Let me start by saying I am a huge Abercrombie fan and have read all of his books. He is a superb author, his action scenes are nearly unmatched, and his plots always have many hidden parts. The one thing he is not meant to do is right young adult fantasy. I have read a lot of YA fantasy in my time and a lot of adult fantasy for that matter, and I would say that this book is very graphic to be considered YA. The first book in this trilogy seemed a bit toned down from his usual amount of graphic violence and explicit language, whitch made complete sense because it was supposed to be a YA novel. However, I would say this novel is much more similar to his original work in the First Law universe than it is to its prequel. I am not saying this is a bad thing, far from it, I really loved his first novels and was not too pleased with the first novel in this series. It was still a good book, but it just kind of felt forced. However, this book does not suffer from this issue and it seemed like he was in his full writing glory again. His action scenes were as always perfect, his plot was absolutely genius with many shocking turns, and his characters were well developed. the only thing that hurt this novel a bit were the romance scenes, whitch felt rather stretched and forced to me. Overall, it was a great book and the narrator also did a fine job. I would definitely recommend it as your next read.
As I mentioned in my review of Steelheart, superheroes are not really my thing. That being said Sanderson does a great job of making them make sense and be believable. I truly do admire his storytelling abilities. The best things about this novel were the action scenes and the ending to the novel. I am not going to spoil anything but the ending is worth the wait. I still thought the characterization like in Steelheart was lacking. I just couldn't feel for the characters and some seemed a bit whiny to me. Also, I think Sanderson tried to make this novel a love story. Now I will say his attempts at romance and heart to heart conversations were better than some I have listened to, but in my opinion one of the hardest things to do in a book is to portray romance. I have yet to find an author that does it well and I think he simply puts too much effort into the topic. Despite this flaw I really admire his skill with wrapping up a story and making the ending shock the reader. One final thing thatSanderson never ceases to impress with is his creativity in making his systems of power or magic, you will understand this when you read the book. His descriptive abilities are some of the best I have read as well. Finally, the narrator does a fine job of differentiating his voices so you as the listener can tell each character apart. He is also very good with his inflection, keeping you as the reader on the edge of your seat at the appropriate points. Overall, I would recommend reading this book if you can get your hands on a copy. It isn't the best I have read but it is definitely worth a gander.
I had heard from a few friends that Blood Song was one of the fantasy crazes of 2013, so I had to find out for myself. After devouring the book in less than 4 days, I must agree that I thoroughly enjoyed this opening novel from a new voice in fantasy. I have always been a big fan of military fantasy, so naturally this novel was right up my alley. As soon as this book started I was immediately hooked. I could not stop reading until I had finished. Ryan's characterization is probably his best merit. All of his characters were very well defined, complex, believable, and most important sympathetic. He makes you care about each and every one of Velin's brothers, even though all of them have flaws and nun are perfect. He also does a fantastic job of creating an intricate bond of friendship between the five men. You get the sense that they all care for each other like family, whitch is more true than most people realize. Ryan's second merit is his world building ability, he takes the time to create a world that is sweeping, complex, and somewhat undefined. The bit about being undefined allows him to surprise the reader with new lands, people, and cultures as the book goes on. The one weakness that this book has is its plot. Overall it is a very good plot with lots of potential, but the first book's plot lines are a little scattered and disorganized. However, this is very subtle and hard to notice. I also really enjoyed the idea of the storyteller mechanic in this book. While the idea itself is hardly original, the way Ryan puts a sort of spin on it is very interesting. I am not going to spoil anything by explaining it farther. The only thing that was truly disappointing about this listen was the narrator. I will admit that Steven Brand has a very good storytelling voice that captivates the reader, but his major flaw is that he has very little character voice differentiation. At times during the book it was tough to tell whitch characters were speaking, so things got a bit confusing. As a whole this was one of my favorite reads of 2014 and I plan on reading the sequel very soon. I definitely recommend getting a copy of this book as soon as possible, because I think Ryan might be one of the great fantasy authors of the future.
