After hearing from everyone age 12 to 50 how wonderful this series is, I finally got the audiobook. I'm glad I did, although I must admit that I would prefer to have read this one in print. The characters seem real to me and the story is very gripping. The narrator was top notch. Well done.
The good part of this book is that the story is riveting and well developed. The bad part is the awful writing style. If the book was shorter it would have been more bearable, but I couldn't wait to finish the book by about halfway through. I ended up speeding up the audio just to get it done.
The author uses foreshadowing about every fifth paragraph which got really tedious after a while. He also switches between first person and third person narrative. He tries to justify this by claiming the narrator/protagonist pieced it all together later on from evidence, but this is thinly veiled BS. While I wouldn't completely pan this book, I feel like it could have been done so much better. It's a real shame.
My review headline pretty much sums it up. The narrator over dramatizes every other sentence and has a number of long, unnecessary pauses. This doesn't add to the story. Instead, I found it annoying and the narrator comes off as patronizing. Yes, it's a book for young adults, but young adults are not morons and can easily grasp the meaning of what is going on in the story without having to go at a snail's pace. Bummer because I thought the story was quite good.
While this book in the trilogy is still an exciting tale, I found myself being irritated by the narrator's acting and the repetitiveness of the writing.
Drama! -- I thought the narrator did a pretty darn good job on the first book. For the second book she seems to wail and overdramatize every event in the book turning Katniss into a whiny, unsympathetic brat rather than a 17-year-old, resourcefully enduring terrible events.
More drama! -- Like the narrator, the writing also is a bit overdramatic and repetitive. Blood, blood, blood. Every third sentence seemed to have blood in it. OK, we get it. There is a lot of bloodshed. The overuse of the gore and the narrator's delivery didn't add to the story. Rather it was distracting because it seemed so lame. It made me chuckle thinking of Hyperbole and a Half's tale where Allie tries to come up with a scary story to tell her little sister.
Repetition -- The author recaps Katiniss' thoughts again and again as if we are unable to retain any memory whatsoever. This made it seem like she was trying to pad a few extra pages in the book. It didn't advance any storyline. I'm ok with the slow start to the story, but after it started going this repetition ruined the flow and just felt like a waste of time. I'm hoping the 3rd book will be better.
This is a story I never read as a kid and now I wish I had. The narrator did a lovely job too.
I read this book years ago and loved it. Normally I wouldn't dare risk tainting the memory of such a great book by getting the audio as well, but I had read reviews that said Hope Davis was a wonderful narrator. She is. I laughed and cried listening to her tell this tale in the same spots that I laughed and cried when I read it myself.
Some Newbery Award winning books are just not my cup of tea being that I am about 25 years older than the book's intended audience. However, for some books it doesn't matter what age you are. They just are great stories told well. Walk Two Moons is just a fantastic book about a young girl's journey. Highly recommended.
If you took out all of the similes and metaphors this story would only be half as long. Rather than add to the story, they end up breaking up the rhythm and become incredibly annoying. I got through about one third of the story hoping that it would get better, but it just got more painful. I ended up skipping huge chunks of the book and I'm not sure if I'll bother finishing it or just delete it from my library. I'm very disappointed.
As far as suspenseful books go, this is fairly well done. The last chapters tend to be a bit slow compared to the exciting build up in the middle of the book, but it is nice to have the loose ends tied up.
I really liked the narrator. I've discovered how important it is for an audio books to have a good narrator as I've downloaded a few that are just painful to listen to. Thankfully, Martin Wenner did a very nice job. His pacing was great and I'd be happy to listen to another book by him.
This story is typical of Neal Stephenson's work--highly detailed so that you get really invested in the story; containing scientific/technical concepts that puts it on a level above fantasy novels; protagonists and characters that are multi-faceted. There are few quibbles that I'd take up with the editors regarding consistency (Similarly, I found some trivial, but irksome errors in Reamde. I reckon it goes with making such long works.) That being said, I found this altogether enjoyable.
The only real downside for me was the actor narrating the story. He was inconsistent and kept mixing up the voices he would use for the characters. I also felt he was overly dramatic in parts to the point where I would grow so frustrated that I sped up the reading to 2x and 3x speed to just get on with it already.
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