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Robert

York, PA, United States
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  • The Shadow of What Was Lost

  • The Licanius Trilogy, Book 1
  • By: James Islington
  • Narrated by: Michael Kramer
  • Length: 25 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13,730
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,732
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12,694

It has been 20 years since the end of the war. The dictatorial Augurs, once thought of almost as gods, were overthrown and wiped out during the conflict, their much-feared powers mysteriously failing them. Those who had ruled under them, men and women with a lesser ability known as the Gift, avoided the Augurs' fate only by submitting themselves to the rebellion's Four Tenets.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Definitely a standout in the fantasy genre

  • By Amazon Customer on 04-29-15

Great story, poorly written.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-06-18

James Islington has an amazing imagination. This story is unlike any other fantasy or sci-fi. I really just wish he'd spend more time polishing his work.

Characters: Other than names, situations, and back story, almost every character has the same personality. There is no "wart" no nuance. Granted, I found myself liking these characters, but I also found that, if I missed the name, I had no idea whose point of view I was experiencing. Ok, weird place, using magic, going somewhere . . . wait, who is this, again? I believe that there should be a separate tone or voice for each character. Maybe not an actual voice, but some indication that we are in the head of somebody different. Not everybody controls their anger. Not everybody lets personal slights slide. Not everybody is calm in the face of danger.

Backstory: Caeden's backstory became so convoluted with names, places, and righteously pissed-off people that I never rewound when I found my attention lapsing. It's just not interesting. Having said that, it is RICH. Islington has certainly developed a world from the ground up, complete with whole societies, a pantheon of gods and near-gods, and one of the most interesting takes on world-building I've ever experienced. This can not be assimilated into your brain, it has to be accommodated, you have to make room for something new and different. But, it can be very demanding. He beats this drum pretty hard and, at this point, I don't care. Yeah, yeah, he was a bastard in a former life. Yeah, yeah, millions died blah blah blah. We get it. Flashbacks should add dimension, it just felt like it was just reinforcing the same traits. I found myself yelling "Get on with it!"

The mystery: if there's one thing Islington gets right, it's dropping facts along the way that will allow you to know more than the characters. However, at this point, I'm toward the end of the 2nd book, with about 1.5 hours to go and "something" is really important. I have no idea what. Not really. Maybe it was mixed in with all of that backstory mumbo-jumbo that forced me to lose interest.

The writing: There are very many amateurish writing mistakes in these books.
Abuse of the words wry and rueful. CONSTANTLY. Wry. Rueful. Wryly. Ruefully. Wry smile. Rueful shake of the head. Smiling wryly. Rueful shrug. (if you're not one to notice such things, I just ruined this book for you).
He is constantly ending sentences in prepositions. It's unprofessional and makes sentences clunky.
He uses the word "accede." I don't know anyone who uses this word. Furthermore, he always uses it when he means "concede."
"Up ahead was . . . something." Groan. What's a reader supposed to make of that? If he did this ONCE, I'd let it go. It literally sounds like he wasn't sure what was up ahead, so he quit for the day then left it in when he went back. You're an author. Write. Try "He couldn't make it out at first" or "He wasn't quite sure what he was seeing." Lazy.

The world: This is what kept me listening. The augers, the gifted, the boundary, it's all so fresh and new. Forget wizards and sorcerers. Imagine a world in which those who can do magic are second-class citizens due to paranoia and fear. That sounds fun, doesn't it?

Michael Kramer's reading is great over-all. However, I found some of his character's voices distracting to the story. A good reader should be like makeup, never noticed while enhancing what is already there. One of the characters is really breathy, after every sentence there's an out-rush of air, a reverse gasp. It's unrealistic and annoying. I'd rather all voices be the same than draw away from the story.

In short, if you're knit-picky like me, this book may annoy you.
If you're just in it for the escape, Islington will take you far away.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Sufficiently Advanced Magic

  • Arcane Ascension, Book 1
  • By: Andrew Rowe
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 21 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,552
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 19,318
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 19,277

Five years ago Corin Cadence's brother entered the Serpent Spire - a colossal tower with ever-shifting rooms, traps, and monsters. Those who survive the spire's trials return home with an attunement: a mark granting the bearer magical powers. According to legend, those few who reach the top of the tower will be granted a boon by the spire's goddess. He never returned. Now it's Corin's turn. He's headed to the top floor, on a mission to meet the goddess.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Couldn't make it through the whole book

  • By David on 07-11-17

Good story. Novice writing. Please read in full.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-06-17

As for the writing:

Corin rolls his eyes. Sarah rolls her eyes. So-and-so rolls his eyes. I don't think ten pages go by without somebody rolling their eyes. People are CONSTANTLY shrugging, or balling their hands into fists, or several other things that these characters just can't stop doing despite the fact that nobody does these in real life. Think about it. When was the last time you shrugged? That kind of thing knocks me off the page. It's lazy and unrealistic.

