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  • The Desert Spear

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Peter V. Brett
    • Narrated By Pete Bradbury
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The world remains under siege by demonkind stalking the land when the sun goes down. But a new hero has risen from the desert. Claiming to be the mythical Deliverer, Ahmann Jardir now rides alongside the allied desert tribes of Krasia. Jardir and his fellows are on an epic quest to vanquish the demons plaguing the world and bring humanity back from the brink of extinction.

    John says: "Worth My Credit"

    Although the first book took some time to get there, I thought the final destination was pretty good. Like the first, this second installment took time to arrive, but it just didn't deliver in the way the first one did.

    The system of magic is fleshed out a bit more, and that was good to see since the first book was a bit one-dimensional in that area. I thought the writing was good, and the narrator was good, but sadly the plot was lacking.

    I found myself frustrated at a few of the characters actions which were so vastly inconsistent with their stated principles/morals/philosophies/what-have-you. For example Leesha fawning over a tyrant who's come to kill and dominate when she's *so* clearly anti-violence. How does that work? That's like the president of PETA falling for an animal torturing psycho.

    Yeah, there was a fair amount of sex in the book - more than I'm used to reading. Sex I don't mind, but the rape related stuff was too much for me.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Red Seas Under Red Skies

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Scott Lynch
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    After a brutal battle with the underworld that nearly destroyed him, Locke Lamora and his trusted sidekick, Jean, fled the island city of their birth and landed on the exotic shores of Tal Verrar to nurse their wounds. But even at this westernmost edge of civilization, they can't rest for long - and they are soon back doing what they do best: stealing from the undeserving rich and pocketing the proceeds for themselves.

    Anthony says: "This is how you write a series!"
    "Lynch is a Tortise"

    So I'm starting to like this Lynch guy. Granted, he takes his time to tell a story. I mean, it's like the *actual* story doesn't start until chapter 47. Talk about a prologue. However, once he does start on the plot you've all been waiting for, it's pretty good. Just be forewarned: the first half is a fight to stay awake.

    There are also a few disjointed chapters (perhaps the editors fell asleep too???). Wherein we run pell-mell down a rabbit trail only to find it leads absolutely nowhere (i.e. the rappelling scene & Jean's gang). It's not as bad as some of King's epic stories that would be (a mere) 800 pages if he left out those sinister tangents that add hundreds of pages of fluff. Nevertheless, a dearth of a concise plot line doesn't detract from value of the story (once it starts that is).

    Just don't expect a Hare's pace; Lynch is SLOW and steady.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Scott Lynch
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    An orphan's life is harsh---and often short---in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains---a man who is neither blind nor a priest. A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected "family" of orphans---a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards.

    Luke A. Reynolds says: "Stupendous, but be warned."
    "Have You Ever Tried to Start a Crank Engine?"

    They take a TON of effort, but in the end they roar to life. I couldn't help but thinking of that as I got to the end of this story. I mean really, the first half of the book was painfully slow. It felt like I was taking horse tranquilizers - my lids could barely stay open. About the halfway mark it got interesting, and then the last quarter or so was great. Just be prepared for a rough start.

    Oh yeah, and you'll get used to the narrator. Initially I was pissed. He sounds SO pretentious at first (I've got the standard, west coast US accent so YMMV), but I got used to it about 4 hours in, and I even came to like it.

    I went ahead and listened to the second book in the series, and it was virtually identical. For the first third or so, I *literally* used the book to help me fall asleep, but in the end it really came to life.

    Anyway, 3.5 stars for The Lies.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Summoner: Chronicles of the Necromancer, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Gail Z. Martin
    • Narrated By Peter Ganim, Gail Z. Martin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The comfortable world of Martris Drayke, second son of King Bricen of Margolan, is shattered when his older half-brother, Jared, and Jareds dark mage, Foor Arontala, kill the king and seize the throne. Tris is the only surviving member of the royal family aside from Jared the traitor, and he flees with three friends: Soterius, captain of the guard; Carroway, the courts master bard; and Harrtuck, a member of the royal guard. Tris harbors a deep secret.....

    Ernie says: "How do I put this..."
    "How do I put this..."

    Well, to be brief: DO NOT BUY THIS. I think most of the critiques of the narration are accurate. This guy's reading doesn't flow very well. The pauses are in all the wrong spots, and he emphasizes words in such a way that the meaning of the sentence is altered. If it weren't for his (American) accent, I'd assume he wasn't a native speaker. Not to mention he doesn't use the voice that the author describes. He'll use a strange high pitch voice when the author mentions the character is whispering. Odd. The whole thing is choppy at best.

    That being said, I'm doubtful that even a superior narrator could do much for this story. It's INCREDIBLY one-dimensional; there's no depth here at all. I felt like I was watching some second rate TV show where the characters have to complete a series of inane quests in order to save the world (think 24, or better yet, the TV version of the Sword of Truth - and yes, the plot in that show IS bad).

    Additionally, there's a lack of any glimpses into the character's psychology. Essentially we get a laundry list of the facts that compose the story; there's no internal struggle or personal burden that the characters have to get past. This contributes to a lack of connection with the characters, and ultimately results in the reader not caring who lives or dies in this world because he doesn't know anyone who "lives" there. Dunno if that resonates with anyone else.

    I could go on, with other things I don't like, but I'll close with one last point: To be honest, I wouldn't really mind these mediocrities, if there was at least one redeeming factor out there somewhere. I mean, couldn't you have a cool system of magic, or a vivid world, or, or...SOMETHING??? Not here.

    Go check out the Mistborn trilogy if you haven't. It's about 27.54 times better than this. Give or take.

    31 of 36 people found this review helpful

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