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 will preface by saying that I was initially put off reading this series in print because the spelling conventions Weber uses, while clever, were so distracting they made it very difficult to get into the story. That's the main reason why I decided to try them in audio form. So, I expect a fair amount of pronunciation shift between one narrator and another. It's annoying, but I deal. Unfortunately, in this case it's combined with a breathless, over-the-top style that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the tone of the passage being read.
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I was looking forward to this book. However it was a bit of a let down
The war with the Church of God was a bit to much. I didn't need to know how all of the battles brutally killed people on both sides. I didn't need to know the in depth discussion of bore pressures etc. about the guns. There were many threads left hanging and I found that to be frustrating. I hope the next book doesn't take another year to come out. I could easily loose interest in the series and just stop reading them. This book felt like a filler book just to keep the readers on the hook, but I just might spit the hook out.
For one the reader should have at least made an attempt to get a sense of pronunciations of names that previous readers had established. And for two, the reader doesn't take advantage of the compression the engineers use. The simulated shouting he attempts is downright embarrassing.
The story is the only enjoyable part of what Audible and McMillian have offered up. Buy the book and sit down for a good read but since Audible and McMillian have refused to listen to their readers/listeners I suggest that you avoid this offering as it will give you little joy. The "so called" publishers have used a fourth narrator on this series and have yet to offer a reason why. They started with an incredibly tallented reader in Mr. Oliver Wyman and after two books switched to Jason Culp. Mr Culp was a shock because his reading felt wrong. Then after Mr. Culp we got Mr. Keating. Let's just say that my enjoyment went from south of good to what the heck are these morons doing to David Weber's story?
I hated the fact that he pronounced things wrong and was the fourth performer in six books. This would never have stood for any other series of books, why is it standing for this series?
Switch publishers Mr. Weber If they won't listen to you when you make comments then DROP them and site attempted destruction of your work product, and credibility.
I really really hate this narrator. Its like starting a new book with new characters. This series is slow, don't get me wrong I love the story but Mr. Weber goes way beyond what is required to tell the story.
The only bad thing is waiting for the next book in the series. IT is entertaining, a pleasure to listen to and keeps you on the edge of your seat. Highly recommend the whole series
Merlin, A person out of time and the all of humankind depending on him.
Yes, however it's to long to do that, so did it over 10 days.
Encourage David Weber to get the next book in the series done and published. :)
The Book is a good solid addition to the series. I admit I would have liked to see a little more progress made in the overall story arch however the book was wonderfully full of details. Particularly in terms of character development, the mechanics of why specific tactics work or would not, and the world in general.
The book seemed to be laying the foundation for something through major changes that effect specific characters and events that would be required based on David weber's style of writing. Specifically that level of detail for military actions and campaigns that make things so realistic. vs other writers where some how despite all odds or common sense the good guys win battle after battle that tactically and strategically they had no chance to win over the course of a single chapter so that the writer can get onto the next key event. David Weber on the other hand ensures that the key tactical and strategic elements are in place. and this means it occasionally takes a lot of work to get the foundation in place for the next big development.
That being said I do not believe it was as engaging as some of the earlier works but it is my hope/believe it is setting the foundation for major progress in the story and sweeping events given the drastic upheaval in the personal lives of the characters.
I wanted to add something about the voice actor. He did an outstanding job. I believe all of the complaints stem form 2 factors.
The first can not be prevented when you change narrators. Specifically people get used to how a character sounds in an audio book. and when that voice changes even if pronunciation of all the names are the same it is jarring. This series is 6 books long so far and has had 4 different narrators. I do not get the voices fully straight until the second book by the new narrator. This often means enjoyment of the book is degraded while I try to get things sorted out.
The second is complaint is avoidable and it was not avoided in this case. Different people by experience, or simply local dialect pronounce words (particularly names) differently. If Mr. Collins had been the first narrator of this series there may have been a couple minor complaints based on regional pronunciations. But over all the reviews of his performance would have been glowing. And the next Narrator would be stuck with low ratings if like in this case the director did not help ensure consistency in the pronunciation of names. The end result is some people will now not buy (or recommend) this release of this book and blame it on the terrible narration, or the reviews concerning the narration. It's my hope the publisher picks a good narrator and simply signs them for the entire series. not just for this series but that it becomes standard practice for all series.
Mr Collins, if you happen to read this know that I at least think you did a great job though I hope in future work the director provides guidance on the pronunciation of names in order to stay consistent with previous books or perhaps you research such on your own if they do not.
Didn't read the print version
Like many other reviewers, I too was extremely distracted by the change in narrators. It ruined for me the first 10 hours of the book. However, I must be frank that Kevin lost 1 star with me for failing to provide himself with deep background on the novel. I finished the last half of the book with relative enjoyment because the performance as it stands alone is quite good. I really wish I had not had to endure this the first time but the second listening of the book, I was completely engaged and able to endure the pronunciation differences.
Weber's writing continues to improve and his character development is phenomenal. I am in for the next 6 or 7 volumes to finish the series...
Six books in the series and 4 narraters! Collins did a better job (some missed pronuniations that buged me) then The last books narrater Keating (every one sounded like they were 80 years old). It's time to end the series don't turn it into Robert Jordan's Wheel of time.
If your not haveing fun your at the worng table.
Maybe, I get the audio books to listen to at work. I still get the print ones as well.
Maybe he has a good strong reading voice
Once aging the change narrators in the middle of a book series and how words get pronounced changes. It really is quite jarring. I think David Weber was a bit to much scatter brained on this book. A few too many side tales and not enough focus on the main stories
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