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Tom

Tom West Wickham, United Kingdom Member Since 2007
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  • "Excellent book, superbly narrated"

    Overall

    I very much enjoyed this book.

    I dont read such Mediaeval fantasy series as a rule. I would guess that the fantasy backdrop, the structure of the plot and the nature of the characters are not that original.

    But this book has three splendid things going for it. First it is very well written - sharp, pacy prose, very well drawn characters, and clever and interesting dialogue, all spiced with plenty of sardonic humour; second, although there is some pretty good action the narrative is very much plot and character driven, - lots of threads to a satisfyingly complicated plot, and you want to know what happens to the people in the story, both goodies and baddies; and third and most important is the narrator Stephen Pacey. I listened to the (free) Audible podcast where he explained that he liked reading audiobooks as he got to play all the characters! Well, he certainly earns his money on this book; expertly paced and varied narration and the huge range of characters is brilliantly drawn and brought to convincing life. He turns what is already a very good book into a great one. If there was an Oscar for narrators he should definitely be on the short list.

    This is part 1 of a trilogy and I am looking forward to parts 2 and 3 - also narrated by Stephen Pacey.

    A five star listen without a doubt.

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    The Blade Itself: The First Law: Book One

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Joe Abercrombie
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    Overall
    (715)
    Performance
    (332)
    Story
    (334)

    Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer, is trapped in a twisted and broken body - not that he allows it to distract him from his daily routine of torturing smugglers.Nobleman, dashing officer and would-be fencing champion Captain Jezal dan Luthar is living a life of ease by cheating his friends at cards. Vain and shallow, the biggest blot on his horizon is having to get out of bed in the morning to train with obsessive and boring old men.

    Tom says: "Excellent book, superbly narrated"
  • "A great story & brilliantly narrated"

    Overall

    I confess that I am a great fan of Jim Butcher's Dresden series and was very much looking forward to hearing the audio version. Well, I am delighted to say that I was not disappointed - quite the reverse.

    James Marsters (who played Spike in the TV series Buffy the Vampire Slayer) is a superb narrator. He perfectly captures Jim Butcher's quirky, almost conversational style; he brings Harry Dresden himself brilliantly to life, as well as drawing the other characters with great aplomb; and he keeps the momentum rolling along without let-up. Great stuff.

    As for the book itself, I think it is a model on how to write the first of a sci-fantasy series: it perfectly balances the need for thrills and spills, humour, human interest, goodies and baddies with developing the magical background and back-plot. The series improves with every book so I very much hope that Audible get the rest of the series after the first four, all of which are available on the US audible website.

    Strongly recommended.

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    Storm Front: The Dresden Files, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    Overall
    (427)
    Performance
    (240)
    Story
    (237)

    A call from a distraught wife, and another from Lt Murphy of the Chicago PD Special Investigation Unit makes Harry believe things are looking up, but they are about to get worse, much worse. Someone is harnessing immense supernatural forces to commit a series of grisly murders. Someone has violated the first law of magic: Thou Shalt Not Kill. Tracking that someone takes Harry into the dangerous underbelly of Chicago, from mobsters.

    Tom says: "A great story & brilliantly narrated"
  • "long and absorbing"

    Overall

    This is a very fine and well written book though it is difficult to classify - part horror, part science fiction, post-apocalypse tale, part quest. It bears a resemblance to Stephen King's 'The Stand', but much better plotted with a far more convincing backdrop - indeed the vision that the author paints is truly mind blowing in its scope, timescale and detail - frighteningly plausible in its way. And although the book is very long, it is never less than absorbing - and clearly part of a trilogy - but if I say more as it might ruin the ending! The only ting it lacks, arguably, is a bit more humour to lighten the atmosphere occasionally.

    The only slight negative point is the narration. I do like Scott Brick as a narrator, but on this book he is a tad slow for my taste, and he adopts a somewhat doom-laden tone. A brisker ore deadpan delivery would I think have been better, but that said, he holds the attention easily, with good characterisation. Sound quality is first class. Still if you are thinking of buying the book, do listen to the sample before you commit yourself as it's a LONG book!

    A five star listen for me, and I think anyone who likes Science Fiction/Fantasy post-apocalypse/quest type tales will enjoy this book too.

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    The Passage

    • UNABRIDGED (36 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Justin Cronin
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Adenrele Ojo, Abby Craden
    Overall
    (943)
    Performance
    (204)
    Story
    (201)

    Amy Harper Bellafonte is six years old, and her mother thinks she's the most important person in the whole world. She is.... Anthony Carter doesn't think he could ever be in a worse place than Death Row.... He's wrong. FBI agent Brad Wolgast thinks something beyond imagination is coming.... It is.

    Tom says: "long and absorbing"
  1. The Blade Itself: The Fir...
  2. Storm Front: The Dresden ...
  3. The Passage
  4. .

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    Caesar, Galton, and Fiero set sail aboard the inter-island freighter the Lucky Lady, and their search for the Sacred Scroll leads them to the Bermuda Triangle, the gateway to a captivating underwater paradise filled with beautiful women. As the fate of the world still hangs in the balance, the heroic trio band together to stop the destruction before the powers of the scroll are unleashed.