Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin books never fail to amuse and excite the reader. Vance's narration is excellent, though I don't think he has as good a feel for the characters as Ric Jerrom.
The action jumps from place to place with little linking. I really had very little clue where anything went or why anyone was doing anything. Great performance, terrible scripting. Guess I'll have to get the actual book to find out what the deal is. I know this series is very popular. Maybe the writers assumed everyone listening would have read the books already?
Don't bother with this if you don't know the story.
This book was an excellent collection of lectures at the time it was written, but major new discoveries since then have changed the state of knowledge. Of specific importance, it was not known at that time that the universe's expansion is actually accelerating. This discovery of this unknown expansionary force (labelled "Dark Energy") has changed much of the cosmological landscape Hawking discusses in this book.
It is still interesting as an historical viewpoint, but could be improved by having some recognition that it is out of date in the description or added as an afterword.
The reading is truly excellent. A very lively and textured narration that really brings to life Hawking's personality.
I've really enjoyed the previous books in this series as ebooks, so I was looking forward to this continuation. Nick Sullivan's narrative style almost made me give up on it, though. His stop-start clipped enunciation sounds more like a movie trailer than someone reading a book aloud. After a time, I almost got used to his phrasing, but never quite.
The details of the case histories presented are the gems in this book. I was slightly put off by the author's self-congratulatory tone describing his breakthroughs with individual patients, but that's a minor annoyance.
Jonathon Davis's narration was excellent, hitting just the right whimsical curiosity and wonder while keeping a respectful tone.
This third book in the trilogy brings all the threads together and completes the hero's journey. Jennifer Van Dyke's excellent narration keeps you immersed in the world. There's not much to say for those that have already started listening to this trilogy, but for anyone checking out all three before starting, have no fears.
There are times when I find much of the SF/Fantasy genre writers spend too much time outfitting their heros with superpowers and fabulous items that make them almost unassailable. Paksenarrion is not such a character, and Elizabeth Moon is not such a writer. Nuance and subtlety, wrong-headedness and petty disputes, those all-too-human traits, abound in this series, right along with the grand struggle against evil. I would highly recommend buying this and the third book together. You'll want to dive right into the next one when you finish this!
Perfect narration once again by Jennifer Van Dyck
While I certainly can appreciate a fair amount of philosophical introspection in a book, Benford leaps straight to it in this book, and never seems to let up. A half hour in, I felt no connection to any of the characters and no desire to keep listening. I've left it unfinished, and am unlikely to try another of Benford's books. If this book was given out free to draw readers into the series, it's completely failed to do that with me.
I feel sorry for the narrator, shackled to such dry wittering.
I'm still in the early stages of this book, and there's one thing that's constantly irritating; the pronunciation of words.
"Nimue" is pronounced NIM-way, not ni-MOO!
There are others that leap out at me from time to time. Why don't readers spend some time checking the pronunciation of unfamiliar names and words?
This is the style that brought me to the high fantasy genre. A fantasy world with depth and nuance, making subtle moral comments on the real world. I had previously not read any of Moon's work, though I have long intended to read the Planet Pirates series she co-authored with Anne McCaffrey. I was reminded of some of my favourite Mercedes Lackey novels while listening to this. Not in detail, but in overall feel. A great book, and I'm looking forward to continuing the series.
Jennifer Van Dyck's narration is excellent, well paced and lively, with distinct character voices and emotion where needed. Really brings the book to life.
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