©2005 Jim Butcher; (P)2008 Penguin Audiobooks
SciFi nut from a very young age. Started with Doc Smith, Asimov, C. S. Lewis, Heinlein, Bradbury. Can't get enough of the good stuff.
Jim Butcher is a genius. I had serious misgivings about this series given the capricious beginnings described by Mr. Butcher. But once I started listening I couldn't stop. It's a wonderful coming of age story filled with adventure and told with all the wry humor we expect from a Butcher story. I found myself giggling frequently. I'm a little concerned about starting the next book. My wife already thinks I'm a little crazy walking around with my headphones on giggling all the time.
lesser of evils
I disliked several things about the performance and the story. Jim Butcher loves to throw an insane number of frustrating hurdles of plot twists at his characters. Sometimes so much so that it's exhausting to get through them to the other side of the story. I loved that with the Dresden Files... b/c the more hurdles you threw at Harry, the cooler it was to see how he got out of each mess. But this story gets so bogged down in the same story telling mechanics. I liked the world, but it's just too thick for me personally. I won't be proceeding further with the rest of the series. I have to say that my biggest complaint is the reader. I am not a fan of this performer. I am also extremely annoyed at the stupid horns at seemingly random intervals of the narrative. I have come to understand that Audible just remastered the recordings from the original CDs and that the end of each CD was earmarked by those stupid horns. OMG! Irritating as heck!
By far my least favorite.
A different reader
I can't really render a good judgement on this question. But my least favorite character was Fade followed closely by Tavi, which ironically is the main thrust of the series. There's something mysterious that's going to happen with Tavi but he's so annoying and the storytelling is so thick that it was next to impossible for me to get close to that character.
Ixnay, the orns-hay! Oh, and my gods, the way these people use oaths and curses... I can understand when an author wants to be unique with character dialog on another plane of existence. But the use of oaths and curses (for example, the vast over use of the terms "blah blah crows [this]" or "crows blah blah [that]" or "crows crows crows crows"...reminded me of Monty Pythons "spam spam spam spam". I mean, for goodness sake, use the F-bomb from time to time to spice things up at least. But the way these characters talk is painful to experience, in my own experience that is. To some, the dialog of these characters probably wouldn't matter. But it did very much to me and it's one of the major reasons I'm moving on and (eagerly) waiting for book 16 of the Dresden Files.Sorry Jim. But thank you for Dresden! Best Fantasy series I've ever experienced.
Likes to listen while doing chores; likes to write reviews while he should be doing chores.
I read this book years ago and loved it. I am a sucker for this kind of fantasy, one that follows the boy of great and yet undefined potential through adventure and sorcery. It was reading the Belgariad (Eddings) as a kid that turned me into a reader. This is a book has a similar narrative to Pawn of Prophecy. I am a fan of Butcher from the Dresden Files and this is a departure from urban fantasy to more swords & magic fantasy. He does a solid job. His development of the world and the system of magic is fantastic. This particular quality he shares with Sanderson, however, he is quite different in many other ways. In short, Butcher does a great job of drawing together great elements of fantasy to make for an enjoyable story.
I generally like Kate Reading. This one is a rare miss for her. I don't get why they made the choice to play British in this novel. She's American and it shows. When she characterizes certain characters that are a departure from her normal speaking voice her British accent goes in and out. Also, one of the advantages of getting a British reader to do British accents is that they don't all have the general standard British accents. Bumpkins will sound like they're from Yorkshire. City dwellers will sound like there from Norf London, that kind of thing. Because she's trying to pass as British, you don't get variation, you get inconsistency.
I will probably finish out the series. As for other books written by Jim, I may need to hear a lot of good things about it first. Kate did a good job with the voices but a couple just felt off to me. I can't explain why.
The abilities that the furies grant their owners are interesting. Made me start thinking about which I would want and how much more there is that I do not know. The lease interesting was the ending. Just the way that things were strung together in that final battle seemed like the author had written himself into a corner.
