When her hometown is overtaken by the Night Masks crime syndicate, Alias joins forces with the saurial paladin Dragonbait and the halfling bard Olive Ruskettle in a quest to free the town merchants from their underground overlords.
©1995 TSR, Inc. (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I liked the story. I hated the narration. It is disappointing that they've allowed this narration to stand.
The story itself is a good addition to the Forgotten Realms books, and continues with characters from Azure Bonds and the rest of that trilogy. Buy the book or ebook instead. Pay a middle school student to read it if you need an audio version, and you'll be better off.
There is an earlier trilogy by Kate Novak and Jeff Grub starting with Azure Bonds about these same characters, which should give a strong indication about whether you would enjoy this story.... though it has a better narrator.
I would think twice about buying any book narrated by Marty Moran. The earlier books about Alias by Kate Novak and Jeff Grub had a different, far better, narrator. This book's performance is clearly completely unedited, filled with throat clearing, coughing, stuttering, and missed words. He changes his pronunciations of names frequently. Early in the book, there is one sentence in which the switch to past tense trips him up so thoroughly, that he restarts the sentence four times trying to complete it. In others, he clearly hasn't read the sentence through before, and is surprised by a conjunction, the ending of the sentence, or misreads the genders of the pronouns and starts over again when he gets to part of the sentence which makes it obvious he has mistaken which character is addressed. Obviously nobody listened to this before its release, and even the narrator didn't care enough to be sure they deleted the repeated sentences. Even aside from any skill in narrating, it is just complete lack of attention which would allow stuttering through sentences three or four times to be release without even trimming that part of the recording. I have never heard a worse book narration.
Masquerades is worth listening to only if you have no time to read it yourself.
Make this book one you read instead. It's a good book, but a horrible audio recording.
Yes, for Grubb and Novak, Maybe for Moran.
Maybe, but only for a good story. He coughs and repeats himself suddenly in the middle of part 1. Very poor quality control. I wish they had used Kristin Kalbli, who read Grubb & Novak's Finder's Stone trilogy - she does a much better job then he does and is great as Alias (which she pronounces properly). He isn't horrific, just sub-par for this book. And the editing was poor.
The characters in this novel are well established after multiple prior story lines. Your impressions will remain unaltered. Dragonbait is as endearing as ever. Alias is, well, Alias. It helps to recall that for all the skills she has, she was born, ahem, yesterday.
The betrayal is one of the most memorable moments in Masquerades and it brings a needed edge to the tale.
Overall the narrator had fine delivery. Beware. The production of one chapter is completely unedited. You hear the narrator coughing, clearing his throat, and rereading sentences to change inflection.
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