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Bake.

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Not Lawhead's Best

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

Reviewed: 16-03-2021

As a fan of Lawhead's books, this reader had great expectations for this series, but was left somewhat disappointed.
The narrator was not to my taste and chose his nuances oddly. For instance, he chuckled at moments of high action and violence, such as when people were being hit by arrows. I found this odd, and also found his delivery of certain moments actually diminished the potency of those moments.

The story itself is interesting enough, and as far as a retelling of the Robin Hood story it is well done and original; a tough ask for a Robin Hood retelling. However, there are great chunks of the story that are hard work to get through; information with little of interest. Perhaps the style of narration did not help this.

Overall, I still recommend this book, if you are willing to wade through some long, dull scenes in order to get to the good stuff.
I probably would have enjoyed it more if I had read it for myself rather than listened to it being narrated by this particular narrator, who wasn't terrible, and at times narrated well, but who overall was not the right choice for this book.

Gripping and extremely well written

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

Reviewed: 04-03-2021

A suspenseful and wrenching novel, perfectly narrated by Jonathan Davis.
Joseph Kanon's storytelling is masterful, and the dialogue of his characters is believable, clever and intriguing.
I was dragged into this novel almost immediately and was mesmerised by the story from beginning to end.

Dull, anti-climactic and slow for the most part

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

Reviewed: 04-09-2019

I found this book disappointing. The premise had promise; the fallout and consequences from a pivotal, regrettable moment. However much of the story moved at a glacial pace with very little to keep my interest. The characters in the story seemed unrealistic to me, and I found myself wondering whether this is a true representation of how certain people are truly like in circles/cultures/communities that I'm unfamiliar with, from the author's own experiences, or whether the author was exaggerating in order to tell a darker tale.
On a positive note, the narration was excellent, and some of the writing was interesting and bordered on insightful at rare moments in the narrative. I was nevertheless left wishing that there had been more to this story than a bunch of people constantly giving in to their most basic instincts and desires, with some loose morality thrown in.

If you enjoy morbid stories that involve dull scenes that the author attempts to spice up with a lot of drug-taking, graphically descriptive sex scenes and carnality among a cast of self-absorbed characters, then this is the book for you. Otherwise I recommend giving it a miss.

Fascinating although tedious

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

Reviewed: 25-07-2019

Fascinating concepts and worth listening to until the end, however the story does become slow and boring in many parts, especially in chapters full of explaining the world of 1984.
Many concepts in the story are eerily applicable to modern day reality.
Excellent narration, Andrew Wincott's voice is perfectly suited to the story.

Interesting and ominous story

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

Reviewed: 10-07-2019

This book provides an interesting and thought provoking social commentary of an ominous near future that is scarily possible.
Although at times the script felt more like a sermon pretending to be a novel, the story was intriguing and touching.
Some of the dialogue between characters feels unrealistic and staged, which detracts a little from immersing the reader in the story, however overall I found this novel to be well worth reading, and am looking forward to the next one in the series.
The narrator did a decent job, yet I'm unsure whether he was the best fit for this story. He came across more like a newsreader than a narrator at times.
A good read for those interested in media manipulation, relevant social issues and the future of mankind.

Mildly interesting, too long, mostly predictable

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

Reviewed: 05-06-2019

This was a disappointing end, in my opinion, to a series that started off well and showed great potential for its characters and plots in the first three books. I stuck with the series because I wanted to know how it ended, however I was bored during most of this book. The story is like waiting for an appointment at the doctor; unnecessarily long for a very short and not overly satisfying payoff. The parts with no action or peril were mind-numbingly drawn out and far too over-explained, whereas the parts where the action finally occurred were written poorly and ended far too quickly. Some of the scenes with the most potential to be exciting were dulled due to the writer's choice to have those scenes told to the main character by another character, causing this reader to feel far less involved in those moments than I wished to be, and much less invested emotionally. Without trying to give too much away, Dragon's triumphal moment felt like a brief fizz, and if written better could have been far more momentous and exciting.
Concerning the narration, it was performed okay, but the frequent pauses in mid-sentence, where there should have been no pause, constantly jarred my senses into remembering that this was a story being read, rather than immersing me in the story and forgetting that it was actually being narrated, which more skilful narrators manage to do.
I could go on and on about all the things that could have been better about this book, but I'll look for a positive by saying that I enjoyed brief moments of this book. Overall, one star out of five, sadly.

Challenging

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

Reviewed: 12-04-2019

Though some of the writing felt a bit over the top, and perhaps unnecessarily gratuitous in places, the story is gripping, and challenges the reader to think about perception, discrimination, and the true shape of people's characters and soul. The narrative forced this listener to contemplate how messed up society is in so many ways, and to ruminate on one's own role in becoming part of the solution or the problem.
Worth listening to if you're willing to listen to an intense amount of swearing (perhaps it was necessary in order to add authenticity to the story), and if you're after a tragic tale rather than a feel-good drama.

Brilliant

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

Reviewed: 19-03-2019

Michael J. Fox's memoir is an extremely well written and well read book. I was so engrossed in every part of his story that I wished the book were twice as long. Perhaps it is, since this is an abridged version.
I give this 5 stars, and this will not be the last time I listen to this audiobook, it brought a lot of clarity to my own outlook on life as a whole.

Glad I finally read this book

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

Reviewed: 26-02-2019

So many people have applauded this book, so that I finally listened to it on audiobook.
I'm glad I now have; there are moments of exquisite and inspired writing. I just wish that I hadn't had to wade through chapters of boredom, in which whales, ships, etc. are described in painful and boring detail, resulting in the story being put on hold so that the author could indulge in a lecture.
Despite the boring chapters, I'm still glad I've now listened to the book. The narrator did an admirable job of the challenging narrative.

Great Story

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

Reviewed: 26-02-2019

Entertaining, intriguing and humour-laced story. Well narrated, well-paced, great mix of action and thoughtfulness.
Dodger is such a likeable underdog character, I was cheering for him from the start.
Five stars.

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