1635

The Papal Stakes
Narrated by: George Guidall
Series: 1632: Ring of Fire, Book 18
Length: 23 hrs and 47 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (350 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author Eric Flint continues his Ring of Fire series with esteemed sci-fi author Charles E. Gannon.

Rome in the year 1635 finds Frank Stone and his pregnant wife Giovanna in the clutches of Cardinal Borgia, whose political machinations and papal assassins may soon elevate him to Pope Borgia. Now Frank, along with Harry Lefferts and his infamous Wrecking Crew, must protect Pope Urban VII from all manner of treachery.

©2012 Eric Flint and Charles E. Gannon (P)2013 Recorded Books

What listeners say about 1635

Average Customer Ratings
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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gave up after 45 minutes

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Unfortunately Audible hasn't published the prerequisite novels so don't make a mistake and buy this like I did.

12 people found this helpful

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a seriously disappointing book

I enjoyed the first three books in this series tremendously. George Guidall is an outstanding narrator and the books were very well written. Here though, I am completely lost. For starters, the book is listed in the Audible catalog as book 4 in the series. It is not. There are a number of other books and maybe they prepare you for this one. As I listened to them; in the order suggested by Audible - you are in for a big surprise - you missed a lot of the story if you listen to this after the Balkan War.
The writing style is very different as well and far inferior to the "first three". Maybe if this wasn't the case I would look for ways of filling in what I missed but this falls so far short of the quality of the start of the series that I will not bother...

10 people found this helpful

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boring boring boring

the first book was interesting the rest are just boringand are full of dialogue. It was interesting of you are interested in theological history and discussion, but not what I bought the book for.

9 people found this helpful

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Not up to previous efforts

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Uncritical readers without much knowledge of history

What could Charles E. Gannon and Eric Flint have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

The manuscript attempted to build up the skill and threat of a primary adversary by having him soundly defeat an established character. Unfortunately, the means by which this was done is so improbable as to break the suspension of disbelief.

Which scene was your favorite?

None, really.

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

Irritation and disappointment

Any additional comments?

Rather than relying on improbably, unrealistic devices, put more thought and development into the adversaries.

8 people found this helpful

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not up to series standards

In a series that has quite a bit of ...let's call it: "convenient personality quirks", this book takes them to absurd levels. That could work in a comedy, but not in a book that takes itself and its story seriously.

7 people found this helpful

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A Weak Point in the Series

If you could sum up 1635 in three words, what would they be?

Very action focused.

What could Charles E. Gannon and Eric Flint have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

This book was a disappointment, delving far too much into religious politics for my tastes. Instead of focusing on the changes that the Uptimers were making, technologically and socially, it focused on the action of rescuing hostages and protecting the Pope. I don't really care about sectarian squabbling. I want to read about the revolution. If this book was about the Secret Jews of Spain deciding to assist the Pope or something to that effect, then this book would have been interesting.

What does George Guidall bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

George Guidall did a lot to bring otherwise uninteresting events to live by using different voices and tones for each subject, perspective, and character. I almost felt that I was listening to an audio drama. He did an excellent job.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When Ascher, Giovanna's Jewish doctor, is introduced, I couldn't help but try to piece together every bit of espionage that he and his assistants were undertaking.

Any additional comments?

Without having read later installments in the series, I would recommend skipping this one.

7 people found this helpful

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Eric Flint, PLEASE come to your senses

Eric Flint has written a number of books that are so good that he would be on my list of favorite authors if he hadn’t written such a high proportion of books that are so bad that I sometimes swear I will never again read anything with his name on it. (All of these bad books were co-authored with inferior writers.)

This book is part of Flint’s Ring of Fire series. The first book in the series, “1632", is very good, and the two books he wrote with David Weber are also good. The story begins in Central Germany in 1632 in the midst of the 30 Years War. But soon the action spreads to involve most of Europe. Because the action is so huge and over such vast areas, he has broken the books out into spinoffs which he calls threads. This book is the third in the Southern European Thread.

