The Left Hand of God is a stunning first installment in a remarkable epic trilogy...
"Listen. The Sanctuary of the Redeemers on Shotover Scarp is named after a damned lie for there is no redemption that goes on there and less sanctuary."
The Sanctuary of the Redeemers is a vast and desolate place - a place without joy or hope. Most of its occupants were taken there as boys and for years have endured the brutal regime of the Lord Redeemers whose cruelty and violence have one singular purpose - to serve in the name of the One True Faith.
In one of the Sanctuary's vast and twisting maze of corridors stands a boy. He is perhaps fourteen or fifteen years old - he is not sure and neither is anyone else. He has long-forgotten his real name, but now they call him Thomas Cale. He is strange and secretive, witty and charming, violent and profoundly bloody-minded. He is so used to the cruelty that he seems immune, but soon he will open the wrong door at the wrong time and witness an act so terrible that he will have to leave this place, or die.
His only hope of survival is to escape across the arid Scablands to Memphis, a city the opposite of the Sanctuary in every way: breathtakingly beautiful, infinitely Godless, and deeply corrupt.
But the Redeemers want Cale back at any price... not because of the secret he now knows but because of a much more terrifying secret he does not.
©2010 Paul Hoffman; (P)2010 Penguin Audiobooks Ltd
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Paul Hoffman has managed to create a complex and believable world familiar enough to entice but dissimilar enough to surprise. The fight scenes are intricate but not laborious with enough detail to have you engaged but not bored. The dialog is inspired, each character so well developed that they become friends (or enemies) you feel you know.
Sean Barrett gives a wonderful performance narrating Paul Hoffman's books. He manages to bring each character to life with different vocal mannerisms, voices and nuances which make each seem familiar. His reading is flawless and the writing itself gives credit to his talents and visa versa!
I could not recommend them enough - I listen to them in the car and found myself sitting in the driveway for minutes after arriving home to continue listening!
"A good story once you get into it."
I would recommend this to a friend but with a warning, I'm not sure what it was but it took me 3 attempts to get through this book.
The last 4 chapters of this book were the best, really set up well for the sequel.
My favourite character of the book was Thomas kale.
Not really no.
It's a slog but the series is good, and well worth a listen, it's not you're typical fantasy story that's for sure. The reasons which don't become a parang till the very last book, and the. It's only vaguely alluded to with a strange forward.
Waiting for the next book in this triology is painful. Hope that the second book is available soon.... would really like to start reading it on Halloween.
Yes excellent performance my first audiobook and still my favourite.
Gritty Harry Potter
Excellent must listen
"Another Fantastic book"
I picked this book (which probably isn't the most sensible thing to do!!!) by the look of the cover. I have never read and do not know of any other works by Paul Hoffman. This book is not what I was expecting, but certainly has an unusual story. I thoroughly enjoyed it, got through it very quickly and was desperate to read the next episode - the start of a great series hopefully. Sean Barrett is a great narrator and I would recommend it.
"look forward to next installment"
Good characterisation and some good tense areas. Hoffman is a good writer who makes his character engaging.
Pace and tension
I don't give away things like this.
"A solid start to a new Trilogy"
Very different to what I am used to with fantasy, but a very solid start to a trilogy. Apart from the fictional world, the fantasy elements were very subtle in this book.
Story – 4/5
The Left Hand of God is very intriguing. You are constantly told about the way things are, and always wanting to find out why, but only being given it in small chunks. It is very dark and bleak, with lighter elements developing as the escapees’ experience of the “outside” world progresses. The character development in this story is excellent as a consequence.
I quite enjoyed the brutality of these young boys, as they are only taught to be ruthless and kill. Therefore their social etiquette and problem solving logic are a bit warped at times.
Performance – 3.5/5
Sean Barrett was a very good narrator for this audiobook; his tone of voice fitted the bleak and dark nature of the story nicely. His voice acting was good enough, but nothing special, there were a couple moments of slight confusion during conversations between the 3 escapees near the start, but I picked up on the subtle differences as I got used to his style.
The bell tower chiming between chapters was a nice touch and fitted with the religious undertone.
Overall – 4/5
Apologies for the star ratings not matching the written review, I am forced to round halves on Audible.
Sean Barret is one of my favourite narrators and he does another stellar job with the Left Hand of God. At first I thought this was going to turn out to be another typical young boy comes of age and discovers his his hidden talents type of fantasy. However as the story develops we discover that this is a rather twisted Alternate History and our young "hero" is a far cry from the innocent young boy and his hidden talents are not very wholesome. A fast paced and entertaining listen. Am looking forward to the next instalment.
"Enjoyed but needed perseverance"
I enjoyed this enough to get the second in the series but I did have to persevere as for some reason I kept zoning out and losing where I was, Not sure if this was down to the narrator.....
great choice of narrater. You can get a real feel for the characters. I've read the books and listened to the audio version and loved both
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