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Ozzymandias

Mistworld
  • 33
  • reviews
  • 140
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  • 135
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  • Adults in the Room

  • My Battle with Europe's Deep Establishment
  • By: Yanis Varoufakis
  • Narrated by: Leighton Pugh
  • Length: 20 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 377
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 343
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 345

In Adults in the Room, Yanis Varoufakis exposes the shocking reality of how power is wielded behind the scenes at the EU - and argues that only radical reform can save it from collapse. Yanis Varoufakis became globally famous when was elected finance minister of Greece with a specific mandate to say no to the EU: to reject the forced loans and crushing austerity forced upon his country by the Eurozone.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The most interesting political memoir I have read

  • By Nik Jewell on 02-06-17

Why politics cannot be left to politicians!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-07-17

This is a highly detailed, entertaining and brilliantly written account of the absurdity of so much that goes on in the halls of power. It is forthright and uncompromisingly frank.

One thing that struck me about Yanis is that he was keen not to treat the people like a bunch of idiots as the so-called elite in all countries are prone to do. He also astutely presents the case for open government in all countries and clarity of policies and their implications as well as the need for an educated, politically active and engaged populous ready to hold their leaders to account. I am most familiar with politics in the US and the UK and a lack of openness, clarity and education has meant that the people are not really able to bring their politicians and the bankers responsible for their predicament to account. When the credit crunch occurred the then governor of the Bank of England Mervyn King thought that people would be rioting in the streets for what the financial sector had done to their economy but there was barely a peep other than a few headlines in the papers.

The lack of clarity of thought of the people in the UK and US have led them to blame the wrong people for their predicament in both countries migrants and ethnic minorities are targeted rather than politicians, financiers and economists that orchestrated the movement of wealth from from the bottom two thirds to the top few percent under the umbrella of globalisation.

People need to realise that you can't just vote for some inspirational leader and hope that they'll fix everything. Real and constant pressure need to be brought to bear on the leadership by the people to ensure that the democracy functions correctly and the press - which is pretty much a joke in all countries must pull their finger out and start batting for the people rather than the oligarchy.

Prior to reading this book, I never fully grasped people's complaints of "unelected bureaucrats in Brussels". Well this is exactly what they mean. To call this account a Greek tragedy is highly accurate if not a little on the nose - but it reminds me of the greater tragedy of how the populous of the most powerful countries have allowed a small cadre of powerful individuals to corrupt their politics and the politics in other countries. The world is more interconnected than it has ever been and these connections are likely to increase over time. For me the greatest danger are not the corrupt politicians, leaders and bankers but an uneducated, unfocused, and unaware electorate that allow them to continue to flourish and make life worse for everyone particularly the most vulnerable people in the world. There is a lot of needless suffering that goes on in the world and this book is yet another clear example of this.

Politics can not be left to politicians. Economics can not be left to economists.

  • Malcolm X: The Last Speeches

  • By: Malcolm X
  • Narrated by: Malcolm X
  • Length: 1 hr and 38 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7

"Any kind of movement for freedom of Black people based solely within the confines of America is absolutely doomed to fail." Speeches and interviews from the last two years of his life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Utterly Brilliant

  • By Ozzymandias on 27-08-16

Utterly Brilliant

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 27-08-16

Malcom X's speeches are still very relevant today and more is the pity. This is the history I should have learnt at school, not the kings and queens of england and not the second world war which does not define me in the least as a black person. Yes black people fought in that war but not for any reason that benefitted them.

It is a pity that the US in all its propaganda about fairness is still such an abjectly and disgracefully racist society. In the UK a black person might not be shot by the police, but regardless of talent and drive is guaranteed to go nowhere in society. The west is hypocritical and mendacious in the extreme and Malcom X's speeches should be a reminder that things must change.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Kill Switch

  • Joe Ledger, Book 8
  • By: Jonathan Maberry
  • Narrated by: Ray Porter
  • Length: 17 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47

Terrorists have acquired a terrible new weapon that can crash the power grid and plunge America into a new dark age. A coordinated attack is planned to shut out all lights and emergency services to 10 major cities. Planes will fall, hospitals will go dark, no help will come. And in that terrible darkness, a dreadful plague will be released. If the lights go off, nothing can stop the bioweapon from killing millions. At the same time, the intelligence services are being torn apart from within by a plague of betrayal, murder, and suicide.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic

  • By Amazon Customer on 07-05-16

Awesome fun

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

Reviewed: 19-06-16

Some authors are good and maintain a fairly constant level of quality, others fade; some have great ideas but their execution are a disappointment. Maberry keeps getting better and better. In a market where churning out mediocre novels is rather prevalent, Maberry has taken the time to hone his craft; he clearly loves what he does.

