Gretna, LA, USA | Member Since 2014
This review will be brief and to the point, Audible listener.
Time travel novels are tricky, to say the very least.
As an author, you'll be tempted to over-create a plausible detailed science behind the concept of your story, and that can kill any hope of a great novel. Often, you'll dive far too deeply into HOW time paradoxes work, and the twisted aftershocks that change the future, causing your readers to quickly use your novel for kindling. Sometimes, you'll want to spit out a gargantuan litany of historical facts and figures, subsequently drown your audience in minutia, which makes for an utter snoozefest, and your book winds up in the 70% off bargain bin.
None of that happens here.
Buckle in. This is what time travel should be. Plots, Fixing the time paradox back to right. Action. Good, old fashioned Indiana Jones style storytelling! And this isn't dramatic imagineering of a future world, as much as a detailed reflection of the PAST, which is always refreshing, when done with expertise and solid period creation.
And it works. The storyline is deep and thought-provoking. The characters, both good and evil, and enjoyable. And the narrator did a good job as well.
This all comes together for an excellent listen in the time travel genre. To think that I almost didn't get this one, just because of the horrific artwork on the cover of this Audible offering. It really could and should, be much better.
Don't pass on this one. It's a keeper.
If you follow my reviews, you know that I like to roll the dice, to randomly buy a series on a whim, on the luck of the draw. Sometimes, it's a bust.
This time, it's a definite win, but if you go by how the series was created, you'd probably run in the opposite direction.
Here's one for the books: Jim Butcher is well-known for his "Dresden Files" series, created a fantastic fantasy series on a BET. Yep, a bet. Read on.
To quote the Codex Alera Wiki site, "the inspiration for the series came from a bet Jim was challenged to by a member of the Delray Online Writer’s Workshop. The challenger bet that Jim could not write a good story based on a lame idea, and Jim countered that he could do it using two lame ideas of the challenger’s choosing. The “lame” ideas given were “Lost Roman Legion", and “Pokémon”.
It DOES sound lame.
Well, Butcher makes it work. To the nines.
I've finished this first novel, and I'm enjoying this unique story line of humans with Roman similarities binding with elemental furies. Add unique races, backstabbing, politics, military battles, duels and an interwoven story line that pulls it all together, and you get a fantastic story that's simply put, a VERY VERY good listen.
The whole concept of fighting alongside elemental familiars used here is wonderfully executed. It's deep, well-thought magic-based partnership of man and magical creature is a pleasure to experience.
So, what about the writing?
Again, if you follow my reviews, you know that I love ENGAGING fantasy or scifi writing. Anything less won't do. And this is definitely engaging. There's great characters that plot, backstab, challenge, fight for their beliefs, devour their enemies, and celebrate their victories. You're taken on a great romp of a story, and in the end, isn't that what we all want in a good listen?
I know I do, and I so enjoyed this first audiobook in the series, that I bought the entire series. Yep. And I'm not disappointed with the decision.
Who knew that Lost Roman Legions and Pokemon could knock it out of the park?
Home run, Jim. Home run.
Report Inappropriate Content