication of it yet. I don't care to follow this "Road" any further. Cormac McCarthy did it infinitely better.
I claim no qualifications as a literary critic, but it seems to me that Great SciFi should have ideas, memorable characters, plot, narrative drive, and elegant or amusing word play. Good SciFi will have some combination of the above. This work suffers from ideas that are no longer new at 16-17 years post initial publication. Its characters range from 1 to 2 dimensional, and their actions are not believable. Its overall plot is a bit implausible as well. Narrative drive is pretty good, ie I did want to find out what was going to happen. The prose is pedestrian.
It has a straight forward narrative short on complexity and nuance with simple but well drawn characters. It is not especially original or imaginative, nor is it filled with new ideas or new takes on old ideas.
I have liked other works by Reynolds, and I can't think of whom could really be pleased with this mess. Too many competing plot lines left hanging. Any book that requires both a prologue and an epilogue to make sense has some real plot problems.
I would have to think twice. If I am reading I can skim through a subpar book. With audio books one is stuck. With Reynolds that's lots of hours stuck.
The jugglers, scuttlers, inhibitors, shadows, the conch material spacers
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