James Bond has a license to kill, but the rest of us have to save the world and find love and happiness working for micromanagers who get in the way. Charlie Stross manages to make sorcery plausible and have wonderful characters in situations and organizations I recognize. These are characters I want for friends and to back me up. Sorry if I haven't made this as fun and exciting as I thought it was. I loved halting state and this brings back good people in fantastic situations , and it is an enjoyable ride.
Besides being a gifted writer, he is a wonderful story teller. His characterization of others is like a comfortable story around the dinner table as he falls into character describing/mimicking another person's reaction to shared experiences.
This is a really uplifting story in the midst of terrible tragedy, about the power of making good choices and pursuit of goals, not just for yourself but for others. Eric Greitens has done and witnessed many things as a college volunteer worker in many nations, a Rhodes Scholar and later as a Navy Seal. He tells the stories of both children and adults, and pauses briefly for insight into why they do what they do what they do. The stories are interesting and the insight and perspective is something i aspire to achieve.
This is one of the best books I have listened to on Audible (and i have listened to many). These real life adventures are more interesting than the fiction i usually listen to, and the comments on human character and motivation are natural outgrowths of the story telling, which comes first. For having seen so much human tragedy, even as a volunteer in many countries, he keeps his perspective and describes his observations, while seamlessly including quotes from the Greeks, to Lincoln, to Mother Theresa. He can challenge your thoughts on religion and charity, and what it means to help and protect those in need. This is not a book of lectures on what we should do, but rather stories about the good and bad people do, and trying to make good choices for yourself. This is great storytelling, all the better for having decisions and consequences about living a good and honorable life.
This is a trilogy's worth of adventure in one book, well managed by a master story teller. There are thrills and chills and multinational adventure throughout. At about 12 hours the story occasionally got a little slow and i could put it aside, I was afraid it would turn into a Perils of Pauline, but no, this is a great story with all the subplots coming together. With 12 hours left (as long as a longish Audible book) the conclusion is coming into focus, the excitement is building and I wonder "what more can possible happen before the end?" Well, a lot can and did happen. There is certainly death and destruction, but main characters are reasonably well treated, and the gore / violence was not overdone or overly upsetting. The narration/reading is great, with different characters and accents well done to help keep characters separate and be non-obtrusive to the story line. Well done. At one credit this is a bargain, a unique and plausible adventure of amazing scope. Listen to it!
This book is as fast paced, surprising and fun as the first two books! Trying to listen to another book by a different author, after listening to the third book, is boring. (Only 3 books are on audio as i write this.) This really spoils me for other books for awhile. The alternate reality remains fun, from both a technology and a historical point of view, but the story is not about the alternate steampunk reality, but about good and bad people making decisions, which seem right (well to a young person) but lead to remarkable consequences, and very plausible escapes. Sure a few things can be seen coming, but more often than not, there is a twist to surprise and amuse. While it still seems a little short, there is no doubt there is enough action and twists to fill two books each twice this size, but a bigger book might not be as much FUN! (PS. and I certainly had no complaints about accents. Let's just leave this at alternate reality, and indeed accents can change depending on who won which wars, or which wars didn't happen, Just go with the flow and enjoy the ride.)
This is exceptional. I can visualize the play on stage and Bill Shakespeare ( channeled by Ian Doescher) does a great job with Star Wars. This is much better than some of Bill's later tragedies. You would think with the third Star Wars trilogy on the horizon, Disney would be willing to help get this into High School senior plays. It would be perfect!
I want to listen to it in one sitting as a play on the stage. I can visualize the black cloaked puppeteers moving around R2D2 and Luke's training droid on the Maltese Falcon. A perfect (but slightly long) adaptation. Bravo! Author! Baravo!
This is first and foremost a good story. The story is about a young lady in challenging circumstances, and the importance of attitude in not getting swallowed up in all the turmoil going on around her. The steampunk era sets a fun and believable background, with opportunities for invention, a rigid society hierarchy, without all the supposed "safety nets" of modern society. Her wit, her intellect, her good manners, her confidence in herself. all allow her to overcome challenges that seem to get worse and worse. But she reacts as might be expected, or at least like I like to think I or a friend would react. And may i say this is all pretty good steampunk, with people who actually build and engineer machines instead of just living in a world fully equipped with them as some other authors present.
She does a great job. Some of the accents were perhaps a little too accurate and a little hard for this southern U.S.A. ear to follow, but nothing was lost in the story and it just came across as a very realistic. Well Done.
As others have said, it seemed a little short, but all the more because i had to keep listening to a little more than i planned to every night before going to bed. Very few books are so enjoyable from start to finish. I will start the next in the series tonight!
4 words: Luckiest Unlucky Conflicted Cajun. A variety of things happen by luck, but then i guess that applies to the world. It was lucky for me I finally found this author and this reader, because it was a great - can't stop listening - audiobook. I will listen to many more, particularly this combination of writer and reader. I highly recommend it.
The descriptions were succinct but well chosen and very vivid. The author can really turn a phrase, even with a hard nosed detective as the sensitive and observant protagonist delivering the lines. And the story had a global / national background that made it part of a bigger story. Well done.
Southern Louisiana and New Orleans has lots of accents. He pulls off the variety of characters flawlessly. It is easy to focus on the telling of the story and not get distracted by the reader. Wonderful!