The writer insists on dragging us through Corin's speculation as to what might happen after EVERY LINE OF DIALOGUE OR EVENT even if "what might be" is answered in the very next line. It made the book really drag. Something happens = speculation and explanation. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Oh, and it usually ends with, "I'll have to do some research on that." It doesn't feel like a character learning things he didn't know, it feels like a writer making up a story as he goes along, explaining it as he goes along.

There are glaring editorial errors. There are points where Rowe must have changed his mind about something but never smoothed out the ripples. Sarah puts a glove "back on" that she never took off. Corin hands someone ONE thing and says "I hope you like THEM." Plenty of things feel "wedged in." In short, Mr. Rowe needs an editor.

Now, as to the story.

This is what is keeping me from returning this book. I love the fact that, in the beginning, we're dropped into this world of dungeon-delving with no warning or preamble. It reminds me of when I used to pick up an unfamiliar comic book when I was a kid. I had no idea what the rules of the universe were, what the character could do, or what the big deal was. That was totally okay! Any reader of fantasy can catch up later. For now, jump on this ride and see where it goes.

The world itself is such a simple concept: gods make dungeons to reward the worthy and the brave, society molds itself around them. Instead of building a story around the tower as an excuse to go inside, going inside the tower IS the story. Well done. I wish there was a little more world-building when it comes to the steampunk aspect of the book, though. It's a bit abrupt when a train is suddenly mentioned in a fantasy story.

I also enjoyed the concept of the main character as jumped-up nobility. You don't see that very often. The main character isn't a peasant fighting against the odds and the aristocracy. He's not the unknown son from the greatest of all bloodlines. Corin is average and born slightly privileged. Very fresh.

The magic system is also very well done. In this sense, the book reads like a Sanderson novel where the reader has to learn HOW the magic works. It much more engaging than simply casting a spell or gathering mystical energy. Again, very fresh, very well done. I think the numbers are a bit too game-y (game-ish?). "The manna in my right hand is 26." Twenty six what?

I have to tip my hat to Rowe for his treatment of sexuality. Maybe Corin is gay, maybe he's not. He's not worried about it, so we aren't, either. It's kind of a tip of the hat to the way the world SHOULD be, but it's not a big part of the story.

There's a number of things that Rowe gets very, very right and there are several things that he could do much better. He breaks some tropes, which I like, but he ham-fists his way through the writing in too many places.

TLDR - The writing mechanics drive me nuts, but I have to find out what happens next.

  • Columbus Day

  • Expeditionary Force, Book 1
  • By: Craig Alanson
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 16 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30,579
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 29,057
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28,987

The Ruhar hit us on Columbus Day. There we were, innocently drifting along the cosmos on our little blue marble, like the Native Americans in 1492. Over the horizon came ships of a technologically advanced, aggressive culture, and BAM! There went the good old days, when humans got killed only by each other. So, Columbus Day. It fits. When the morning sky twinkled again, this time with Kristang starships jumping in to hammer the Ruhar, we thought we were saved.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Sci Fi I didn't know I wanted

  • By Gary Glenn on 06-27-17

So. Much. Fun.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-26-17

Any additional comments?

The Narrator: At first, this book annoyed me because Mr. Bray sounded very monotone. Then, as I got deeper into the book, I realized that it was a CHOICE. Bray is brilliant to the point of allowing the main character to sound a bit dumb. Actually, it totally fits. It's only later that you discover his range of voices and accents. (he's got the New England Chowderhead down pat)

The story is as much fun as you can have and still get really freakin' scared for the main characters. All the emotions I want out of book are here: anticipation, rage, despair, joy, triumph, and Laugh-Out-Loud. You'll have as many "Oh, god, NO!" moments as there are "Oh, HELL YEAH!" moments.

He also knows the military and makes you feel like you're there without bogging you down with too much jargon. As ex Navy and Army, I can tell you it is "just enough."

