©2006 Jim Butcher; (P)2008 Penguin Audiobooks
If you like the Miles Vorkosagan Series by Lois McMaster Bujold then you will like this one as well. Each has a main character with a major handicap that uses his brain to overcome tremendous odds and do amazing things. The characterization and plots are both really fun. I highly recommend this entire series to any one who likes the Vorkosagan series and vice versa.
Academ's Fury picks up about two years after the conclusion of the previous book, Furies of Calderon. Our hero, Tavi, is now a student at Hogw--oops! Um--at the Academy in Alera Imperia. Along with his new position as the High Lord's page, Tavi is making new friends and new enemies right and left. There's treason in the air and assassins around every corner. Meanwhile, back in Calderon Valley, the nastiest enemy of all is taking root. Not the strongest book in the series but not the weakest either. I love Jim Butcher and I enjoy his style--warts and all--and this book certainly does nothing to change that. It introduces some great characters who will play important roles in the books to come, so it is a must-read for that reason alone. Some events feel a bit contrived, and there are plenty of Harry Potter parallels; don't let any of that dissuade you. Lot's of fun to be had here, so I suggest you ignore the minor bumps in the road and just enjoy the ride.
I love to read sci-fi, fantasy, and an occasional murder mystery. If one day I can be a successful author I will consider myself one of the few and fortunate.
Academ's fury is great, plain and simple. Having already established some of the main characters in the first book, the second book gets right to the point. The characters become even more likable and the plot gets deeper. The threat to Alera is more threatening which led to me not being able to stop listening. There were some parts that were so laugh out loud funny that people at work raised their eyebrows to me when I started laughing out loud for no apparent reason they could determine. Other parts left me in awe, such as the skilled swordsmen and their subtle speed and grace with a blade. There were some things which the author foreshadowed so of course some things were expected to happen, but more often than not you will find yourselves surprised at the superb writing and plot twists Jim Butcher weaves seamlessly into one of the most gripping and satisfying books I have yet read or listened to. Great book, great buy.
If you read my review for the first book of this series, it was not too kind. However, the story has gotten better and has more teeth to it. Better development in story and style. Kate Reading is a good voice for this and can keep each person separate in her intonations and styles. Although I still do not like Issana, even though she is one of the good guys. She is just too much like a limp noodle that has drama. My opinion only, of course. I will give a spoiler alert in that I have now finished the whole series (Except #6 that just came out) and ended up loving the series. Stick with it, each one gets better through #5. Enjoy!
and that's really saying something. Academs's Fury finds our intrepid hero, Tavi, living the dream as a student at the academy, and getting sand kicked in his face by the bullies with furies. It takes off from there with the same amazing originality as the first book. What can I say, I'm a Jim Butcher fan.
Also: Kate Reading is the best reader. EVER. But this time I envied her being able to read such amazing material.
You won't be disappointed. Each book in the series is good as a stand-alone book but are great as a series. You can tell that Jim Butcher had a direction from the first book on where he wanted the series to go. My wife and I travel a lot and like fantasy. Very entertaining. Plot is split between different characters, but not so much you can't keep up.
The different races in Butcher's world and their customs are interesting. As the series continues, the relationships that develop are realistic and heart-warming.
Kate Reading is a very good reader. Usually, female readers make the characters sound the same. She brings many different voices to the story so that you can tell who is speaking when the text doesn't mention it.
Started reading Jim Butcher years ago with his Dresden Files. While searching his name one night in Audilbe search engine; I stumbled upon the fact that he has a fantasy series. I'm totally hooked now on this series and going to listen to more. These books are very enjoyable and entertaining.
A great story and characters, and a very fine job of reading by kate. I intend to hear the rest of this duo. One special note. If you love a good book that has the ability to deliver without the use of profanity then this is it. The difference between a cook that uses only good ingredients like in this story and one who feels he must use the inferior.
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