It didn’t. Seven hours in I just had to stop. It was difficult not to keep reflecting on all the implausible plot elements or unrealistic character actions. If I had my credit to spend again it would not be here.
The basis for the story seems like a good idea that just fails to deliver. I read somewhere that a story may require a willing suspension of disbelief. Fair enough, however in this book so many things deviate from what would really happen that it starts to grate. I pushed on and only got really grumpy after wading through about 6 and a half hours when the killer (spoiler alert) basically turns up to confess and he does it all (even bigger spoiler alert) so he can get the son of a serial killer to become one as well. I find myself looking to the skies for flying pigs.
An enjoyable fantasy, an eastern empire, an imperilled dynasty, ancient aliens, good action... What more could you want?
The plot, characters and circumstance of the wider world are developed in parallel with real skill by the author. Each of the characters are believable, have unique challenges in very different environments and you slip into an easy empathy with each of them, making it a story that is very hard to put down.
A small complaint: I am cursed from an audio-book perspective - living in New Zealand (one of the best places on Earth) - because often talking books that I want to listen to may not be licensed for 'my region'. When choosing titles that form part of a series I try to ensure that the whole series is available. I fell below my own standard this time around, and didn't check, and was consequently frustrated to find that book two was not only 'unavailable', but has not been published anywhere. I suggest that the 'view series' tab should show that there is a second instalment in the series, not that there is going to be one... sometime. Anyway, grumble over.
I would recommend this book as a great story, if you're happy to listen as a stand alone, or have the patience to wait for book two and three to hit the Audible shelves in the future.
I downloaded this book in 2008 and am writing the review in 2010 as the story has stayed with me. I enjoy first hand accounts of combat flight and the descriptions almost put you in the cockpit so you find yourself on the couch leaning into the turns, one of the best stories of its type.
Well written book which kept me listening past bed time as well as an unusual plot, looking forward to the next installment
Slightly slow start as the listener gets used to the language of a different era but the plot is very good and the story drags you along well worth listening to
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