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I've read many Anne McCaffrey novels, most of them are truly excellent. This novel is a mixed bag because the premise is interesting and the story well thought out, and the cast of characters is engaging and work well together. Unfortunately, the dialogue of the main character, Christine Bjornsen, especially her inner dialogue, is less than stellar, and occasionally, it even gets a little repetitive. For instance, for the first half or more of the story, every time she finds herself attracted to the Catteni character, Zeinal, we hear her inner voice telling herself "Down girl!" Every. Time. Another annoying distraction was that it seemed like 80% of all dialog was accompanied by grins. Yes, these characters are tough, can-do types - courageous and unsinkable in the horrible situation in which they'd been placed. But too much grinning. It's just unbelievable. I actually read this book a few years ago, and felt the same way about these and a few other things, but it was an interesting story and I liked it well enough to buy the audio version, thinking that perhaps it was just a mood phase I was in when I read the book the first time. But the same things popped out at me in the audio version. However, as I mentioned, the story is engaging, and I will undoubtedly listen to it more than once over time.
The part that's hardest to handle about this audio book is the actual performance. Susie has a great voice, and as long as she's reading in unaccented American, she's very good! But she has absolutely NO EAR or ability to perform accents, and she is called upon extensively to render Irish, American Southern, Norwegian, and most especially Australian characters. Her Irish accent is passable, her Southern American character, Sargeant Mitford, is not really southern, but - credit to her - she reads him with the right feeling. But her Australian accent is ABYSMAL! A horribly mangled, open-mouthed half-swallowed garble, that always sounds vaguely Irish . Actually, all of her human, non-American accents sound vaguely Irish. But mostly her rendering of Australians was a constant distraction from the story although I was able, eventually, to stop gritting my teeth and kind of push it into the background, thus enabling me to still enjoy the excellent plot and characters, which, incredibly, are strong enough to trump this linguistic travesty.
Overall, if you can ignore or get past Susie's terrible rendition of Aussie and other accents, I think you will find it both rewarding and well worth the effort.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
for the narrator. The story is great. I really enjoyed reading this book last year and the second book of the series. I gave this one star because of the narrator. Her S's and T's are high pitched whistling noises. It's SO damn annoying and grates on my ears. You never notice how many T's and S's are used in a single paragraph. Let me tell you, there are a lot and each and everyone is whistled by this narrator. *eye twitch* When she pauses after a word or sentance, she makes those "my mouth is way too full of saliva" popping and swallowing sounds. It honestly made me nausiated, it's that disgusting sounding.
Read the book, it's an amazing story. But steer clear of listening to this version.
15 of 17 people found this review helpful