©2004 Elizabeth Moon; (P)2008 Tantor
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.
This is a waste of time if you are an adult, OK for a kid who likes science fiction but we are talking about a YOUNG kid. Simple plot, dreary, monolog about boring daily chores on a ship etc.
I am enjoying reading this series. It was a bit slow starting but has picked up and I will get all the rest of the books. The narrator being female did not bother me in the least...it is Sci-Fi...using your imagination is supposed to be a given to start with, if you have one! :-)
Regardless of the author's intent the novel is clearly written at a juvenile level -- something I might have read in elementary school.
This is evident in the sophistication of the vocabulary and grammar (i.e. lack thereof), the naivete of the protagonist (my nieces and nephews are younger and yet more mature than Ky), and the immaturity of the dialog. Either the author has a poor command of vocabulary or the author intended to write for 4th graders, either way it was painful to complete.
If you are a pre-teenager then try this book, otherwise try another author.
I had high hopes for this book but to be honest I was a slow, borring read. This is the first Audio Book that I bought that I couldn't finish. I tried several times to pick this back up. It just didn't keep my interest and couldn't get past the first couple of hours. Sorry I'm sure it ended well but the beginning was TOO borring for me!
A twisted plot as you never know the whole truth. Which as humans we feel we know the real truth but do we. I found this a little political but didn't mind as there are as many points to real life as there are to fiction. Read the book as it is entertaining with lots of adventure and intrigue, CC
"Good book - read badly"
I have previously read this book and enjoyed it. However I felt the reader for this audio is not good at all. Sounds stilted and hardly any good inflection. Her heavy American accent really gets in the way.
I still liked the story though.
"Enjoyable sci fi"
Good well written sci fi adventure,with a female lead character. I also found the narrator difficult to listen to and almost didn't download the book because of that,but found that I did get used to her style,and that the book was gripping enough to carry me past it.I'm looking forward to listening to the rest of the series.
"A great space adventure !!"
I was first introduced to Elizabeth Moons' Vatta War series when I got hold of a copy of the second book in the series, purely by accident. I read it and loved it. So I decided to start reading again from the first book and I'm glad I did.
Its a brilliant story, and gives a nice believable insight into a life in space which lots of sci-fi fans love so much. The one thing I like about this story is that it doesn't try to stick with combat all the time. (I've read the second book and it does have more combat in it, but its paced and not overdone.) I must admit I do like the boring details, i.e. docking procedure, trading etc.
There has been some critisism on the narration style. Personally, I like it. Cynthia Holloway does have a heavy accent, and a reading style that can seem robotic, but its clear and easy to follow. She manages to convey the emotion and characters really well.
Definitley a good sci-fi story and I really do recommend it. !!!
"Great book, generally good reading"
The performance is expressive and clear, but dotted with rather more odd pronunciations and misreadings thank is generally typical. If you can gloss over those, it's great.
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