LISTENER

Ross

  • 20
  • reviews
  • 37
  • helpful votes
  • 51
  • ratings

It's a Department Q thriller...

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

Reviewed: 30-11-16

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Steven Pacey is an amazing narrator of these Dept Q books and given the venomous bile people have so liberally thrown at this books narration, it was almost enough to see me off. I am so glad that I refused to bow to the pressure of peers.

What did you like best about this story?

The story... So many authors, don't even know how to finish a book these days. Adler-Olsen knows his craft and it's polish is rarely absent.

Which character – as performed by Graeme Malcolm – was your favourite?

All.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Moved, intrigued... I wouldn't read these books if i didn't get into them. It's not a love story.

Any additional comments?

Great book. Read it.

2 people found this helpful

The ends could have been sharper.

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

Reviewed: 05-05-16

Is there anything you would change about this book?

As a collection of short stories, these little literary snapshots, make for a nice addition to the First Law universe... They do not represent however, a great compilation of short stories.

That's not to say that as chapters for other books, some of these tales wouldn't have been superb, but only a small handful stand up as being truly polished works.

Short story writing is a delicate art form and there are better examples out there by Stephen King, John Connolly, Saki and Guy De Maupassant... The first two are better at short stories than they are as novelists... With Abercrombie it's the other way around.

On the plus side, there are some great new characters in this book and nostalgic revisits to old friends will keep the fandom sect satisfied... Abercrombie is a frustrating author. His first six books were all 5/5... The last four have been less than stellar.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Depends on the story. In the main, many of the yarns felt like chapters of a larger whole... Other short story compendiums out there tend to have stories that are more rounded and as such, they generally build to more satisfying conclusions.

Every tale in this tome had glorious dialogue and was well paced. This alone wasn't enough.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

If you're passionate about your work, I can understand how an author might want to expand their control over it's creative output and take on the role of narrator. Joe Abercrombie shouldn't narrate (even the one story he performs), though I do like the interview he provides at the end. Steven Pacey is amazing.

I have friends that hate reading Abercrombie's works, due to the fact that his sentence structure can be somewhat convoluted and inconsistent. They all however love the talking books... Barring the Shattered Sea stuff.

Did Sharp Ends inspire you to do anything?

It inspired me to write this...

Any additional comments?

Abercrombie is a great author with one caveat. He's inconsistent.

The first book had some promise...

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

Reviewed: 03-05-16

Would you try another book written by Brian Staveley or narrated by Simon Vance?

I did and wasn't satisfied, so returned it. I think we live in an age where it is fashionable to make conflicted heroes/heroines/villains... Unfortunately most authors mistake conflicted, for contradictory or contrary. You end up with a selection of character paths that make no sense. Brian Staveley produces teen fantasy fiction, he's not George Orwell.

What was most disappointing about Brian Staveley’s story?

George Martin, Anthony Ryan, Patrick Rothfuss and Joe Abercrombie (Barring his Shattered Sea trilogy dross) handle conflicted and complex character building within well structured plots. Staveley is simply not as good as these guys and his plot direction seems to be built on a scene by scene foundation rather than an overarching tale, that is logically fitted together.

What does Simon Vance bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Simon Vance is the only constantly good thing in these books. Great narrator.

Was The Providence of Fire worth the listening time?

No. It repeatedly helped me fall asleep at night time, on the train... Anywhere I decided to stick it on really.

Any additional comments?

Some teens might enjoy this tale, but this really is just another example of poor plotting and character creation. Style over substance stuff really. At the end of day, i wish i could say that there was even a message in this slick slop, but there isn't...

21 people found this helpful

Shattered illusions...

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

Reviewed: 02-12-15

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Audiobooks give you the opportunity to enjoy a book, whether you're working, driving or simply relaxing. As reading dominates requires your full attention, the time management boon of an audiobook over a printed one is obvious.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Abercrombie seems to have lost the magic prevalent in his earlier works. Three years ago, I would have said that he was a master storyteller, full of original ideas and great characters. These latest works don't have great characters and they are just drawn out along very predictable paths.

What about Ben Elliot’s performance did you like?

He's no Pacey, but he's certainly well above average.

Did Half the World inspire you to do anything?

It inspired me to not blindly follow an authors offerings, based on prior form alone.

Any additional comments?

Look elsewhere... I thought the First Law Trilogy was great... This series has been average at best and childish at worst.

5 people found this helpful

Nothing to redeem... in this amazing book series.

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

Reviewed: 10-11-15

What did you like most about Redemption?

When looking at a genre that is so awash with unbelievable characters, ridiculously illogical plotting and a myriad of lesser issues, Department Q really makes a dent. What didn't I like about Redemption?

What other book might you compare Redemption to, and why?

Pass... See previous answer. There's an ocean of irredeemable crud out there.

