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Sebastian

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  • The Mime Order

  • By: Samantha Shannon
  • Narrated by: Alana Kerr Collins
  • Length: 16 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 218
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 205
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 205

As Scion turns its all-seeing eye on Paige, the mime-lords and mime-queens of the city's gangs are invited to a rare meeting of the Unnatural Assembly. Jaxon Hall and his Seven Seals prepare to take center stage, but there are bitter fault lines running through the clairvoyant community and dark secrets around every corner. Then the Rephaim begin crawling out from the shadows. But where is Warden?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • "no brainer" if u enjoyed the first one!

  • By Mini on 04-04-16

Still not sure on this series

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

Reviewed: 06-02-15

I'm really unsure of this series. I liked the first one just enough to listen to the second one and I think I like the second one JUST enough to listen to the third (when it's out).

There's loads of great ideas, but they're rushed. There's so much going on, so many different factions - but it doesn't feel complex and sophisticated it feels like the author has an idea, speeds through it and moves on to the next one. The 'twists' are unforgivably obvious.

The world she has created is really impressive - I love the Unnaturals and their different ranks. But I do struggle to visualise the world itself. I don't think she's created strong personalities - adding variants of "my lovely" to the end of a sentence doesn't really give a character flare and personality.

The voice actor is very poor, if that's important to you then this isn't the book for you.

That said, there's definitely something to this book, and I really enjoyed the ending. So I would tentatively recommend.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Last Four Things

  • By: Paul Hoffman
  • Narrated by: Sean Barrett
  • Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 740
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 485
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 485

The eagerly awaited sequel to The Left Hand of God. Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell. These are The Last Four Things Now there are Five. Meet Thomas Cale. Returning to the Sanctuary of the Redeemers - Thomas Cale is told by the Lord Militant that the destruction of mankind is necessary - the only way to undo God's greatest mistake. Cale seemingly accepts his role in the ending of the world - fate has painted him as the Left Hand of God, the Angel of Death.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Grateful for the negative reviews - but I loved it

  • By Iain on 02-03-12

Give it a chance

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

Reviewed: 03-10-13

Based on the reviews I nearly didn't buy this; I liked The Left Hand of God but wasn't blown away by it, and many of the reviews suggest that this is no where near as good. I actually thought it was of similar quality to The Left Hand of God and that it really progressed the series. It didn't feel like a sequel that just offered more of the same, nor did it feel like a sequel where the author goes off on a tangent that doesn't keep true to the original - the plot develops well and I'm interested to find out what happens in the third book.

This book is more focused on the politics of the different factions (particularly Bosco's scheming). There's less action than in the first book and the plot is a little slower - so if the action is something that hooked you in the first book then this might not be the book for you. It's also a little slow to start. But there's great traces of humour throughout - and some nice twists in the plot. Bosco's and Cale's relationship is great and properly developed in this book, and I loved listening to Bosco's schemes unfold.

If you have high expectations then this book might disappoint, but I'm glad I gave it a chance.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Bone Season

  • By: Samantha Shannon
  • Narrated by: Alana Kerr Collins
  • Length: 14 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 537
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 502
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 498

The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people's minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant, and in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.... It is raining the day her life changes forever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford - a city kept secret for 200 years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Expected more

  • By Colette on 30-08-13

A good start

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

Reviewed: 27-09-13

I've heard people compare this to Harry Potter, and I get where they're coming from - it's a book about the supernatural, about a small subset of the population born with gifts that they need to keep secret from the rest of the world - and they go to a place where they can learn to hone their gifts - you can certainly draw parallels. As another dimension it's set in a dystopian future, where the main character must worry constantly for her life - perhaps imagining a Harry Potter/Hunger Games fusion is about right.

It's a fun listen, with lots of interesting ideas - but the whole book feels very rushed, many concepts are laid out - but not really developed. I wanted to know more about the different Unnaturals and their powers and abilities - but I felt like the author was too busy rushing through the plot to really give any one moment or concept the time it deserved. I believe that there's seven books planned in total? In all honesty I would have preferred if the first book was focused entirely on the Unnaturals and their powers - and maybe the politics of the Syndicates and the ruling government - without even touching on the Rephaim. I love complex plots as much as the next man, but this wasn't so much complex as 'a lot of plot in a shortish book'.

