Almost every conflict that pushes the plot is based on every race involved being so stupid when it comes to psychology that nothing makes sense. Every race involved is an advanced race used to dealing with other alien races yet they cannot accept that every other race might act and react different than them or each other. Not only do they act this way with new races but even with the race they have been dealing with for decades. It gets very tiring watching every character's inability to realize the other races act differently and never being able to either predict how they will act or understand why anything is done the way it is done.
I couldn't believe the reviews I read before listening to this one and I have one question; doesn't anyone just read for pleasure anymore? One said they thought it was a comment on British Aristocracy because of the narrator (American), Dystopian (really?), and a metaphor for this or that.
I love the narrator, I like the story but OMG I am getting so tired of heroes who hate themselves for this, that or some other thing; who can't seem to learn from their mistakes until they make the same mistakes a half dozen times; and who, are again and again, shocked at their own stupidity.
I know you drive the plot forward by placing the hero, and his herd, in jeopardy from the beginning to the end so he (or she, okay?) can become a better and better person (positive arc) until, lo and behold, by the end of the story they can discover the person the audience always knew they could be. But it is possible...oh hell, read, or listen, to this book and you will come to like if very much...with a little patience.
First of all, I haven't finished the book yet and I probably will and I know they don't allow a person to update the reviews, and second, I have no choice but to chime in now. The story world is well crafted and interesting to the extent I want to know what happens, but the way the plot is being manipulated is so frustrating it's almost cruel.
The super sorcerer-in-training seems to be so intelligent when it comes to coming up with some new idea to save the day you want to cheer for him but the same individual is so stupid when the plot needs to throw conflict at him you would think he has multiple personality disorder and one of them just wants to smear pizza on his face, (Multiplicity).
It is disgustingly frustrating to get to the point you realize the only way the author could think of to put the protagonist in trouble, (you know, so he can grow as a character), is to make him intermittently super stupid. You just can't have it both ways. You just can't.
This is a good beginning if you like sorcery and young heroes. Boy from nowhere, complicated plot with an interesting world is a great set-up. Worth listening to if you don't mind a continuous dependence on the most powerful sorcerer, the boy, swinging back and forth between brilliance and the most ridiculous naivete as the mechanism driving the plot. It just seems impossible to me that anyone can be so brilliant and so stupid at the same time as the author as written this boy. Disappointing.
My God do I hate ensemble casts. Just read the words can't you? The primary hard-core females both sound like 3 year old girls with attitude problems. It is so hard to listen to the story when the protagonist's voice makes you cringe whenever you hear her talk. What were they thinking? And I'm only on chapter 3. I'm still listening to it and maybe I'll come back and update this...if I can get over the ridiculous baby voices from the women.
The first chapter had great promise, but, at chapter 9, has yet to deliver anything but a whiny heroine and, an amazingly obtuse hero. Two people, that couldn't be more opposite, are thrown together as partners and 8 chapters later, they are still, childishly, working on said relationship and have yet to resolve anything. It seems, to my embarrassment, I have been hood-winked into buying a SteamPunk romance, masquerading as an action adventure. I am going to give it 2 more chapters to make sure.
The first book set up an interesting story, fairly unique, and certainly worth listening to. This second book follows the story, picks up the action and keeps the conflict moving. But rather keeping these two individuals fresh and allowing them to learn about life together the author has chosen to have the female lead to turn into a snipish, jealous child given to fits of anger and jealously and drops the book into a young adult love story. The problem with listening to this book rather than reading is that you can't scan through the text to skip by the typical teenage psychology and the little girl tantrums and stay in the flow. There was room to give these two atypical teenagers new and inventive psychology, fitting to this new world, rather than what is provided.
This may be the book for you if you like weak or silly characters, bad dialog or childish psychology. I liked the idea but couldn't get past chapter 4. I can't even imagine anyone would act like these people. There more like kids on a playground that real adults. Good luck.
I love David Weber and this series specially. I can't imagine the amount of research done to present such detail in so many areas and I would really like to see by what magic Weber is able to keep all the characters and relationships so clear. However, going from the second book to the third the narrator, Jason Culp, is completely unable to follow the previous narrator who did a great job. In the last book an important secondary character had a very strong almost Irish accent and in this book the primary character has the accent and a couple of characters sound like vampires. I think Culp should have read the previous books so he could have maintained some even little bit of continuity.
Why is it that some writers of sf seem to believe because the book is dealing with aliens it makes sense to ignore human psychology? There is no situation dealing with interaction between sentient species that can be written without finding metaphor in human behavior.
This is an interesting story idea, aliens building armies using children captured from the newly discovered and conquered Earth. I still think it holds promise but not without some understanding child psychology (not to mention plain ol' psychology). I don't need to give examples, just listen to five minutes almost anywhere in the first ten chapters.
On top of this I am really tired of writers who can somehow believe (or write) that a group of alien races, in this case in the thousands, can be so stupid when it comes to dealing with newly discovered races? How did they survive for so long being this stupid?
I would understand if the book was self published. Maybe it was. I have a hard time believing a working agent or editor would have passed on this without requiring more research and a lot more rewriting.
I would love to read it again if Ms.King ever chooses to rewrite it.
There is not particular reason you should pay any attention to my review of this book as I only listened to the first 45 minutes of it before I returned it to audible. I am sure there are those who loved this book, (after all it says it is a No.1 bestseller), but I can only assume they are heavily medicated. An absolute monotone delivery of an absolutely monotone book.
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