Newcago is free. They told David it was impossible, that even the Reckoners had never killed a High Epic. Yet Steelheart - invincible, immortal, unconquerable - is dead. And he died by David's hand.Eliminating Steelheart was supposed to make life simpler. Instead, it only made David realize he has questions. Big ones. And no one in Newcago can give him answers.Babylon Restored, the city formerly known as the borough of Manhattan, has possibilities, though.
I wish I could revise my review for the first book in the series. This second book is excellent, well-written, action-packed, humorous, great plot twists with great foreshadowing and the characters demonstrate a lot more depth than book 1. Excellent. So distracting that I could not concentrate on cooking or chores all weekend but I was able to walk and rake leaves but not things that require any thinking; it was that absorbing and action-packed. Several time I barked a laugh loudly to myself, and really liked the contrast of the character leaving his familiar territory and how his belief in people can sometimes upset them.
Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills. Nobody fights the Epics...nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them. And David wants in. He wants Steelheart - the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father.
This was a good solid sci fi book written convincingly from late teenage boy pov who is a bit on the nerd/insecure side (in a good way) with some cute foibles. The female characters are restricted to supportive roles/love interest but it seems it may change in the 2nd book inthe series, which I am downloading as I review. Good foreshadowing with some plot surprises.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn't think they'd survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they're right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz's cunning and test the team's fragile loyalties.
I wish this company would list in the audiobook who is the narrator and the director. I really enjoyed all the voice actors but noted some inconsistencies in the direction. I found it an interesting choice that I thought would be distracting to have different voice actor based on the title of the chapter which also corresponded to the point of view for that chapter; overall I prefer this approach to when each charater has a different voice (like a radio play or something that is way too distracting for me). For the most part, the various voice actors were consistent in presenting Kaz with a slow rasp, Jesper with a bit of a southern drawl, etc, so even when different voice actors were speaking, it was pretty easy for the most part to tell which character was speaking. Towards the end, there were some inconsistencies noted by others: in this book, but not the first, Jesper sometimes had a different accent. Also the narrator of the Wyland section, while appropriate for Wyland's point of view, was not consistent in his approach to the voice of Kaz (his approach seemed to be outlier compared to others, he kind of sounded to me like Heath Ledger's Joker character, whereas most presented it like a low rasp) and at times seemed to over-enunciate other words as well; I think the director could have helped coach this performance a bit differently so it would have been more consistent with the others. On the other hand, if this was intentional choice, it is quite an interesting approach as Wyland, unlike the other characters, doesn't really seem to like Kaz, and in these narrative sections, Kaz does come across as kind of an annoying bossy grandpa prematurely aged, although I still found it jarring and the author's writing informs the reader about the tension, it didn't need to be emphasized by this approach.
Foibles of the direction, however, did not prevent me from starting to re-listen to the performance immediately again from the beginning, with this book as well as with the first one.
As far as the writing goes, this was quite suspenseful and the writer did a great job with each character having quite different personalities and detailed background stories and quite action-packed and suspenseful. It was both a fantasy book but also some elements of scifi which was nicely done. Now for the potential plot spoiler: I really enjoyed the appropriate for teen/tween romance scenes were very tastefully done with such different personalities and background stories and how their romances were all so unique yet so appropriate; and thank you for including a same sex budding romance: I thought that was foreshadowed during the first book and was pleasantly surprised at the gentle and cute way Ms Bardugo brought that together. The characters are flawed as we all are, and it was very sweet to see them work so well together, overcome obstacles and grow as people. I really was scared for a while, but really liked how Kaz framed the "distraction" and was really worried the scars from his past would prevent him from growing, but Ms Bardugo was able to gracefully and realistically able to gently move him forward, in a way that was perhaps more genuine, but not quite as quickly as I would have liked. Great job with all the cultures and unique approaches to religions, social structure, etc.
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price - and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone.