My only other big criticism is that the book failed to surprise me - there weren't many questions and mysteries - or rather there weren't many questions or mysteries that weren't instantly revealed or difficult to guess. A good book doesn't need a twist, but this one certainly felt like it could use one. Apart from that I enjoyed it. I'll listen or read the next one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Shadow of the Hegemon

  • By: Orson Scott Card
  • Narrated by: David Birney, Scott Brick, Gabrielle de Cuir
  • Length: 12 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 196
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 145
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 147

Orson Scott Card tells a tale long awaited by millions of fans: the story of how Bean turned away from his first friend, Ender, and became the tactical genius who won the Earth for Ender's brother, Peter, who became the Hegemon.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent but spoiled by some awful overdubbing

  • By Helen on 07-03-11

Not Impressed...

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

Reviewed: 27-09-13

I really liked Ender's Game and quite liked Ender's Shadow, but this really didn't do it for me and as a result I'm not intending to continue with the Bean saga. The plot lacked direction and focus. The book was just a sequence of scrapes between Bean and Achilles and attempts from Achilles to take power - I didn't feel any momentum and the outcome to every encounter felt very predictable. The narrative just didn't develop; I'm not sure what this book added to the saga.

I'm the kind of person who would love to read about territorial conflicts in a "Risk" like manner (something that OSC was aspiring to) - but it didn't deliver. Achilles is pretty much the only player with the occasional minor interference from Peter and Bean. Everyone else compliantly goes along with whatever Achilles wants (how he manages to ensnare so many world powers goes beyond belief). It doesn't feel like a clash of Super Powers - it lacks intrigue, subtlety, betrayal and espionage - with Achilles being pretty much the only real agent it lacks that complexity that you get in a book like Game of Thrones; I wanted a twist, I wanted a surprise and I just didn't get it.

The performance is pretty good, but the odd dubbing around the word Hegemon makes the production feel very cheap - I have no idea what happened there - or why the lines weren't rerecorded.

  • Ender's Shadow

  • By: Orson Scott Card
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick, Gabrielle de Cuir, full cast
  • Length: 15 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 315
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 237
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 239

Andrew "Ender" Wiggin was not the only child in the Battle School; he was just the best of the best. In this book, Card tells the story of another of those precocious generals, the one they called Bean, the one who became Ender's right hand, part of his team, in the final battle against the Buggers. Bean's past was a battle just to survive. His success brought him to the attention of the Battle School's recruiters.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A Return to Battle School.

  • By Sara on 21-07-09

Detracts (slightly) from Ender's Game

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

Reviewed: 10-09-13

I really enjoyed seeing the story from another perspective and to get more insight into Battle School. There were some parts of the book that really added and improved Ender's game. However, overall I felt the book detracted from the original Ender's game.

Bean's character comes across too similar to Ender's especially when he enters Battle School. The main differences are that Ender is empathetic and has leadership skills, whereas Bean is more intelligent but finds it difficult to relate to others - these differences don't come across with enough impact, certainly not in how the characters think or (largely) act. Many of the key themes and challenges that both characters face are very similar; coping with being judged by their size and age, their need to survive at any cost, their battle against the teachers and facing a tormentor from their youth who haunts them throughout their time in battle school. The way they deal with these issues feels too similar, the outcomes are often the same, the thought process of the characters: way too similar. When you hear Bean's story it almost feels like a rehash of Ender's - not a story about a distinctly different character. The closeness of the narrative makes it feel like Ender's outlook and the challenges he faces are less unique and less special. Ender's eventual "triumph" in the war feels less of a feat - because it feels like Bean could have done it had he been a little bit older with better social skills.

The other major flaw is Bean's and Ender's relationship - the relationship feels very different in this book - and only so much can be attributed to a different view point. Some of the dialogue between Bean and Ender is atrociously retrofitted - Bean who comes across as naive in comparison to Ender in Ender's game, is actually revealed to have far more information of the inner workings of the school. So when they talk to each other what was once a sincere conversation in Ender's game, we discover - in Ender's Shadow - was the result of Bean being sarcastic or tongue tied "Can't he tell I'm being sarcastic?", "Does he think I don't know that?". I found that very annoying - in Ender's game Bean is one of the few people who Ender actually confides in - and these special moments are somewhat spoilt by the revelation that where Bean appears earnest and sincere - he's actually being told things he knows already or is acting flippant and sarcastic. If Bean's personality was slightly different in Ender's Shadow we could have had an alternative interesting and plausible viewpoint on their conversations, but Bean's personality (in Ender's Shadow) is just incompatible with those conversations. It doesn't work.

With all that said, I would still recommend this book - I really enjoyed revisiting Battle School and parts of Bean's storyline are very interesting.