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I'm not military nor do I know about military protocols, so any slip-ups in that area went past me and did not bother me. On the other hand, this series is supposed to be set in the far future, and who can know how things will change. Also, I thought they were pretty clear that she wasn't supposed to be in the situations she was in. The original drop mission was a setup to kill her, so I don't see the problem with the plot there. I don't dissect books that I read/listen, I read them for enjoyment. I guess if you are a big military enthusiast looking for ultra-realism, this book will probably disappoint you. I found it to be entertaining enough that I plan to download the next one.
As to Dina's reading, I was entertained by the different voices. Did I stop and check them for realism and quality? No, I just took them as they were and enjoyed the book. Dina spoke clearly, did not have any voice mannerisms that drove me crazy, and I thought did a good job and was consistent when using a particular voice for a particular character.
I don't know why there is such a gulf in opinions, but I would suggest you listen to the sample online and if you like the sample, then you will probably like the book.
71 of 73 people found this review helpful
Courtesy of Lost Art Audio
This book has some really wonderful elements. Even though it's sci fi, it's more a military novel, following the Navy career of Kris Longknife and the political structure of 100 planets with human life. We don't see any aliens, and most fantastic elements have to do with computers and technology. I should mention that the book was written in 1994, meaning that Nelly - Kris's personal (pet) AI computer - is probably a bit less powerful than the newest Android. Be it as it may, the story is excellent, and very, very military. If you're into the politics of internal command hierarchy, or into rescue and humanitarian distress mission, it's a fun read. Mike Shepherd does a good job with a 22-year-old female, but I think it's more because she's a soldier, and Mike Shepherd was Navy himself, so he knows a thing or two in the regard.
My only real criticism is that this book was a lack of cohesion - it seemed to be separated in three parts: rescue mission & return home (very well done; we really understand Kris's history from the mission, and we get a good understanding of her family - the prime minister family of an entire planet - from her return home); humanitarian mission on Olympia (this part sags. It tells us a lot of Kris's character and leadership abilities, but it gets too bogged down in the moral implications and reflections on a soldier's duties); and mission to attack (this is the crowning moment and the name-sake of the book). Unfortunately, these three parts don't meld too well. I would have liked to see a bit less soldiering, and more politicking, maybe more love interest.
Dina Pearlman is excellent (Anna Strong series, or Weather Warden series). She does a wonderful Irish accent, which takes up a good half-hour of reading when the Highlanders visit Olympia. She also does a great job with internal dialogue versus external dialogue is very important to the listener, and she does it well.
20 of 20 people found this review helpful
While I generally liked the performance on this one, Dina Pearlman can't do Scottish accents for toffee. I'm inclined to believe she's reading the written down accent however, since the author doesn't know what a Yorkshire Pudding is.
I liked this, but it did seem to have more text than story; ie. it was a little long, as in elongated for word count. Kris suffers from that most unfortunate of character conditions, not seeing the bleeding obvious until 5 minutes after the reader. However, the plot is pretty good, the action is realistic, the spaceships actually use a form of Newtonian physics (at least as far as sublight travel is concerned), and Kris is a likeable character.
One of the strongest points of the book is also its weakest. Mike Shepherd was a Navy brat according to his bio and the book is jammed full of naval jargon which is very authentic-sounding, very atmospheric, and requires you to look up half the words before you can figure out what gives. Kris is a Boot Ensign; I spent the first 5 minutes of the book looking that up on Wikipedia. There's such a thing as too much authenticity.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
This, the first book in the longknife series, is a well paced and, at times, thought provoking book that is let down by a number of inconsistancies by the authour and awful accents by the narrator. The narrator sometimes makes you feel like their narrating a childrens book and her Scottish accents are the worst i have heard in a long time. The main flaw in this book is that the authour has clearly not done enough research into his subject matter. From his implying that Highlanders came from England to the total lack of any science realism, this book is dissapointing. If a science fiction authour wants to ignore physics, fine, make up some new science (like Star Trek) but don't talk about radar and optical sensors in space that magically ignore the speed of light. This carelessness mars what could have easily been a much better book. The character development is good as is the story telling but ultimatly i was left dissapointed.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful