Rudi Mackenzie has journeyed far across the land that was once the United States of America, hoping to find the source of the world-altering event that has come to be known as the Change. His final destination is Nantucket, an island overrun with forest, inhabited by a mere two hundred people who claim to have been transported there from out of time.
Only one odd stone house remains standing. Within it, Rudi finds a beautifully made sword waiting for him - and once he takes it up, nothing will ever be the same....
©2009 S. M. Stirling; (P)2009 Tantor Media
Mr. Sterling's mind continues to run in Turbo Mode. In this volume, some issues are resolved only to be replaced by deeper mysteries. A number of new characters are introduced, some good, some bad, most interesting. Rudy continues to learn and move toward becoming the larger than life hero he must. In the end, we must await another book.
The only criticism I have is the inordinate amount of time taken to describe the many feasts that Rudy and his compatriots must endure on their travels. I can only suspect that Mr. Sterling must write on an empty stomach. I nearly went so far as to give the book only 4 stars for this reason but it is just to darn good everywhere else.
I strongly suggest that if you have not read the previous books in this series that you start with the first and work your way to the last. Otherwise much of the context will be confusing. Fortunately all the previous books are also very good.
At first I just thought this was an unusually tedious fantasy novel.. Turns out it's a Christian story, heavy on the Catholicism, replete with a visit to heaven and all kinds of post-post-lapsarian commentary and hope of salvation.
It's kind of like the Narnia books you began as a kid, thinking Cool, a nice fable with talking animals and magic and . . . turns out they're on a train to heaven.
Not my cup of swill.
I usually buy and read the printed books first and then after awhile I will listen to the audio
book if I enjoyed reading it. In this case I went
directly to the audio version because I could tell from the previous book in this series that it
was becoming one of those "dragged out" series with little resolution. Though classified as Sci-Fi this series belongs more in the Fantasy genre.
The story is epic in scope, passable in style. A good ripping yarn, but not a classic.
The narrator has excellent control. Each character had a unique, fitting accent and it was clear instantly who was speaking (or thinking) most of the time.
Unfortunately, the narrator had a few annoying and recurring pronunciation errors that really jarred me when they occurred. Pronouncing "chete" as "sheet" is understandable, but since it's based on "machete", he should probably have pronounced it "shetty". "Coif", when referring to headgear is pronounced "koyf", not "kwaf" (which refers to the hair). And every time an animal "barred" its teeth, I had to grind my teeth to keep from yelling out "BARED".
Please, audiobook narrators, get your pronunciations right before you start! If you're not absolutely sure how a word is pronounced, please look it up, or ask the author! These pronunciation issues jar me out of an otherwise thoroughly enjoyable listening experience.
Over 20 hours of listening to drawn out descriptions of food, fights, different religious beliefs, and a quest that didn't make any sense. I was expecting it to all come together in the end somehow, but surprise, the ending was the worst part. It was inconclusive, confusing and based of some other world power that didn't fit with the rest of the story. Worst book I have ever downloaded out of the 50 or so I have downloaded. I have never deleted a book from my i-tunes library but this one is getting deleted so I or somebody else doesn't click on it and have to listen to this drivel again.The only good thing I can say about this is that the narrator was good.
Couldn't recommend this to someone else. The original storyline, books 1-3 were certainly appealing but the rest of this storyline is really just dragging on and on. It's just good enough to make you want to get the next one to see how some things get wrapped up.
I suppppooossse. Already in for the long haul, so I gotta see how this ends
Narrator has some pronunciation problems...someone BARES his teeth...they don't BAR them. Other than that, he has some good interpretations of how the dialects are supposed to sound...its not his fault that Stirling has decided to go with an insane amount of widely diffuse ones
Has to have a follow up - totally designed for one (sneaky bugger).
The first couple of books were good. He really should have just wrapped up the whole thing after the first 3. If he wanted to continue the story, he should have just jumped WAY ahead instead of a half generation ahead. It makes the story committed to the immediate descendants of the main characters in the first 3 books who are generally likable and/or relatable....not so for the follow-on generation...Rudi MacKenzie becomes more and more insufferable as the story continues...we got it, okay? He's a supermodel olympic athlete ninja that is too damn awesome and humble and beloved by the gods and on and on and on...bleah. Worst thing that happened was killing off Mike Havel back in book 3...great character...Now all the characters are all holier than thou and full of themselves and their own importance.
This book keep me enthralled till the very end. It was the best book of the 2nd generation of MacKenzie's trilogy.
Not sure if I spelled the last name correctly, as I've always listened to these books.
I must say all the criticism of the food descriptions from other reviewers is too bad. Just think what it would be like to be in this post Change world without a grocery store to provide your meals. I think the food descriptions, vivid portrayals of the landscapes, and details of the craft goods bring reality to the story and educate us to the scenario. This story is long, but imagine riding a horse or walking across the continent! A criticism is the dualistic nature and standard formula of the story, which is so clear it is somewhat childish, along with the religions being so accommodating of each other. I do appreciate the reach for balance provided by the end scene on Nantucket. I am a little unclear how Marion appears in the end, though. The narrator is still mispronouncing "Gervais", which irks me as I live in this town! He also mispronounces "Chehalis". Should be "jur-vas" and "shay-hay-less". Funny that I hear him mispronounce "valkyrie" early on, but he gets it right towards the end. Otherwise, I have nothing but praise for the reading as the narrator brings the story to life. I look forward to the rest, even though it is predictable.
I would and will buy more books by Stirling. The Novels of the Change are great.
Rudi's fight with the primitive descendants of survivors on his travels while he tries to free his friends from a hostage taker by paying the ransom he must.
The narrator, Todd McLaren, detracted from this book, and the previous ones I've listened to in the series by his frequent mispronunciations of words. For example, ration, rhymed with fashion, is the common usage. Ration, rhymed with nation, has not been used since the First Word War. His mispronunciation of the name of Portland's river as wil-a-MET, I noticed corrected in about book 4, so someone from Oregon must have complained and told him it's locally called the wil-A-met (short "a". It appears no one took the time or trouble to correct him on the pronunciation of Haida, the native tribe from the Queen Charlotte Islands. In the books where that tribe drew first mention, he pronounced it as high-EE-dah, and continues to do so in Sword of the Lady. It's too late now, since the series is finished, but should he run into it again, he might be interested to know it is pronounced high-dah, with no particular emphasis on either of the (only) two syllables. In earlier books, I felt he read words the author had not written, as if he was not paying full attention to what was on the printed page.
Yes, it inspired me to continue buying the series because I enjoy Stirling's work. It also inspired me to take careful note of the narrator of subsequent purchases of books outside the Novels of the Change, to be sure I don't buy anything narrated by Todd McLaren, who can't be troubled to seek local knowledge when he runs across words unfamiliar to him. Though in all fairness, I must say he does British accents quite well.
I started reading this series and was glad to find it in an audible format. Love the story as I started reading from the first book. A great dynasty read.
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