It takes a good while for the story to get going. The author could have developed the characters more given the length of the story. That said, the author did create interesting settings and a good plot. The book would have benefited however from tightening up some of the overview descriptions and incorporating events from the characters' histories and memories. While wheeler is better than most at shifting between plot lines of the disparate groups and individuals, I'm tired of authors using a cliff hanger to get you to buy the next book. I'd rather buy a book in a series because I have come to like the characters and story line.
Unlike Tolkien, the author writes only the style of Tom Clancy were narrative breaks across the actions of disparate groups. Unlike Tolkien or Clancy, the story line is clearly held together by a clear plot line or narrative thread. It's more like Dune, multiple parties doing totally unrelated things that eventually are effect the total story line. OK in print, no fun in audio where you can't go back to pick up the story line. In reality based epics such are WW-II or the invasion of Rome by the Visigoths, the reader (or listener) has an intuitive understanding of the events, geography, and people. Tolkien was a master in that he achieved this intuitive grasp of the story and worldscape
A disparate story line is appropriate in historical fiction. But with fantasy, the author must exert greater literary skill to link the story.
A jaded view of people and the world set to fantasy. Perhaps, the author will pull a rose out of it in the end, he certainly spreads enough fertilizer.
The setting and plot deviate from the rest of the series. With the new narrator, Dresden seems like a completely different character. John Glover can not capture the emotions or attitudes of Harry Dresden. The story and Dresden do not resonate.
Dresden in the earlier books uses simple spells to track individuals and find lost items. Yet in book 7, he fails to consider anyone applying the same trick to him. Rather than using his friends, the Alphas or the Knights, to protect the medical examiner. He keeps him near himself. Why doesn't he use his "Sight" more? Or keep his dog "Mouse" with him to sense traps or ambushes? It's as if he has begun to trust in luck. As a result, he is manipulated throughout.
Throughout the book he is committed to giving the most dangerous magic book collection of all time to one of the worst baddies... Surely Murphy wouldn't approve. Why not consider an alternate solution? Finally, the incapacitation of the wardens so that Dresden must be the one to take on the Necromancer gang is a stretch. Fantasy is great. But it's better when the characters ring true.
Yes, Marcus Didius Falco comes across as a real person whom one would like and respect. The deception is unraveled in a practical yet piecemeal fashion.
Falco in the later books becomes more cynical (and less effective). The early books are the best.
The author knows the heart of kids. His style is exquisite. The plot turns interesting. The blind and intelligent stumbling investigation is true to life unlike most detective stories.
When Red and Half Moon fall off the balcony.
Yes, excellent story line and characters. Really captures the interaction of a boy and his mentor.
When Horace rouses himself after a severe beating to protect his friend.
John Keating makes the story come alive.
The scene at the burning bridge is implausible. The way the ranger tries to relight the fire is unrealistic in the extreme as anyone who has even been camping should know.
Father and I were Ranchers.
Excellent accent and narrative style that captures the emotions and intensity of the plot.
Rewrite burning bridge scene and change who is sent to carry the message.
Ranger's Apprentice, Book 1, is 5 Stars and compelling even if the ending is a little weak.
Book 2 has implausible character behavior. It's as if Flanagan wanted a boy ranger and princess to be captured but didn't think out the plot sequence especially at the crucial turning points.
A apprentice knight of proven courage fails to take the risk crossing a bridge.. A ranger skilled in wood's lore, tries to relight a fire from scratch rather than just grabbing a burning brand.
The characters behavior is inconsistent with that of book 1.
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