It starts out slow, but like any good book, it needs to give you time to get used to the "norm" before it all hits the fan. Stick with it. You won't be sorry.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Barrow

  • By: Mark Smylie
  • Narrated by: Michael Page
  • Length: 21 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 142
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 136
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 136

When a small crew of scoundrels, would-be heroes, deviants, and ruffians discover a map that they believe will lead them to a fabled sword buried in the barrow of a long-dead wizard, they think they've struck it rich. But their hopes are dashed when the map turns out to be cursed and then is destroyed in a magical ritual. The loss of the map leaves them dreaming of what might have been, until they rediscover the map in a most unusual and unexpected place.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Not for the faint of heart...but a good story

  • By T. Menefee on 07-10-14

GET ON WITH IT!!!

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-26-17

Any additional comments?

Fantasy + Michael Page = I bought it.
Boring story with very little real plot = I returned it.

It's like the author sat around for a couple of years coming up with hundreds of names, positions, relationships, court gossip and individual perversions, geography, tribes, etc etc, then just couldn't pass up the chance to throw all of that into the book at EVERY given chance. Which, if done well, adds to the richness of the story. If done poorly, it's like reading a phone book. I seriously forgot the plot several times or even who was in the scene.

If you're looking for a book that keeps you sitting in your car, late for work, to find out what happens next, this ain't it.

If you're looking for a book that explains lots of things that have nothing to do with the story and Just Keeps Going On and On and On to the point where you zone out and just wait for it to get back on track, enjoy. I mean, do we REALLY need a description of the river, complete with bordering nations, tribes, the relations among those tribes, the land-holders who control the blah blah blah geography and the attitudes and lineage of every type of sailor JUST to sail across it?

If this book had a lessor reader than Page, there would be NO WAY to keep track of the many superficial characters. His separate voices kept me going for about six hours. Then, I bailed. I just couldn't care.

The only thing that saves this book is imagination. Some interesting ideas, here. But for every "wow, that's different" there's a lot of "huh?"

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Waking Fire

  • The Draconis Memoria
  • By: Anthony Ryan
  • Narrated by: Steven Brand
  • Length: 22 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,852
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,737
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,731

Throughout the vast lands controlled by the Ironship Trading Syndicate, nothing is more prized than the blood of drakes. Harvested from captive or hunted Reds, Greens, Blues, and Blacks, it can be distilled into elixirs that bestow fearsome powers on the rare men and women known as the Blood-blessed. But not many know the truth: that the lines of drakes are weakening. If they fail, war with the neighboring Corvantine Empire will follow swiftly.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very nice storytelling.

  • By SMAC on 09-02-16

There are Narrators and there are reciters

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-22-16

Any additional comments?

Anthony Ryan is a brilliant and imaginative writer. His world-building is exquisite and his characters are unforgettable.

I plan on reading this book, SOMEDAY, as I can do a much better job of interpreting Ryan's words in my own head rather than listening the boring, monotone, word-slurring Steven BLAND.

I found myself rewinding constantly as I attempted to decipher names that Brand had mumbled. I still don't know what the names of the main characters. Not kidding.

I listen to audiobooks to stay awake on my hour-long commute every morning and afternoon. Steven Brand's voice was putting my life at risk.

Steampunk vocabulary is brilliant when read with zeal, word soup if it is simply recited.

I will be returning this audiobook and purchasing it for Kindle. Anthony Ryan deserves a second chance. Steven Brand will never get another from me.

To say I am disappointed is an understatement. I loved the Raven's Shadow series. This is an absolute shame.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Imajica

  • By: Clive Barker
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 37 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,330
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,220
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,227

Imajica is an epic beyond compare: vast in conception, obsessively detailed in execution, and apocalyptic in its resolution. At its heart lies the sensualist and master art forger Gentle, whose life unravels when he encounters Judith Odell, whose power to influence the destinies of men is vaster than she knows, and Pie "oh" pah, an alien assassin who comes from a hidden dimension.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Imajica is full of adventure, love, lust, power, g

  • By MizNikki on 08-21-15

It had such promise.

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-03-16

Any additional comments?

If you like books in which are unlike anything you've ever read, this is for you. There is nothing "typical" about this book, which is part of the difficulty I had with it. There's plenty of "stuff happens" but there is no purpose behind any of it.

Clive Barker clearly has a wild imagination. I just wish he'd let us in on it. Things are described, but not in as much detail as you actually feel like you're there. For instance, strange creatures are given a cursory description, but then we are left on our own to fill in the rest. This is fine for a few descriptions, but, eventually, my mind got tired and filled in with "something weird" showed up. It's the same with EVERY place he describes. He uses generic terms like "majestic" but doesn't actually give a good description. Many times, it was like he felt the need to shock the reader with as far-out something-or-another as he could think of, but it really served no purpose to the overall story.

