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The Core

Demon Cycle, Book 5
Narrated by: Pete Bradbury
Series: The Demon Cycle, Book 5
Length: 29 hrs and 22 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (4,010 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author Peter V. Brett brings one of the most imaginative fantasy sagas of the 21st century to an epic close.

For time out of mind, bloodthirsty demons have stalked the night, culling the human race to scattered remnants dependent on half-forgotten magics to protect them. Then two heroes arose - men as close as brothers, yet divided by bitter betrayal.

Arlen Bales became known as the Warded Man, tattooed head to toe with powerful magic symbols that enable him to fight demons in hand-to-hand combat-and emerge victorious. Jardir, armed with magically warded weapons, called himself the Deliverer, a figure prophesied to unite humanity and lead them to triumph in Sharak Ka - the final war against demonkind.

But in their efforts to bring the war to the demons, Arlen and Jardir have set something in motion that may prove the end of everything they hold dear - a Swarm. Now the war is at hand and humanity cannot hope to win it unless Arlen and Jardir, with the help of Arlen's wife, Renna, can bend a captured demon prince to their will and force the devious creature to lead them to the Core, where the Mother of Demons breeds an inexhaustible army.

Trusting their closest confidantes, Leesha, Inevera, Ragen, and Elissa, to rally the fractious people of the Free Cities and lead them against the Swarm, Arlen, Renna, and Jardir set out on a desperate quest into the darkest depths of evil - from which none of them expects to return alive.

©2017 Peter V. Brett (P)2017 Recorded Books

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Excellent series start, worthless end.

First two books were good. They established good premiss for a plausible magic system in a stark and original world. I was delighted to see that there were several more books available.

The story stalled a bit in book three, but it was still decent. By book 4 though, the rules previously established for the magic system were completely breaking down, and by book five it was complete Deus ex magica; magic could do anything anyone willed it to do except when the story needed tension, and then suddenly failed for no explicable reason.

I also got tired of “using his/her/it’s weight against them,” everyone’s honor being boundless, and the tendency of all the characters to pass moral judgement and criticism whenever the author wanted tension, often in the middle of heavy action, and on people who the judger had previously already made peace with and deemed acceptable.

The production had some problems, too. I listen to audiobooks in a moderately noisy environment, as do many people who drive for a living.

They producer failed to adequately normalize the volume; it was fine listening when I was stopped, but when I had background noise, I had to turn the volume high in order to hear the quiet parts, and the next sentence would start so loud that it left my ears ringing. This didn’t happen just a few times, but was the pattern for almost every sentence.

I very much liked the voice of the reader, but the production should have been audio mastered, because I found it extremely distracting to hear the salivary clicks and smacks. It continually caused me to imagine someone with poorly fitting dentures, or an excess of saliva to the point of almost drooling.

I hate to give such a poor review, especially since I have not written anything myself. I imagine the disappointment of having such an amazing beginning to the series ending in a miserable slog through the last book has created some resentment.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Disappointing ending

The first book started incredibly strong, but with each book the author strayed farther and farther from the main story line. There were too many weak threads that the author focused on leaving the main arc imbarassingly lacking in detail and development by the climax.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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A 13 year old’s idea of porn

Was so sad to listen to this book. The world Peter Brett built in the first book was interesting. As the series has been building it has been been descending into unnecessary poorly written gratuitous sex and sexual content. I am no prude, but this is jut pathetic.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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I've always been a defender of this book series...

I can't tell you how disappointed I was with the final book. It is called the core but only 20% of it is really about the core.

Spoilers ahead!

You can actually feel the point when Peter got the call from the publisher saying to hurry up. There is painful detail about all these side stories and then he just wraps them up with a few sentences after the big Core fight. He sets it up as if all these side stories were important but apparently got tired of writing or got that call I mentioned. I can only hope that he did it because he is going to do another book.

Big Spoiler Ahead!

Also, pretty much ever character survives except our hero? Again, setting up another book I hope.

Lastly, this series has had so many painfully long details throughout the series. So, why was the final big scene and wrap up rushed and seems like an after school special? I though they might all hold hands and sing Kumbaya in the last few paragraphs.

Just a rushed, poor ending to one of my favorite series of all time.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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It is an ending.

I have been a fan since Warded Man, but the last two books just feel different from the first few. I actually did not mind the sexual situation in the other books, but this book must have more graphic depictions in the first few hours of the book that the rest of the series combined. It really threw me off, especially since it does not even seem to add anything to the story line. You do receive more points of view, and I actually began to like some of it until the abrupt ending. It just did not have the epic feeling of most of the big battles in the early books. Many of the new POVs had some potential, but it just seemed really rushed at the end. I am happy this is series is over and I did enjoy how some relationships developed. I probably would not recommend the whole series to anyone, but I would still recommend the Warded Man.

Good narration.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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Hastily done.

Unlike the other books from The Demon Cycle, The Core seemed a bit rushed. That took away from what the book could have been, and left something to be desired in the ending. The book starts well, but it's written differently towards the end, and there is just not as much action or description as one might have wanted, sort of ruining the series for me. I will give it a couple more reads, and reevaluate... However for now it's a big flop.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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unsatisfying

I can't help but feel disappointed in this book. It left me wanting in so many areas.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Okay But Predictable

This story finished exactly as I thought it would. Somewhat anticlimactic when you've figured out how something will end two books ago. Still, I very much enjoyed the series and especially Pete Bradbury's telling of it.

My only real complaint is the introduction of the hermaphrodite baby. There was no reason for this and it left me wondering -- wait, what the...?? Maybe Peter is setting us up for the "next" chapter, but it was too off the wall and did nothing for the story.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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dragged on

ended up fast forwarding and skipping parts just to get to the end. I would have abandoned it altogether but I had already read the prior 4 books and wanted to see how it ended.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Mostly filler

Core-spawn-it Brett, you coulda writ the series in three or four books if youda just cut the tangents and the treadin' water. Didja fire your editor or sumpthin?

So in the beginning of this series (The Warded Man) the author introduces us to a few interesting characters. Through the first two or—charitably—three books, he does quite a good job of making us care about them. So why, in the last two books, and especially this final installment, is so much time spent on peripheral characters about whom we’ve not been inspired to care? Worse, even when we do encounter the ones we’d come to revisit, we get interminable conversations that fail to advance the story in any meaningful way.

This story arc might have made a solid four-part epic fantasy. Instead, we’re given two or three good (or in the case of the first volume, better than good) books and two volumes of rambling filler. The publisher succeeded in getting me to pony up for an extra book this way. But it’s unlikely I’ll trust this author again, so the decision to extend the series one more book than the story could hold may have been penny wise and pound foolish.

I read the first four books. But by the end of the fourth, I didn't think I could get though to the ending, so I decided to do the audiobook instead. The voice performance is adequate. It's a little newscaster-ish, but at least our news anchorman doesn't try too hard to do voices. That would've been truly awful. I'm fine with a solid narration alone if the story is engaging. Sadly, this one is not. The saddest thing is that those of us who came to care for these characters had to slog through so much dull fluff to get to the final resolution.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful