"Good book, poor narrator"
I enjoyed this book, even though I did find the use of 'he' to refer to Cromwell a little grating at times. However, I have to say that the narration really put me off - the lack of difference in voices stopped the dialogue really coming alive for me, as there seem to be only three types - gruff, lordly, and simpering, with almost no difference in accents. Also, the reader's inability to pronounce several simple words, like 'secretary', snags in the ear and stops you from being able to enjoy the story. He sounded half-asleep at some points, which doesn't help the reader feel engaged with the events he is narrating.
Overall, though, I would recommend this book, as Mantel brings the events, perceptions, and characters of the 16th century alive and constructs a wide-ranging narrative well - although I would perhaps recommend reading it in paper form, rather than the audiobook.
"A brilliant story, wonderfully told"
This is a rich, complex story about life in 60s Mississippi, politics and race relations, but more even than those grand themes, it is an intelligent and moving story of the relationships between women. The narrators are great, bringing such warmth and heart to the characters they portray.
I would recommend this book to anyone, but I think perhaps female readers will the most from it.
I read this as a paperback years ago, and loved the whole series it's a part of. The mix of William Gibson-like technology ideas and a wry take on politics, especially this of the thinly-disguised Socialist Workers' Party, make for an entertaining plot and likeable characters. However, something about it just doesn't seem to work as an audiobook so well. I think a major factor of this is probably the narrator, who gives many of the characters very similar accents and who I feel misinterpreted the main protagonist. There are also several slips in pronunciation and emphasis, which meant I couldn't quite relax and enjoy the story. Overall, I was ok, just not as good as I'd hoped.
"Fun story, shame about the narrator"
This is a fun fantasy story, with the usual gore and heroics, plus Abercrombie's fine pacing and witty characters; but in contrast with the First Law trilogy I think it is a little too stolid in its use of familiar themes and character types - in fact, several episodes, motives, settings, and even character traits seem to have been transposed almost directly from that story into this.
In common with other reviewers, I found that what really let this book down was its narrator. In the grand scheme of things he is probably okay, bar some mispronunciations and errors of emphasis, but he definitely suffers in comparison with the narrator of the First Law trilogy, who was excellent. I'm not sure why the publishers chose a different actor for this book, because several of the same characters reappear, and when you find they are suddenly given an entirely new voice - and therefore personality - it disrupts your enjoyment, and the continuity of the plotlines.
"Great story, superb narration"
This is a great book, the start of a very enjoyable trilogy. Although the narrative elements don't always seem to tie in, that is because this is the set-up to an epic quest story. Although the themes and events are those often found insword and sorcery fantasy stories, the excellent pacing and believable characters make this an outstanding book.
What really lifts it up, though, is Steven Pacey's narration - he handles a huge cast with consummate skill, men and women both, giving them life and making them all easily recognizable. Excellent.
This is a great piece of exploratory sci-fi presented in an excellent audio format: there is an interview at the end with Orson Scott Card in which he talks about the influence on his writing of his work in the theatre, and this can be seen in the way they have presented this recording of the book.
I'd recommend this to anyone interested in thought-provoking sci-fi, and in well-presented oral literature.
"Not very enjoyable"
I found the stories in this trilogy to be muddled hodgepodges of different genres, all pushed together to 'explore' the character' (or author's) angsty need to find themselves. I know this is supposed to be a literary classic, and possible the allusions just went over my head, but I found it boring and could not care about any of the characters, all of whom seemed self-obsessed, whiny, and slightly unhinged. The reader was okay, although I got worried during the long passage where Peter Stillman has a monologue, as it was delivered in a really strange voice. This did seem to fit with the description of the voice though, so I suppose he was just trying to do the text justice.
I have just finished Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy, which was great, with plenty of swords, sorcery, humour and engaging characters, and, when I saw how popular this book seemed, thought it might be a good follow-up. However, I have to say I was disappointed: the plot lacks pace, and the characterisations are two-dimensional, making the characters hard to believe in. Although it had some good moments, I wouldn't recommend this book - I think it lazily uses well-worn fantasy themes, characters, and set pieces, without having anything new to make it worth reading.
The narrator was good though, clearly differentiating most of the different voices, of which there are many.
"Great story, well told"
This was my first introduction to Phillip Jose Farmer, and I have to say I loved it. Great science fiction writing, with a fascinating central idea, well-developed and entertaining characters, and fluent writing. I would recommend this to anyone looking for some great science fiction writing.
"Great story let down by the narrator"
Having read Robin Hobb's Assassin, Liveship, and Fool trilogies avidly as a teenager, I was really pleased to hear she'd started another trilogy set in the same world. I enjoyed this book, full of characters you can believe in and vivid descriptions of the Rain Wilds, although it feels a little Regency-esque. The main problem I have with this audiobook, though, is the narrator: I found her voice grating, although that may be simply a personal thing. More to the point, she misreads, mispronounces, and misenterprets words and sentences all the way through, which means that your attention is never fully on the story, as you're waiting for the next wince-inducing slip.
Overall, a good book not done justice by its presentation.
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.