While one can start with book 2 of this saga and still immensely enjoy and understand the story line, you'll be missing out on the deeper back story of the quests and characters. And, let's be honest, why would anyone not want to treat themselves to the brilliance of another Brandon Sanderson novel?
The split narration almost always works in listening to this novel, due in large part to the superb skills of the narrators, but there are a few moments where it is slightly distracting (but only a few.)
A word of caution, though, for those who decide to listen to it by their nightstand. Doing so will not help with waking up refreshed and lively since you may very well find yourself waking up after dozing off and deciding to rewind to a point of last remembrance and promising yourself that it will just be a few more chapters before you place it on pause for the night.
sh'yeah, fat chance at that working out!
One of the most entertaining novels I've experienced in a very long time. The protagonist, Prince Jalan, is everything a reader would hope for in a cad. He's a coward, liar, womanizer, drinker and seemingly a fool. Unbeknownst to him, he is about to be thrust into quest with a Viking that is his polar opposite and is unable to weasel his way out of it. While there are a number of dark moments, some of them sadly poignant, I couldn't help chuckling at Jalan's reaction to anything that would require him to take responsibility or, gods forbid, place himself in danger.
Excellent writing by Mark Lawrence and superb narration by Tim Gerard Reynolds.
Robert Buettner is very knowledgeable on the military SciFi genre and able to keep the entire series entertaining. MacLeod Andrews's narration was obviously well rehearsed and came off professionally done. It's often hard to find an audiobook where the narrator can move between multiple male and female characters convincingly and he pulled it off splendidly.
The last book of the series, Balance Point, was a bit off from the other two but still well worth the time invested in it; along with tying up the loose ends left open from the first two books.
This saga is my first introduction to Dave Duncan's writing and Mil Nicholson' narration skills and I've found both to be surprise and a very pleasurable listening experience. My pleasure with this set of novels is only measured slightly more than my excitement of finding another author who has a masters level in writing skills AND has many other novels that I am looking forward to exploring.
** SPOILER ALERT **
Note: My only unfavorable comment is that of how long he stretched out the whole unrequited love aspect of the story. Yes, I know it ends up being a central theme but it still seemed a bit tiresome at the end. Even so, it is only a very small complaint and nothing so significant as to dissuade any potential reader from enjoying all the many other wonderful aspects of this novel.
PS: Duncan has an uncanny way of writing sentences in such a way that one often doesn't catch the mirth hidden in the metaphors and similes until they are midway into the following sentence. So entertaining that I'd find myself chuckling to myself, much to the bewilderment of people next to me.
I purchased this book after listening to the sample recording, thinking it was either a Sci/Fi or Fantasy novel and was disappointed after finding out it was an "Undead" novel many chapters in.
With that said, M.R.Carey is an excellent writer and Finty Williams was equally good at narrating the story.
It was almost like every sentence was written in paragraph style with the point being made left to the very end and then not very interesting for the long journey. It was like Dorothy swirling around in the hurricane expecting to find the road to Emerald City but only finding the road to 7-Eleven.
Regrettably, it was tedious to listen to and I've given up on the series after this Book 2.
The entire series is written very well and the narrator made listening to it that much more enjoyable. The author spent an appropriate amount of time when introducing characters and filling in their back stories such that they did not come off as uninteresting two-dimensional characters (with exception for possibly, the Republic characters.) Even the alien types were diverse and novel.
Ever since reading and thoroughly enjoying his Ender's Game novel, I've been lured into purchasing several other of his works including (Xenocide, Invasive Procedures, Earth Unaware, Children of the Mind) and now this, in hopes that he would again write something worthy of previous interest. Sadly, this will be my last purchase of an Orson novel. Not only was this NOT a SciFi novel the entire story was plodding and the writing pedestrian. Even worse, absolutely zero of the characters were interesting enough for one to care what happened to them, so much so that I finally gave up on it after completely 4/5ths of the novel, not caring myself how it ultimately turned out.
Even with several instances of SyFy exaggerations (time paradox, flying saucer wormhole generators, &c) the novel was very entertaining and even touched lightly into the military SyFy genre. With that said, the author's obvious insistence to interject partisan politics into the story was grating. The bad guy just happens to be a corrupt southern slightly portly REPUBLICAN Speaker of the House (Newty images abound) while POTUS is portrayed almost as a man of all seasons was a disappointment. One point reduction for being partisan when there was no need to be.
Warning: Lightly touching spoiler territory
I enjoyed both the writing and narration almost as much as the first novel. The enduring eventful journeys of Vaelin and those he meets continue to entertain. I particularly enjoyed the plot arc of Reva; although, was a bit disappointed when it strayed dangerously close to current day LGBT politics. I have no problem with characters having different sexual orientations; only when the story veers into 2014 advocacy territory on any subject. Hopefully, this won't continue to be a defining characteristic of Reva who is a much, much more interesting disruptive force to place too much focus on that.
Princess Lyrna continues to be as beguiling as she is interesting and Ryan's use of her for a book-ending cliff-hanger ensures my impatient waiting of his next installment in the saga.
Speaking of which, I was pleased to find that Frentis still lives and is destined to play a key role. Ryan's plot arc with him and his encounter, and forced affair, with the witcher-woman is very poignant.
Half a star off for threatening to diminish Reva's character role; otherwise another fine piece of work.
*** SPOILER ALERT! ***
Iran/Contra being the motive for plotting to assassinate a current day sitting president because Reagan wasn't convicted, Really?! If that weren't bad enough, the writer even had to use it as causative the reason why some imaginary couple committed suicide which drove the perp looney tunes. I mean, it's not like he couldn't have pick liberal LBJ who caused the real deaths of over 50,000 troops by use of an intentional lie.
Anyway, 2 stars off for the leftist tilt but 1 star added back for the entertaining sound effects.
Report Inappropriate Content