At first I thought it was a bit jarring, but I was able to surrender to the director's choice of switching narrators. It was an interesting approach justifiable by the writing style in that different chapters were from different characters' perspectives. Any of the narrators could have narrated the book in full. Excellent voice acting in that you could tell which characters by the voice of the different narrators, even in the different chapters (i.e., somehow you could always tell when the voice actor was narrating Kaz, or Jesper) and all the voice actors were consistent in the approach to the characters.
Eleven years before they were framed for the murder of a king, before even assuming the title of Riyria, Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater were practically strangers. Unlikely associates, this cynical thief and idealist swordsman, were just learning how to work together as a team. In this standalone first installment of The Riyria Chronicles, Royce is determined to teach his naive partner a lesson about good deeds. Join Royce and Hadrian in this short story about one of their earliest adventures.
Appreciate the intro by the author, but I had figured out based on publication dates that the Theft Books were the first ones. Very much appreciate this little story as I had wondered about how they had wound up together as a working crew. That is one of the great strengths of this series though I have only finished the first book so far (am still digesting ti write the review, but it completely hijacked my weekend!), is that the relationships are so well written that you know there are really in depth background stories! Pleasure to hear the background stories, or the stories of the characters' development.
Five days after Owen Zastava Pitt pushed his insufferable boss out of a 14th story window, he woke up in the hospital with a scarred face, an unbelievable memory, and a job offer. It turns out that monsters are real. All the things from myth, legend, and B-movies are out there, waiting in the shadows. Some of them are evil, and some are just hungry. Monster Hunter International is the premier eradication company in the business. And now Owen is their newest recruit.
Great Narrator & Great Read! In short summary: this is kind of like a Percy Jackson for adults. I ended up listening to this in 3 days after work and it was supposed to last a week or more but I got SUCKED in. I got it on a whim after hearing the hilarious sample which turns out to be the first scene (and didn't we all have times that our jobs felt like that a bit?), but the action doesn't stop there. The main character is a bit of a downtrodden guy, the author paints him in great, broad brush strokes: he has many strengths, but really somehow only sees his own foibles. I was surprised how much detail about firearms, but it seems that the author really knows details about weapons (I know nothing) and that also seems like what overlaps with action movies and was different that typical "fantasy" genre but not at all off-putting.
The unbelievable thing about this book is that in reality, it is like a trilogy all in one book! There are several distinct action sequences, each one building on it's own. I'm a particular sucker for what I call the "coming of age" fantasy stories a la Ranger's Apprentice or Peter V. Brett &c where the main character doesn't know his strengths or is a lost prince or mage or something and has untapped powers...this book has this but is modern twist. Also nice that it took place in Texas/Alabama (seems like so many modern fantasy novels take place in the NE). So many fantasy books are just about re-imagining Ireland or England and recreating the middle ages.... I just love America & modern American accents too, we Americans are so cool and quirky & this book celebrates that too. Also liked that there are characters of other races and not just male that are main characters. So overall, all the elements that I truly love about sci fi/fantasy.
The reason I gave the narrator only 4 stars, however, is because there were some action sequences that I could not tell which male character was speaking; If the scale for narrator rating were on 10 star scale I would rate 9/10. I think in the written book, they were the kind of paragraphs that were very short with only quote marks. And I must emphasize, this book was ACTION PACKED, I seriously would not be surprised if they made it into a movie; even this one book could be turned into 3 movies (David Twohy, new project maybe?). Narrating this book would have been tough, b/c many of the characters had deep voices. I'm not sure the director fully exploited the narrator's range of voices/expressions for the characters.
In summary, I will be getting more of Monster Hunter series & more from this narrator. Enjoy!
0 of 2 people found this review helpful
This is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.
I can't believe I wasted credits on this! Narrator good, plot seemed good--seemed--but somehow despite all the action there is lack of any emotional progress or character development. There is no inner conflict, no man vs. self or society, not struggle. It completely turns out as you might expect, especially if you are familiar with sociopaths.