Let me start by saying that I love Joe Abercrombie as an author. I have read all six of his previous novels and I was excited to read this novel as soon as it came out. I was however, a bit hesitant when I heard it was going to be a young adult novel, because one of Abercrombie's best writing skills is his harsh gritty books. He did not strike me as an author of young adult fantasy. I was partially right. This book was like no young adult novel I have ever read. It was much more violent and a good deal more serious. However, you could tell that Abercrombie's style was fighting threw during the entire novel. It was what I would call Abercrombie toned down, that is without the gory battle seens, sex, and harsh language. After finishing this book I must say that I prefer all of his previous novels. I am not saying this was a bad book at all, I gave it 4 stars, but it wasn't the same break neck rush of combat, intrigue, and gritty characters as his first six novels. The first third of the book kind of disappointed me a bit, it just didn't have the same flare his first books had, I just couldn't get hooked. However, I am a firm believer in giving books a chance, so I kept reading. The second third was much better and because this is not a long book, I easily flew threw the rest to the end. And oh boy the end was a treat, the way Abercrombie raps everything up is incredible. The last third of the book sold me on reading the next one for sure. Everything is put in place to create an excellent and more action packed and intrigue filled sequel. This review was a little different from most of my other ones I have written because I assume the people who are reading this novel have already read some of Abercrombie's other books and understand the quality of his writing, the complexity of his plot, and the skill of his characterization. The two small issues in this book in my opinion are that the plot took some time to get interesting and there was much less of Abercrombie's usual cruel humor as in his previous books. As a final note the narrator Mr. Keating did a fairly good job. His character voices were differentiated enough to tell them apart and his voice inflection was also very good. I would recommend getting this book if you like Abercrombie even though it isn't quite as good as his previous works, it is still better than a lot of the books out there.
I got this book because the publishers summary was interesting and I like Simon Vance. Also, it was in one of audible's sales, so it was worth it. I was relatively happy with this book. It is a light mystery novel, where the hero Charley is a thief, but isn't a merciless killer like many people in mystery novels are these days. The writing was a sort of bantering tone, whitch kept me interested and entertained threwout. Now this novel didn't do anything special or different, except combine a crime novelist with a thief, whitch was amusing. However, the writing was good and not too repetitive, the plot was fairly solid, and the characters kept one focused on the story. The only problem with the book was I thought the ending was rather long winded and pompous for my taste. It took Charley forever to explain who the killer was, even though I was pretty sure I already knew who it was. I admit I was only partially right, but I still think it took longer than it should have to conclude the story. However, I will say that the author did a good job of putting together all of the loose ends. To finish things off the narrator did a fantastic job as always. He got all of the accents perfectly and kept all the characters straight effortlessly. I will say that at some point I may buy the next book, when I get a chance and I definitely recommend it to mystery readers and book lovers in general alike.
I got this book in one of Audible's sales for a low price and I am glad I did. I have read many books during the last few years and I will say that mystery novels are not my fortay. I usually don't read them, but I had heard a lot about this book and I thought I would give it a try. I am sorry to say that I was fairly disappointed. This is the type of book that is designed for entertainment only and not supposed to be complex. As a reader you don't have to think much at all. The reason being either the clues left for you as a reader are so obvious that they are laughable or they are so rediculously small that the author seems to be making things up as he goes. Next Reacher is a cool idea as a character and a protagonist, but Child tries way too hard to make him awesome. First of all he is 6 foot 5 inches tall and is all muscle, second he is a brilliant detective and genious to boot, and third he is an excellent marksman who is utterly confident he is going to win. He is the definition of a commic book hero who never really struggles to do anything. There is never really a tense moment in the book because he has everything "under control" at all times. The other problems with this book are that most of the characters are very shallow and are mostly uninteresting. Also, the part I found just plain stupid is Reacher's relationship with Rasco. I don't know about most people but I don't meet someone and say 20 words to them and then immediately start having sex with them. Lee's sex seens were very poorly done as well, he seemed to gloss over the sex like he had no idea how to write the seens, but wanted to include them so his books would appeal to more audiences. My final problem with this book is that nobody in the novel seems to be able to do anything action wise besides Reacher. Both Finly and Rasco are described as very capable police and both seem to be experienced, but neither of them seems to do any of the fighting in the entire book. That duty is apparently reserved for Reacher. The only saving grace of this book is that Dick Hill the narrator did a fairly good job. The publishers did a great job in selecting him as the narrator. It is true that he doesn't have much of a voice range, but his voice fits the character of Jack Reacher very well. In fact I was considering buying the second book to see if anything improved, but I listened to the preview and They changed the narrator. He sounded horrible to me, so I definitely am not buying book 2. If you like books where all you have to do is listen not think, whitch include lots of overdone actions seens then buy this book, but otherwise find something more complex and better written.
In general I love to read fantasy novels, but I also thoroughly enjoy war related stories about some of our countries heroes. I understand that these characters were not real people, but they had some basis in real life. I have a lot of respect for anyone who fights, doctors, or does anything else for our military. Hooker did a tremendous job of making this book come alive. I haven't laughed so hard at a book in a long time. The antics and life saving abilities of the characters in this novel were incredible. Every character was well defined and extremely entertaining. There really wasn't a consistent plot just a series of stories told about the characters as they served out their duties in Korea. This was by no means a problem and I think it made the story more entertaining as a whole. Lastly the narrator did a fairly good job in my opinion, although there wasn't much inflection in his voice. Overall, I very much enjoyed reading this book. I would definitely recommend reading it.
