"Wonderful story, wonderful narration"
This is another great volume in the Peter Grant series. Aaronovitch has established a set of likeable three-dimensional characters who inhabit a rich urban fantasy world. The central narrative thread of this volume (investigating a crime in the underground) moves along nicely, and the broader narrative arcs of the series are developed. Aaronovitch also does well in tackling some tricky real-world issues such as race and disability without ever seeming to preach. It's good to see Lesley back doing policework.
Kobna Holdbrook-Smith's narration is flat-out terrific. There is a broader set of accents for him to contend with here, but each voice emerges as individual and convincing. The central performance of Peter Grant holds the whole thing together - colloquial, self-deprecating, bright and perceptive in many ways, a bit obtuse in others.
Oh, and did I mention how funny the whole thing is in places? In fact, the only problem with this audiobook is the funny looks you get as you walk along apparently chortling to yourself.
"A great book for the car"
I got this for my 5 year old daughter to listen to in the car, and I've now listened to it more often than anything else I've ever got from Audible. We both think it's great. The story is engaging without being too terrifying for a child. The underlying ideas are imaginative and fresh. Each scene is well done. The overall plot makes sense. The narrator, Sophie Aldred, does a terrific job of differentiating the characters. You can listen to it five times on a long journey to France and not want to smash your ipod into tiny pieces at the end.
I should note that it is the third in the series - Cosmo and the Magic Sneeze is first, Cosmo and the Great Witch Escape is second, and these are great too. But it's not really necessary to read them in order - everything explained very clearly.
This comes as close to perfection in an audiobook as I think it's possible to get. The mix of wry observation about everyday policing in London combined with a clever supernatural storyline is brilliant. And the narrator is fantastic. His dry, deadpan delivery works well both for the comic one-liners and for the action sequences. In fact, I suspect that I would not enjoy this book so much on the page because it would lack Kobna Holdbrook-Smith's timing and character voicing. Great stuff.
I first read 'Dead Until Dark' some years ago. While I didn't hate it, I didn't really love it either. In print, it's a fairly short read and I just didn't find the romance between Bill and Sookie all that compelling. Having watched the TV series, though, I decided to give the audio books a try and I'm absolutely gripped. For a start it's fascinating to see what changes have been made between book and TV show, and it certainly helps that I can now visualise all the wonderful characters from the show (partly because the novel is in the first person, some of the supporting characters are not as fully fleshed as on the TV show). But the books themselves are also richer than initially gave them credit for, and the length works well for audio. Yes, they are quite formulaic in some ways, but Harris has some neat tricks up her sleeve and can write comedy, romance and action scenes effectively.
Credit must also go to the reader of the audiobook, Johanna Parker. Sookie is quite a difficult character to give voice to I think - she has to seem moral without seeming prissy, and to resist the attention of various gorgeous men without seeming prudish - and Parker really pulls it off. A well-paced and enjoyable listen.
It's lovely to hear the full version of the Paddington stories, which are so beautifully written and funny for children and adults alike. And Stephen Fry is the perfect reader for these stories - dry, witty, well-timed. He differentiates each voice very clearly without going over the top. One to enjoy in the car on a long journey again and again and again.
"A good short story"
This is a short story (but then, it's cheap too). It's a good glimpse into some much-loved characters. It's certainly not where I would choose to start listening to the series, but for someone who has read everything else in the Vorkosigan series, it's certainly worth a listen.
Also I too disagree about the narration (while accepting that everyone has a right for preferences in such matters). For me, Grover Gardner is a superb reader of the novels - dry, witty and understated. I love to read the books and then a bit later listen them to them too - it's a completely different, but equally wonderful, experience.
"Not a complete story"
Although it had some slow patches, this was quite an enjoyable romp and Seregil is definitely a compelling character. Under normal circumstances I'd have given it four stars. However, what spoiled it a bit for me was that nothing really got resolved at the end. It's part of a series, but it doesn't stand alone as a complete story in it's own right. If you want to know the answers to the major questions you're going to have to get the rest of the series. And I didn't enjoy it *that* much that I'm dashing to read the rest. So, all in all, it was a bit let-down at the end.
"OK but a bit dull"
This was a perfectly pleasant way to pass the time and the narrator was clearly enjoying himself. However, it had very little flair or excitement. The central character, Ben, was rather stodgy and the main female character, Willow, was drippy beyond belief. The plot trotted along in a workmanlike fashion but I was never gripped.
"Just the best"
My favourite novel in my favourite series. Miles has set his heart on Ekaterin Vorsoisson but finds serious obstacles in his path to matrimonial bliss, not least his own tendency to try to orchestrate the lives of others.
In some ways it's rather a change of pace from earlier Vorkosigan novels: the cast has broadened out considerably, the perspective from which the story is told changes regularly, and the emphasis is more social and less military. But Bujold still combines gripping plot development with light comedy, while also writing very movingly at points. It's the kind of audiobook that gets me funny looks on the bus as I alternately snort with laughter and look pained and concerned.
"Grabbed me midway through"
About a third of a way into this novel I was seriously considering trying something else instead. I didn't know where the plot was going and there were several unpleasant characters with long stretches of dialogue. Gradually, however, it began to grip me and at the end I lay awake way too late into the night to finish listening to it, then woke up the next morning to order the next in the series (which is Midwinter of the Spirit). So, it's a fairly slow start but bear with it because all the plot elements gradually twist together and there are various gripping mysteries that reach a satisfying conclusion.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.