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Christopher

Telford, United Kingdom
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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-12-15

Comfort Listening


Story – 5/5

The Archive is a very intriguing concept in these novels, so it was great to get a fuller story involving it (/her) - not to mention the return of the Denarians, who were one of the more interesting enemies from a previous novel (I forget which).

The entire mythology and epic magnitude of the world that has been created by Butcher is truly amazing. I kind of don't want it to end, but I know it will have to soon.

If you like this series, I highly recommend his other works as well - Codex Alera (which unfortunately is not available on Audible) and The Aeronaut's Windlass. Both are very different in style and genre - but equally as entertaining.


Performance – 5/5

James Marsters a fantastic narrator for these novels - it would be hard to listen to anyone else now after 10 audiobooks. His voice acting is subtly distinct and he performs the story like no other audiobook actor I have come across. He really helps to convey the strong and varied emotions throughout the books.


Overall – 5/5

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-12-15

Keep 'em Coming

Story – 5/5

Butcher has helped open my mind to the genre of Urban fantasy thanks to the Dresden files - and I just can't get enough of them. Not a single one has let me down yet.

At last, we see some of Mouse's talents in this novel - Surely we all knew there was something special about this dog...? Once again, some great humour, some exciting action, and some extremely tense moments - a perfect blend.


Performance – 5/5

James Marsters was perfect again, and really performs this book to enhance the experience for the listener. Distinct voice acting, atmosphere, comedy execution, and excitement – He has it all and is one of the few narrators I provide regular 5-star reviews to.


Overall – 5/5

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-12-15

Along came Molly


Story – 5/5

Wow - yet again a great Dresden novel amongst the many released. It will be such a shame when these come to an end.

This one adds some interesting new characters into the mix, and brings back Michael (who is a personal favourite of mine) and his family. Movie monsters coming to life? Traitors amongst the White Council, which Dresden is now a Warden of? What's not to like. Some great action again, and a few twists and turns as we have come to love in these novels.


Performance – 5/5

James Marsters was perfect again, and really performs this book to enhance the experience for the listener. Distinct voice acting, atmosphere, comedy execution, and excitement – He has it all and is one of the few narrators I provide regular 5-star reviews to.


Overall – 5/5

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-12-15

Another great trilogy found


Story - 5/5

I've been waiting for this to become available on Audible for quite some time. I had only heard great things about it, and just haven't had the time to read these in novel form.

It is traditional fantasy - but done in the right way; Tad Williams has a great imagination, and has really spent a lot of time planning this story. The world and characterisation are absolutely spot on, making you want to delve further and learn more. The best part has to be the prose though - Williams really does write well.

The only thing I think that will put people off is that it is a very slow burner. It takes a while to get going, and still takes it's time when it does. Usually, my mind will wander with these stories, but I was so engrossed in the world that I was happy to go into the detail this time around. Maybe this will be the same for others.

I look forward to the next one.


Performance - 4/5

Andrew Wincott did quite a good job. Not my favourite author, as I think he played too much on the coming-of-age main character, making him out to be a character from a young adult novel which this is definitely not. Everything else was spot on though. His voice acting was distinct, and he performed the story very well.


Overall - 4.5/5

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 13-11-15

A great prequel


Story – 5/5

Considering I wasn’t exactly swept away by the original trilogy (although still enjoyed it well enough), I absolutely loved this prequel. It is a lot shorter, therefore I felt the pacing was spot on, and I thought there was a bit more brutality, which Sullivan seemed a bit reluctant of in his first set of stories.

It is set 10 years before the events of the Riyria revelations – and tells the story of when Hadrian and Royce first met. My favourite part had to be the backstory of Gwen though – but I am a sucker for backstory.

According to something I read on the internet, Sullivan plans to write 10 of these chronicle books to represent each of the 10 years prior to the Revelations trilogy. Lots to look forward to then… 


Performance –4.5/5

Tim Gerard Reynolds did a great job. I felt he trivialised danger in the original trilogy, which wasn’t the case in this story – which makes me think I was a little hard on him in my previous reviews. It must have been the prose.

His voice acting is great – very consistent with his other readings thus far – making it all the easier to get back into this world.


Overall – 5/5

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-11-15

My favourite listen of 2016


Story – 5/5

Wow – what a great story this is. Having read/listened to quite a few of Butcher’s books spanning 3 epic series (Dresden, Codex Alera and now The Cinder Spires), I can now safely say that he is my favourite author out there, and just about pips Abercrombie to the post.

It is a steampunk based story that is full of non-stop action. The opening sequence is an air battle in true steampunk fashion, and starts straight away with fantastic characterisation of those involved. It is never difficult to follow what is happening, as the prose is fluid, precise and un-complex.

I think what really makes Butcher stand out, is his perfect balance of humour, danger, action and sentimentality – and this is another of his stories that doesn’t disappoint. My favourite character? Has to be the cat (they are part of civilisation and talk to humans in this story). I am guessing people who own cats will relate to the many humorous comments coming from him which had me laughing out loud many times over.


Performance – 5/5

I’d not come across Euan Morton before, but I thought he was a fantastic narrator. He really enhanced the enjoyment of the story through great voice acting, and a smooth dramatic performance describing this action packed story.

Another one to look out for. Couldn’t find any fault at all.


