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©1997 Orson Scott Card; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"Another in Card's superior fantasy series about Alvin Smith....one more absorbing entry in this brilliantly conceived and fetchingly rendered series." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Alvin and Peggy's adventures are set against an intriguing backdrop of what America might have been....Card is a consummate storyteller able to create a believable world peopled with strong, solid characters." (Voya)
Love Orson Scott Card. This series however seems to go on and on and on. And the religious undertones get more and more thick. I can't stop though. I've already started Crystal City.
"Heartfire and the Alvin series"
This Audible presentation of Card's Alvin series is a triumph. It is centred around the premise that innate skills can manifest as magical 'knacks' that can change the world. This is no 'twee' story however as it raises issues of prejudice, slavery and religion in a context that grabs the listener's attention and leaves them wanting more. I have read most of Card's bibliography but listening to these stories provides a new opportunity to enjoy this master story-teller at his best.
"Exponential decay in a book series."
Shockingly uneventful. Even if you have read through the previous four installments in this series and noted a slowing down in the story, nothing can prepare you for exactly how little happens in this book. I have read many of OSC's books and thoroughly enjoyed them, including all the 'Ender' and 'Enders Shadow' series, most of which (with exceptions) have a brilliant combination of story, action and character, so it is utterly bizarre just how little Orson has to say in this book.
On the first audiobook of this series, there is an introduction by OSC himself declaring his intention of writing a series of very American fantasy books 'to rival The Lord of the Rings'.
Unfortunately, he seems to have completely given up on this somewhat optimistic idea and has instead fashioned a series of books that are starting to make the Slough telephone directory look like the script for the new Jerry Bruckheimer movie.
I now have the very real dilemma of whether, for closure, to put myself through listening to the sixth and currently last in the series (so far, as the author has threatened a seventh!) or to preserve those 11 never-to-be-regained hours of my life for something more rewarding.
To quote Danny from the cult-film 'Withnail and I', 'If you're hanging on to a rising balloon, you're presented with a difficult decision - let go before it's too late or hold on and keep getting higher, posing the question: how long can you keep a grip on the rope?'
I think it may be time to let go. Two broken legs and a fractured pelvis have to be better than this.
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