A missing eye. A broken wing. A stolen country. The last job didn't end well. Years go by, and scars fade, but memories only fester. For the animals of the captain's company, survival has meant keeping a low profile, building a new life, and trying to forget the war they lost. But now the captain's whiskers are twitching at the idea of evening the score.
©2015 Daniel Polansky (P)2015 Macmillan Audio
I had not heard this narrator before, but he did a superb job in giving each character a distinct voice that brought them to life in my mind.
This book is a pleasure, and my favorite book of the year. I was smiling the whole trip.
In terms of plot, you will not find anything new here. Troubleshooters of old monarchy get the band back together to take vengeance on the crew who deposed them. There are no real surprises there.
The delight comes from the prose. The sentences are almost fairy tale like in the playful way they handle language or even speak to the reader. There is good description, and a full story don't get me wrong, but the writing style is intended to be amusing and clever. Let me give you two examples:
"She was pretty, for a guinea pig, if you didn't mind them heavy. If you did mind them heavy, you pro probably wouldn't go for a guinea pig."
"Drunk as they were, they'd have cheered for the moon to make war with the stars, and offered odds on the result."
Bare in mind though this isn't a fairy tale, and it is quite violent. While not wallowing in graphic descriptions, there is no shyness in describing the results of gunfire. This is not a book for children.
Secondly "The Builders" has great characters. Not in terms of depth but by way of color and distinctness. I could see and hear each each individually. Sometimes when the narrative is in one character's head, it is shaped quite well by their personality, and that brings the lovely sentences to the realm of characters. Also, the author uses animal aspects nicely, as it seems so fundamental to the characters, their personalities, and their abilities. Were this story about humans it would be three times duller, but I am certain the author could still well succeed.
I could happily read a dozen books in this style, in this world. With there only being one, I hope that you will at least read this one.
The plot is straight, the characters somewhat thin, the prose is okay. It's a bit of western, bit of a team builder, all with anthropomorphic animals fitting into their role a but too well. There were a few points that the prose felt like too much word play but I suppose it comes with the characters. It picks up near the second half when the more action oriented scenes come up. The narrator does give each character a bit of a different spin and his non dialogue narration is excellent. But by the mid point having him do a whispy mouse voice in my ear grated along with a few other characters that don't suit his voice.
What do you get when Redwall meets the Wild West? The Builders! what a fun, bloody, howling good listen!
This was a great movie script, and a solid 6 stars if anyone makes it into a movie animated or live action but still great to just listen, this is for adults only worth to listen the narrator did a solid on this.
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