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
Let me first say I enjoy David Weber's books. I really like the story of this series too, but David Weber has this habit of going into way more detail about things like a sailing a ship or how a firearm works. I appreciated it in Honor Harrington series because I don't know about space ships and their technology from his eyes, but we do live on planet earth with the history of sailing and firearms. This book we also have a new narrator for the series and if he would have been the reader from the first book I wouldn't have had a problem, but he pronounces multiple names differently from the previous narrator. After all the previous books you get used the name of the main country in the story being pronounced one way and it is very annoying to have it pronounced a new way. I would think a producer somewhere along the making of this audio book would have corrected this. I still enjoy the overall story but think a little editing and consistency in the narrator is in order.
Yes, for David Weber [he's one of my favorite authors] but might hesitate if Mr. Collins is narrating. Mr Collins "tries too hard" to bring theatrical drama to his narration. I can only speak for myself but the narration has the feel of overacting and the change from a loud voice to a whisper is disconcerting. I typically listen to audio books while driving or doing mundane chores and it is hard to follow his narration without full concentrating on just listening. Mr. Collins try less hard for drama much of the drama is in the context of the words and do not require a lot more for emphasis. Also I do not feel Mr Collins listened to any of the previous narrations as his pronunciations are greatly different, even with main character names, which can be confusing. This is the 6th book in a series and I would think the narrator should not be changing things up at this point.
Yes, the narrator made it difficult to follow what is going on.
What to say... The honor Harrington series is excellent. I'm finishing this one because I started it. Too much drinking I about the minutia of this or that technological advancement. Not enough story. Not enough depth. Not enough action. This series it's tired and very boring. I can't wait for it to end. Which is a shame because it had such potential.
Kevin T Colins makes the book feel rushed and the characters sound panicked all the time. I feel that if you are going to narrate a book from the middle of a series you should at the very least listen to the previous narrators to get a feel for the characters, Kevin ruins many of the characters and the flow of the book..
I really enjoy the very long arc of the story spanning multiple books, it allows the author to explore and describe side aspects of this universe.
I enjoyed the extended description of the conception, creation, and use of the "ironsides", of course it was most enjoyable to read the first engagement and how well they worked out. The author continues to give a good balance to the competing sides of the conflict and now that the "ironsides" has engaged in battle, I'm looking for to see how he has the Temple react.
very little. If this were the first book I heard I might be more forgiving, however his pronunciations of so many words were so different from previous narrators that it was constantly pulling me out of the story. It was extremely jarring and unpleasant. He also did not seem to create separate personalities for the different characters like Oliver Wyman did.
For 28 hours? I'm sorry but there is no book of this length I know of that I would be able to listen to in one sitting.
Okay, the reading Charles Keating gave for "How Firm a Foundation" was disappointing, compared to the previous efforts by Oliver Wyman and Jason Culp, but at least he got the main character's name and the Empire of Charis' name right. Kevin T. Collins pronounces Charis with the ch from cheese rather the hard c adopted by ALL the other readers. Every other reader makes Athrawes a three syllable name, but not KTC. But where every other reader gave Nimue only two, there's where he chose to add the syllable stolen from Athrawes. Heck, he even changes the pronunciation of PICA. It really keeps me from enjoying an audiobook when I am constantly cringing in my mind every time the reader mispronounces the names of main characters and places.
have toughly enjoyed this series, up until the last two books. The story line is fine, but where do they find these narrators? The last one was tolerable, but this one makes me want to beat my head against the table.... They need to stop changing them out!
Narrator that listens to previous narrative of series. ..or at least recognizes continuity of people. Place. .things. .not read so breathy...and yeah...A story that doesn't fall off a cliff
Agreed with others about padding content..
I've listened to this book (and the whole series) a few times now, and every time I come back to this book I'm struck by the same thought. This narrator is horrible. Seriously, if they had one of the other two narrators re-do this, I'd buy the book again immediately. Heck, I'd pay triple the price for it.
I recommend this series to anyone who likes science fiction; however, I recommend that people just buy a print copy of anything narrated by Kevin Collins instead of suffering the travesty of his inability to portray even a single sentence in a reasonable tone.
Don't get me wrong, Kevin has a good voice and good energy. He could easily be a great narrator; however, he speaks every sentence in a hoarse, emotional, breathless rush as if it were the most important sentence ever written in the history of the universe. Now don't get me wrong...that'd be a great way to convey the proper tone during climactic events. But Kevin doesn't do that.....he uses that same 'this is the most climactic event in the book' tone when describing someone walking across a room.
I hate being so negative in this review, because this IS a really good book...but the narration so corrupts the book that it makes me almost unable to get through it. Honestly, had Kevin Collins narrated any of the first three books in the series I'd have cut my losses and stopped there.
It's narrators like this that make me wish Audible had a petition for getting a book re-narrated.
"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.
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
Kevin T Collins sounds as if he is about to burst into tears every moment. In the beginning I thought it might be just him describing the horrible details of religious fighting but his tone never changes after that . Really disappointed.
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