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4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-24-18

A great Addition to the Mistborn world.

So most people view this as a western adaptation to the mistborn world. I guess the prologue is set in a frontier, but really the majority of the plot takes place in a setting that more closely resembles a Victorian era metropolis. So, think of it more like a Sherlock Holmes type adventure, with some magic.
I had a hard time at first with the world being so different from the first Mistborn trilogy. But once I got over that I was able to enjoy the book.
The narrator is amazing as usual. Michael Kramer is a pleasure to listen to.

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2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-10-18

My kid's couldn't understand the narrator

I read Redwall as a kid, and I really like the story. I thought my 10 and 6 year olds would like to listen to it in the car on the way to school. Unfortunately the recording is not clear. A lot of the full cast dialog is good, but the main narrator has a heavy accent (sort of Scottish I think?), and my sons could not keep up with the events of the story due to the incoherence of the primary voice.

I think it must have been an older recording too, it just did not have the crisp high def style recording that most Audible books have. It might work better for someone listening with earbuds or headphones, but over the speakers in my car, and with road noise and other things it was too easy for the words to get drowned out.

Great books though!, I'll just hand my 10 yr old the hard copy for this one.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-10-18

A Great Author's Greatest Work

This was the 9th Brandon Sanderson novel I read. I have to admit it was a bit difficult for me to get into this one. The first part of the book is a lot of death, and a lot of bad things happening to our hero. I did not make it through on my first attempt. But I heard so many good things about it, that I really wanted to know what it was all about, so I returned to it, and powered through. Boy am I glad I did!
The breath and depth of the world that Sanderson has created is impressive. So much more detail and layers of plot than what he employed in the Mistborn series. My wife was reluctant to start this series because it is incomplete. There are currently 3 books available in a 5 book series. (ultimately he is planning on 10 Stormlight books!) But I convinced her that the books each have good stories on their own, and now she is hooked too.
The narrators are spectacular. Michael Kramer and Kate Reading are a joy to listen to. They both employ a myriad of voices to make the characters stand apart so the reader does not confuse them. I enjoy sitting at home with my wife while she is listening to the audio. Even though I have read the books already, it is so much fun to go back and hear details I may have forgotten, or not picked up on at the time.
I loved Mistborn, but I think this series is actually better.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-29-17

A very likeable character with a good story.

Another great Brandon Sanderson short story. This story follows Lift, a surgebinder introduced in Words of Radiance. She's a humorous character with equal parts child like innocence and burden for protecting others from evil. the story fits between the 2nd and 3rd novels in the storm light archives.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-04-17

An engaging tale for me and my kids

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

My 4th grader and kindergartener are listening to this with me on the way to school in the mornings. There are enough mysteries and twists that we enjoy having discussions about what we think will happen next. (we haven't quite finished it yet) I like that it has a lot of familiar mythological elements, but it is really not a predictable story. At least not in a bad way. Right now the three of us are trying to decide who Loki is disguised as in the story. There are certainly some characters we are suspicious about.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Entirely True Story of the Unbelievable FIB?

I'd hate to spoil the story....but my most memorable moment is when Pru meets someone who's locked up in the police station.

What does Jennifer Grace bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

I didn't immediately love the narration. She made ABE (the boy) sound more high pitched than Prudence. But it turns out that is exactly how the author intended it to be.

The narrator does indeed have a range of voices, and does a good job giving voices to the men in the story without sounding like she is just talking in a really low tone.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The Eye of Odin Conspiracy

Any additional comments?

If you have young readers at home, get this book for them. I just purchased the second one, and I hope the author writes more.

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2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-25-13

Good theology meets bad story telling

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The listening experience was not was the story. It's basically a Christian junk novel with good theology. The characters are unrealistic, and it seems like the author just wanted to create some idealized Christian characters, place them in a hostile environment and show how heroic they could be. (Wish fulfilment for believers)

What was most disappointing about Bryan M. Litfin’s story?

The cheesy romantic storyline between the main characters, AND their unbelievable ability to develop good theology without having access to the New Testament.