I think of Maberry as a much more intelligent version of other authors in this space. His Joe Ledger books take paranormal fantasy and couch them in an intelligently constructed scientific framework. Okay vampires don't exist, but if they did how could they come about? This particular book is not about vampires but you get the point. He delivers this in an action packed dramatic and deft way with surprises that will thrill and grip you. He is clearly a master of his craft and I look forward to more from this writer that is clearly a cut above most of his contemporaries.

So far I have read Maberry's:

Kill Switch
Predator One
Extinction Machine
Assassins Code

They are all great books and I gave them the same rating as this one, however I felt Predator One had too much of the 9/11 conspiracy about it I still enjoyed the book as much as all the others and I agreed with most of the political/philosophical points he was making but it had a bit too much of secret government action against the interest of the populace for my taste. The fact that I was still able to enjoy the book is a testament to the skill of the author.

I also read his books backwards Kill Switch being my first. Something else I like about Maberry is that he is able to write continuations giving just the right amount of previous events away teasing them enough for you to be temped without spoiling them. The order in which I read the books did not degrade the enjoyment even adding an extra little frisson of tension, excitement and expectation to the experience.

Ray Porters performance of the Joe Ledger stories is quite frankly utterly brilliant. It is the job of the narrator to present the most accurate reflection of the authors intent for the characters and Ray Porter plays this role perfectly.

All that remains for me to say, is just hit the buy button! Mash it!

  • Hollow World

  • By: Michael J. Sullivan
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis
  • Length: 12 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 432
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 401
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 400

Ellis Rogers is an ordinary man, about to embark on an extraordinary journey. All his life he has played it safe, but faced with a terminal illness he’s willing to take an insane gamble. He’s built a time machine in his garage. If it works, he could find more than a cure for his illness; he might find what everyone has been searching for since time began...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Imaginative Futuristic Utopia

  • By Beanie on 26-04-14

Cool Mash-up

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

Reviewed: 29-05-16

Think Time Machine meets Brave New World meets Apocalypse Now and other cool literature and cinematic plots. It even has strains of Weird Science reminding me of the quote "making a girl, actually making a girl".

I have a lot of time for Michael Sullivan. I think he's a pretty good author, one might say he is a great author. I certainly loved his Riyria Chronicle series and enjoyed Hollow World. It is therefore possible that my fandom of his Riyira series influenced my judgement of this book.

I confessed that I was a little frustrated with the lead character and there where several times I thought he was a little weak and I'd think, "just shoot them already!". But if you think about it, you can't just go around and start shooting people willy nilly. I think the lead character is supposed to be weak in some ways. He's not an action hero, his strength lies in his moral character. He is trying to do the right thing all the time. So he doesn't just shoot someone because he feels threatened or because it he thinks it might make his life easier. At each point he struggles to do the right thing even in the possibility that he might loose his own life. He tries to see the good in other people and sometimes it is hard, especially when those close to him betray him, but he doesn't let it change his essential nature. That is the struggle in this tale. The death of his son has changed the his view of life and made him a better person but at the same time seriously damages his marriage.

Hollow World also forces us to realise just how different we are as human beings. One person's idea of utopia is another person's idea of hell or at least a thoroughly unpleasant situation. A large part of this is because humans are self-centred, we try to impose our ideas of how the world should work on each other which inevitably leads to conflict since we are not mental clones of each other.

Another interesting outcome of the story is you can't tell a good person from a bad person simply by what they look like, it's only from the quality of their character and the deeds of the person that you can make that distinction. The nature of Hollow World brings this into sharp focus.

The parts on religion were great. He casts different types of believers into sharp relief. There are those that have a literal and simplistic interpretation of holy books that fit their agendas and are often all too willing to create casualties in the name of God and there are others that are desperately trying to seek the light and wrestle with their moral choices in a way that transcends popular social opinions and norms.

