After centuries of stasis, the island kingdom of Charis began to defy the edicts of the Church of God Awaiting - egged on, some say, by the mysterious warrior-monk Merlin Athawes. Now, in the wars and intrigues that have cascaded from Charis's declaration of independence, the populous Republic of Siddermark is sliding into chaos. Vicar Clytahn of the Church of God at harvest time, King Cayleb of Charis, his queen Sharleyan, and Merlin Arthawes will have their hands full trying to stave off wholesale starvation in Siddermark while at the same time shipping in enough land combat units to fend off the "volunteers" from the Church's Temple Lands. And while Vicar Clyntahn is hailed in the Church for his boldness and audacity, there are those who remember how dependent Church power is on money from Siddermark...and who wonder what will happen if Siddermark starves.
Bursting with vivid invention and the sweep of lived history, Midst Toil and Tribulation will build its series' audience to a new level.
©2012 David Weber (P)2012 Macmillan Audio
I am quite frustrated with the producers for changing narrators so many times on this series. The first two books were narrated by Oliver Wyman who I feel did a very good job bringing the characters to life. The sent two books were narrated by Jason Culp who was different than Oliver Wyman, but still quite good. That brings us to the fifth book. The fifth book was narrated by Charles Keating who I was literally concerned may pass away during the recording of the book. He clearly has a lot of experience, but his voice makes all the characters sound to in their mid 70s. His inability to clearly distinguish vocal qualities made it difficult to follow at times, but overall a sleepy book to listen to. Now the sixth book kind of has me reeling. Kevin T. Collins speaks with such forcefulness and overacts points that call for just speaking, not melodramatic inflection that makes you feel your head may explode. After the first fifteen minutes listening to Kevin T. Collins I am finding myself looking forward to a break to allow my blood pressure to come back down.
I am truly looking forward to book 7 and Oliver Wyman's performance. I am thoroughly enjoying the series, and think that David Webber makes even the non-action sections of the book interesting. I could do with a little less of the recaps of the PICA abilities though.
Doubtful, the reader seems like he is on the edge of succumbing to the vapors at any minute
Not if I can avoid it
If it is necessary to change readers in the middle of a series at least make the effort to make sure the new guy pronounces the names of the characters the same as in the previous volumes. This guy sounds like some kind of failed Shakespearian wannabe.
A SciFi fan, roboteer and inventor. With a personal library over 2000 real books, 20 gig of bought Ebooks,and a gold membership here.
The story in itself was ok, as part of an ongoing series. So, in that respect it was a book for me.
On the other hand.
Anybody enjoying a hyped up voice. Or anybody liking a hiss in every word. It's difficult to anwers the basic question here. I'll ask other people listening to audiobooks.
The first seconds, to register the narrators voice and the way it was used. At first skipping seconds, and then chapters, it didn't change. Albeit clear and very comprehensible -my mother language ain't English- it just kept on irritating my ears and nerves.
No. Unless the style changes hugely, or I get payed royaly. And I have to admit, time is money. And I have already a lack of time, that's why I use audiobooks to "multitask". Driving long stretches for example, or other tasks that are done on automatic pilot.
If I would do that , the idea of an unabridged audiobook would go down the drain. And in an ongoing series of the magnitude of Safehold, it would be "blasfemous". I have read the book itself in Mobi format, and I can't express my dissappointment in this performance.
A total waste of my credit.
I was a platinum member. Now I'm a gold member. Will I be that in the forseeable future?
It's an ok installment. I wanted more progress in the plot. The narrator was TERRIBLE.
It was all around terrible. He messed up names and mispronounced regular English words. He didn't bother listening to previous books. He should never read another book, ever.
Treading water. When you get a series that has such breadth and scope such as the Safehold series (in particular when you are talking about a book that spans the entire world where the fastest objects are moving at around 20mph) you sometimes have a book where most of the story is spent getting things tidied up from the last book and preparing the ground for the next. Midst Toil and Tribulation is one of those rebuilding books.