After reading the first book and the two collaborations with David Weber, I was so thrilled that I bought the first two books in the Southern European thread (both co-authored with Andrew Dennis) at the same time in hardback. I plowed through the first, “1634: The Galileo Affair,” but was so disgusted by it that I donated the second, “1635: The Cannon Law,” to my local library unopened. Periodically, I reread “1632" and being hungry for more of the same, I will try another of the spinoffs. I am usually disappointed. After reading “The Galileo Affair,” I would never read another book with Andrew Dennis’s name on it. But when this book came out, I saw that Flint had a new co-author for it, and the reviews indicated that this book was better than its two predecessors in this thread.

So I bought it....... Sigh.

There are several subplots going on at once in this book, and one of them follows the group that is trying to save the pope who has been deposed by a cardinal who plans to kill him and put himself in as the new pope. The bad guy, a Borgia, is portrayed as so evil and stupid that the only comparisons that come to me are the bad guys from super-hero comic books or Saturday morning cartoons. The supposed good-guy pope doesn’t have credentials much better. In this book it is mentioned that in history he is mainly known for his extreme nepotism. He supplied his family members with everything he could get his peculating hands on. And something I read about him elsewhere indicated that he had a habit of sending out squads of assassins to deal with people he couldn’t get out of his hair any other way. Yet in this book he is revered by everybody whether Catholic or not, and we the readers are subjected to long, dull arguments about the various tenets of twelfth century catholocism. Somewhere, Robert Heinlein remarked, “One man’s religion is another man’s belly laugh.” I am neither Catholic nor a Christian. I can’t really get into arguments about the infallibility of the pope or whether good people should consider it their duty to save the souls of unbelievers by burning them at the stake.

Another subplot involves efforts to rescue a young couple in the hands of the evil wannabe pope. These people are being held in comfort, although the threat of harsher treatment is always at hand. But meanwhile dozens of military personnel and hundreds of innocent civilians are being tortured and killed in the attempt to rescue two people. What? I just couldn’t see any justification for this. In real life some innocent civilians may be captured and held prisoner by the enemy, but usually the best way to rescue them is to win the war, not waste far more lives making ridiculous commando raids deep into enemy territory.

The book is waaaay too long for the material it covers. There are waaaay too many characters, making it difficult to remember who is a good guy and who isn’t. The storyline switches from one subplot to another waaaay too often so that it is impossible to get involved in any of them.

So: if you have read or listened to all the previous books in this series and liked them, you will probably like this one too. But for the majority of readers, I cannot recommend this book.

21 people found this helpful

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Audible - If you do a series do the whole series!!

I read many of the Ring of Fire series in hardcopy years ago and I was thrilled that it came out in audio form.

The problem with this book (which I had not read before) is that is you need the other 1634 and 1635 books to make sense of the story line here. But Audible is missing several of those books.

Here is Eric Flints Recommended order for the series:
1632
Ring of Fire
1633
1634: The Baltic War

(Somewhere along the way, after you’ve finished 1632, read the stories and articles in the first three paper edition volumes of the Gazette.)

1634: The Ram Rebellion
1634: The Galileo Affair
1634: The Bavarian Crisis

(Somewhere along the way, read the stories and articles in the fourth paper edition volume of the Gazette.)

Ring of Fire II
1635: The Cannon Law
1635: The Dreeson Incident
1635: The Tangled Web

(Somewhere along the way, read the stories in Gazette V.)

1635: The Papal Stakes
1635: The Eastern Front
1636: The Saxon Uprising
Ring of Fire III
1636: The Kremlin Games

Basically the entire middle part of the story line (from after Baltic War through The Grantville Gazette V) is not available.

I understand the Gazettes not being there but the others are critical to understanding all the back story.
For example, Sharron Nichols getting married (last seen crying over her loss of Hans Richter). And the Stone boy and his wife in prison when and how did they get there.

Please audible fill in the gaps!!!

17 people found this helpful

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Unfortunate

Do you think 1635 needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No, The book it follows is not available from audible. There are four 1634 books and only one is here. Vastly disappointing since this volume references and follows closely one of the volumes not available the same thing is going to happen with the 1636 as there are multiple 1635 booksand again this is the only 1635 that does not coincide with this story.
highly disappointing.

7 people found this helpful

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Your Plan Will Always Change When It Meets Reality

We are back in Italy the Pope is on the run, Frank Stone and his wife are being held. This story has action with lots of deep meanings. Highly recommended.