His characters are clearly defined except for the most important attribute: Motivation. We know that "the reconciler" wants to "reconcile the dominions" but we have no idea why. It's like the characters are driven more by whim than anything else. Ideas float into their heads and then they do stuff. I didn't realize this at first, but it struck me as, many hours into the book, that I just DIDN'T CARE what was going to happen next. In this respect, the book fails at a very basic level. I liked the characters, but just couldn't get behind any of their actions. It's not enough to tell me what they want to do, I need to know the "why."

So, if you like reading things that happen moment-to-moment without any connection to each other, if you want to be taken to a world in which you have never visited before, by all means read this. But, once you get there, you'll find everything is two-dimensional and, by the end, you won't feel like you've been anywhere at all.

Also, the whole thing was just damned depressing start-to-finish.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Gardens of the Moon

  • The Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 1
  • By: Steven Erikson
  • Narrated by: Ralph Lister
  • Length: 26 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 7,351
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,739
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 6,741

The Malazan Empire simmers with discontent, bled dry by interminable warfare, bitter infighting, and bloody confrontations with ancient and implacable sorcerers. Even the imperial legions, long inured to the bloodshed, yearn for some respite. Yet Empress Laseen’s rule remains absolute, enforced by her dreaded Claw assassins. For Sergeant Whiskeyjack and his squad of Bridgeburners, and for Tattersail, their lone surviving mage, the aftermath of the siege of Pale should have been a time to mourn the many dead. But Darujhistan, last of the Free Cities, yet holds out.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An engrossing yet demanding high epic

  • By Adnan on 11-20-12

I tried. I really tried.

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-04-13

Any additional comments?

I returned the book.

It is so . . . ignorable? I found myself rewinding most passages several times, but the passages were just too mundane despite the subject matter. The characters are easily forgettable and interchangeable (except for Cropper, who is much like Falstaff, a character borrowed from Shakespeare). There are LOTS of characters and lots of names. But, unlike other authors who make each one memorable, most times the name and profession is all we’re given.

It's like the author is TELLING a story, (SIMPLY telling) and not taking the reader along on the journey. The reader never has a sense of place, never quite knows where he is are or how he got there Things happen, but it's hard to care about the events when the reader has no frame of reference.

Part of the Hero's Journey is establishing what is at stake and the motivations for the characters. I'm all the way through part one and I still have no idea. People fighting for the sake of fighting. That's it. This book is like reading an instruction manual, with lists of dry details. It reads like part II of a series where the reader is already familiar with the background of the characters so the author has no reason to show depth.

Here's an example:
I still don't know what Moonspawn, the floating fortress, looks like. Is it round like an actual moon? Is it a floating hill or a construct of brick? I don't know where I missed it, but looking for a particular description, if one even exists, within an audio book is all-but impossible. I'm leaning toward the assumption that Erikson mentions it in passing long before it had any relevance to the story, as with most of this book. I think it's too much to ask that I memorize irrelevant details in hopes that they may become important later. How am I to tell what’s important and what isn’t?

Another example:
In my re-reading while looking for what the heck Moonspawn is, a character mentions, "A sapper named Fiddler took me down" (into the tunnels). Fiddler is a character that is described in some detail MUCH later in part I. How is a reader supposed to reference one un-memorable line, seven chapters ago? In re-reading, I have a frame of reference because now I know who fiddler is, what he looks like, etc. This happened again and again and again with many details. It's like Erikson is writing backward.

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • River of Stars

  • By: Guy Gavriel Kay
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 20 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 435
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 403
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 400

In his critically acclaimed novel Under Heaven, Guy Gavriel Kay told a vivid and powerful story inspired by China’s Tang Dynasty. Now, the international best-selling and multiple award-winning author revisits that invented setting four centuries later with an epic of prideful emperors, battling courtiers, bandits and soldiers, nomadic invasions, and a woman battling in her own way, to find a new place for women in the world - a world inspired this time by the glittering, decadent Song Dynasty.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Masterpiece

  • By David H. Diamond on 07-25-13

Familiarity does not breed contempt.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-16-13

What did you love best about River of Stars?

Kay is one of those writers who is extremely deliberate. Call it meta-writing, but there is so much more to his novels than what is on the page. When he repeats himself, it's not because he's run out of words nor because he's not paying attention, it's for a purpose, whether one realizes it while reading or not.

What was one of the most memorable moments of River of Stars?

