I'm no women's liberationist but the some of the ideas in this book are so ridiculous I cannot understand how it has survived the centuries and remains popular enough to be cited in popular media (like movies).
I really enjoy the honest, down-to-Earth dialogue, the psychology of fears and mixed in with just a hint of in-complicated romance. However, I think this narrator was a poor choice. There's no distinction between voices, so you might have to wait a few seconds to work out who said what in the last few lines.
Upon second glance, I wondered why I had bought this one but, within the first chapter, I had my answer & I was caught: hook, line & sinker.
Yes, it's a futuristic Cinderella story, set in China. Cinders is a cyborg, a human who sustained terminal injuries but was saved by technological prosthetics which are wired to her brain/skull (there's a control panel in her skull). Cyborgs are shunned by society. Cinders has a reputation as a good mechanic and that's how she meets the prince, who has a charisma about him that leaves old Prince Charming for dead.
I was a little concerned at the lack of a Chinese accent but now I'm glad for it.
The narrator has a good voice for it and a great talent for expressing Cinder's attitude.
I can't wait for the second book and am glad to know I don't have to!
I found there was insufficient setting. I spent the entire book wondering if they were in Africa or New Zealand (barely more than Eyre's accent to work with), and then there were leaps in time without warning, often unconfirmed until after a few minutes. E.g. One moment the cousin is round and ready to pop, but then in the next breath the baby is not only out, but a month old already. I spent minutes scratching my head, wondering if this was an older baby previously unmentioned.
Otherwise the story is so-so. I enjoyed it well enough.
Suzanne Collins has outdone herself. I have rarely read a series final with so much relish. She wraps it up very well, leaving me satisfied that there's no more to tell, and that all has been taken care of.
Some reviewers have criticised Katniss for not being an active heroine, but I think that sometimes just to survive is a feat worthy of praise.
At times I found it annoying that Collins does not vary her from the word "says" but overall I don't think it detracts from the story.
I am, however, very disappointed in Carolyn McCormick. She makes for a dreadful narrator: often mixes up the voices, does a dreadful job of 16/17yo Katniss. I think Nicole Poole would have been a far better choice. All this being said, I was so wrapped up in the story that I still think it worth the listen.
Most memorable of all the books so far, I think. New characters are introduced. I love her sense of humour.
Dannika has come up with a whole new concept, and it is good. Don't get comfortable with expectations because they will be exceeded.
Relationships were questioned in the last book, but in this one all is resolved. Nicole does another outstanding performance with narrating.
I've a distinct distaste for drug abuse and find this book a little hard to swallow. I guess it has real-world drama that I prefer to avoid when reading.
The good thing about Dannika Dark books is that there are two climaxes, if not more. Around the middle, all appears to be wrapping up and I find myself checking to see if I'm really at the end of the recording. Then it plunges into another round. There's enough humour to beguile the listener and a few moments that stop me in my tracks, hold my breath and so on.
The storyline kept bugging me because the "hero" was a control freak (to the point of OCD) and the author seemed to think it was sexy. Maybe I struggled because I grew up in the land of "She'll be right, mate" or "No worries, whatever's easiest" I found his control issues rather ugly. If I didn't know any better, I'd suspect Jasinda Wilder was actually a bloke. Surely no woman would seriously dream of such a situation.
All that aside, the narrator did a good job. I really appreciate a good actor.
I admit I wasn't a great fan of Roy Dotrice to start with - he has a limited range and really only ever did justice to three or four characters at the most, I think. But in this book, he has changed the voice of Arya into that of a gutter-rat and Cersei into a shrieking banshee. Actually, Cersei seems to take on Joff's vocal range.
The story line continues to add in irrelevant characters. I'd like to see an abridged version of the whole story line. If I were reading the physical book, I dare say I'd be cutting out chapters. As it is, I tune out of Roy Dotrice's narration every now and then.
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