A murderous force threatens a far-off magical world, and an ordinary Californian is drawn into the battle to save mankind.
As a student of medieval history, Gil Patterson is a woman familiar with dark stories. She knows well the Crusades, the Black Death, and the other horrors of the Middle Ages, but it is another kind of atrocity that has begun to haunt her dreams. She sees forces of evil assaulting a beleaguered kingdom, whose kind people are on the brink of annihilation, and awakes each morning in a cold sweat.
Gil dismisses the dreams until a wizard appears in her apartment. He has crossed into her dimension, passing through the fraying fabric of the universe, to ask her help. For mankind to survive he must protect an infant prince, whom he plans to hide in Gil's world. The student of history is about to get much closer to evil than she ever imagined.
©1982 Barbara Hambly (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I have tried three times to listen to this book, and have not been able to make it beyond about an hour or so.
I was very excited by the premise of the story, and was looking forward to more books by Barbara Hambly.
But the narration is so abysmal that I cannot finish the book. Teri Clark Linden is the absolute worst narrator I have listened to in all my time as an audiobook listener.
She over-enunciates every single word and gives everything the same emphasis. She can only read about 4 words before having to take a breath, and there are odd pauses in all the wrong places. She prounounces the indefinite pronoun "a" as a long vowel (as in the first letter of the alphabet) and it's like biting on tinfoil. Other words are mispronounced, and it makes for an abysmal listening experience.
The only slightly better narration is when she is using a mock-English accent (voice of the wizard), but that only rises the performance out of the mire for a short time.
I am prepared to give Barbara Hambly another chance, but I will never listen to anything by this narrator again. I am going to return or delete the book.
I first read Time of the Dark when I was in high school and I enjoyed the story greatly, the premise was interesting, the plot was well conceived, and the characters were enjoyable. As a fan of audiobooks, I have waited for this series to come to audio for a while. Sadly, when the series finally became available, the performance was so miserable that I can't bring myself to purchase the second and third books.
This audiobook can best be described as cruel and unusual punishment for the ears. Linden reads with zero emotion, horrible character voices, and a punctuation and pronunciation that would suggest trying to teach a recalcitrant child with a lisp how to read. There is so little emotional inflection that terror and joy could be the same thing. When Linden reads as a character, she seems to choose the worst possible voice. Ingold, possibly the most important character in the book, is meant to be a strong older man with a great deal of command and power while maintaining a normally soft spoken, kind demeanor. The voice given to him in the audiobook would be perfect for a dying old man with laryngitis who is trying to speak his last wishes. Rudy, another main character who is portrayed as a biker, artist, and semi-drifter from California is given a voice that seems more like what you would expect for a Virginian farmer with a bad case of southern accent. All the while, regardless of the character background and personality, they are all read to sound like some English professor who has lost sight of how to communicate in favor of dictionary pronunciation.
One of the worst parts of this audiobook is that Linden can't seem to understand how to deal with the letter A. Who in their right mind would pronounce the words around and across with a long A? Why would someone given a hick farmer accent use a long A any time he talks? If Linden speaks the way she reads in her everyday life, I can't imagine anyone wanting to spend time with her after the first 5 minutes of conversation.
All in all, after listening to this audiobook, I can't imagine how this got past any editor. It would be difficult to imagine a performance better equipped to make this audiobook be a failure. A re-recording with an actually talented narrator would be a great service to Hambly fans.
I saw another review before I purchased that said, "terrible narration." I ran the sample and it sounded like the narrator didn't know what word was coming next in the sentence. I checked the second book - the same. And then I checked samples from other books and they were completely different. Different voices, inflection, tone. Not a bad reader. So what happened? Has the narrator gotten to a place where she is in demand and can read it for the first time as she is recording it? Are they paying her so much less for Hambly's books and time doesn't permit a read through first? Did she not connect at all with the material? I don't know but she obviously can't compensate for not knowing or liking the material.
I was so excited to see these books in the store. Barbara Hambly was one of my favorite fantasy authors in a time where True Blood and Vampire Diaries weren't even a dream of publishers. Fantasy was much smaller of a genre than science fiction. Now there is a glut of fantasy, especially urban fantasy.
Barbara Hambly was one of the first to combine contemporary characters with fantasy worlds. I loved her for this and for all of her books. This series was one of my favorites. So I bought it and still enjoyed it but I wish that my life wasn't so time constrained that reading is difficult to fit in or I would have rather popped this off my shelf and read it.
Other narrators are listed for some of her other books. I look forward to listening to my old favorites that lead me to love fantasy.