Every victory of a main character is unexpected, although not because of surprise, but rather that the reader knows that Kay has no problem keeping his characters from "winning." At least, not storybook success, anyway. Oft times it is a spiritual or historical success, not what one would find from a typical narrative. Most fantasy stories are comedies, either ending with a return to the green world or a wedding. Kay does tragedy the way tragedy should be done, wherein it is only when one thinks back upon the original goals of the characters does one realize that they have failed. Failed is the wrong word. Descended? Found a different goal amidst adversity? Anywho, Kay's tragedies are more Shakespearean than sad, and more immersive than escapist. You can get lost in his writing, but not so much in the world he has created but instead within the hearts and minds of his characters. It's not all touchy-feely, though, and there's plenty of blood and guts to remind the reader of the fragility of the human body as well as the timelessness of the human soul.

Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes. Comparable.

If you could take any character from River of Stars out to dinner, who would it be and why?

The Fox Woman, for obvious reasons.

Any additional comments?

Kay does royal court politics like nobody else. If there's one thing that's hard to believe, it's the idea that one extremely-intelligent character could be oblivious to the machinations of another extremely-intelligent character. Hard, but not impossible. Kay does a great job of explaining motivation from both the characters' point-of-view as well as from that of outside observers.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Wise Man's Fear

  • (Kingkiller Chronicle, Book 2)
  • By: Patrick Rothfuss
  • Narrated by: Nick Podehl
  • Length: 42 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 56,030
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 51,096
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 51,129

"My name is Kvothe. I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Well worth your time

  • By Robert on 09-08-11

Ignore my first review

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-07-13

If you could sum up The Wise Man's Fear in three words, what would they be?

Keep on listening. The first book starts out so incredibly slowly, it forced me to write a bad review. It gets SOOO much better.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

The character has victories and setbacks which get you emotionally invested in him.

Any additional comments?

I wrote a really crappy review for the first book, and Audible will not let me go back and edit it. The best I can do is to say to the listener that the first book is worth sticking it out and this book makes you yearn for a third. Sorry, Mr. Rothfuss. I'll finish a book before I review it from now on. Meanwhile GIVE US #3!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Shadow Chaser

  • Chronicles of Siala, Book 2
  • By: Alexey Pehov
  • Narrated by: MacLeod Andrews
  • Length: 14 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 231
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 193
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 195

Saddened because they have left one of their number in a grave in the wilderness, Harold and his band of outcasts continue their journey toward the dreaded underground palace of Hrad Spein. But before they can reach their goal, they must overcome all manner of obstacles, fight many battles...and evade the frightful enemies on their trail.Once they have breached Hrad Spein, a task entire armies of warriors and wizards have failed to achieve, Harold must venture, alone, into the secret heart of the most dangerous place in his world.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Way more entertaining than it has any right to be

  • By David on 12-04-12

Belaboring sarcasm.

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-15-13

What would have made Shadow Chaser better?

Leave something to the imagination. Everything is explained, then really explained, then revisited with an explanation. We got it. Move on.

Has Shadow Chaser turned you off from other books in this genre?

Bickering. The characters get into squabbles, where one character is just the straight-man, saying things like, "what do you mean?" when one knows perfectly well what the character meant, just as a set-up for the next (too long) line of dialogue.

No one speaks without the reader being told how he said it. IE: morosely, hurtfully, with a nod, arrogantly, discontentedly, etc etc etc

Arguments among the characters happen despite whatever else might be going on, as if the author enjoys the banter more than the plot. It wouldn't be so bad if it was entertaining. It's not.

Too much sarcasm without art. For example, a spell that is fired at the heroes and blows up a tree is explained (to the reader) as "something unpleasant." Groan.

What aspect of MacLeod Andrews’s performance would you have changed?

Sometimes, it's like he's a 14-year-old girl reading with as much venom as he can, and it's very overdone. The man has a talent for voices, but not inflection.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I remember enjoying the first book, but I seriously remember it as spooky and exciting. This was a bunch of guys bickering like 9th graders in homeroom punctuated by action scenes that had no emotional investment. There is a really great scene where the hero sneaks through a prison, which had much of the flavor of the first book, then we're back to the fake-sounding dialogue.

Any additional comments?

Pehov does a great job of walking the reader through a solo adventure, but the adding of the other characters just makes the book boring, wordy, and slow. Every moment is stretched and everything is debated. I've only made it through the first half, and the last hour was spent on 2X speed to get through it. This is the first time I've ever done that. I dread getting through the second half, and I really hope it's more of what Pehov does well rather than the dialogue he does very, very poorly.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful