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I assume that checking the pronunciation of proper names is part of a narrator’s job. If so, there are some glaring failures here. Ina Road in Tucson is pronounced Ay-nah not Ee-nah. Gila Bend is pronounced Hee-lah Bend not Gee-lah Bend. Don’t get me started on the inconsistent and caricatured accents given to hispanic characters. (In Incrementalists narrator also blew pronunciation of poker legend Mike Matusow. These are not hard things to check and break the flow of story telling.)
As for content, there are several tell tale signs that White and Brust have not spent any time living in Phoenix or Tucson. In Incrementalists, Phil asks Ren if she’s ever heard of Gila River casino. She hasn’t. It is impossible to spend a weekend in Phoenix (let alone live in Phoenix) without being inundated with ads (tv, radio, billboards) for Gila River. Ren is supposed to be a businesswoman and influencer living in Phoenix, but she hasn’t heard of a tribe and casino that are prominent players in local business, community, charity, and politics. She hasn’t heard of the named sponsor of the arena where the NBA’s Phoenix Suns play. That’s just silly.
In Skill of Our Hands, members of the group frequently refer to the Phoenix Police Department when they clearly mean Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO). This is not a trivial distinction. There is a huge difference between Phoenix PD and MCSO. This is a difference that members of the Incrementalists should and would understand given their mission and supposed expertise. Mixing them up is just sloppy. Also, who passes up a neighborhood Mexican food joint to get tamales at Hotel Congress? Nobody.
I know this is a terribly pedantic review, but turn about is fair play. I am a fan of Brust. I was disappointed by this audiobook.
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