I was a long time getting around to listening to this book because of some of the negative reviewers. Big mistake, this book was perfect for me. Violence - I have stopped listening to other books because of the graphic violence perpetrated on victims. Maybe it was the first person narrative that kept it an appropriate distance, or just the writer's skill, but while there was indeed violence and memories of violence, it didn't put me off at all. New Orleans words/portrayal - As a native, some of the pronunciations were off (maybe passable as cajun not New Orleanian), some locations didn't fit together, the food descriptions were off (Really? Sauce piquant on an oyster po-boy? You meant "hot-sauce" i hope on fried oyster po-boy dressed with My-o-naise.) Characterization - For first person narrative, the level of characterization was just fine, not too detailed i admit, but the people seemed like more than the cardboard characters i have had in some stories. Some people are just bad, others have to work at being good. The only fault i had with the book was believing a grown man would drink Jim Bean. Jack, Early Times or even Old Crow before Jim Bean. The author just just not be a hard drinker. ;-)
NO. The story was not told well. To me, the story was long and boring. There were lots of pointless distractions from the simplistic plot. There were no characters with whom I could identify, or that I even wanted to know. For a coming of age book in a different time, the heroine is never quite believable as a swordswoman, much less advancing further. SPOILER ALERT Stop reading if learning anything of the plot will offend you , at least if it offends you more than the book offended me. Her "friend" is raped at a ball, pretty much establishing the villain. She seems to be surprised that she won't grow a penis if she rubs herself, and discovers masterbation; yet hours later she kisses a boy and brings him to orgasm making a mess. Some other character is hinted at being pregnant with nothing in the plot to have caused it and with no point to the story. The main characters were either homosexual, whores, or sadistic rapists, or asexual children. Who is this written for? Pre-teens? I don't think for teens or adults. Maybe for older ladies who want to imagine what they could have been like if only they had be brought up by different types of nut-cases who had just sent them to fencing lessons?
Nothing by the author or the producer.
The characters were so flawed, inconsistent, or juvenile, as to be boring caricatures. I could not feel any sympathy for what ever trials they had dealt with in their youth. They never out grew their troubles to redeem themselves. Blah.
The character reading was generally good EXCEPT: 1) the occasional sound effects and music were more distracting than helpful; 2) the volume was generally too low, and varied from speaker to speaker and scene to scene (use Auphonic on the web, please, set at -20LUFS); 3) The pacing of speakers was too slow and very uneven. After a 1/4 of the book i never set the playback less than 1.25 speed. Often setting it to 1.5 was necessary to get rid of the overly drawn out pauses and contrived drama. Even 2.0 speed was necessary to get past the boring sections and that was still quite understandable. On other books i might move from 1.0 to 1.25, nothing like the slow speech in this book. But then some new speaker would have a few lines and I had to slow the playback down closer to normal speed. If the story had some tension, or even characters i liked, it might not have mattered, but it sure didn't help the book.
This is one of my all time favorite books. I like the author a lot, certainly in my top 10, but this is my favorite of all his books. Colin Cotterill provides, through Jimm Juree, a unique perspective to see both the good and the bad in rural Thailand, a wonderfully unique cast of family and friends, and multinational business. We can appreciate the good and stay aloof and even find humor in the bad so that it does not overwhelm us. The goal of "think globally, but act locally," while never stated, really shows up in this novel.
And i fell hook-line-and-sinker, for several of the plot twists that were laid out along tale. I can hardly blame Jimm for being so gullible, when I, as the reader fail to see the obvious clues.This book was a joy!
What types of fiction authors do i like to whom I compare Colin Cotterill and this book? Tom Clancy (especially Threat Vector) Alan Bradley (Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie), Kerry Greenwood (Phyrne Fisher series) Roger Zelazny (Amber Series) Neal Stephenson (Snow Crash) J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter series) Charlie Stross (Halting State) Krista D Ball (Tranquility) Jane Lovering (Liberace) Robert Heinlein and Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Jimm Juree is brought to life!
It is best to start with the two previous Jimm Juree books to understand her family. I think this will read ok without having read them but I don't know for sure. They are quite fun. Having been willing to push the envelope on character development in those books, this book is quite at home with the unusual cast, and let the multiple plots drive the story quite well.
The publisher's summary was right on target. I have never read / listened to anything this wild. Things were happening too fast for me to worry about anything as trivial as believability. The unique concepts flew too fast and quickly to get pulled down by details. At more than 20 years old, there are a few details that are dated but it remains ahead of its time with really interesting and generally like-able characters. If HBO does a CG miniseries, this should be considered. I suppose this could be done in anime, but it would loose the realism it manages to capture as a book/audiobook. That would be like saying the Lord of the Rings should have been an anime instead of a movie. I recommend this book!
Something extra went into the 20th Phryne Fisher novel and it was one of the best novels yet. The homosexual love (not Phryne) was a bit more than i wanted, but was in line with the plot. (I don't care what consenting adults like, but i don't need to hear about the kissing!) My previous favorite was Murder in Montparnasse, so i much like the inclusion of world war 1 experiences in the development of the Phryne we know in 1930s Australia.
Stephanie does a multitude of character voices very well.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.