Old enough to be used
Young enough to be broken
Sassinak was 12 when the raiders came. That made her just the right age: old enough to be used, young enough to be broken. Or so the slavers thought. But Sassy turned out to be a little different from your typical slave girl. Maybe it was her unusual physical strength. Maybe it was her friendship with the captured Fleet crewman. Maybe it was her spirit. Whatever it was, it wouldn't let her resign herself to the life of a slave. She bided her time, watched for her moment. Finally it came, and she escaped.
But that was only the beginning for Sassinak. Now she's a Fleet Captain with a pirate-chasing ship of her own, and only one regret in her life: not enough pirates.
©1990 Bill Fawcett & Associates (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
Once again I am disappointed by the newly published audiobook of an old favorite sf/f book. Maybe Audible Frontiers needs a bit more in their budget for narrators.
Ax Norman did a passable job of reading the book. He did not feature any differing voices for the different characters. Toward the end of the book he began to waver in how he pronounced names - maybe he was getting tired. And Mr Norman's rhythm varied a lot, sometimes fast when it should have been slow and vice-versa.
It was perhaps only my many re-readings of this book that made me hope for better, and that I differed with how Mr Norman chose to pronounce names. The title character in particular, I've always thought of as SASS-ih-nak, not Sah-SIN-ik. Sadly, we can't ask Ms McCaffrey.
I won't be buying any sequels as audiobooks, and definitely not any of Mr Norman's other recordings. In 2013, I've come to expect multiple voices, consistent pronunciations, and timing that suits the story.
A different narrator who can pronounce words correctly. I spent 2/3's of my time trying to figure out what he was saying, and I've read the book in print!
The story is great. I have read it in print several times.
Anybody else. Susan Ericksen, Sally Darling, Gregory St. John, Nick Podehl.
I don't think I'd cut any of them. They all play a purpose.
Gah. The narrator totally ruined this one for me.
The narration was so poor it was hard to follow the story
If he read in complete sentences it would help. Pauses after a couple words each time instead of with the sentences.
I know that Elizabeth Moon's later books are technically better but this is a book that when I read it in Jr high really spoke to me and I am thrilled to be able to get it as an audio book. It is amazing how forward thinking it is having been written in I think the late 1970s or early 1980s.
I like the writing styles of both Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Moon. I knew of McCaffrey first from her Pern books. Sassinak was one of my introductions to Elizabeth Moon who quickly became one of my favourites. The Audible version of Sassinak is actually my third copy of the book with the other two much loved in years of re-reading long ago. I bought the Audible to "re-read" and enjoy again.
The narrator has a nice vocal tone but doesn't do any voicing for the various characters. The reading tone of all character's speaking is the same as the narration. This can make it difficult to follow a conversation between characters if there is no 'he said', 'she said' narration. I would not choose another book based solely on him being the reader. I likely would not get a new-to-me book if he's the narrator since the lack of characterization could be confusing if I didn't already know some of the overall story.
There are moments of humor in the story, but it's not a comedy. There are some emotional parts to the story, especially in the early part of the book in Sassinak's youth.
Much like "The Death of Sleep", this book has a very interesting premise that is absolutely terrible in its execution. I chalk this up to two things. First is the writing style, which is just not good. Secondly, I think McCaffrey and Moon are science fiction fans, not scientists. This is space opera, not hard SF. Don't expect things to make much sense if you're thinking analytically about this world.
Note about the writing style: There is scant detail given about what is going on, virtually no internal character thoughts or development, and really almost no narrative. The story reads like a series of news reports with much of the emotion and details left out. The narrator only made things worse, with little emotion and no real voices for the characters.
Ultimately a disappointment, written by two science fictions fans who are also very liberal women pushing a totally unrealistic view of the future. In the 21st century, we look back at such ideas and we snicker at how childish it seems now.
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