©2004 Elizabeth Moon; (P)2008 Tantor
Yes because even though they don't read sci-fi I think the military aspect of the story would interest them.
When Ky shot one of the mutineers and realized that she liked it. It was one of those moments where you notice that you have an awesome character in the making and it makes you look forward to future stories.
She didn't do all the voices great but she definitely sounded like Ky to me.
Really, it's just a good book. There's a lot of detail in how a lot of the technology works. I'd like to see more of the societies and economies because they were mentioned in the book. An all around good sci-fi story.
This story is an interesting story purely from a developed fictional construct. The world and characters are well developed and very detailed, however, the writing in this story is somewhat dismal especially when read out loud. The most common example is "she said" and "he said" constantly with little variation. The author does not use tact to direct the reader an is instead blunt. This bluntness does not work with spoken word and so becomes annoying.
The narrator is decent enough, but suffers from lack of voice diversity. this is not too much of a problem except when dealing with deep voices which can sometimes sound broken.
I won't lie. I got this as part of an Audible sale... and I am awefully glad that I did. The Story gets off on the right foot and hits the ground running; with the hard-luck case main character being affable and endearing.
Elizabeth Moon loves Murphy's law. The Main character doesn't. Moon paint's an "Eve" (video game MMO) like galaxy with a lush cultural and economic backdrop. The story never becomes tedious or boring. I loved it and have recommended it to several people, and now I put fingers to keys and recommend this to you. A great intro to Science Fiction if you're new to the genre.
Narrator Cynthia was a strong, sympathetic, and persistant voice that was ideal for the lead character and her tribulations. Well chosen and performed.
The story was well put together. You want to go further when you come to the end of the book.
"On Basilisk Station", by David Weber. I liked them both for the strong female protagonists, the military theme, and the fast paced well-written stories.
It was well read and appropriately paced.
The story is well written and Elizabeth Bear has down a really solid job on the novel, even though it very much hits the common tropes of science fiction. The story really reminded me of David Feintuch's A Midshipman's Hope in that both are about the trials of new captain in command of a ship. David's character was more forced into the situation rather than Vatta's decision to become captain before stepping onto the vessel.
The narrator was incredibly frustrating and really almost destroyed the whole experience of the novel. While the narrator didn't talk in a monotone, she did a horrible job in reading. Every word was separated and some words horribly mispronounced. She did try to separate the characters with different voices but this is the first audiobook where I found that she didn't have a wide range of "voices" for the characters and often felt as though other characters were talking because of the limitation of her voice. The only character that was really unique was because she took the accent from an Australian accent to a German accent to an American accent to a French accent and then finished with a Scottish/Irish accent - and all in one freaking sentence.
Will I read Elizabeth Bear again?
Will I listen to another novel narrated by Cynthia Holloway?
Several reviewers here have made complaints of M. Holloway's delivery. I think they are making too much of a muchness out of it.
Are there some mis-emphasized words or phrases? Yes. But in general, this is a workmanlike narration of the text without a lot of interpretation, and the delivery does not detract from the story, which is great.
I have heard too many titles ruined by over ambitious narration, and I am glad that M. Holloway errs on the the side of caution.
1. Book: Grade: A. An excellent series. It's lots of fun to listen too. It's action-adventure sci fi with a bit of political intrigue mixed in. Readers will hardly be surprised to find (in Elizabeth Moon) a young hero, unfairly disgraced, who must now prove herself -- and in the process learn who she is and what she is capable of -- against overwhelming odds. As usual, Moon gives us plenty of female characters who are not one-dimensional cardboard cut-outs, as is all too common in fantasy and science fiction. If you enjoy strong female protagonists, Moon is for you.
Note: It's also true that this is no "Deed of Paksenarrion," but given that that was Elizabeth Moon's "home run" and one of the best fantasy novels of the past 50 years, the comparison isn't really fair. "Deed" is on the short list of top fantasy I recommend to people, along with things like Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, and Song of Ice and Fire.
2. Reader: Grade: A/A-. Audiobook listeners look for two things in a reader, skill and a "good fit" with the book. In my opinion Cynthia Holloway satisfies both very well. She does sound young, but the protagonist is young. I think her "fit" this series is very good, and I hope of Brilliance does any of Moon's other sci fi series (like the Esmay Suiza series), that Holloway does the reading for that too.
The complaint that she "can't do male voices," doesn't seem to me to amount to more than her not sounding male -- but so what? Think of a top reading like George Guidall trying to "do" female voices. Not going to happen.
For those who love the classic game "Monopoly," I can see where this book might appeal. Our heroine buys, sells, and delivers trade goods. We hear about each transaction, each contract negotiation, each piece of merchandise, in detail. Excruciating detail. The action scenes are few, fast, and furious. The protagonist, though potentially interesting, never quite coalesces into a unified personality, just as the plot never quite coalesces into a coherent arc. If this entire book were condensed into 3 or 4 chapters, it could work as an introduction to a larger story. As a stand-alone book--it's dull, dull, dull. Granted, this is the first in a series, and might work better in that context. For people like me who equate "Monopoly" with "Monotony," however, the first book was so dangerously dull that we'll probably never pick up the sequels.
I agree with the earlier reviewer (Michael) below. The narrator, Cynthia Holloway, is not the best and cannot do male voices. When performing male voices, she sounded like a female with a bad throat rather than a male.
As for the book, with a name like Elizabeth Moon, I was expecting something really cool. Don't get wrong, the book has all sorts of things, space pirates, large corporations with hidden agendas and hints of abuse of power, rookie captain being unfairly treated, and on & on. The author is clearly talented in keeping the story connected from end to end, and sounds authentic with the technology stuff. But there is a problem - I yawned through most of the audiobook. It actually made science fiction sound like housework, seriously. There was too much focus on inane technical details and mundane tasks performed than the bigger issues. Details of lunches, foods, etc were focussed on too much and there was too little focus on the human elements. The captain's introspection on killing someone or losing someone was superficial and all the relationships were predictable and unidimensional.
I recommend reading Shards of Honor (Lois McMaster Bujold) and the rest of Miles Vorkosigan series over this any day and everyday.
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