Gretna, LA, USA | Member Since 2006
Okay, I admit it - This is going to be an extremely prejudiced review, and with good reason.
I first read this book in the 70's. Yeah, it dates me a bit. However...
Nowlan was SO far ahead of his time with this novel, and now, an audiobook. Written in 1928, it was extremely far ahead for its time, and very well written. Edgy, cool and well-thought out for it's time.
I'm sure you've read the synopsis, but that's only the beginning of the story. From small squad fighting in the mountains, to rebel bunker life and warfare, to massive rocket battles sweeping the landscape, to high subterfuge deep within the Han palace, which stands on the remains of a once proud America, you are in for a ride.
This was the standard by which Buck Rogers was birthed. It changed a movie-going nation, and stirred the hearts and imaginations of people across the country that watched those short serials. They waited for the next in the series - And the next.
However, the serials couldn't capture the scope and drama of the book. It's a page-turner, and in this case, a wonderful listen.
Now, keep in mind the following - First and foremost, the narrator isn't stellar - at all. Reeves wouldn't have been my first or even second choice. A solid Dotrice would be excellent for this, Nolan's literary genre-building mark on science fiction. And, second, it's not a long novel. Still, great things come in small packages.
However, to show you how much of an impact this novel had upon me, I still have the faded, page worn copy from the seventies. I've read it many times since then, and this audiobook was a must have. A must listen. And TOTALLY worth it.
If you doubt this, go look at all of the write-ups and wiki articles on the work. They still rave on Armageddon 2419 A.D.
Dated? A bit. Older tech? Yep, but in a grand apocalyptic way, it actually makes sense.
Quite simply, this is iconic. You owe to yourselves to hear this audiobook.
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.
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