It just seemed to me that some of the faith statements the Christian characters were making in this story would require some sort of knowledge regarding a risen savior. They understood that there would be a suffering servant who would be pierced for their trangressions (Isa 53, Zech 9) And they understood that there would be a descendant of King David who would reign forever (II Sam 7) but I don't really think any non-Jewish people living with no historical reference point to understand Judaism could have faith in the God described in the OT.

Jesus had to come and help people make sense of the OT messianic prophecies which are about Him. The characters in this book just sort of figure it all out.

In spite of this God is remarkably impersonal in this book.

What does Ray Porter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?


What character would you cut from The Gift?

I don't know if any particular character needs to be cut... but you could cut 5 hours from the book and tell the same story. To be honest I purchased the book because it was long, and I wanted to have a book that would last me a long time, but.... so much of it is just the author drawing the story out to try to increase suspense.

Any additional comments?

*SPOILER ALERT* So in order to see if the story got better I listened to the 2nd book. In the 1st & 2nd books the main female character gets captured 4 or 5 different times. The author is really obsessed with using the fear of rape as a plot device. Almost every time Anastasia is in danger the threat of violation from her hostage takers is ever present. The hero Teopho (sp?) always swoops in just in time. The author also uses a lot of sexual tension between the two characters. It seems apparent that the third book is going to culminate with the spread of the gospel in their former homeland, coupled with their impending nuptials / consummation. I am sure it will not go into detail, but it just seems like there is an unnecessary focus on the sex they are not having.

After two books I finally gave up on the series. I could not care less what happens to these characters in the third book. I basically know what will be already.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-02-13

Novel tries to inspire... misses the mark

What did you like best about Prophet? What did you like least?

This book tries to create a sort of historical type fiction for Christians who want to see some of the Old Testament come alive in a believable way. The author creates a prophet character who is most similar to Elijah. The prophet converses with the god of a fictional world and He guides her in delivering his message to various leaders who are embroiled in conflicts in a setting that closely resembles the ancient near East of our world. The god of this world is known as the Infinite, and the reader is to basically read the story as if this Infinite is just like the God of the Bible.

The problem with the story is that while the character resembles Elijah rather closely... I did not think that the 'Infinite' interacted with the prophet in any way resembling the way God interacts with His prophets in scripture. Additionally the author has created dialogue between the Prophet and the Infinite... and I think there are some inherit difficulties in writing lines for a god who is supposed to be analagous to YHWH.

Additionally the narration was difficult to accept particularly when the main character was crying out to the Infinite. She sounded whiny, and fearful most of the time.

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

The plot has two distinct external conflicts which are loosely related. Both conflicts are resolved in similar fashion. I do not think the author was trying to create a grand mystery. The purpose of the book is to demonstrate that the God of scripture is faithful in doing what He says He will do. In this way we see the Infinite fulfilling the prophecies of Ella in due course.The major difference between this book and the God of the Bible is that the prophecies in this book are all wrapped up during the course of a few months. There are no long-term prophecies. (perhaps another reason the Infinite does not seem to be as awesome as YHWH)

What didn’t you like about Brooke Heldman’s performance?

The characteristics of the Infinite are interesting. The author tries to debunk some of the false notions people have about God by having the prophet character grow through her own misconceptions and the Infinite corrects her as she goes.

I also think it is good that the author shows a variety of unbelievers / skeptics who are good characters and are open to listening to the prophet in spite of their skepticism about the god she is telling them about. The author avoids the cliche of making all believers good, and all unbelievers bad.

Was Prophet worth the listening time?

The narration is my chief complaint with this book. The narrator really put a lot of effort into making the main character's despair come to life. (This means there was a lot of whining coming at me through my earbuds) The voice for the Infinite was steady and quiet... the voice for the prophet was sometimes loud and shrill. Not a good combination.

Any additional comments?

Good concept, but the main problem with the story is the use of dialogue between this god and the believer. I am not sure if there is a good solution here. The only other time I have read a book where the author creatres dialogue for a god who is analagous to God is CS Lewis' Narnia books. I never had a problem with Azlan speaking and revealing certain aspects of the real God... but this book seems different. The author throws the reader right into the middle of the prayer dialogues between the god and the prophet and these interactions are just bizarre. Azlan was never simply at the beck and call of the Narnia children in the way that the Infinite is to Ella.

