The New York Times best-seller, now in audio! This edition expands on the civil upheaval among the drow, one of the most popular races in the Forgotten Realms. Best-selling author R.A. Salvatore wrote the prologue to Annihilation and continues to consult on the series, lending his expertise as the author who brought drow society to the forefront of the Forgotten Realms mythos.
A journey through the unforgiving expanse of the endless Abyss awaits. At the end of that journey a ragged band of dark elves hope to find Lolth herself. Though they've managed to survive the fall of Ched Nasad, the demon-haunted ruins of Myth Drannor, and the vicious cunning of aboleth slave-masters, the Underdark is child's play compared to the chaotic infinity of the Demonweb Pits. They'll go to find the truth but may well find only... Annihilation.
©2004 Wizards of the Coast, Inc. (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
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"Excellent Story, Good Performance"
I would recommend this book. The whole series is quite good, the characters compelling, and the plot interesting.
I wouldn't recommend this unless you're reading/listening to the entire hexology, however.
One of the more memorable moments of War of the Spider Queen 5 was... Well, I don't want to spoil it for anyone. Still
She has really hit her stride with the voice acting and on pronouncing things by this point. There were a few times I thought she said something oddly, but overall it was quite good. Her voice was very good for making the characters distinct by this point, as well.
Honestly, no, While interesting, it's simply too long (as part of a hexology) for me to be willing to try to marathon it. But I don't think that's a bad thing.
"A pivotal entry in the War of the Spider Queen"
I'll get this out right now, despite some notable flaws, Annihilation is my favorite book in the War of the Spider Queen series since Dissolution.
First, a little background, for those who have gotten this far into the War of the Spider Queen series without doing much side research on it. War of the Spider Queen was an ambitious project undertaken by Wizards of the Coast, under the advisement of RA Salvatore. The overarching plot line and all of its main events was dictated before ink ever touched the page, and those milestones were handed off to multiple authors to write each entry (with editorial oversight by Salvatore). As a result, each book has some minor departures in style and characterization based on author interpretation. That said, the events that unfold in this entry are key for the series as a whole. Here we see the mission, which really began in book II, come to a close. We also see the inklings of change, as our heroes undertake a new mission (to be explored in the final book).
Book V is brought to us by the author Philip Athans. I have mixed feelings on his work in this book. On the one hand, I enjoyed how Athans included details which reinforced the careless brutality of the drow. We get to see the tragic deaths of humans through their own eyes. The stories of their lives, their dreams, and their aspirations are paraded before us in the fleeting moments before they die as meaningless pawns in the power struggles between drow. Also to his credit, Athans provides an excellent description of the most pivotal event in the series (which occurs in the final few chapters). However, this impressive descriptive skill is not on display throughout the rest of the book. Athans dialogue and prose are often uninspired and mechanical. It feels like every line of dialogue is "said," rather than "barked," "warned," or "whispered." Basically, Athans doesn't take enough care with word choice throughout the novel.
To sum up my opinion on Athans' work here, he does a great job with large scale storytelling but lacks the mechanics of a writer.
Rosalyn Landor is the real star of the show in this audiobook. Her consistent performance throughout the series helps to smooth the transition between authors, which might otherwise be very jarring. Danifae's voice continues to be husky and seductive, Quenthel remains haughty, Jeggred remains feral. Some detractors of the paper copy of this book have argued that the characters feel inconsistent; the continuity of voice helps to maintain the sense that these are the same characters as before, only changing as a result of their mission. Moreover, Landor's performance and emotion successfully covers up any lack of emotive writing on Athans' part. I'm not sure if I would have enjoyed this entry as much if I had read it in paper.
Obviously, if you've gotten this far in the series, Annihilation is easy to recommend. I think it's a satisfying end to the longest arc the series has to offer, and it catapults you into the awaiting conclusion.
"review for entire series:"
i was a little leery about how a female narrator would accomplish such a wide variety of character voices, when so many of them are supposed to be hulking, gruff monsters. wow, did she pull that off. i was never once distracted by a character voice seeming out of place. obviously, i don't expect ANY narrator to adapt a "death metal singer's" rasp, especially if they are voicing a 5-book series. but everything she does is appropriate. i wish Salvatore would have hired her instead of a couple of the incompetent bumblers that have read a few of his other works.
the story overall is quite enjoyable, and resolves appropriately. there are some great characters, and web woven is entertainingly complex & twisted.
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