Overall – 5/5

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-11-15

Very different, but still enjoyable enough


Story – 4/5

I must admit, this is not my usual type of story to listen to/read. I knew it was going to be different to Ender’s game, but apart from using the Wiggin family again, there is absolutely no similarity – so it was even more different than I had anticipated. This is more about the psychology, philosophy and ethics surrounding the colonisation of other planets.

It had good characterisation, and I was very intrigued about the alien species being studied. I will probably never read this story again, but I am glad that I did, and found it easy to listen to. I didn’t 100% buy into the human analysis that Ender’s character was performing, but I am laid back enough to see it as fiction and enjoy the rest of it.

If you are looking for a sci-fi with action, strategy and coming of age characters like the last book, this is definitely not the one for you, but if you are open minded and enjoy hearing others philosophising, definitely give it a shot.


Performance – 4.5/5

Again, this book had the same multiple narrators as Ender’s Game, and again, I can’t say it added much to the story like other full cast productions have. Not bad in any way, just not any better than single narrator audios.

The main narrator, I think it may have been Stefan Rudnicki, was especially good, and I will keep an eye out for other audiobooks read by him.


Overall – 4/5

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 12-08-15

Mark Lawrence keeps improving


Story – 5/5

In my opinion, Mark Lawrence just keeps getting better and better as he writes more novels. I am enjoying the Red Queen trilogy more than the Broken Empire. I love the crossovers with the Yorg storyline, allowing a good join-up and better picture of the overall world.

The characters develop very nicely and are engrossing. The fantasy elements become even more prominent as well. There is a good mix of humour, action and sentimentality, and Lawrence is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors.

I definitely recommend to all fantasy fans, but I would say to start from Prince of Thorns and work your way through all of them to get the full enjoyment. If you don’t want to invest quite that much time or credits, starting with Prince of fools will still be good as the Broken Empire trilogy is not a Pre-requisite.


Performance –4.5/5

Sean Ohlendorf was excellent again, a perfect suit to the story in my opinion. His performance and voice acting are amongst the best, and will certainly encourage me to purchase audiobooks if his name is on them


Overall – 5/5

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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 23-06-15

Probably the next big thing in YA Fantasy


I picked this up simply due to the fact that I read an article about it getting a 7-figure movie deal already, therefore I am assuming it is going to be as big as Harry Potter and Hunger Games etc.

Story – 4/5

I thought the story was excellent to be honest. It grabbed hold, and wouldn’t let go. The story and prose are simple and concise, as befits a young adult story, but the story is rich with depth and characterisation. There is plenty of action, great character development and a good portion of romance that added to the story, rather than detracting like most tend to for me.

Telling the story from 2 first person viewpoints that alternate, even when the characters cross-over worked extremely well. There was a strong emotional connection with both characters. The setting is supposed to be an alternative fantasy Roman Empire, with familiar styled names, and the format of the soldier’s training/discipline, which also worked very well.

For a young adult story, it is full of brutality; like torture, violence and talk of rape (although no rape actually happens luckily). It seems too much for teenagers, but then the plot and story progression is definitely written with teenagers in mind, therefore probably doesn’t hit either audience properly. Not that it matters too much for big kids like me. I also didn’t find some of what the supporting cast did very realistic at times; but these are both minor issues on the scale of things – easily ironed out in later novels.

Although the novel, including the title, hint towards a spark of revolution, do not be fooled into thinking this is a hunger games rip-off. It is completely different, and clearly the first novel of a series as it barely touches the surface of the overall plot that Sabaa Tahir is clearly working towards. I’m surprised this hasn’t been made a bigger deal on audible to be honest. I only hope this review can spread the word and ensure the whole series gets added.


Performance – 4/5

I think the audiobook production was of a very high quality. Getting 2 narrators to do the story from the 2 viewpoints really helped add to the enjoyment overall. I think both were very good at portraying the strong emotions of their respective characters.

Jack Farrar’s character voice acting was very good, each having a distinctive, believable voice. Aysha Kala, although acted well, didn’t provide much distinction; using similar voices for all characters. It didn’t spoil the book at all, as the story/prose was easy to follow – so I always knew who was speaking anyway, but it could have been just that little bit better.


Overall – 4/5

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13 of 14 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 18-06-15

A tough listen at first


Story – 4/5

I found this audiobook very hard to get into, as I kept drifting away, which is mainly down to the narrator. I gave up about half way at first and opted for a lighter listen instead. When I returned and re-listened, I enjoyed it a lot more and the second half was much better than the first; the last 2-3 hours especially. Probably not my favourite Black Company book, but still good enough to get 4 stars.

I enjoyed the new characterisation and fantasy element added via Murgen, and his time travelling capability, made for something new to the mix. The atrocities being committed by both sides during the conflict was interesting, and sinister, and it was good to go back and have a different viewpoint of a story already told in Dreams of Steel.


Performance –3/5

The production was a real struggle for me, and the main reason I gave up first time around. The reading is incredibly slow, and there are large gaps between (and even in the middle of) sentences. I sped it up to x1.25, and it was still a problem. x1.5 was too fast to keep up. I don’t remember this being an issue when Jonathan Davis read The Silver Spike, so it must have been the way the producers cut and pieced it together.

I liked the character voices and Davis’ tone though, so I do think he is a good narrator. I was glad I forced myself to re-listen, and I did get used to it the second time around.


Overall – 3.5/5

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