This book got such great reviews, I was shocked at how little I liked it. So, I thought I should post a review just to provide a counterpoint.
The story (the most important part, to me) was just not very interesting. It was very slow paced with a lot of useless side-plots, not much in the way of conflict (a key to good story), and just not a lot happening. It is of course book 1 of a trilogy, so despite my powering through it just so I could finish it, it didn't provide any satisfaction. Overall, I thought the story was just quite boring.
The actual writing style was, I suppose, your typical overly-literal sci-fi nerd voice. I'm not a big fan of that style. What I really disliked, though, was the constant use of puns which everyone seemed to find hilarious (including a teenage girl... apparently teen girls love cheesy puns, who knew). Generally speaking the attempts at humor were cringeworthy. If you're not funny in real life, you shouldn't try to write characters who are funny.
The audio production was good -- the voice acting was good, and I liked the way they approached the production.
In his author's note, the author comes across as an affable guy and so I actually feel guilty writing this very negative review. But I felt compelled to weigh in to warn potential readers that I found this to be a very tedious and un-entertaining book.
You know those people who aren't funny but who make jokes anyway, and it's all embarrassing and awkward for everyone else? This book is like that. I stopped when I figured this out. (For calibration, I thought the "real" books were hilarious).
This book was pretty entertaining, but the sequel really takes it up a notch... read this so you can read the sequel.
This is one of those books where at the end I feel like nothing really happened. The big reveal, such as it was, was just disappointing and lame. It wasn't scary in the least (one slightly creepy scene near the beginning notwithstanding). And the protagonist was clearly an immature jerk... maybe that's on purpose but it doesn't really make the book more readable for me.
I stopped this one not too long after starting. It was just a guy rambling incessantly in a monotone about completely inane things. Maybe it got better but I didn't have time to find out.
I'm going contrarian (at least to the majority view when I read the reviews a couple months back) and saying that I liked the narrator. Yes, he was very emotionless, but that's how the character was written. I thought his delivery was very good. He did say "wheppon," which was totally bizarre, I will admit... but otherwise it was just fine.
The story was very fast paced and a little more thriller-y than most of Deaver's stuff, but still with his characteristic twists. Very enjoyable.
One extra star to this book for being creative, but that's about all I can say for it. The plot is nonsensical, the characters react in completely unrealistic ways, and the book employs that irritating plot device wherein the protagonist is really dimwitted, making it easy to spell everything out for the reader. Fantasy is ok; people reacting in a totally unrealistic manner is not.
OK, the main character had some amusing lines. But this book was really quite cheesy overall, and not just because of the 25 year old pop culture references.
The story was completely pedestrian and didn't pay off. The women inexplicably and with no explanation fall into bed with the protagonist. Then we meet the character's friend, Pike I believe, a Dwight Schrute-like character who reads too much Soldier of Fortune magazine. We know he's menacing, you see, because he wears sunglasses indoors! Wow.
The narrator should probably not be in voiceover work. He is a decent enough actor but his voice is reedy, nasally, and kind of irritating. Kind of nerdy sounding. Not fitting at all for these characters, who are apparently supposed to be tough guys.
Daemon was more of a run-of-the-mill technothriller. This sequel really takes the creativity (as well as the stakes) up a notch. Very enjoyable.
I read this about 12 years ago and then listened to the audiobook. It was just as good as I remembered it and it translated well to audio. Ignore people complaining about the ending; they don't seem to realize that it is a two-part story. The writing is fantastic and many of the character's backstories are incredible and memorable stories unto themselves.
The narrating was hit or miss... the guy who played Martin absolutely hit it out of the park and was PERFECT. Just precisely how I imagined him and one of the best audio adaptations of a character I've ever heard. The Consul was an overactor, though, and the gal's attempt at an english accent was embarrassing for everyone involved. But that's no big deal considering the overall quality of the production and writing.
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