Newly ascended to the Ildiran throne, Mage-Imperator Jora'h must quash the rebellion launched by his mad brother before the hydrogues destroy what is left of the empire. Assailed from all sides, Jora'h turns to his beloved half-human daughter, dispatching her on a desperate mission to make peace with the hydrogues.
Hope for humanity now rests with Jess Tamblyn, who continues to seed worlds with the watery wentals, the mortal enemies of the hydrogues. And on the ravaged planet of Theroc, home to a telepathic worldforest, a dead man is resurrected to prepare for the arrival of mysterious new allies in the fight.
But Chairman Basil Wenceslas's vendetta against the free-spirited Roamers has blinded him to danger closer to home - the soldier machines that make up the backbone of the Hansa fighting force. King Peter has long suspected that the compies, built with the help of the ancient Klikiss robots, cannot be trusted. Now the shocking proof comes when the Klikiss launch their long-planned extermination of all things flesh and blood. And in the ensuing battle, humans and Ildirans alike will face their darkest choices yet.
©2005 WordFire, Inc.; (P)2005 Brilliance Audio
"More on-the-edge-of-your-seat SF thrills....Anderson handles a huge cast and complicated plot with élan." (Publishers Weekly)
"David Colacci's youthful, mildly expressive voice is a plus....Lots of action here, and a fully realized universe." (AudioFile)
I initially felt like the last reviewer, thinking that this narrator would've probably been acceptable (even given the ridiculous accents) if I hadn't already listened to 60 hours of the previous, excellent narrator, and that I would hopefully get used to him eventually. The different name pronunciations were distracting, but not deal-breakers. UNTIL NOW! I just reached the part of the book where Tasia's compie "EA" comes into the story again. Amazingly, the narrator even manages to mispronounce this two letter name, saying "ee-aah", despite the fact that it states clearly in an earlier book that compies are referred to by the first two letters of their designation, and there are copious examples already mentioned ("U-R", "D-D", etc... I'm now worried to hear how these other compie names will be butchered by the narrator when they come up in the story again: "er" and "duh-duh" perhaps?) Although I'm only partway through Scattered Suns, everytime I hear "ee-aah" now, it is like nails on a chalkboard.
In the event that a change in narrator must take place in a series, it would take so little work by the production company to just have a flunkie listen to the first three volumes and make a list of pronunciations for the new narrator to increase consistency and to prevent embarrassing errors like this "ee-ahh" fiasco. They will end up with much happier consumers, and probably with a happier author as well.
I bought the first three books in the series. The narrator set the tone for the books and did a wonderful job. They changed narrators for the rest of the series. He pronounces character names wrong. There is cheesy conversation over radios. The "rube" roamers have a southern accent. The "intelligent" Ildirens have a UK accent. Very bad Narrator. I wish I could get a refund. The publisher should be ashamed. Doesn't the new narrator have to listen to the previous narrator? There has to be continuity. Don't buy this series. I bought the first 4 I guess I have to buy the last 2 but I spend all the time talking to my ipod correcting the pronunciation of the names.
I wrote Kevin J. Anderson at his blog about the change of narrator in mid series(book 4 and on). I made similar comments to the ones I found here about bad pronunciation of names and do the narrator's ever read the book. To my surprise, he responded the next day, and very much appreciate him taking the time to respond:
Kevin J. Anderson says:
August 25, 2011 at 11:59 am
The audio publisher changed after book 3 (from Recorded Books to Brilliance); in most cases, Scott Brick or Jim Meskimen have read my books, and I have very close contact with them. For the first three Seven Suns books, I had a long phone conversation with George Guidall to guide him through the pronunciations. For the other Seven Suns books, I sent a pronunciation list, but I did not have any contact with the reader.
Add my husband and I to the list of people who found the narration of this book both horrendous and frustrating to listen to. Not only did he change the way several of the character names are pronounced compared to the previous narrator but he also gave them bad, and in our opinion, "just plain wrong" accents. He managed to ruin the book. The story itself is good, if you can get past the horrible narration.
I loved the first three books, and found the narrator engaging. This one is read by someone else, and I do not enjoy his style. Also, as mentioned by another reviewer, he pronounces many of the names differently. I actually didn't listen to the whole thing, I went and bought the book itself.
I thoroughly enjoyed the first 3 books. This new narrator painfully mispronounces almost every name and sounds like he is horking up a hairball when he pronounces the Mage Imperator's family names...Very disappointed.
I agree with the other reviewers that the narration is poor. In particular, I found the accents poorly chosen and jarring. For example, the Roamers all sound like Southerners (with really artificial accents) and several characters have exaggerated English accents. This narrator is terrible and ruined the book. In contrast,the first three books were well done. Read the book and skip the audiobook--or you will be disappointed. I have listened to almost a hundred audiobooks of all genres and with many different narrators. I often find myself disagreeing with reviews of the sort I have just written. This is the first time I have felt compelled to share my thoughts about a narrator.
I was hoping that everyone was wrong about the narration issue, I see (or should I say hear) they were quite right. I can't stand this narration. What a waist of a good series.
Buyer Beware!!! This is NOT a Recorded Books publication and it is NOT narrated by George Guidall. Colacci's mispronunciation of names and the horrible characterizations with lame accents are like a punch to the face after enjoying Guidall's impeccable performances on the first three books. Read the rest of this series with your eyeballs, folks. Or lacking those...Braille!
If you have listened to the first three books of the series, let me say that it is tough to get used to a master like George Guidall and have a new narrator thrown at you on book four. After listening to book four, I am convinced that if David Colacci had narrated the first three, I would have loved them just the same. He simply has a different style. The change is hard to handle this late in the game, but stick with it. The book is worth the listen and we have David Colacci for the last four books, so might as well get used to it.
That said; Book Four was another fun romp through the Seven Suns Saga. At times I find myself wondering if some characters are really as prejudiced, dim-witted, and narrow minded as their actions would dictate, or is it Anderson using a writing style to illicit negative emotion toward certain characters. If it is the latter, then it works, and it is brilliant. Every few chapters I run into a situation where I want to slap a character silly and say "What are you thinking?" Anderson certainly keeps me involved with the characters. I will certainly read the rest of the books just to see if these numbskulls get what they deserve in the end.
In the Sci-fi side of things, most of the core concepts of the series were introduced in the first two books, but the end of this one provides some really interesting twists. I find that Anderson does not go deep into the technology or descriptions of some of the concepts he introduces, but that is fine with me. I let my imagination take over. In Sci-fi, for me this is often the case and it seems as if the truly mind-blowing concepts cannot be explained using words anyway. Yet Anderson continues to throw in something new at the end of these books to keep us wanting more. Like "cliff-hanger Friday."
Final note on the narration, give David Colacci a chance. By the time you get to Book Five, you'll be much more comfortable with him.
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