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What an original concept this book is! And the narration really put me into the story. Well done and well performed.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the next one.
Alternate histories can be tricky but this one worked well; the Roman Empire in the modern world was believable and appealing. The EUS is a xenophobic and paranoid place. Given the chance, why would you not up-sticks and move to Roma Nova? This country is just… cool. It’s kept up with and even surpassed the rest of the modern world in some ways while still keeping its traditions and principles. And I can really get behind a story set in a society where the women and men are on equal footing (as Roma Nova is a matriarchal society, the women have an edge though).
The characters are varied and nicely fleshed out. Karen’s adaptation to her new home and its traditions is admirable. Anyone who’s lived in a culture different from their own knows how hard those adjustments can be. Karen didn’t just adapt, she embraced it and you could feel how richer her life was for it. There are so many characters that it was a little hard to keep track of them so a 2nd go with this book is definitely in order for me.
Ms. Thorburn has a very nice and melodic voice. The accents are good and each character has distinctive voice. When she sticks to reading, she’s excellent.
What I didn't like about this book:
1. Karen’s transformation from ordinary office schlep to bad*ss soldier woman is not believable. In one chapter she’s cowering and dying and 90 minutes later she’s mastered hand-to-hand combat and is working undercover… c’mon.
2. Karen comes across as arrogant and obnoxious after her transformation. I really struggled to like her during some parts of the story. Maybe that's a problem with narration and the written would be different?
3. Karen’s reasons for entering into her new (post transformation) career don’t make sense to me. While any reasonable person knows drug smuggling is an awful thing, I just don’t understand her motivation for throwing herself into dangerous under-cover work.
4. Renschman is a pretty bad villain. Not bad as in ‘what a great character; he’s so scary’ but bad as in ‘you’ve failed multiple times; please just give up now ‘. And he’s one of those villains who won’t stop talking (no wonder he’s thwarted so often). But I get his motivation so he’s not totally unbelievable.
5. Some of the sub-plots ended pretty abruptly. I think the author was trying to smoosh too much into the 1st in a series. The way it ended made me wonder if this was originally meant to be a stand-alone book.
6. While I enjoyed the narration, I found the stammering, heavy breathing, gulps, occasional snorts and giggles and general over-emoting very off-putting. This is just a personal preference and it's not bad enough to make me not want to listen to the next in the series.
7. Pronunciation is a bit off sometimes (I’ve never heard ‘antipathy’ pronounced much the same as ’anti-pasti’) but that was more amusing than annoying.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
I wasn’t too sure how I would get on with this book as I’m not a great fan of fantasy or sci-fi (Amazon’s classifications), but frankly, I wouldn’t class this book as either. Inceptio fell into a genre that was new to me – not time slip, but ‘alternate history’, and I found this fascinating. I read contemporary fiction and I’m quite partial to the odd novel set in ancient Rome too, so this was quite an intriguing concept – and the book didn’t disappoint.
Inceptio is a fast-paced thriller that twists skulduggery in an alternate modern-day America together with the passion and pride of the people of Roma Nova, a notional European country established by breakaway Romans sixteen centuries ago. There was plenty to grab the interest – a complex plot with lots of twists and turns, a heroine who has to defy impossible odds, a strong love interest and some dastardly villains.
I wasn’t convinced by the transformation of a perfectly normal, rather unsuccessful young American girl into a Roma Novan superhero in an amazingly short space of time (although I very much enjoyed it!), and I wasn’t really sure I liked her new persona either, but neither of these points kept me from enjoying the tale. Roma Nova was a curious place, in many ways so modern that its genesis didn’t seem very relevant, though the inhabitants obviously had a real sense of nationhood. I would have liked a stronger sense of the place and its culture, history, food etc – but I loved the idea that it was the women who ruled the country (!) and that it had evolved as a technologically advanced nation.
I was given this audiobook free in return for an honest review – that said, I would not have even started listening to it unless I had liked the narrator, as narration is such an important element for me. Caitlyn Thorburn’s treatment was far from perfect, but overall it made for a really enjoyable listen.
Would I go back for more? You bet!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to Inceptio the most enjoyable?
I read Inceptio soon after it was first published and immediately became hooked on the series (thank goodness it is a series - I think I could become quite bereft without a regular new Roma Nova fix) Books I enjoy I like to re-read, but with fading sight this is becoming a problem - thank goodness for Kindle and the ability to increase the font size, but now hurrah for Audible! No more straining to see the words a relaxing enjoyable experience of listening to some of my favourite characters instead! I admit I was dubious when I first downloaded this one: would narration detract from how I imagined the author's (and tha characters') voice. No! Not in the slightest, in fact the book is now even better (if that's possible!) So three cheers for Audible, Three Cheers for Ms Morton and Three Cheers for Roma Nova!
What was one of the most memorable moments of Inceptio?
The realisation that Rome had survived into the 21st century, an amazing, and I think Unique, concept, with unique characters and a unique plot.
Which scene did you most enjoy?
All of them!
Any additional comments?
a wonderful, exciting, read from cover to cover.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful