The Foreword contains a lot of interesting information regarding the actual historical event this book is based on. But it contains many spoilers to tThe Foreword contains a lot of interesting information regarding the actual historical event this book is based on. But it contains many spoilers to the story, as it contrasts the dramatization to the historical event. I skipped it, listened to the novelization of the event, then revisited the Foreword for some historical context, and was not displeased. I definitely recommend listening to the Foreword, but not before finishing the story....more
**spoiler alert** After reading the description for this installment of the Dresden Files, I went in with a bit of dread. I've read several series whe**spoiler alert** After reading the description for this installment of the Dresden Files, I went in with a bit of dread. I've read several series where the hero finds themselves, by one contrivance or another, cut off from all previous allies in a such a manner that those same allies now mistake the hero as a foe. One of them even performed the "cut off" in much the same way as in "Ghost Story". There's also films like "Meet the Parents" where circumstance pits the protagonist against everyone else in some fashion.
I dislike those portions of stories. I recognize the validity of them as a means of presenting a new challenge to a powerful hero like Dresden, but I dislike the mistrust, the distance, and the general antagonism from people who should be friends, family, and allies. When it happened in other series, it's never my favorite in the series (a shame, since the one that was very similar to Dresden's situation was the final installment in the series...), and I absolutely despise "Meet the Parents" because literally no one is on his side (not even the one person who should have been).
Butcher and "Ghost Story" has navigated this (once again totally valid) challenge to Dresden in a manner that does not present the aspects that I so dislike in other stories that have done it, and I was pleasantly surprised.
Dresden makes contact with former allies, and while the challenge of mistrust exists, they still work with him. They WANT to believe it's him, but prior experience makes them "properly wary" of what he has become. They test him, protect themselves from him, never fully trust him... but they don't REJECT him. The challenges of the device exist, but they're not insurmountable to the point where the hero has no choice but to find all new allies or to work alone, or worse avoid old allies who will try to destroy him. And that, I found, redeemed the inherent nature of this plot device for me
On top of that, the rising intensity of the Dresden Files continues it's steady climb, which was great.
And - as always - James Marsters bats another grand slam performance. Seriously one of my favortie narrators in the three years I've been listening to audio books....more
**spoiler alert** My review for Turncoat has more to do with a small disappointment than it does with the entire book (A 4 star rating is all I have t**spoiler alert** My review for Turncoat has more to do with a small disappointment than it does with the entire book (A 4 star rating is all I have to say about the overall story of Turncoat). In order to address this, I pretty much have to spoil the book, so read ahead at your own risk.
And please forgive any spelling errors on character names, I listen via audible and don't get to see how things are spelled lol.
The disappointment is that, for as long as Harry and the Gray Council have suspected a traitor, for as prevalent as that has been in the course of the Red Court/White Council War, the actual traitor was immediately apparent at the start of Turn Coat. Peabody gets introduced, and immediately he stuck out like a sore thumb to me. I don't know if it's because I read a lot of books, and have gotten adept at catching this kind of thing, or if it was just a bad decision on Butcher's part, but Peabody immediately raised my suspicions.
After Peabody;s introduction, two or three Council Members start gushing about how instrumental he is to the operation of the White Council and how they don't even know how they'd organize everything without him. Then you find out he screens everything for the Council an all they need to do is sign what he tells them to and he tells them what they just signed without them having to look at it themselves.
And I'm just sitting there thinking "So the brand new, never seen before character in the book about a traitor just happens to be in the perfect position that ANY traitor would want to be in?"
I took the thought with a grain of salt. Who knows, maybe Peabody was a red herring for the reader. The OVERLY obvious traitor, only to find out it's not him and it's someone totally unsuspected, like maybe it was McCoy all along and holy crap that would have been a blind side. But then you get to the end, and as predicted from like, Chapter 2 or 3, Peabody is revealed to be the traitor.
And who knows, maybe Butcher intended it to be that way, maybe he wanted it to be obvious. But either way, I was let down by it. With how many twists and turns various characters have taken, with how how pervasive the concern over who Harry could trust had been for quite a few books, it turns out none of his friends, allies, or even long standing antagonists were the traitor. The newbie character was.
And it might not have been as much of a disappointment if Peabody had been introduced in any previous novel. He had been to Edinburgh a couple of times in previous books, there's been other Council meetings, both local and elsewhere he's attended, and he's met the Senior Council on several occasions. Any one of these could have been used to introduce an administrative clerk, even if his appearances were little more than cameos, even if the purpose was nothing more than to get his name familiar to the reader.
