- helpful votes
Up with the best urban fantasy available in audio.
5* on everything, this series just keeps getting better. It's up there with Faith Hunter's Jane Yellowrock, as one of my all-time favourite urban fantasy series and like JY, the audio has one of the best narrators in the business. It's just as hard to put down the second time listening.
This is predominantly a great fantasy series, with imaginative world building and interesting characters which has a sweet (so far non graphic) slow burn romance between the two male main characters.It's a real shame that being tucked away in the Gay & Lesbian category, it doesn't seem to have reached many of the wider fantasy audience, many of whom I think would equally enjoy it.
Beautifully written darker epic fantasy romance
There are already some great reviews for this fantastic book, this is just to let other U.K. fans know that the whole series has at last come to Audible U.K. Many other books by this author are now available too, so fans might want to grab them.
If you don't know this author I would emphasis that despite what you might expect from the premise, Anne Bishop writes romantic epic fantasy with hints of horror and lots of folk law/mythology and imagination. I would personally have put this series in the fantasy category because it is not typical of the stories Audible usually puts in chick lit and romance and the fantasy plot is equally as strong as the romantic one.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Available in the U.K. at last.
Naomi Novik is one of the best fantasy writes to appear in years. While the author writes unique stories there are shades of Hornblower and of the Pern series here, making this engrossing story equally appealing to both male and female listeners. I've been waiting for the series to come to the U.K. for years and am very glad that the first two books are here at last.
While Simon Vance is not usually my favourite narrator, he absolutely shines in this role and deserves every one of the five stars I have given him.
I couldn't stop listening anymore than when I first listened to these stories. My only surprise is that Audible U.K. has not done more to let listeners know that they are now available.
Note: As many people who both read and listen may already have the kindle it is worth knowing that this is already Whispersync. While we are not allowed to discuss price in these reviews, some people, especially on the monthly scheme may wish to see if if Whispersync is less expensive for them with this first book.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Incredibly well done
Gigi must have really thought about this one and couldn't have really found a better point to continue her families legacy from. In my opinion this book continues on from the wonderful Harper trilogy and should be placed straight after that in reading order. The dragon on the beautiful front cover is a bit misleading but only a bit, as this story follows one of Anne's beloved characters, Piemur the once darling of the Harper's guild, who lost his own sense of identity when he lost his voice. By following the boys adventures in the little known south, Gigi weaves a wonderful new story for this favoured series, that works with the plots and beloved characters from Anne's world.
It took me a little while to get into the narration. I find most of the voice actors chosen to narrate the Pern stories a bit dry but he does an incredible job with the character voice and always follows the author's cues about their depth and tone. I found myself wondering why he'd chosen such a distinctive voice for a character only to find that it matched a latter description perfectly and the production team had obviously put some real effort into bringing the world to life. I'd definitely buy more books with this narrator.
While there's a summary of events leading to this book, that's actually most helpful for returning listeners like myself to get reacquainted with the story after so many years. Pern is simply one of the greatest fantasy worlds ever written and if you haven't read/listened to it yet, I strongly suggest you do. That being said, I think you can get away with just catching up on the Harper trilogy and listening to the others as prequels latter, if you wish to do things that way but I would not try this as a standalone, without understanding where the characters came from and the history of the world, you won't emphasise with them in the same way and Gigi has not wasted time recovering old ground.
I really admire what Gigi has done here. So many authors get hold of a favourite series and decide to put their own stamp on it, ruining much of what the readers loved. This subtle and far more sympathetic touch, is far harder to do and I've only ever seen it done as well with The Wheel Of Time Series.
***unless you prefer abridged books I strongly recommend you don't just buy these books as they appear in series order from Audible U.K. because there seems to be no set pattern on if it will show the abridged or unabridged version. At the time of writing this review I have found many that are available in an unabridged so I would recommend doing a quick search.***
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
5* narration 4 1/2* story. Psychic, investigative, humour, probably most enjoyable for a female audience. This escapist fun continues to be the type of great entertainment that's guaranteed to get me out of any book slump. Griping action one minute and gentle humour the next with the narrator playing it for all it's worth and making a difficult job look easy. The story is brilliant either way but you are missing out if you don't get the audio on this one.
Missing books in series now available
Using this space to cheat and let Mercy Thompson fans know that the missing four books in the series are now available :)
This series is still going strong at book 10
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Goodreads choice awards nominee sci fi 2017
I started this expecting a fun listen with a silly plot, well it's fun alright but the plot was so much better than I expected. Murderbot has hacked it's controls and finds itself stranded on a remote planet with terrible things happening all around it and now to top it all off, the latest group of humans it has been assigned to guard, actually want to interact with it. People throw big names around like custard pies sticking to a wall when they are trying to explain (or sell) books like this and they often have very little to do with the actual author or story beyond the genre it's in. Since they've really overdone it with this one I will say that in my opinion the story is most like something I would expect from John Scalzi (the less crude stories like The Dispatcher and Old Man's War - note this is not a judgment, I love most of Scalzi's books, this is for comparison only) with a touch of Ann Leckie. I'm not going to tell you much about the actual story beyond this because I don't see any point in spoiling the plot. 5* story, will be listening to again and can't wait for the next.
Narration is harder to mark. My problem is that I love this narrator's work. I listen to a lot of different stuff and he does one of my favorite series the Holmes and Moriarity books by Josh Lanyon (fun and sarcastic murder mystery/romance, between two men, one of whom has been a previously top selling writer of a long running series/sometimes amateur detective and the other of whom is an ex cop/ current incredibly successful author who thinks things should be left with the police. The point being that Kevin R. Free is very good at over the top and funny, while still managing to make the best of a great plot, so I was surprised that his performance here was a little flat in comparison, particularly when voicing Murderbots' thoughts as opposed to voice (perhaps the editor directed him to do it that way). The narrator has a beautiful voice in my opinion and while it's not immediately apparent he can soften his tone enough for a real range of emotion to come through. This also helps with managing to do distinct voices for the main characters without putting on silly characters for the women, which I always appreciate. 3 1/2* but going up to 4 nearer the end. I hope they keep him for subsequent stories where he can really come into his own.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Fans won't be disappointed
Another addictive series set in this enjoyable universe. At first it just comes across like a movie action sequence but the great plot, characters and storytelling I expect in this universe, soon shine through. While the main character is male I think the story will appeal to both male and female listeners of sci fi, which isn't always the case. I can't be unbiased on the narration because I already love Kafers' work from C.T. Phips' Supervillany series. His interpretation is a bit different from the tone of this authors other artists in the world he has created but I soon got into and found it hard to put the book down. I've listened to both books coauthored with Terry Mixon and hope the pair continue to work together if the results are this good.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
5* story mostly 5* narration but a couple of weird accents bring it down to 3, not enough to put me off a great story though. Straight into the action, great female lead love the plot and the world building. Listened to the first two books back to back and I have honest to goodness withdrawal symptoms waiting for the next book to come to audio, it's just that easy to listen to. Rec for fans of Christopher G. Nuttall's Angel in the Whirlwind series.
New life into a favourite series
There's a reason you won't find many spy thrillers in my reading list and it's this simple, I started reading John le Carré in my teens and where as in other genres or cross genres, I could usually at least give you a top ten, in plain unadulterated spy thrillers, no one else has ever measured up. This is up there with this author's best. Not only a new tale but one that weaves around so much of what has been left out of the earlier Smiley adventures. Despite being completely gripped by the story, I wanted to cheer when I heard more information on this character or that characters adventures and perspective. This book breaths new life into one of my favourite series.
There's an amazing performance by the narrator too and with all the different accents and locations that's no small feet.
I do recommend listening to this series in order but you have a choice here between the brilliantly narrated separate books or the alternative of purchasing the collection of really great radio adaptations by the BBC. (The Complete George Smiley Radio Dramas: BBC Radio 4 Full-Cast Dramatization which, at the time of writing this review, is also available to purchase on Audible UK.) I honestly don't think there's a wrong answer here, with the exception of a Murder Of Quality, which I stuck to the radio play for,as it's not the strongest of the series, I went for both.
24 of 25 people found this review helpful