The trial that Tavi went through. Well thought out and executed.
It is a bit long, but I was needing a long book for a 12 drive. It fit well.
Good lord. Not sure if the author has a crow fetish, but everything in this book has something to do with crows. By the crows, damn the crows, cursed crows, chill out and just swear. The readers will thank you for it.
I loved all the characters & their diversity.
Anyone with better timing & inflection.
I'd read this book (as an ebook, not an audiobook) about five years ago, but didn't remember much of it. I started reading it aloud to my husband a chapter a night, but shortly after beginning I got sick & didn't feel up to reading aloud, so I got the audiobook to supplement our progress. Bonus points that my kindle ebook & audible audiobook seamlessly integrated our progress!
However, the narration of the audiobook was so bad as to be confusing or distracting. There was no rhythm to the reading - little attention to punctuation or using timing/rhythm to match the plot pacing. The narrator had a "male voice" accent for male characters and a "female voice" accent for female characters, but these were so overdone that at times I found myself laughing at her attempts at deep growly man voice / high wimpy woman voice instead of listening to the content of what she was saying.
My husband and I are continuing with the series, but only as ebooks. Once I found out the same lady narrates the rest of the audiobooks, there's no way I'd waste my money.
I was easily drawn in to this story. I enjoyed meeting the characters, learning about the world and their abilities. I am not sure what more to say to not get into the story and give away plot. I enjoyed it from beginning to end and will be starting the next book .
The imaginative setting, the use of Roman elements alongside more staple medieval terms (such as "knight" and "count"), the humor, and the feeling of an expansive world we've only just begun to explore.
SPOILER: The moment when reinforcements come in the form of civilians -- farmers, herders, craftsmen, all willing to lay down their lives alongside trained soldiers.
I looked up Kate Reading. She's had a long career as a narrator and won awards, but in this she seems like a beginner. There's a very narrow range of voices, and many of the characters sound so much like each other that I have a hard time telling them apart. On top of that, she has a difficult time putting the proper emphasis on lines where the story obviously requires it. She kept taking me out of the story, and I felt the irrational urge to coach her on how to be dramatic. Moments that required intensity were given the same speed as slow, considered scenes. She's been a featured narrator on Audible, but with this as my introduction to her I have a hard time understanding why.
I enjoyed the rising tension, particularly when Tavi was going through his trial in the Wax Forest. The ultimate battle should have been more exciting, and I suspect it was Kate Reading's performance that kept it from being better as Jim Butcher is more than capable of exciting climaxes.
The audio cut made this book VERY annoying, even over Kate Reading's performance. The book is punctuated by trumpets for no reason, in the middle of paragraphs and once just one paragraph before the end of a chapter. Kate Reading's lines were also inexpertly cut together, so that instead of a smooth performance, she's suddenly on another paragraph without pausing to take a breath even though she's clearly had a new lungful of air in the meantime. Similarly, a chapter will end and the new chapter will begin without even a moment, as if the last line of the first chapter, the first line of the next, and the "Chapter Whatever" in-between were all part of the same sentence.
Honestly, this audiobook should be re-recorded. It's a bad cut, and if the next book is done in the same way I won't be getting any more in the series, however good the story is.
I read the preview of this book on my Kindle, and have since begun listening to books at work as my schedule is too busy to read much. Reading the words, I got a sense for the strength of the characters. So why oh why are all the men voiced like pervy old men and all of the females voiced like weak little flowers? I can't stand it. I love Jim Butcher, I would gladly listen to another of his books, but not as long as Kate Reading is the narrator.
Jim Butcher creates such lush worlds, and this is no different. It's a slow start to the series, but I have been warned by several friends not to discount the series based on this book alone.
I really disliked Kate Reading's odd and ill-fitting reading of the characters' dialogue. I literally cringed a multitude of times.
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