©2008 Karen Miller; (P)2009 Tantor
From Harry Potter to Harry Dresden there, is no doubt the genre of magic and wizards is currently in. That being said, I think this book stands out. The humor is subtle and the story is fantastic.
The only issue I had with this book is that it is clearly the setup for what could be a long series and the book spends a lot of time building the exposition of the characters. In many ways it feels like a prequel written after the first book to explain why the characters are they way they are.
One gets the feeling that Gerald will end up being some very strong type of wizard spy with untouched potential and the ability to kick butt and take names at a later date. In fact the author does a wonderful job of making realistic people who react in ways that you might not like, but you can understand.
I do not wish to give away the story, but you will feel for the characters. This book combines both a light hearted sine of play and a very dark reality. I tend to be one of those annoying people who while watching a movie or reading a book will make guesses as to the upcoming plot twists (or I was until friends made me stop) but this book took me by surprise many times in ways that made me hit my forehead and say, why on earth did I not see that coming.
My overall opinion is that is if you like the genre in particular if you like the Dresden novels, you will like this book. I would have purchased the sequel already, but audibile as not yet picked it up. I hope they do soon as I will forgo waiting for my next book credit to obtain more of this story.
Excellent voice characterization, a good tale, with very interesting characters. Made my drive back and forth to work much more enjoyable for the last couple of weeks. Only down side is I now need to get the next book to find out what mischief Gerald gets into next.
This story is set in a world where wizarding is a normal (though specialized) job. The main character Gerald becomes more 'real' to the reader as the plot progresses from a simple episode to a much more dramatic and involved ending. It is fun and interesting and clean enough for young listeners - but there is plenty of intellectual pondering for the older crowd. The characters are well written and fully fleshed out to become a memorable experience for you. I have listened to this twice - and the sequel is even better and more fun!
(P.S. I am a big Pratchett fan too, but this is apples and oranges. Take it on its own merits)
I had high hopes here, but found this disappointing. The plot line is not bad, the characters have potential, but the story just drags. The wizardly words (building the vocabulary of this alternative world) is forced and hollow. Contrary to other reviewers I didn't find this anywhere near Pratchet in humor or plot. None of that casual funny yet universal truthiness (thanks Colbert!) of Discworld. In fact I didn't find it funny at all. The story could have been 3 hours...a much shorter book.
Like other reviewers I enjoyed the start of this book. But there is a major flaw in the universe that the book is asking us to believe in. All offensive magic, or magic that can cause harm to an individual is black magic. The problem this creates in the story and in the entire series is that the villain usually has to do himself in because the heroes of the story can't match the villain with any force.
The protagonist becomes a powerful wizard who cannot use his magic to fight - only to defend without returning force. This book is an origin story and I continued in the series because the end of this book has so much promise.
Ultimately though this series fell flat for me. I can respect a hero with restraint, but this is a hero who never finds his confidence, is unsure of who or what he fights for, and is ultimately a passive force that the story happens to.
It was easy to install and I could listen to it anywhere I went. I would recommend this book and service to anyone.
Gerald the accidental hero.
Not yet but I hope to soon.
I enjoyed this book for a couple of reasons. First, it is a fun story, very well written. Second, the narrator was fantastic. He brought the characters to life. I never once wondered which character was talking. He made me laugh many times. He also made it easy for me to really become absorbed in the story. The author has a very nice writing style. I will be looking for more of her books. This was money very well spent.
It started off well enough, and the main character seems interesting at first, but then all the insipid dialog becomes a bit to much. One dimensional characters, a pansy villain, way to much dialog and not enough action... it all adds up into a really bad book. Perhaps it might get better later on but I am not wasting my time trying to finish it.
I am sorry. I gave it a good effort., but just could not finish. I am sure that by the end of the book the idiot will somehow prevail, however I cannot stand the naive, bumbling, completely inept idiot of a main character any longer.
For some unknown reason, he stays knowingly digging himself deeper but somehow remaining blithely ignorant about what is going on.
He does flashes of magic and then......nothing, allowing himself to be caught unaware constantly.
I have no idea why, but he somehow feels responsible for protecting the princess and is constantly feeling guilty over things that he has no control over.
He rolls over at the drop of a hat, and then unbelievably becomes stubborn and intractable upon being presented with evidence there is foul play afoot.
There is no consistency here. One minute he listens and reasons and the next he bumbles around ignoing advice from friends.
I found myself shouting in frustration as I listened to each stupid decision, self depricating monologue and stubborn inability to percieve anything outside his "woe be me" attitude.
Dunnywood dwelled so much on defeatism, if only's and poor me's, that if it wouldn't have been for Reg, I couldn't have finished this book.
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