This book was a favorite of my youth that I returned to in audio form. I was not disappointed by the story--although all the works of Dean Koontz begin to sound the same after a while--and Dick Hill was a fantastic voice for the male characters in the book. His slightly squeaky, falsetto attempts at the women's voices, however, were a trifle hard to take seriously. This was an enjoyable audiobook, but I yearned for a female reader to lend her talents to Mr. Hill's otherwise great skill.
I suspect that, as a child, I read an abridged version of this classic tale... or possibly I just forgot how much whining the narrating character does. Nevertheless, it was fun to go back to it and Tim Curry is as good as you'd expect him to be. For those who know and love this tale, this is a good new experience of it. For those who always meant to read Jules Verne books, but never did--don't start here. Read 20K Leagues and some others first.
I did not give the performance five stars only because Mr. Curry's interaction with the Jules Verne writing style develops an up and down lilt that starts to feel like waves after a while and makes a listener feel sleepy as much as interested. I wondered, at times, if Mr. Curry himself found the narrating character's internal monologue a bit tedious.
The final installment in the Nighrunner series, Shards of Time explores yet another new part of the world-setting and takes us on a fascinating and convoluted journey. The few remaining loose ends from the previous six books are tied up nicely, but this book chiefly stands alone, almost like an exploration of what might be done with the characters now that much of the main story has been told.
That said, this largely stand-alone story is delectable and very engaging. All of our favorite characters are in fine form... and grave danger.
Adam Danoff is as good as ever, still the perfect voice for our young, frank heroes.
Like Shadows Return, The White Road moves the Nightrunner series along, but in unexpected and interesting ways. This volume again departs from the fantasy intrigue and guile, to a large extent, that drew me into the first three volumes, but does return to an unusual and occasionally light-hearted, if more often poignant, exploration of the world-setting that kept me fascinated.
Lynn Flewelling, more than any other fantasy author I've recently sampled, explores new twists on old fantasy themes and offers new ideas and explorations that I don't always expect, which keeps the whole series feeling new and intriguing. I encourage you to keep reading this series.
Adam Danoff does a marvelous job conveying the characters and the sense of the saga.
Without a doubt my favorite volume in the series, Casket of Souls brings our beloved Nightrunners back home to their element and puts them right to work at what they do best, showing us our favorite characters at their very best. Rife with politics and peril, this book resolves much of the overarching story of the series, with some great surprises, shocks, and some interesting new twists thrown in.
Adam Danoff continues to deliver excellent work in bringing this series' characters to life. The youthful and eager sound of his voice melds with our heroes seamlessly.
The Nightrunner series takes an interesting turn with this volume, providing an emotional roller coaster and a long path to what becomes desperately desired resolution. I found it highly worthwhile as a unique part of the whole epic, but individually it was not an easy read. Not because it was poorly written, far from it, but it departs widely from the adventurous and occasionally light-hearted intrigue that dominates the first three volumes and plunges headlong into dark and deadly waters. As with most of the books in the series, it sets up a great many things that unfold in future volumes.
The switch in readers to Adam Danoff is quite jarring at first, especially given that his pronunciation of some of the setting-specific vocabulary--particularly place names and even character names--is drastically different from what we heard in earlier volumes. A modicum of research, however, reveals that these are the pronunciations that author always intended. Additionally, in Adam Danoff's performance I found that I was finally hearing the "true" voices of Seregil & Alec and his overall tenor and approach jives much better with the language and feel of the series than the previous reader's efforts ever could.
Lynn Flewelling treats us to a change of scenery as the Night Runner series continues as we dive deep into the homeland and history of one of the main characters. This third installment advances the over-arching story of the series and provides an enormous amount of illumination into the world setting, but also stands more nicely alone than some of the other books in the series. The characters are continually compelling, the setting fascinating and the story engaging. If you enjoy fantasy intrigue and the notion of sword & sorcery secret agents, you cannot go wrong with this series.
Raymond Todd, as in the previous two books, does an appreciable job, but nothing stellar. With this book I finally got around to looking at some of the text in print and I find his pronunciation choices a bit odd in some cases, but that did not prevent me from enjoying this audiobook in anyway.
Lynn Flewelling continues to take us on a highly enjoyable ride with this second installment of the Nightrunner Series. Many things that were set up in ways large and small in the first book come to exciting conclusions and many more are set up for future action and intrigue.
Again, Raymond Todd is an acceptable reader for the series, but in no way a great one. His efforts are classically appreciable, but don't quite feel right for the series and setting.
Repeating from my review of the first book: Up front many reviewers have spent time on the fact that this series features a romantic relationship between two men. This is true, but it is far from the focus of the series. These books are accessible to anyone. Despite what other reviewers have alluded to, there is absolutely no explicit sex in this entire series. A range of human experience is presented, include love and desire, but always in a tasteful and very easy to relate to fashion.
Lynn Flewelling kicks of a great series with Luck in the Shadows, introducing not only a great and lovable set of characters, but a fascinating world and some twists on the fantasy genre near enough to be familiar and accessible, but unique enough to keep long-running fantasy fans intrigued.
Readers should be aware that this is the start of a series and will feel that way. Much is set up to be addressed and resolved in future books, but a stand-alone story is present and highly enjoyable. If you are anything like me, the broader story, setting, and characters will all draw you in to read further in the series.
Up front many reviewers have spent time on the fact that this series features a romantic relationship between two men. This is true, and was of great value to me personally as it might well to others, but it is far from the focus of the series. These books are accessible to anyone. Despite what other reviewers have alluded to, there is absolutely no explicit sex in this entire series. This is neither romance nor erotic writing, there are no steamy scenes, but neither is it young adult writing. This is a seven part fantasy epic that includes three-dimensional characters who engage in fully developed adult relationships.
Raymond Todd does an adequate job as the reader, but might be better suited to another fantasy series. The Night Runner series has a highly contemporary language and feel (those who have trouble with the guilded language in Lord of the Rings, for example, will be much more comfortable here), but Mr. Todd's reading, while sonorous and emotive, has the kind of high-brow feel to it that those kinds of classics call for, but this series does not.
First the book: This is a great addition to the set of Heinlein's works for those who loved Lazarus Long and wanted more in that vein. The book is largely character driven, plot is uncomplicated, but enjoyable if you can come to enjoy the people in it.
Next the reading: This could have been stunning. An ensemble cast reading of this book... the idea took my breath away. That is not, precisely, what this is. The book is, with an exception or two, written from the perspective of the four major characters, each one voicing a chapter at a time. One reader takes each chapter, so you have Hilda's voice... and Hilda's reader doing Zeb's voice... anyone familiar with audiobooks is accustomed to that, but it was a strange choice. One voice is a bit grating as other reviewers have indicated. The two main male voices are pleasing, but were mis-cast, they should have been reversed.
I am a great lover of this book, so I still enjoyed this reading, but I couldn't help but reflect regularly as it went on that it could have been so much better than it is. If a flawed choice in reader or readers ruins an audiobook for you, I do not recommend this recording.
I have gone out of my way to recommend this audiobook to anyone I know who enjoys zombie stories and is at least passingly familiar with "A Prairie Home Companion" even to friends who do not normally listed to audiobooks.
The story here is just what you would imagine, a zombie-filled, dark-humor parody of the must loved radio program. That is enjoyable enough, but in addition to delicious humor, this tale serves up some surprisingly interesting characters and a fun plot that holds your interest.
Phil Gigante does an admirable job imitating what I would have previously called the inimitable voice and style of Garrison Keillor, which makes this audiobook that much more enjoyable.
If you happen to appreciation APHC as well as dark humor and zombie/horror stories, you owe it to yourself to give this a try.
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