Sure, some things happened. Fights occurred, progress was made, troops were moving across the world. But in the end you find yourself wanting, waiting for the next book because that is when the interesting stuff is going to happen. I appreciate the series and look forward to the next but this book just whets your appetite for the next book, leaving you unfulfilled and wanting.
A different narrator please. The previous narrators in this series have not been spectacular, but I could look past them because I loved the story so much. This was the straw that broke the camel's back however.
I will avoid all works by this narrator. I love to have the narrators assume the emotions and voices of the characters. However, this was terribly over-acted to the point that I could not listen to the book.
I have listened to all the books in this series and regret that because of the narration I cannot continue. I hope they make a better choice in the future. Perhaps I'll find time to read this one in print some day.
The narrator. In general this book was up to the quality I would expect from David Weber.
From the very beginning every thing was done in a style I can only characterize as over acting and over dramatization. In all honesty if he narrates any further volumes in this series I highly doubt that I would select them. Also any other books that are narrated by Mr. Collins are off my list. Mispronunciation seems to be another of his failings.
Terrible editing and narration. The narrator pronounces almost all names different from all the previous books. Why didn't he listen to some of the previous book to understand how the names were pronounced? And, why didn't the editors correct this! Poor, poor, poor job! Good story, but it's lost in the miserable reading!
Dreadful narration, Mr. Collins' histrionic and melodramatic delivery really detracts from the story. I have to say I was mildly miffed when Charles Keating took over because of the discontinuity, however, I have no gripes at all regarding his narration, then this. If there isn't better narration on the next installment I'm going to have problems with purchasing anything again from Macmillan Audio.
Huge fan of Science Fiction. hard science, first contact, adventure, implausible technology, all of it! I also enjoy travel books, and the occasional biography. But SciFi is my favorite form of escape.
Omit redundant details.
Well, he pronounced the character names a little too accurately for my taste. Weber purposely misspells all the names on Safehold so that they sound similar to common english names, but I always read them like common names, it was a little offputting to hear the narrator rigidly adhere to the "proper" annunciation, no matter how torturous :-)
Yes, this book is just a chapter in the entire story. It is an exceedingly LONG, boring, redundantly depicted and narrated chapter, but nonetheless, its required reading if you are to finish the Safehold series.
Generally, this book moves slowly, and has lots of unnecessary and redundant detail. David Weber seems to forget that his audience that has worked it's way through half a dozen of these massive books is probably smart enough not to have to have a flintlock rifle or steam ship described in excruciating detail every 5 pages. We get it!
"Great Book, awful narration"
As the previous reviewer states, if you've got this far with the series, you'll know what to expect, but sadly, the narration is dreadful. Overly dramatic, at least in the beginning, though he does settle down a bit eventually. Characterisation is poor, it is sometimes very difficult to differentiate between which character is speaking. And as for his pronounciation! Words such as desmesne or adjutant or even Charis are pronounced very oddly and it grates on the ear, causing this listener at least, to lose track of the story line while I mentally correct him. Such a pity.
The narration is dreadful, mispronounced words like PICA i can accept, Michael i can't, combined with the narrator's natural sibilant hiss, makes a great story a terrible experience!
As ever a great story by an excellent author, my only criticism of the book itself is that it has a tendency to drift off into philosophical musings that can be a tad boring at times. However that really is not a major issue and doesn't detract from an excellent book with lots of excitement and twists and turns. My major issue with the book is the narrator. Unless, like me, you have listened to all the books so far one after another without a break in between you many not notice some of the very poor continuity. Cayleb for instance has spoken with a sort of Australian accent, then an strange mixture of Irish/Scottish accent, a sort of English accent then generic American. But the biggest issue is with the narrator Kevin T Collins. There are two major issues. The first issue was the frenetic pace and overly dramatic tone which almost made me stop listening. It constantly sounded like he was building to an adventurous climax even with dry narrative. The other very irritating thing was the sudden change of the pronunciation of names. Michael became Mikael, Chisholm became Cheesehome amongst others. Please please please do not let this guy narrate the up and coming book 7 and who does, do us all a favour and listen to at least some of the other volumes so we have some continuity of pronunciation and accent.
