Imperial law enforcer Amaranthe Lokdon is good at her job: She can deter thieves and pacify thugs, if not with a blade, then by toppling an eight-foot pile of coffee canisters onto their heads. But when ravaged bodies show up on the waterfront, an arson covers up human sacrifices, and a powerful business coalition plots to kill the emperor, she feels a tad overwhelmed.
Worse, Sicarius, the empire's most notorious assassin, is in town. He's tied in with the chaos somehow, but Amaranthe would be a fool to cross his path. Unfortunately, her superiors order her to hunt him down. Either they have an unprecedented belief in her skills...or someone wants her dead.
©2010 Lindsay Buroker (P)2011 DarkFire Productions
Nicely tall and intelligently open-minded
The story is somewhat a classic "cloak and dagger" plot. The pace between the highs and lows is just about right. The character development is solid and knitted nicely into the flow of the story.
The heroine was caught and escaped a few too many times for my taste. I even lost rack at one stage and was surprised that she somehow got out and I did not even understand how. Nearly every time she does get out, there is a bloody trail left. With that trail I got fed up with and think the writer could have let a few of these unfortunate very minor characters off the hook instead off a cut throat.
It hasn't, I would actually have liked to read more about the setting of the world. How it works and a little bit more of descriptions of the scenery. Not that my imagination fails me but it would just have rounded the story a tad more.
Personnally, I did not like her performance, I put up with it to finish the story. The different voices she tried to give to the different characters where not sufficiently distinctive to be recognizable or "good" for that matter. Sometimes it's best not to impersonate a character and just tell the story as it goes.
I almost didn't finish listening to the book. There were the normal unbelievable plot devices. (Competent intelligent woman interests emperor on chance meeting). I can swallow those plot devices.
The story lines that me cringe were the "I need help, meet me at the location tomorrow morning and you can trust there is a huge reward on my head" type of lines. You just don't tell anybody that kind of thing, much less multiple people. It is unbelievable that she wasn't turned in by a reward seeking opportunist. That and the lines extolling the attractiveness of the upper male body make me think that this was written for the gullible, early teen female audience.
The pacing was excellent. The description of the world was good. The villains were believable. If you can get by the faults I mentioned in the previous paragraph, it is a good listen.
I think Lindsay Buroker is only going to get better. I will probably try another book in the series because the book makes you smile.
Lindsay's Amazon page say that she has been writing a long time but has only recently been finishing books. She has 18 books published, all in the last 2.5 years. She probably started this book when she was younger.
I like this but I suspect the reason I didn't like it more was I wasn't really crazy about the narrator because I read the one before this and liked it better. I'll read the next ones because I liked the characters a great deal. There were plot problems but I'm sure it will get better.
I didn't expect much when I snagged this. I'd listened to the sample, and I found the opening to be serviceable both in writing and in narration. It didn't particularly grip me, but I found the premise interesting, so I grabbed it. I was rather surprised. No, it's not the year's best, and no it won't stun or wow you, but what you have here is an enjoyable listen that's fun and steady.
To me, it's pretty difficult for a book to keep me interested the whole way through. Usually there's one or more parts that slow down to the point that I need to take breaks, but this one remained engaging for me, sitting with just enough adventure and derring do to gloss over the bits that weren't entirely realistic or made me go, "Uh huh, suuuuure." For the most part I saved it for listening to while I was cleaning, and in some parts I was curious enough about what happened next to look for other chores needing doing. Towards the end I gave up the pretense of cleaning altogether, and just sat to finish the hour or two remaining.
There is no overt romance, though there were plenty of hints along the way. There was a dash of politics and a wee bit of angst, a lot of fun dialogue and no big surprises (I was able to guess out the twists). Still, the writing was solid, and the narrator pleasant to listen to. I had fun listening to it, and found it to be a nice break between more serious fantasy books. I enjoyed it.
The setting isn't anything particularly groundbreaking, though there were hints at greater depths that I hope might be poked into during the next few books. Some minor steampunk, crossbows and muskets (though there are still men with swords and daggers avoiding all those bolts and balls in order to commit daring acts of masculinity), magic edging in and an evidently bloody past between the main empire and other countries.
If you're looking for a lighthearted romp that features a few handsome men and a (mostly) bright, intelligent female lead, this could be your cup of tea. As for me, I'm going to be buying the next one in the series, and hope I will remain as intrigued the whole way through.
I only give this 3 stars for 3 reasons.
1, The book started (first chapter +) quite slow but once it got going it was a compelling story.
2, Due to my being behind the wheel of my car much of the time, I listened to this book. The editing was atrocious. Many time there would be places where the first 3-5 words of a sentence would be repeated. There are also places in the audio that seems to skip or mumble words. This is the first time I purchased a Kindle version and then then the audio. I have usually purchased audio books from Audible.com or read books on my Kindle. Audible must have a higher standard for their versions than Kindle for the audio versions.
3, There were I believe 5 instances where words seemed to have been mispronounced. I'm only guessing they were where half the word was on one page and the rest on the next page. I just felt it cut into the continuity of the story at those spots
The near reader detracted from the storyline I love this book and have read it multiple times and decided to purchase it in an audiobook you can't always tell when near reader is just a reading or trying to be one of the characters she also doesn't show the correct A motion that the after meant for the character to be showing I would not be sad if she chose to change narrators in the middle of this series I would definitely recommend the e-book to someone but I feel this version falls short of the magic the book possesses
This book had everything I'm looking for: Strong characters, humor, action, and fantastic world building. I will definitely be buying the series.
Starla Huchton brought the characters and world to life! Excellent performance!
This is my second Lindsay Buroker series and I'm hooked. Love the worlds she creates and the interesting, flawed characters.
The narrator is good, but there's a lot of noise in the recording that sometimes got in the way of my enjoyment.
All in all tho, very happy with this book and its recording and promptly bought the next book.
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