Some readers have loved his Riyira Chronicles and have been put off by this book but I think they might have missed the point which is unfortunate since I think it is a great yarn.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet

  • Wayfarers, Book 1
  • By: Becky Chambers
  • Narrated by: Patricia Rodriguez
  • Length: 15 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,001
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 937
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 937

Firefly meets Mass Effect in this thrilling self-published debut! When Rosemary Harper joins the crew of the Wayfarer, she isn't expecting much. The Wayfarer, a patched-up ship that's seen better days, offers her everything she could possibly want: a small, quiet spot to call home for a while, adventure in far-off corners of the galaxy, and distance from her troubled past. But Rosemary gets more than she bargained for with the Wayfarer.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • for young adults

  • By Mark on 07-02-16

Heart warming sci-fi story

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

Reviewed: 29-05-16

The story and characters were likeable, however if you are looking for the action of firefly meets mass effect, you will be terribly disappointed.

This book is a character-driven story that happens to be set on a space ship and I liked the characters in the tale. I connected with them and appreciated their challenges and struggles as well as joviality in the story.

The writing is of a good quality and the story is okay - appropriate for a sleepy summers day.

The title was confusing - I didn't feel that it had much to do with the story.

The narrator brought a lot of contrast and texture to the characters and was enjoyable to listen to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Crimes Against Magic

  • The Hellequin Chronicles, Book 1
  • By: Steve McHugh
  • Narrated by: James Langton
  • Length: 10 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 474
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 444
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 445

How do you keep the people you care about safe from enemies you can’t remember? Ten years ago, Nate Garrett awoke on a cold warehouse floor with no memory of his past and the only clues to his identity were a piece of paper with his name on it and a propensity toward magic. Now he’s a powerful sorcerer and a successful thief for hire, but it turns out that those who stole his memories aren’t done with him yet. When they cause a job to go bad, threatening a sixteen-year-old girl, Nate swears to protect her.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Crimes against literature

  • By Ozzymandias on 29-05-16

Crimes against literature

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-05-16

Disappointment is my new official pastime, I download a book get thrilled by the premise and disappointed by the delivery of the author.

There are a few things that "narked" me off about this book. The first that I will mention (but not the worst) is the poor use of swearing. Well thought out and judicious use of swear words in a book can elevate it, appropriately increasing tension, comedy, realism or overall entertainment of the story. I found the swearing in this book to be ill conceived, overused, offensive, and lacking in purpose.

Secondly, the author has fallen into the common trap of new authors telling a first person story from the point of view of a shallow and unlikeable character. As a reader I thought the lead character was a thoroughly unpleasant thug that the writer tried to cast in a better light by putting him up against even worse characters. As if to say "hey look, I'm not a serial killing baby-eater therefore I must be good person"!

Thirdly, the character is a womaniser, and unpleasantly so. I just didn't like that. Again, the author tries to play it off as if he is somehow the good guy in all of this. But he's a jerk and as the story unfolded, my dislike for him increased.

Fourth, but of course not in order of importance, this author cannot write dialogue. "I said", "he said", "she said", no sense of connection with the characters. The quality of the dialogue is poor. Abjectly so.

Fifth no sense of being engrossed in the story or in the realism of the events or characters. I felt that the hero was overpowered and it was too easy for him to regain his memories. Because the hero was too overpowered, the bad guys were simply ridiculous and though the story had a high tempo in that lots of things happened at high speed I simply didn't care.

Sixth over the top. Simply being able to imagine acts of extreme violence, sex, etc doesn't mean that you can have the desired effect on your reader. The author is unable to connect the extreme nature of event or environment with the reader in a way that they should care. I see this a lot in modern films and books and it makes me laugh because of the amateurish nature of the delivery. ANYONE can conceive of extreme things, especially nowadays when the news brings such events to our ears daily, hourly or even more frequently. The author has to make it MATTER to the reader or else it is slapstick or just tasteless.

There was also something about the narrator I just did not connect with, I felt he was somewhat dislocated from the story. However I will underline that the story was not poor because the narrator was poor, the story was poor because the author was inadequate to the task.

43 of 49 people found this review helpful

  • God Touched

  • The Demon Accords, Book 1
  • By: John Conroe
  • Narrated by: James Patrick Cronin
  • Length: 9 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 203
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 194
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 194

Chris Gordon is a rookie with the NYPD - one with a secret. In his spare time Chris is an exorcist without equal, with a gift from God. But when he saves a beatiful girl from a demonic attack, he discovers there is more to fear than just demons. Finding himself surrounded by vampires and were-weasels and facing a giant short-faced bear, Chris struggles to stay alive, all while protecting his deadly new girlfriend. And then there's her overprotective vampire mother!

