I first got hooked on Elrod's adventures about Jack Flemming, an average decent guy who becomes a vampire, in my late teens. My aunt had them on the bookshelf, it seemed a short read for a time killer, but ended up being so entertaining that I added all of Elrod's books to my collection and am finally to the point where any newly released novels I end up getting in hardback.
The setting of the books is in the 1920's-30's, in the height of the mob's power. The series is written in first person, which is refreshing in itself, but Elrod takes a story with the standard "dime novel" detective cliche's and dresses them up into something that's really interesting and doesn't feel rehashed at all.
Give this one a shot, I doubt you'll regret it, and more than likely you'll end up picking up the rest of them before they can pump out the audio books.
The narrator seemed wrong for this book. The main character was fine, but the females were all very nasally. The story itself was entertaining though, and the magic system was pretty novel. If you're looking for something to tide you over until the next Dresden book comes out this one isn't bad.
I almost never buy abridged versions of books because the process of cutting out parts of the author's story just doesn't make sense to me. The hordes of positive reviews for this one nudged me into giving it a try though, and I'm glad I did. World War Z was amazing in that it broke away from long and involved personal stories in a zombie apocalypse and instead gave snippets of stories from here and there around the world during different stages of the war. That all wove together to create a story that was very comprehensive, from what it was like for the few refugees who managed who evaded most of the zombie problem to the highest levels of various governments where the big decisions are made, without ever being dry.
I think the most impressive thing for me were those that I saw as the real heroes of the book. It wasn't the gun toting zombie shooters who managed to survive the whole war (though they were awesome too). It was the bureaucrat's who stepped up and shouldered the stress and responsibility for the survival of the species. You could almost feel the crushing weight on their shoulders when they spoke or were spoken about and the decisions they had to make were revealed.
Like everyone else, I'm disappointed that this was abridged, but if it's an option between reading the abridged version or not reading it at all this book is definitely worth the audio credit.
Like most fans of the series, I was a little nervous that my favorite book series was going to be finished by some one other than the original author, and I couldn't help but ready myself to listen for differences as I first hit play. Once the way through the prologue was over and the meat of the story grabbed hold of me though, Sanderson's pacing and skill at weaving a tale that he obviously loves kept me from doing anything but being pulled back into the lives of the characters.
As the last book started to do, The Gathering Storm is refocusing on the main characters and cutting out a lot of the side stories that expanded the world. You can feel the tension building as the last battle draws closer and the characters know that there is still so much left to do, and the very end of the book makes you groan even as you listen to it because you know it will be another year before you can find out where it goes. And you will want to know.
My only real complaint is in some of the writing for Mat. He was always a little bit comical, but still felt like a real person who wasn't trying to be a fool. When the story was from his perspective you could tell that he usually wasn't. It felt like Sanderson played up the comical side in Mat a bit too much, to the point where it drew me out of the story a few times and had me thinking that the character I've read for years wouldn't have said/thought/did that. It was a shame, because after Rand got more and more settled into his role as the Dragon Reborn and had less written about him in the later books, Mat really stepped into the spotlight for me. Still, it's not so bad that it's worth knocking a star off. The story is still fantastic and it has me salivating to hear how the rest ends.
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