As it is, it almost feels like Butcher hadn't decided who the traitor was until it came time to address them head on, and then at the moment of decision he couldn't bear to make it any of the regular supporting characters. Because that's what would have been truly amazing: if the traitor had been someone Harry really knew and trusted like (as before) McCoy, Luccio, or Ramirez.
All this aside, as I said before, Turn Coat still gets 4 stars from me. My only gripe is the obviousness and, I guess inconsequence is a good way to say it, of who the traitor turned out to be. Beyond the actions that Peabody took as a traitor, no one's world was really "rocked" by the revelation that it was him. Neither Harry nor the reader is left in shock at the who, but only at the extensiveness of the betrayal; and I feel that was a missed opportunity for Butcher.
Thanks for letting me get that off my chest! And holy crap that ended up longer than intended lol...more
I've been a fan of the Reckoners series since it came out, and Steelheart and Firefight were fantastic. Calamity seemed like it was going to keep up tI've been a fan of the Reckoners series since it came out, and Steelheart and Firefight were fantastic. Calamity seemed like it was going to keep up the same level of craftsmanship and story, but then, right at the end, it fell flat. Like, literally right at the end. The last few chapters I was on the edge of my seat, absolutely absorbed by what was happening and not knowing how it was going to end. And when David went to go face his final confrontation, I held my breath from the end of that chapter to the next, practically shaking with anticipation, and then did not get anything like what I was expecting. The final confrontation was, honestly a let down. And I'm a huge Sanderson fan, I don't think I've read anything of his before that didn't amaze me, even his novellas.
The build up and the closing action of the book was awesome, and everything I had come to expect from this series. If this had ended with an explosion (that may the first and last time I ever say that about a series ending) and then had a slightly different epilogue to match that, I think this would have gotten 5 stars from me, even though there would have been some unanswered questions regarding the "why" and "how" of it all....more
Heirs of Empire is a pretty standard sci-fi novel as far as its general plot-line goes. I've read at least one, possible two other fantasy/sci-fi bookHeirs of Empire is a pretty standard sci-fi novel as far as its general plot-line goes. I've read at least one, possible two other fantasy/sci-fi books this year alone that parallel the basic plot.
Heirs is unique in it's world, which seems off through much of the first half of the novel. Nothing major, just small things here and there that don't make sense, like the lack of space travel with such an advanced technology base. But in the second half, you start getting glimpses of a "greater truth" that leaves more questions than it answers, and lends itself to several possible theories about just what, exactly, is going on on this world.
The plot moves along quickly, much more so other series with similar plots. The action stays going pretty much throughout the book. There's no long drawn out sections of travel, or preparation, or even time spent just on character introduction and development. Most of the characters are in trouble very shortly after first meeting them, unlike some others where it took several chapters before the conflict began to arise. Instead, Heirs dives right in. Despite that, character development is not shirked. We learn about characters more through their snap decisions and the actions they take than through long conversations during "down time" between action scenes.
In all, for it's plot not being terribly original, the execution of it is excellent. The execution of the story, the intrigue of the setting, and the well done characters would easily earn Heirs of EMpire 3 stars from me.
Where Heir's of Empire really shines, where it got that 4th star, is in it's female lead, Mira Delsol. Mira is a prime example of a strong female lead. Not only does she not need saving, she pretty much spends her time saving everyone else in the book. She's justifiably cocky, and spends most of the book kicking the asses of anyone she sets herself against. She's creative and inventive on a scale above and beyond any of the other characters, and she really does not care what it takes to get the job done. She's also more dynamic than any of the other characters. I keep trying to go into more detail, but it's tough to describe. Let's just say that, unlike the other characters, the way she starts the story doesn't define the way she ends the story. She's the first character you meet, and she was my favorite character right from the start. More so than any other character, her POV chapters were the ones I looked forward to most....more
The plot was good, I liked the setting, the magic, and the characters. But the end was very anticlimactic. I mean, it made sense and all, but it seemeThe plot was good, I liked the setting, the magic, and the characters. But the end was very anticlimactic. I mean, it made sense and all, but it seemed like they spent several days getting to the final encounter with the shadow, and then 2 minutes after landing on the island the book is in epilougue, and not a whole lot happened in between.
Overall I enjoyed it, but I expected more from the ending....more