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb Series of Books

  • By Pepps on 12-04-16

Vacuous Nonsense

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

Reviewed: 29-05-16

Too many science fiction/fantasy writers have no real art for story telling and too many lack the technical competence to write even middling quality novels. In this case the author has created or otherwise obtained a good idea for an urban fantasy but lacks the ability to create a half decent yarn.

First person stories can be tricky and new authors fall into the trap of this approach since it seems easy ... "I did this and I did that ..." and so on. But first person stories mean that your central character must carry the audience with his thoughts and actions. If the reader thinks your central character is a boring meat-head then the story can be completely ruined for that reader.

I found the central character of this story annoying, irritating, boring, naive, and lacking in intelligence. Even so it is still possible to write about a set of events that happens to someone like this in an interesting way, but the author fails to do this.

Tropes can be fine, so can story formulas, and they can give the reader comfort - but it's how you deliver the story that is the measure of the writer. The delivery of this book is rather disappointing and unimaginative. The lead character's relationship with the "love" interest is vacuous and yawn-inspiring.

There was also no sense of tension, surprise, suspense and so forth. I never felt that the main character was in any real danger, he was basically too powerful and too quickly able to resolve situations. This approach is boring and completely unrealistic given the less than stellar cognitive ability of the lead character.

I'd be here all day if I was to outline all my pet hates from this story. I frequently found myself thinking, "show don't tell; lazy so and so".

The naive execution of this story, I thought it was written by a teenager or some person in their 20s with limited life experience but the author's website photo reveals him to probably be in his 50s or 60s having spend 20+ years in banking and investments which I would suggest he sticks with instead of inflicting his brand of nonsense on the rest of us.

4 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Deathless Collection: Books 1-3 and the Prequel Novella

  • By: Chris Fox
  • Narrated by: Ryan Kennard Burke
  • Length: 40 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 56
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 56

A pyramid predating all known cultures appears without warning. Its discovery throws into question everything we know about the origins of mankind. Inside lies incredible technology, proof of a culture far more advanced than our own. Something dark lurks within, eager to resume a war as old as mankind. When it is unleashed, it heralds the end of our species' reign.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Shockingly really good

  • By andy on 03-01-17

The work of a tortured idiot

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-03-16

This book is terrible, I now realise that one of the reasons that publishers exists is to stop nonsense like this from ever reaching an audience. There are so many poor aspects to this story but I will list a few:

1. The science is rubbish. I know it's science fiction but many of the things in this book are just plan wrong from a scientific point of view. Science fiction writers take the science that exists and project it into the future. This "author" gets most of today's science wrong which just spoils any attempt to project further. From that point everything he writes is just stupid.

2. Why don't we just re-write history in the most stupid way ever?

3. A convoluted plot is not necessarily a clever plot, particularly when the "author" lacks the talent to erm ... WRITE!

4. Some people just aren't meant to be writers. I never thought that this was true till I tortured myself by sitting through this rubbish. Despite the massive volume of work here the writer never seems to get better. The writing style remains poor, annoying, and uninteresting. I went to his website and at the time of this review the "author" is 38 years old and has been writing since he was 6. I think its time he stopped or at least kept his nonsense to himself.

5. What on earth the point of this story anyway? There is more hole than plot in this abject excuse of a story.

6. You don't need to be a scientist to write science fiction, but it helps if you can read and comprehend scientific theory better than a 3 year old.

7. Why are the Egyptian gods white?

8. The writer's tone is annoying, his characters are annoying, the plot is annoying such as it is ... there appears to be nothing worth reading in this story. I can't even use the book as toilet paper or pulp and recycle it since it is an audiobook.

9. I am not a twilight fan, I've never read the books, but I can bet the writer of the twilight saga would wipe the floor with this poor excuse for a writer. You have to have some kind of standard to be a popular author. Fox has none and has the cheek to lambast his betters in this indefensible excuse for a story.