I tend to lean more toward fantasy than science fiction when I am picking my books to read. However, I must admit that this book has elements of both. I got a lot more than I expected when I started reading this novel. it seemed to be a fairly straight forward concept when I first started the story. Boy was I wrong. As the book went on things rapidly changed and became very complex. I found myself getting to certain points in the story and having to pause to try and figure out exactly what had just happened. Some of the concepts described in this novel were very hard to wrap my head around. I found this an unexpected and very pleasant challenge. I also very much enjoyed the characters that McCaffery created. They felt like they were actually alive with intricate and lively personalities. One of the other reasons I originally decided to read this book was because of the dragons. I mean who doesn't love dragons. It was cool to read one of the first well known fantasy books written with dragons and there telepathic communication skills. The final aspect I must discuss is the narrator Dick Hill. He made for a decent narrator. His speaking and oration skills are unquestionable and his inflections during the novel were awesome. However, his range of voices seemed very limited to me and this made it hard to tell characters apart. This book was definitely worth reading in my opinion. It was nice to get a taste of fantasy that isn't contemporary for a change.
All I can say after listening to this book is wow. As the title of my review states the listener is literally hit with a storm of skills. This sounds pretty corny but its true, wherever you look in this book everything is close to perfect. Lets start with the plot. While reading the first two books I occasionally got the impression that Martin was carefully setting up plot lines to unleash later in the story. The books were by no means boring at this point, but I got very excited for things to happen and started to get a bit impatient out of purely wanting to know what would happen next. Well I can safely tell everyone that all of the plot lines start to explode in this third book. The pace of the story seems to increase, serious dicisions are made by characters, and many very intense moments occur. The best part are the plot twists that continue to hit the reader like trucks. The number of them is boundless, but at no point does Martin lose his flow or control of the story. The next aspect whitch simply made this story fly by was the characters. I have already stated in my previous reviews that Martin's character handling is nothing short of insane. Well if it is possible he turns up his character intensity in this novel. New characters are introduced and many characters meet very nasty ends in this book. I hate spoiling books for people so i will only say that i got very upset at certain points of the story. i will stop and stress again that these novels are not for the people who like their books happy and care free. Despite Martin's harsh character dicisions in certain points in the novel, all of them make complete sense and fit with the story perfectly. I don't want you guys to get the impression that he is needlessly killing off characters for his own pleasure, because he isn't. Each dicision made in these books makes complete sense and is absolutely logical. Next on the menu of skills we have Martin's world. By this point in the story he has mostly developed his very large and detailed world. Everything from his lush forests to his intricate cities are richly described and detailed to a fault. Our fourth aspect of skill in this novel is its length. I can honestly say that this is the single longest book I have ever read and the thing that made it great is that it never once dragged. Martin is one of the few authors who can right a story that spans thousands of pages and keep it organized and interesting at the same time. Finally, I must talk about the narration because it is an audio book. Again I think that Roy Dotrice does a very good job. I will never say he does a great job because there are still some flaws in his narration, like mispronounced words, words he pronounced differently in one book but changed them in this novel, and a few other mistakes. However, I must give him credit because of the number of voices he keeps straight threwout the novel. To wrap up this review I must say that this book makes my top 10 books ever read list and probably my top five. I am of the opinion that this is the best book in the series so far. I would strongly consider reading it, but if you are going to listen to it, I would recommend getting it with credits because the price for such a mammoth novel is very high.
I have written several reviews for this website and most of them are fairly positive. Well unfortunately that is about to change. Before reading this book i had heard many mixed opinions about it and I came to the conclusion that it is a very controversial book and series. This controversy made me interested to give it a try and listen for myself. After finishing the book i kind of wish I hadn't. First, we have Normon's Characters, whitch as far as I am concerned are as flat as a board. I don't have to love my characters to get into a story, but they do have to be interesting. They were one dimensional and didn't seem to change at all in the story. The second problem was the plot. I agree with his double world idea and his transferring from one to the other is clever I admit. This is especially true because when he wrote this book it was a very original idea. However, without this concept the plot would be completely worthless. It is so straight forward and predictable it is sad. also, the author has a blunt way of writing, whitch lacks flare, whitch continued to destroy my image of the plot. Finally, i don't agree with his misagynistic views in this novel. It is his dicision to write his views into the novel or not, but it is mine to agree with them or not. The final straw to make this a bad book is the narrator. His narration is so boring and lack luster it made me struggle to finish the story altogether. I gave this book 3 stars because I understand that it is from the mid 1960s and fantasy as a genre was just starting out, but unless you like lack luster books with strange sexual views I wouldn't recommend it.
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