Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother's mysterious death, he's lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.
One day he's tracked down by an uncle he barely knows - a man his mother claimed was dangerous. Uncle Randolph tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.
The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants, and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.
When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.
Sometimes the only way to start a new life is to die....
©2015 Rick Riordan (P)2015 Listening Library
Like Jennifer B, I am a huge Rick Riordan fan. I had preordered this book, and am currently on chap 12. If you've read/listened to Mr Riordan's other books, you know the basic process that he lays the story out, etc. This book is no different, you get introduced to the main character and it builds from there...
The narration provided by Christopher Guetig makes my ears bleed. It sounds like it's being read half pace behind with this "I just woke up and my nose is stuff up" tone. Who picked this guy? Seriously. It's a wonder I've made it this far on the audiobook.
As I began listening to this book I was rather disappointed in the narration. As I continued to listen I became incredulous as to just how poor the narration was—stilted reading of the text, unconvincing character voices, atrocious attempts at accents. Then I found myself becoming angry—not at the narrator, at the audiobook publishers. This appears to be the narrators first attempt at audio narration and he obviously had no idea what the art of narration required. Furthermore, he likely didn’t know what audiobook readers expect and how demanding we are… but the publishers knew.
Now I am actually angry with the publishers at Penguin/Random House/Listening Library for throwing this performer to the wolves without a second thought. He is going to be slammed for the quality of the narration—sadly, deservedly so—and I feel certain he had no idea such a slap down was likely. What were the publishers thinking?! They knew the narration would be included in reviews. They knew readers didn’t appreciate the poor narration of the last two books they published by Riordan. And they had to know this performance would be received even more poorly than those. Why would they set up anyone for the public humiliation that will come with the performance of this book?
Rather than list the name of the narrator, they should list the names of the people responsible for choosing someone to read this book who didn’t have the skills required for a satisfying audio experience. I’ve heard others say before that large publishers aren’t concerned with quality, only money. This is the first time I’ve felt the publisher’s insult so blatantly: “You stupid audiobook listeners will snap up anything so we don’t have to give you quality… who cares if you actually enjoy the experience of reading this book!”
I also feel sorry for Rick Riordan who has put a lot of work into creating this new series, only to have it butchered by a publisher who hires a narrator with insufficient talent or experience to do justice to the work.
If this narrator continues with the next book in the series, someone needs to give him some serious coaching on how to read text in a natural manner, differentiate character voices effectively, and—please, dear lord, please—how to do accents! I’m sure this guy can learn… somebody please help him… I don’t want to have to give another crushing review of his performance!
I'll be honest - I'm only at Chapter 8.
I love Rick Riordan, and have been waiting for this to be released. I eagerly downloaded it this morning and started listening. Go buy the book and read it yourself.
I'm at Chapter 8, but I am liking the story. I'm confused, but I'm supposed to be.
No. This performance made me nearly return the audible and just buy the book. I drive a lot and listen to books as I drive, so I can get through more of my reading list. I don't know if the idea was to make the narrator sound like a teenager, but it is simply awful. I can't decide if he sounds drunk, drugged, or is just slow for effect. I keep telling myself that it will get better, or that the story is worth it. I'm trying.
I'm only on Ch 3, and the story is roughly what I expected from Riordan. The narrator is absolutely driving me nuts though. His voice constantly sounds as if he can't decide whether a character should be male or female, all the adults sound like British gentlemen, and there is absolutely no emotion whatsoever. He's describing a particularly emotional or intense scene and I swear I get more emotion from my Amazon Echo. What's worse is the speed of the narration, I swear it's playing at 1/2 speed but Audible says otherwise.
This might be one to skip on audio. If I didn't already have 4 credits saved up I'd probably return this one and get it on kindle. Sigh.. if only we could get the ebook version included in the audio version.
Update: Do yourself a favor.. if you do get this, listen at 1.25 speed. It's far from perfect but much better than the rediculously slow 1.0.
I LOVE Rick Riordan. All of his other books are great escapes and this story is no different so far but the narration is awful! I would NOT listen to another Christopher Guetig narration.
Jesse Bernstein reads the Percy series wonderfully; he sounds like the character but Christoper Guetig sounds like he's reading to VERY young children. His reading is slow (I've actually had to speed up the playback just so I can tolerate it), the inflection is odd and over dramatic in the wrong places.
I'm still very excited for this story and I'm going to try a couple more chapters, but I think this will be my first refund because I'm so disappointed with the narration!
Before listening to this audiobook, I made sure to read others' reviews on the narrator (since that can sometimes make or break a story) What I found people were commonly saying was that this narrator's pacing and inflection were poor, the character voices didn't sound different enough, and overall it was a struggle to listen to. While I agree with this, what I also found was that other people had suggested listening at x1.25 the normal speed. DO THIS. Personally, the story far outweighs the struggles we have with the narrator, and x1.25 speed REALLY helps. Overall, this is one of my favorite Rick Riordan books yet, and I hope the rough narration doesn't scare people away from listening to this otherwise great book!
High School teacher - working with students having learning disabilities, English learners, and foster youth.
Good story, I can foresee Mr. Riorden exploring every major mythology this way. As a teacher it helps get students interested and keeping some historical data within helps keep my colleagues at bay when they try to dismiss this method of trying to hook the students.
In the book, no. In the audiobook, the producer, director, and narrator.
I think I would check the out of the library first and then decide.
His voice is pleasant enough if too sing-songy and slow, but it is obvious no one associated with this production has ever been to Boston. The Midwest twang in Guetig's voice is so opposite of what was needed for this character it is not even funny. I don't blame the Guetig for not being right for the role, the producers and director should have had a clue he wouldn't work, especially after the complaints about Nick Chamain's lackluster narration of the last two books in the Heroes of Olympus series. I am beginning to feel like the audio producers don't care about us as consumers.
I don't know.
I'm not sure if I'm going to get the rest of the series on audio. I have been too disappointed in the past.
I didn't finish it the first time. I'm returning it. Maybe he would have been better with a different director. Maybe if I hadn't started reading the book first. But I wasn't able to listen to more than 5 minutes before I turned it off. He is wooden, his inflections are awful, and I think I could read it aloud with more emotion.
Vikas Adam (He read Nice Dragons Finish Last)
Please PLEASE! Stop with the horrible narration! There are so many freaking awesome narrators out there! Or its possibly not the narrators but the shoddy directors/producers. I'm returning the audio book. I'm sorry, but I am just so done with this.
The narrator is horrible, that I am not able to finish this audiobook!! Bring back Jesse Bernstein or Joshua Swanson...they where awesome!
I will refrain from spending my credits on narrators that are horrid.
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