I think the author does a good job a creating a character who performs signs and miracles similar to what we see in scripture (particularly with Elijah/Elishah) And I think that the characteristics of this Infinite are basically consistent with the God of the Bible.

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-05-12

Glad I gave Lawhead a second listen

This was a very interesting tale, the breadth of the adventure far surpassed my initial expectations. My first experience with the author was in listening to "Hood." He sort of reinvented the legend of Robin Hood in a way that felt peculiar to me. But I confess his story telling in that piece was a good quality, it was simply a departure from the jovial Robin Hood tales I had enjoyed in my youth.

This story centers on an Irish monk in thelate 9th century who goes on a mission with his brother monks to deliver a copy of scripture to the Emperor in Byzantium. In his journey he is kidnapped and enslaved by Vikings, and eventually winds his way southward with his captors through the Eastern empire, and eventually finds himself in middle eastern territory among various factions of the Byzantine Empire, and the Muslim kingdoms of the era.

The odd thing about this book is that the resolution of the main plot conflict gets resolved much ahead of the conflict that the main character is experiencing internally. You reach a point where it feels like the story is about to end, but our monk Aidan is still a long way off from resolving his future plans in any satisfying manner. Ultimately Lawhead delivers a powerful resolution in the story of Aidan, and it was worth struggling through to the end to see our hero finally grasp the purpose of his long terrifying adventure.

While I enjoyed this book, it is worth noting that it is quite dark. The sheer amount of bloodshed and violence is depressing, but it serves to show why Aidan becomes so outraged at God who seems far away, and indifferent to the plight of the people who become victims. Anyone who is looking for a story with a pristene hero, or a faithful man who is never tempted by sin, this is not such a tale.

The epilogue indicates that the main character is in fact an historical figure, though the author has apparently revealed in interviews that the character is named for an historical Irish monk, but in reality the tale is fictitious and combines some details of the lives of four different Irish monks and clergymen from the time period.

If you look up the name Aidan Mac Canneich online you will find information which will serve as spoiler to the story. I caution you to hold off on this search until you are done with the story

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-29-12

Compelling, Character driven history

This is not a comprehensive history of the struggle for Jewish statehood following WWII, but it centers around the campaign to capture / hold Jerusalem. The historical figures Ben-Gurion, Golda Meir, Ehud Avriel, and even the leaders of the Arab nations provide the depth and richness that make the history come alive. It is not a technical piece about military strategy, it is a collection of very personal reflections from those who struggled to survive during this conflict.

If you want a story about military science... this may have a few tidbits for you.If you want to understand a slice of the people and times of 1948 Israel this book captures that very well.

Narrator is good too. He has an Israeli accent but speaks clearly and has a good story-telling tone and voice.

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5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-24-12

A beautiful story packed with scripture and poetry

I think every one who seeks to walk with God ought to read this book. The author weaves scripture throughout this allegory, and if you study the Bible throughout life you will recognize bits and pieces of the Word interwoven in the story.

This version is almost twice the length of the other one available on Audible because it has about 2 hours worth of biographical information about Hannah Hurnard which is after the story. The biography is itself interesting.

I would note that Ms. Hurnard's later works are frequently criticized for embracing some unbiblical principles. However I cannot find anything in this effort that seems to deviate from God's word. It is a beautiful story, and is frequently recommended to persons who find themselves experiencing sorrow and pain in their life. The book basically is a great picture of how sorrow and suffering can be great companions in helping us walk more intimately with God. I fear this may not encourage many readers.

Additionally, this seems to be a book that many men within the church are completely unfamiliar with. This saddens me, it seems too many men believe that female Christian authors only discuss subjects that are of interest to women. I have found this to be generally untrue. The inspiration for this work comes primarily from Song of Solomon, Psalm 18, and the book of Habakkuk. I have also found relevant passages from Exodus, 1 Peter, the book of Ruth, and various sections from the prophet Isaiah.

I should also point out that I rather enjoyed the narrator. I see the narrator has a great many books on Audible, and that they cover a variety of subjects. (not just a bunch of Christian books) I would definitely be interested in other books read by Nadia May.

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful