Voices stars the people of Ansul, a town of scholars and traders conquered by the marauding Alds 17 years ago. When poet Orrec arrives in town, however, the people begin to garner the courage to rebel against their overlords.
©2006 Ursula K. Le Guin; (P)2006 Recorded Books LLC
"Le Guin's superior narrative voice and storytelling power make even small moments ring with truth." (School Library Journal)
Though as always there are qualitys in Le Guins work, this was a bit disapointing. It might be that Martinez, whom I believe has a god reading voice, overdoes the sweet, mystic tone in her voice and therefore makes this story more a romance than it actually is.
I think this could be a good book, but I have tried to listen 3 times and get so lost in the boring, almost monotone reading that I can't get past an hour. I do not think I will try listening again (gifts is about the same)
This may be a "young adult" novel, but the reader reads it with the voice that adults use to imitate a 6 year old when reading to 6 year olds. The narrator of this novel is supposed to be 26 years old; a strong person with a lot of suffering in her background. The reader gives her a kind of breathless, mincing, naivete, with inappropriate emphases on every third word, irritating beyond belief. I'm not going to be able to finish listening. It only gets stars at all because of Le Guin.
I listen to books when I'm at work or doing chores. I prefer history and fantasy. My favorite audio book is Going Postal by Terry Pratchett.
The previous book was far too short, this one makes up for the lack by dragging on without really going anywhere (failing to go anywhere might be the actual theme of the story). This book is mostly world building, which normally I like, except nothing much happens in this world until the last third or so of the narrative, when all the conflict gets fortuitously solved by a string of unrealistic events with which our main character has precious little to do. The character is an oracle so her failure to ever do anything is explained as part of her nature, which doesn't make it any less boring.
The main flaw of this book is the main character, whose name I can't remember even though I finished listening to the program yesterday. She has a great deal of ambition and motivation but never acts on any of it. Her role in the book is to simply be present in the city where a revolution (if you can call it that) takes place. Not present at the actual pivotal events of the conflict, oh no, but available to hear about them second and third hand. Except at the "climax" of the book when her voice is used by an oracle, maybe, it's a little unclear.
The reader is bad. Not the worst I've heard by any stretch, but she actively takes away from the story, making it even harder to like the all ready lack luster protagonist. If you're absolutely desperate to find out what happened to the main characters from the last volume, as I was, get this book in paperback, preferably used.
I listened to and loved the first book of this series, being a huge fan of Usual K. le Guin. Unfortunately, the narrator has made it impossible to listen to this book. She speaks so slowly and with such a saccharin intonation, that I just couldn't listen to it. I realize this is a book for "Young Adults", but surely, anyone older than six can listen faster than this. The narrator’s voice is childlike and insipid. I guess I'll just have to read the book.
Speak in a norma ltone of voice and at a normal speed. She speaks way too slowly.
Rerecord it with a good narrator please.
I had never heard of this series and thought I'd take a chance on them because of the author. These are well written, thoughtful books that really deserve as much attention as her other works. Each audio reader does a good job. Each book could stand on its own, too. The stories are complex (I mean that in a good way - as in, not simplistic). It's just good literature. (...hence the Nebula award.) She respects the intelligence of the reader/listener and the maturity of her characters' thoughts and actions reflects that.
I really enjoyed Le Guin's Earthsea trilogy, so for those of you looking to compare them, this has a less dark theme and these are more about the people than about the magic - if that matters to you. As I listened to all three books, I found myself thinking, "These are really good books!" as I got into each. And they stayed good right to the ending of each. They really deserve just as much attention as other bestsellers in the field.
I am more disappointed in Audible than with Ms. Le Guin - and that is why this is rated a 2. Audible is basically lying by not advertising this as what it is: Audible Kids! This is the 2nd time Audible has done this to me, and I feel it is a deceitful by not letting you know before you buy and of course can't return...
I have tried to listen to this twice but I can't get past the young readers voice. The story is interesting and probably very good - since this is Le Guin - but it sounds like a child telling it.
"Voices" is a coming of age story, a young adult novel, an owner's manual for the democratic process, and a metaphysical journey. Also, an extremely entertaining listen you'll want to continue to the end, and play again and again to catch the nuances. Superbly narrated by Melanie Martinez.
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