Undeniably engaging. Irrefutably endearing. I realize that this story is a dark fantasy but I couldn't help but find Riddle in Stone to be infused with a hobbit-esque charm that drew me in and enveloped me in it's world. I've plodded through too many fantasy novels of late with their stilted dialogue, gratuitous magic and cutout characters to not appreciate a novel like this one. I particularly enjoyed the inner dialogue of the protagonist,Edmund. Through it the author successfully shows us how Edmund's choices, day by day, help him to become the person he has always dreamed he could be. Like Bilbo before him, Edmund must decide whether to set his foot outside his comfortable home, not knowing where the road will lead. As the Greek philosopher Herodotus said: It is better by noble boldness to run the risk of being subject to half the evils we anticipate than to remain in cowardly listlessness for fear of what might happen. Edmund's boldness may not be noble and it may not be much to begin with. But it's a start. And good for him taking that first step. And good for all those, like Edmund, who shrug off cowardly listlessness. And good for everyone who enters into Edmund's world. They won't be disappointed.
I tried but could not get past the awful narration. The voice was grating, the characterizations were puerile, and the story flowed like a desert wadi in summer. And I beg you sir, if you ever get another narrating job without first taking a remedial acting class , please don't interject another attempt at improvised laughter (or until you can make a sound that doesn't resemble a laryngitic weasel choking down a chicken bone).
I'm sorry to have to rate the content as average because for all I know it's an excellent story. Unfortunately I'm forced to rate it. I was simply unable to suffer past the auricular dissonance of the first chapter. I feel bad for authors who get stuck with simply awful narration. It's not just that bad narration can hurt a good book; sometimes it can render it inaudible.
Maybe in Kindle format
It wasn't just the heavy nasal inflection that made this narration so irritating. Babinski has this annoying tendency of drawing out the final consonant of certain words (seemingly at random). Is there really such a dearth of decent narrators that publishers have to hire Mr. Snuffleupagus? And is Sesame Street ok with their characters moonlighting?
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