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An unexpected 5*'s, supberb entertainment!

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

Reviewed: 29-10-19

If you are reading this then it is probable that like I me, you are thinking how many books can be left in this series and how old is Uthred! I therefore felt that only perseverance and a dusting of curiosity to see the series through to the end (bitter or otherwise) that led me to purchase this latest instalment. However, I am delighted to tell you that this book is every bit as good and exciting as the first few in the series. It is pure entertainment, well written and engaging. The depth of character development grabs a hold of your collar and doesn't let go until the last chapter ends! Cornwall has reflected Uthred's age in his writing, without taking away the essence of Uthred's courageous, foolish, and brawling character.

Matt Bate's performance was superb, which consigns to the distance past the plague of character accent changes for this series. If you enjoyed the first few books in this series and you have persevered then please get this, you wont be disappointed. At the end Cornwall provides an 'afterword' which I think is a rare treat. He hints at more books in the series (well that's how I heard it anyway) and before listening to this book many (including me) would have met that with a groan! But, the series has been invigorated and I feel excited by what is potentially to come from Cornwall and Uthred.

Get it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Different....but in a great way!

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

Reviewed: 13-09-19

The third and final book in the Empire of Salt trilogy. I have found this trilogy to be very different from anything else I have read/listened to (in a good way). Its original, gripping and on occasions both endearing and funny. The world that Conn Iggulden has created is similar to the approach in game of thrones in that there are many things that we will recognise as being the same as the real world that we occupy, but it has this continual menacing back glow of unimaginable and creative 'magic', it is perhaps that which make this trilogy so different and special. I very much enjoyed Conn Iggulden's historical fiction books and I have struggled to get into his other genre efforts but this Empire of Salt series is explosive, immersive and I couldn't put it down!

The fight scenes alone make this book a must

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

Reviewed: 13-09-19

This book really demonstrates that Ben Kane is a passionate historian of the real life gritty details of Roman and Hellenic history and in particular the people and culture (the good, the bad and the peculiar). It is that passion and deep subject matter knowledge that enables his books to be as immersive as they are. This one is no exception. He has a particular skill of placing you on a battlefield and in the ranks feeling each spear thrust, loss and elation. His battle scenes are truly superb. The only thing I disliked about the audio book is that some of the accents were, in my view, suspect! Two Roman brothers, one with a neutral accent and the other with a Welsh accent.

Almost Brilliant!

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

Reviewed: 07-01-18

The short version of this review is that this is a great book and Andy Weir is a very clever writer, it also benefits from an engaging performance by Rosario Dawson (perfect narrator choice). Andy Weir has created a futuristic but very realistic moon city (Artemis) which, like all cities, is filled with the rich tapestry of life, no more so than the main character who is a smart, sassy, clever and charmingly witty character. You can’t help but root for her from the outset despite her occasional crassness! Being on the moon creates many challenges (and advantages) that an earth city just doesn't have.

The detail is brilliant and you find yourself truly believing Artemis is possible and up there among the stars. Rosario Dawson voices many different characters very successfully, you will need to come to terms with the impossible to place accent of the bar owner that the main character frequents.... he seems to be a mixture of Michael Kane and Ringo Starr, i found him oddly hypnotic.

I rifled through the first half and couldn't get enough, unfortunately (and the reason that this isn't 5* for me), the story in the second half was a little deflating and would have benefited from a character twist or two. I found the crescendo of the story to be a little blockbustery and not as clever as the build-up deserved. I also became a little fatigued by the continuous and detailed explanations relating to air locks, gravity, chemical compounds and vacuums...I felt this made for a jittery ending.

All of that said, if/when a sequel is released I will buy, and listen to it, immediately! I can also imagine this being turned into a film or TV drama - which would be awesome.

Nick

This is a book for everyone!

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

Reviewed: 04-01-18

What made the experience of listening to Ready Player One the most enjoyable?

This wouldn't usually be my sort of book and in fact a friend got it for me. Its probably the most refreshing book I have listened to all year, I couldn't put it down. It really is superb and a must for anybody who was a teenager in the 80's. Don't be put off by the retro video game and film references (the book is literally embedded with them). I was born in the 1981 and therefore didn't get all of the references but that doesn't detract from the book in any way. Its an unusual and gripping story of a shy lad living in two worlds, you could say one is dystopian and the other ascends towards utopia as the book progresses. It echo's the current societal reliance on technology and envisages a world (which doesn't feel many years away) where the lines of VR and reality are forever blurred. Its an enjoyable and easy story and reminds me of the feeling you get when watching an 80's family film like Big or the Goonies. This is a book for everyone not just video and retro gaming geeks. I cant wait for the sequel to arrive.....oh and if you didn't already know, Spielberg's film version is hitting the screens in March! Just listen to it!!

Nick

What about Wil Wheaton’s performance did you like?

Brilliant

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes!

A must for any keen traveller!

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

Reviewed: 02-01-18

An incredibly engaging topic and a very honest, entertaining and enjoyable performance by Dom Joly.

Please don't think that you need to be a fan of Trigger Happy TV (It isn't really for me) to enjoy this. Dom Joly has a very engaging and easy writing style. It's insightful and intelligent. Listen to it!

The Burning Land cover art

Lack of consistency

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

Reviewed: 06-01-15

If you could sum up The Burning Land in three words, what would they be?

Few would believe it to be acceptable for a tv series to change the voices of all of the central characters, so why do it here. This is a great book and a good continuation to the warrior chronicles story. However, it is let down by a lack of consistency both with accents and pronunciation. Jonathan Keeble did a superb job of bringing the characters to life in the first 4 books and I would have loved to have seen him narrate the entire series. I am sure there are all kinds of reasons why Stephen Perring was asked to narrate this book which, if the change in performer was unavoidable, then it is what it is. I would have expected Stephen Perring to listen to at least one of the previous books and attempt to remain consistent in terms of pronunciation and accent delegation. Uhtred had a great northern accent which really suited the character, be prepared, he is now a well spoken southern Englishman! Also you will not find a Danish accent in this book, Ragnor the younger is now a Northerner! Unfortunately the lack of consistency in performance has really taken some of the depth from the book. Also expect unexplained place name changes, Bebbenburg is no more! I can't understand why this has happened and why it has gone unexplained. If Cornwell has written this into the story then I am surprised he chose not to explain the change in place names. All of that said, please please persevere because you do get used to the change eventually and the Warrior Chronicles remains a great series.

Who might you have cast as narrator instead of Stephen Perring?

Jonathon Keeble

42 of 42 people found this review helpful