"4 for the story, 2 for the narrator"
If you've made it this far into the Safehold series then you'll already be familiar with the author's strengths and weaknesses. My comment is reserved for the narrator who I found to be overly dramatic. The narrator would have been fine for a dramatisation but I found his over dramatic style to constantly drag me out of the story.
By David Weber yes, but never again by Kevin T Collins, sibilant, overly dramatic, and seems to get lost regularly
Change the narrator please for gods sake change the narrator!
Did he even listen to the other books? Why just choose how to pronounce the characters names one way that's totally different to the other books? They are all there and surely 5 minutes could have been spared to listen to how the names and individual accents sound?!?
I don't know, as after 20 minutes I gave up and erased the book
Yes, I bet this is one of the most returned books you have, and the rating system is incorrect, as it adds up to around 2 stars by my working out, not 4!
It's an enjoyable romp that doesn't need brainpower to follow, ideal for whilst I'm working
Too long to listen in one sitting
"Wow, did the narrator get paid for this?"
It's much the same as the other books. Interesting developments and stories. But can at times be a bit long
No, I found his narration to be very bad. Overly dramatic and hissing....
To long for that :D
This is my first review, just had to comment on the narrator...
"How is the performance averaging 4 stars?"
The book I would recommend. The audio book can not be recommended based on the narration.
Every other David Weber or Eric Flint book. Pretty much anything Baen publishes.
No. Never. I also display a level of natural sibilance in my speech. It is annoying to listen to, and no one that sounds like Kevin should be a narrator. Additionally, his pronunciation is terrible. The performance was so bad I quit listening and got a paper copy of the book. First time ever.
Yes - it is an exciting mix of scifi and swashbuckling.
I really seriously think audible needs to check its algorithm that is tallying the overall performance rating. It is currently displaying 4 stars when the average according to my count of reviews is below 2 on average.
"No Toil or Tribulation in this listen"
I have really enjoyed this series. A pleasant easy going SciFi Fantasy epic going no where in particular, but still very enjoyable and so easy to listen to. I saw one comment from someone else about the poor narration - but I thought it was pretty easy on the ears myself. This is just such good quality escapism and I always look forward to the next one in the series coming along. I am amazed how prolific DW is, but I am not complaining. I am watching for the next one from DW.
"a genuine toil"
I have loved this series until the last book, the change of narrator then spoilt the experience for me the change in the way names were pronounced etc was annoying but the sorry still held me. Now a new book yet another narrator and this time, dam is the writing annoying, Mr Weber has aways made his good guys too good and bad guys far too bad. At least until just before they change sides then they become the new better than good guys. i can live with that, but do we really need the tedious droning on about how good and just the emperor and empress are, it seems every time they are bought back into the story some one has to pontificate for half of the chapter about how good they are how fair they are and just how much in love they are, its taking up so much of the book i find myself shouting at my iPod ( or i suppose Mr Weber ) YES I KNOW THEY ARE THIS IS BOOK 6 YOU HAVE TOLD ME ALREADY PLEASE GET ON WITH IT
In my opinion the few months in the stories history this book covers could have been covered in the 1st 2 chapters of a much tighter more exiting book, one that actually moved the plot along, what worries me the most is that if this is the new rate in which the story is moving along I along with the rest of Mr Webers readership will be long dead before the final book is finished.
As for the narrator Mr Collins, I have to agree with a lot of the other comments his style is to over dramatise every sentence hasn't made this book any more bearable.
A Tip: if your taking over the narration of a book listen to the past narrators you don't need to copy his accents or style after all we are all used to a new actor taking over a roll in a film, but please get the way names are pronounced consistent. when you read a book yourself it doesn't matter to much if the way i say a name isn't the same as everyone else does, but when being read to its important that this part is consistent
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