Reading this book is time well spent. Listening to this book is pure torture. Please re-record this with a good reader. What a waste! The reader over enunciates every single word. She has no inflection. She sets my teeth on edge. I was so excited to see this series in audible form but I will not get the rest of the books or anything else read by this person.
Fantastic premise, enjoyable characters but the reader ruins it all. Read it, don't listen!!!
My Great Dane could do a better job. Seriously, a male reader would be a better choice for this series although anyone who isn't Teri Clark Linden would have to be an improvement.
As long as Teri Clark Linden was not involved.
I am very disappointed that such a fine novel was destroyed by such an inept reader.
I am delighted to (finally!) see Barbara Hambly's works appearing on Audible. She has a wonderful feel for fantasy, character, suspense, and the books are great reads/listens. BUT the narrator for the Darwath series is TERRIBLE. Not only are the voices she uses for the characters unconvincing and stilted, her basic delivery is incredibly annoying, containing, as it does, not only strange mispronunciations, (long a instead of the schwa sound in words like away and about, accents on the wrong syllable, etc.) but also a peculiar interrogative inflection in the middle of statement-sentences, and idiosyncratic (if not unintelligible) word emphases. Honestly, she sounded like a third grader reading aloud (oops, long A-loud). What WAS the producer THINKING? These books certainly deserve more deft handling, and I hope Audible will consider reissuing them with someone who can really read aloud!
My free Natural Reader computer program does a better job reading this than the narrator. This is one of my favorite series by Barbara Hambly and I was thrilled to see it on audible. Until I realized that the narration didn't get better as the reader got into the story. Heavy sigh.
Couldn't listen to the book. Let Kindle read it for me.
This is one of my most favorite books, so I was very disappointed in Teri Clark Linden's reading where she put pauses in all the wrong places. (Listen to the sample and you'll see.)
Gil and Rudy
This is a hair-raising gripping story, and a good reader can convey that.
The book (and the series) is great. I've read it several times and was glad to find it as an audiobook. Then I started listening to it. My objection to the way the narrator voices several characters is subjective, I just don't hear them that way when I read the book. But consistently pronouncing "a" as a long a, and over enunciating any word over two syllables (and some under) make it sound as though she is sight reading and not doing it well. So I would (and have) recommend the book, but not the audiobook.
Listening to this book inspired me to turn it off and listen to music instead.
Buy the book.
This is one of my favorite fantasy series, but the reader is the worst I've ever heard.
If the narrator actually knew how to read, didn't end every other sentence on an up tone and maybe had done a little research into grammar and punctuation before she had started I might rated this higher.
Barbara Hambly is one of my favorite F & SF writers and this is one of my favorite series of books. Despite that I turned it off just a few minutes into the book because the narration is so awful.
I am sure the narrator is a very nice person who takes care of her family, pays her taxes, doesn't kick puppies and would hold the door open for you if you had an arm full of stuff. She really needs to go back to broad cast school, get some acting lessons or just change professions.
The vocal performance is a vast disappointment.
Find a different reader and hope the author has forgiven the production team who put this together.
"Never heard anything like it."
Someone who's deaf?
The whole book has a really good plot, with twists and turns right through it. I read the book several years ago and the story has stuck with me ever since.
Nicole Poole would be a good narrator. Maybe she would know that Gil is actually pronounced Jill.
If I was Editor, I would have thrown Teri out of the office and hired someone else. The book is just fine.
Definitely read the book. Don't bother to buy this Audio. Unless you like being read to by a three year old. I only managed 2 minutes of it. Wish I'd read the reviews of other people before buying it.
"A world where the monsters in the dark are real"
I read this series years ago and enjoyed it immensely then so was happy to see that the audio books are available.
Briefly the plot is two people are transported to an alternative medieval earth where the human population is being threatened by some very real and very alien monsters in the dark. They have to adapt to this new world and to the threat, and being different people they both do it in different ways. The actual monsters have quite a nice and different twist to them that is gradually revealed and climaxes in book 3 - sorry you need to listen to the whole series to find out what it is, no spoilers here :) - but is it nice when an author doesn't follow the standard formula.
Most of the other reviews feel that Teri Clark Linden is a terrible narrater. Actually I didn't have a problem with her. Yes, I think she's over done the accents of the different characters a bit, but that didn't stop me from enjoying the book. The straight bits where she's simply narrating the story rather than speaking as a character are actually very pleasant. She does enunciate very clearly which apparently upsets some people, but that didn't cause me any problems. If you're unsure about the narration, make sure you listen to the preview before you buy.
I've already bought the second book and will be buying the third so I'm obviously not that worried about the narration :)
Bottom line - very enjoyable alternative medieval earth fantasy with magic, swords and monsters. Good combination :)
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