The main character is a talented young man who demonstrates some "grit" when young, but turns out to be just another lucky, skilled, successful sociopath, who rationalized every rule he breaks and does not feel guilt or true remorse about doing so. From the beginning, he is out for himself, and breaks whatever rules he feels he needs to break to help himself achieve his goals. I did not notice any character transformation, except perhaps that he gets more smug as he gets older. There are plenty of close calls, but somehow they are not exciting, and the character doesn't really learn anything from the close calls.
The world the author created was interesting, it's just that there is no tension whatsoever. The author did an okay job. I can listen to ANYTHING, usually multiple times, and I could not even finish this one! ZZzzzzz......
2 of 4 people found this review helpful
Nevare Burvelle has survived major combat and is making a quick recovery from a disease plaguing his fellows in the King's army. He also believes he is free from the Speck magic that held him under its sway. Now traveling home to rendezvous with his fiancée, Nevare suffers haunting visions and soon realizes that malicious magic still resides within him - and is intent on destroying everything he holds dear.
There is not really much character development. Interesting world, but the main character is a boring guy who has a lot of potential, but in the end, he just does whatever the dominant personality wants, which changes, I think that is supposed to be the conflict, but really he is just doing whatever his cousin, father, whoever tells him he should do. If you look at the overall pattern of the book, it is a little discouraging. Basically the father keeps putting him in care of people who do not have his best interests at heart, the main character gets into trouble because of this and he gets blamed for his father being a neglectful parent putting his son in dangerous situations, and the main character just accepts the blame. For example, in the beginning, his father puts him in the care of a phoney retired captain who doesn't really have any interest in taking care of him and the father cannot see through the pretense and the main character gets into trouble and the father blames the main character even though really it is the father's fault for putting his kid in an unsafe situation. The main character never rebels. He doesn't even doubt ever that it was his father in the wrong or even get mad that his father gets upset with him. As the book goes on, the stakes get higher, and the main character just schlepps along doing what he is supposed to do, even though he is a solider, he is really just a milquetoast.
I kept listening and kept an open mind, thinking that the character would successfully navigate a conflict in his own way maybe in the next book in the series but he did not.
That said, I did listen to it twice. It is a sheer delight to listen to John Keating! I was surprised that he came up with new "voices" for the characters, did not really reuse voices from other series that he has narrated.
5 of 9 people found this review helpful
Peter V. Brett has won accolades from critics, fans and fellow authors alike for this riveting debut novel. The Warded Man features a world where demons stalk the night, hunting humans who have long forgotten the magic of their ancestors. But all is not lost, as some hold out hope that a savior will release humanity from the demons' terrifying reign.
This is slow to start. In many books about multiple characters, there are a few pages or a short section about each and they all move forward a little bit at a time. In this book, the character development focuses on one character at a time for a major portion of their life--you really get to know the characters. But, in the beginning, even though very interesting, the sections were long, focusing on primitive living (setting is kind of like wild west homesteaders) and I found myself wondering what is going on with the other characters and when would it move back to them. As the characters are developed, the sections gets shorter and you feel the book move forward at a different pace.
Wow! This is great writing and great narration! I loved it so much that I wrote the review before I even listened to it a second or third time! Could not "put it down". This series is going to be up there with Dragonlance Chronicles!
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
The companions believe they have slain the evil Dragon Highlord Verminaard. They have rescued the refugees from Pax Tharkas and taken them to a valley in the Kharolis mountains.
So great to be able to enjoy the lives of Tanis & co. again. So great a modern fantasy book with some strong female characters, all the characters with depth. Narrator did a good job--it took a bit to get used to Tas' voice, but after a while, I felt the narrator's interpretation really was on mark. She did a good job making the characters' voices sound different, the voices matched the personalities of the characters well and I could tell who was talking just by voice along. I wish they would put the DragonLance Chronicles into Audiobook form, maybe someday...
4 of 4 people found this review helpful