The last mile is always the longest.
Emaculum is the haunting conclusion to the Scourge trilogy. Sir Edward Dallingridge’s wife, the Lady Elizabeth, waits once more in St. Edmund’s Abbey. And to reach her, Edward must battle a king and save a queen, break an oath and make another. He must destroy a legion of demons and take up God’s banner as two armies threaten to tear England apart.
The Red Plague that has swept England continues to burn through the populace, and the feudal hierarchy collapses. With every life he takes, Edward’s soul blackens a shade, and only his lost love can save him from his sins. But he must reach her first. And his greatest enemies are not the savage plaguers wandering the villages of his kingdom, but the men and women who have avoided the affliction.
Where is King Richard? Where are England’s armies? Can the Red Plague be cured? Edward will unravel each of these mysteries... but the answers may not please him.
It is amazing how thoroughly a poor performance by a narrator can completely ruin a wonderful book. I have looked forward to this book for so long, now I can barely force myself to listen to this flat, lifeless and oddly halting performance.
Where does Emaculum rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
I would put this book in the middle of my library. The conversations among the characters were entertaining and well-written. The plot was interesting, with the twist of taking place in historical England. I found myself googling various figures to find out how accurate the their depiction was, and there is a bonus section at the end of the book describing where the author's characterization of them differed from his research.
The one deterrent for me was the main character's internal dialogue: constantly reminding himself of what's at stake, what he's done to get to this place, how he's going to hell, blah-blah-blah. Some further editing on this character would have been appreciated. Everything else was great.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Tristan. His comments and asides throughout the story were almost Python-esque, especially during the action scenes. There were a number of times I cracked up on the bus.
What does Lynn Roberts bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Lynn gave each character a distinct, consistent voice, so it was easy to discern which person was speaking. Accents and tone gave me a good idea of what the characters were like.
If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?
IN A WORLD where the Black Plague didn't just kill you, it made you a zombie! One knight and his comrades race find a cure to save mankind (and his true love)!
Any additional comments?
The playback of the audiobook seemed a little slow. I can't tell if it's due to my iPod, or because I usually listen to weekly podcasts on near 2X speed these days. Once I changed the speed to 1.5X in the Audible app, tone and cadence seemed much more normal.
This was a fun story overall, and I had such high hopes, but the terrible narration really ruined the ending. I think Lynn Roberts is a fine narrator of other stories, but for whatever reason, he really fell flat here. It was more than the sudden absence of an english accent, it was also difficult to tell some characters apart and in some sections. sen. ten. ces. were. over.ly pro. noun. ced. like. some. one. teach. ing. a. child. to. read. (yes, it was that annoying). The biggest disappointment was that Sir Tristen failed to be funny. His lines were delivered with such a lack of personality that the cleverness was all but lost. He was one of the best things about this story. Tragic!
I needed to see our heros through to the end, but it was nowhere near as enjoyable a journey as the first two (even with the annoyance in book 2 of being interrupted each chapter to hear "historical notes" that really should have been saved till the end).
I would still recommend this story, but it might be a better idea to read - at least this last book - the old fashioned way.. especially if you care anything at all about Sir Tristen.
I am going to lay this out straight, Lynn Roberts is a good narrator, but he was either off his game or was not offered better direction. The difference between Roberts narration and the narration of Nico Evers-Swindell is such a sharp contrast that it is jarring. Frankly I had to force myself through the shock and into the story.
It is not a bad performance, but it feels really phoned in, like the Roberts was given little time and less enthusiasm.
The story is good, and manages to outshine the narration in many points, but is, like the other two books in this series, literary poptarts- enjoyable, easy to consume, but in the end, without much substance.
The characters are enjoyable, with an effort made for diversity. They are believable and their individual tones are separated enough that you are never wondering who is who in the heat of dialog.
I hate to beat a dead horse, but had the narration been better, with more energy, It could have pushed this into a very good conclusion to a very fun story, but lacking the push of the previous two books, it just feels like the soul leaves the series before it ends.
Would I recommend this book? Very much so if you have read the other two. Even with sitting pale next to the previous entries, it's still worth it to find out what happens and to see the knights further exploits.
Without them, and at this time Audible does not offer them, I would recommend against.