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The Written

Emaneska Series
Narrated by: William Campbell
Length: 13 hrs and 7 mins
4 out of 5 stars (44 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

His name is Farden.

They whisper that he's dangerous.

Dangerous is only the half of it.

Something has gone missing from the libraries of Arfell. Something very old, and something very powerful. Five scholars are now dead, a country is once again on the brink of war, and the magick council is running out of time and options.

Entangled in a web of lies and politics and dragged halfway across icy Emaneska and back, Farden must unearth a secret even he doesn't want to know, a secret that will shake the foundations of his world. Dragons, drugs, magick, death, and the deepest of betrayals await.

Welcome to Emaneska.

Want to know what The Written is? Think Lord of the Rings meets Sin City, and you'll be on the right track. Now available in audio for the first time ever, The Written is the first instalment of the epic and gritty Emaneska Series, by young UK author Ben Galley.

©2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 Ben Galley (P)2014 Ben Galley

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

Good Story, wonky voice

The story was interesting, and the voice actor did a good job, but multiple times within the editing you could hear the VA was at different distances from the microphone. Also, during intense combat, the VA would speed up their reading, so it felt as if the battle was rushed instead of being a monumental moment.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Started strong but quickly petered out

This book has a brilliant premise with an immense scope but unfortunately doesn't quite deliver on its promises.

William Campbell is a decently skilled narrator, but a lot of his voices sound very similar. And while his vocal inflections are mostly good, he doesn't vary his tempo at all.

Now, the opening to this book had me enthralled and begging for more. The promise of its premise was absolutely fantastic.

And then I spent almost 3 hours trying to figure out who the main character was and what was important.

The author spends a lot of time intentionally withholding the names of his POV characters. And while it was a fun novelty at first, after the third or fourth character of this it got old and subsequently became annoying.

The larger problem with the sprawling cast, however, is that of all the POV characters we are introduced to only two or three are actually important to the story. The rest end up feeling sadly like at best set pieces and at worst filler.

Around the middle I finally got a handle on who was important and who I was meant to be rooting for. Unfortunately, I found very little to like in the main character.

And making that even worse are the multitude of reminders that he's supposed to be the most powerful Written in... Well, basically ever.

First off, all-powerful characters really bore me. That's why I'm not a fan of Superman. But even worse (depending on how you look at it), if he's so powerful why is he having so much trouble with the challenges he faces?

The close of the book was decently satisfying in that it neatly closed off enough of the story lines to feel like an ending. But at this point I can't identify any character arc for anyone in the book.

Needless to say, I will not be continuing this series.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful