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Robyn

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another virus....

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

Reviewed: 14-06-20

Started listening to this series just as Covid-19 hit, and we all went into lockdown. Complete co-incidence. Made me look at my store cupboard and pantry supplies in a whole new light. I did find myself looking to check I had easy access to my attic if need be though - and I found "staying in" quite easy when my brain morphed the fiction of the story with our weird lockdown reality.

It's a typical zombie apocalypse story. Lots of fighting. Lots of bad guys and a few good guys. (why is it that the nutters and psychopaths always seem to be amongst the last people standing in these things?). Well narrated, and an easy listen if the apocalypse genre is what you're into. Personally, I think I need real escapism in the future - this one seemed a little too close to home in the current climate.

1 person found this helpful

Lovely - will stay with me for a long time

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

Reviewed: 01-03-20

One of those books I’m unlikely to forget.
The commentary, frequently so well observed, and the over-whelming sense of being alone...all those things so easy for so many and yet alien to others - yep this one’s well worth time listening to.
A novel that will, I hope, make me open my eyes a little wider to really see those around me.

1 person found this helpful

Surprisingly enjoyable

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

Reviewed: 18-02-20

Quirky characters, and brilliantly performed.
This could have been very samey and typical of the genre - all humans clustered on a spaceship seeking new habitable planet - but it wasn’t and I found myself finding excuses to listen longer.

The ending is not a perfect wrap, but it’s tidy enough to work out what might happen, alternatively it’s left the door open for a sequel. We can but hope.

Have enjoyed Colin Morgan since his Merlin days - he may now be included in my list of favourite narrators too.

3 people found this helpful

Beautiful

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

Reviewed: 11-02-20

Beautiful, just beautiful! A story of loss, love and hope.

Had tears in my eyes more than once - particularly the last few chapters.
The dedication is lovely too.

Wasn’t crazy about the narrators approach to the male voice - made them all sound like old men....but needed to try to ignore so it didn’t detract from beautiful moments.



Safe 2nd instalment

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

Reviewed: 29-01-20

This is definitely in the Sanderson Young Adult category. The writing is good, but not quite his exceptional world-building standard. It's a good second instalment, and you can see plot starting to grow (although this time, I guessed the plot twist!).
It's a steady, fun sci-fi story - but not earth-shatteringly brilliant. Still, if you're a Sanderson fan, then this won't disappoint you (but I'm not giving my usual 5-star-devotee plug).


2 people found this helpful

Dystopian world story, or cautionary tale?

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

Reviewed: 29-01-20

I had not seen the television series, or followed any of the hype - I just recognised the name of the book, so took a punt and listened.
It's a reasonably heavy listen, and it's told in the first person, set in the present, but the weirdness is explained by memories of before and of what happened - which gets us to the current predicament. It's difficult to write a review without giving too much away - part of what makes it interesting is the act of piecing it all together - how did this happen? When did this happen? What about the rest of the world? etc etc
Like I said, I've not read up on the hype or reviews - so apologies if what I'm writing is in conflict to anything you've read or believe - but these are the questions it raised for me by coming to this book "blind" as it were: Is the author trying to warn us about religious extremism; or perhaps a cautionary tale about what happens when sexual freedoms go too far?; or perhaps it's about the risk of pollution to our environment, and genetic tampering leading to a failure of society.....? Is this where we could end up if too many outliers / conspiracies are left uncontrolled and all combine to create this dystopian order?
I'm not sure I enjoyed this as entertainment, but it will certainly stay with me - thought provoking. (and surprisingly led to an interesting conversation in the office!). Warning: The TV series doesn't appear to follow the book's story too closely. I googled the TV series afterwards, and saw a couple of you tube clips - didn't recognise any of the scenes.

1 person found this helpful

Well constructed fantasy

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

Reviewed: 02-01-19

The usual ingredients for a good fantasy epic. Fhrey, Dwarves, Humans, giants, mythical beasts, inept leaders, conspiring leaders, a few heroes - all tossed together with some well constructed plots and some solid (and likeable) characters. A good dose of #metoo and feminism keeps it current (eg it's a group of women who set off to save the world, leaving the men behind to squabble over who the leader is), but there is also some rather useful sword swinging and magic blasts chucked around by all and sundry too.

Yes, it's a typical fantasy, but it's well constructed, with no gaping plot holes or convenient twists, and therefore it's perfectly enjoyable for those fans of this genre. I have now listened to books 1 to 3 in quick succession, and still looking forward to book 4 (release date later in 2019 apparently), which must say something re their standard!

It's the same world as the The Riyria Revelations, but it pre-dates that period. I know I will be tempted to go back and re-listen to that series once I finally get done with this one.

Narration is well suited to the story.

6 people found this helpful

Just fabulous!

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

Reviewed: 30-11-18

Like the former First Lady herself; Fabulous!

An honest and inspiring telling of Becoming. Couldn't put it down.

Thank you, Michelle, for the honesty and dignity with which you have told your story, and the inspiration you bring with it. This book resonated with me on so many levels. I am inspired to do more and to be more.

Here's to the day when politics, worldwide, returns to the concept of Service Before Self. Using Becoming as a reference, the Obamas seem to have got it right. They were motivated by all the right things. I can't imagine either Barack or Michelle will fade into the background post White House - quite simply, they have too much energy and too much more to offer.

Listening to Michelle Obama narrate this herself was an added bonus. You can hear the emotion, and the honesty. Certainly, this must be one of those books where the audio is better than the written version.

10 people found this helpful

A solid final instalment

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

Reviewed: 14-11-18

No time is wasted in recapping what has gone before . Do not attempt to read this if you haven't read all previous books in the series.

There are three distinct groups / story arcs travelling towards each other for the final big show-down. There is no treading lightly around a big ending, and nothing held back in the violence of the battles. It's a well conceived final instalment, with very few loose ends.

I did find the writing a little uninspiring at times. The same descriptors repeated over and over (up, up, up and dive, dive, dive), and the sex scenes a little gratuitous and samey, and a good editor might have been able to tighten it all up. However, despite these few gripes (I know I'm of the fussy variety), the plot is still good, and although the final outcome is not unexpected, it doesn't all go to plan and therefore it keeps it interesting.

It's been a good series, and one I've enjoyed from start to finish. It didn't lose any momentum in this final instalment, and in the end, it was all quite satisfying. It helps that I've always enjoyed the heroine - and her character development is solid and consistent throughout the series.

Narration is ok - occasionally jarring, but on the whole it's alright (but that might be more the writing not being up to par in those places, than the narration's problem).

13 people found this helpful

Sanderson sci-fi magic

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

Reviewed: 14-11-18

Brandon Sanderson's world building and magic systems have put him up there with the best in the fantasy genre. This is sci-fi. - there is no magic system. Instead we're treated to the Sanderson imagination unleashed skyward.

It does read a little young-adult, but I wouldn't see that as a negative. This is easily one of those books which could be enjoyed by a family together on a long journey (no cringey-turn-the-volume-down scenes). No bad language ("Scud!" is as bad as it gets), no graphic sex scenes, no bloody violence (although there is death through battle - it is sensitively managed) - instead you get likeable, interesting characters and a well conceived plot. And despite trying to work it out all the way through the book, and my many guesses at the reasons things were as they were....I didn't come close! It's a good ending, while still setting things up nicely for a sequel or two.

A very well spent credit and another contented Sanderson fan.

22 people found this helpful