What about Steven Pacey’s performance did you like?

Pacey is arguably the best narrator on the audiobook circuit. I've heard a few people argue the strength of Pacey's narration on certain types of book (though they all agree, he's generally top tier)... Anyway... When it comes to this series particularly, there is no other narrator.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Pass.

Any additional comments?

Read this series in sequence. It's more than half the fun.

Guilty pleasure... :)

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

Reviewed: 19-06-15

What did you like most about Guilt?

Some of the best and most polished character relationship development, ever to be sandwiched in a novel. Amazingly narrated by talking book master, Steven Pacey.

What other book might you compare Guilt to, and why?

It's another great tale in the Department Q series... If you like your crime, with witty leads and masterful storytelling, you won't be disappointed.

What does Steven Pacey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Careful pacing, brilliant voices... It's Pacey.

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

Yes.

Any additional comments?

Waiting so impatiently for more...

You'll bury yourself in this book

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

Reviewed: 17-03-15

What made the experience of listening to Buried the most enjoyable?

Characterisation is an absolute winner here, with good, well rounded, endearing leads and dislikable antagonists.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Assad, Carl and Rose make a well balanced team of heroes. You can't really like an individual more than the sum, as they all act as foils for each other.

Have you listened to any of Steven Pacey’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Yes... By far Steven Pacey is one of the greatest narrators of our time. Joe Abercrombie would suck without him... Well... He wouldn't, but SP as narrator certainly doesn't hurt.

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

Yes.

Any additional comments?

Looking forward to his next book... As long as Pacey's narrating it.

Dryer than a desert...

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

Reviewed: 13-02-15

What would have made The Desert Spear better?

Many writers seem to be following the trend of making a convicted evil protagonist... If you're Joe Abercrombie and on the verge of writing the First Law Trilogy, you can pull it off... If your name isn't joe Abercrombie, don't...

What could Peter V. Brett have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Better editing. Less departure from the central Painted Man character...

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Awkward... I could list my least enjoyable scenes.

What character would you cut from The Desert Spear?

Pass.

Any additional comments?

Only get this, if you've exhausted every other top tier fantasy author.

1 person found this helpful

The Demon Recycle...

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

Reviewed: 13-02-15

What did you like best about The Painted Man (The Demon Cycle, Book 1)? What did you like least?

Once i got over the book's shortcomings, I did like the majority of the characters.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

It's great when someone tries to push what they think is an original take on magic and demons etc... Brett collates some nice pre-existing ideas, but these are clumsily cobbled together and logic and common sense will shoot holes in warding more readily than a journalist shoots goes in a politicians morality.

What does Colin Mace bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

I'm not sure I could have gotten through this book without Colin Mace.

Could you see The Painted Man (The Demon Cycle, Book 1) being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

Only if the production team and director were awesome.

Any additional comments?

Not terrible...

Not a heartwarming tale...

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

Reviewed: 27-10-14

Would you consider the audio edition of Best Served Cold to be better than the print version?

Along with, Half a King, this is the only other exception, where I have merely purchased the audio book version only. I think these are the weakest novels within Abercrombie's collection and as such... I wouldn't want them clogging up my shelves. Saying that... Best Served Cold, is still a ripping yarn, when judged against the other multitude of fantasy fluff soiling the literary pool.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Murcatto has got to be one of the most dislikable leads in any book... As such, every other character, need only be slightly redeemable, in order to become a fan favourite for. Best Served Cold. Vitari, Morveer and Shenkt were among those individuals I wanted to hear more about. Cosca is a bore, but as he's an old soak, I can't help but think that Abercrombie (like me), has had to endlessly endure the verbal diarrhoea of drunks and this has left its scars. I may dislike the drawn out, amoral waffling, but it seems like the character is made more authentic by such tools.

There were so many characters I disliked in this book, that it's testament to the writers ability and the accuracy he employs when portraying the negatives of his cast, that a reader can still look past their own tastes and wade through the chapters.

Saying that... Part of me prayed (for the majority of the book) that justice might be suitably meted out to Murcatto (someone we should feel sorry for, but don't). Spoiler alert... I was left disappointed.

What does Steven Pacey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

A myriad of voices and a sense of timing, that my imagination wouldn't naturally adopt.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me grind my teeth. I hate violence towards women, but by the end, I never wished harder for a heroine to die.

Any additional comments?

Considering the rest of his work, Abercrombie is generally a safe bet on ripping yarns rich with casts of three dimensional characters.

The First Law Trilogy was such an amazing debut (setting such a ludicrously high bar), I now tend to unfairly judge all the other novels he pumps out against the strength of that initial foray. This book may be his weakest alongside the laughably bad, Half a King. but unlike that steaming chod, this is still an Abercrombie novel.

Worth a listen, if not a read.

1 person found this helpful