10. Did this guy ever study past primary school? I really can't tell.

11. Why did Audible think it was a good idea to pedal this nonsense to us?

5 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Hounded

  • The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 1
  • By: Kevin Hearne
  • Narrated by: Christopher Ragland
  • Length: 9 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 535
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 501
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 498

Atticus O'Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old - when in actuality, he's twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good, but not great

  • By Sam on 09-07-14

Brilliant start to a great series

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

Reviewed: 09-01-16

The Good

I enjoyed Kevin Hearne's writing style, it was funny, clever, and entertaining. As an author, he is very knowledgeable on his subject matter and you realise that he has either done a mass of research or is already an enthusiast in Fae lore and various mythologies. With this in mind his writing style is effective in that it uses his knowledge to enrich his story weaving an interesting tapestry of characters and interactions. His love of literature also shines through which he peppers his story with and this also enriches the flavour of the tale and allows the listener to become immersed; his writing has the flavour of authenticity that is all too often missing from many such tales.

In the hands of a less skilled writer, the lead character Atticus would be overly aggressive, unlikeable, intellectually challenged, and "obvious" as too many heroes are. However Kevin Hearne is a great story teller and manages to create a many faceted character. The comedic nature of Kevin's writing also shines through, and he manages to give Atticus a robust sense of humour which only seems to add some realism since humour would probably be important for a person to live as long as he had and still be thriving.

The Bad

As with many (all?) fiction/fantasy stories there are some inconsistencies, but these were not so great as to jar me from the tale.

Atticus may have been given too many powers; if you make your character pretty much invincible its hard to really fear for his safety unless you ramp up the danger factor to incredible proportions but on balance the great danger factor does make things more interesting and is done in such an entertaining and dramatic way that I love it all the same.

This book is also not sexually explicit or lurid which is good, I have read too many fantasy books that triggered a gag reflex. However Atticus's taste in women is that of a teen describing pin-up models which I found a little bit facile and lacking in depth for a 2000 year old druid.

The Narrator

Christopher Ragland's reading was great. Not only clear but also giving brilliant performances for each character in keeping with the style and tone of the tale. I enjoyed his portrayal of Oberon. As a character Oberon provides much mirth and jocularity in the tale.

Summary

If you are looking for a substitute for the Dresden Files, this is not it. This book is light hearted, funny and very entertaining.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A Demon Bound

  • Imp, Book 1
  • By: Debra Dunbar
  • Narrated by: Angela Rysk
  • Length: 11 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 97
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 89
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 90

Samantha Martin is an imp, enjoying an extended vacation from Hel. All she wants to do is drink beer by the pool, play mischievous pranks on the humans, and get her hot neighbor in the sack. It's a relaxing break from her infernal home as long as she manages to avoid the angels, who won't hesitate to execute her on sight. But when her naughty hellhound lands her in trouble with the local werewolf pack, Sam is blackmailed into helping track and catch a killer. The steps she must take to appease the werewolves will put her right in the crosshairs of the angels.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Needs a re-write

  • By Ozzymandias on 05-01-16

Needs a re-write

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-01-16

The Good

The premise for this story is great. It is a common theme of a demon/devil from hell in human disguise living in the world.

The Bad

This story read like a first draft basic manuscript. As if the writer has just puked their basic story outline down and then published it with no editor etc going over it. Everything from the writing, the plot, logic of the events needs to revisited and re-written.

As the story proceeds, I got more and more annoyed with the plot-holes and the logical inconsistencies. Also just how powerful is the main character? First she's just an imp, a bit of a nobody then she's some lord and wielding huge amounts of power. How strong/weak are the angles? First they could destroy her with barely an effort next she's trading blows with the strongest of them. These things occur for no apparent reason. The writer simply changed the nature of the character part way though the story and didn't bother to go to the beginning and re-write.

The demon's age does not work for the story. First she's 1000 years old - which we are told is young for a demon but if you were a thousand year's old, you'd would behave like a creature 1000 years old not 14.

The prose is technically poor, partially as a result of the unfinished state of the book and partially because the writer has poor skill.

Too lurid, every male character either wants to kill or have sex with her or both.

Poor use of swear words. I'm not averse to swears in books but they need to be used well or realistically or they loose their point. The use of profanity here diminishes the quality of the story rather than elevating it.

The Narrator

Terrible from the outset. Not so bad if you speed it up but not good either. Sounds like this is the first time that this narrator has read anything out loud.

Summary

Someone needs to take this book idea, develop the mythos behind it, do some decent world, character, and plot building and write a decent story. The author has turned a potential master-piece idea into a terrible soap opera.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful