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Nightblade represents a whole year spent taking chances on books I’ve never heard of, all with the hopes of finding new authors and hidden gems. Some didn’t turn out that way but most turned out to be excellent and fun choices. Nightblade is truly one of those gems.
Instead of your run of the mill, European based fantasy we are treated to a world with Japanese/Chinese parallels with a very rich history. The land is split into three main Kingdoms, with other nations surrounding that, and each has a tenuous and fragile peace with the other. But our story takes place on a smaller more personal scale. Ryuu isn’t tasked with changing the world or bringing peace to a set of kingdoms, instead he us simply trying to live a life where he can use his strength to protect those without choice or means of doing so themselves…which is refreshing after reading so many books where the main character sets out to utterly dismantle the status quo. I think that difference really brings the raw emotion of the experiences he goes through to the forefront. The kingdom itself is oddly beautiful despite it’s issues and the author’s skill with building worlds is fairly apparent. I could see the busy streets of the city, and the shadow streets of the red lit road where men go for companionship, I could easily picture the old forest and stone paved courtyard of the monasteries. One can go a long time without experiencing world building on a scale where everything becomes an actual sensory memory, as opposed to just a plot line, and I never realize how starved I am until I find one.
Ryuu is definitely a fantastic character to follow, as is Moriko and Takako…who all come together in different ways. Each of them shares the loss of their family and the chance of a normal life but the way the view the world is different. Ryuu is headstrong and curious, and he wants to help others no matter what and most of the story centers around each consequence of his actions and the weight it puts on a single person. While he is skilled and hardened in many ways in some others he is a bit naive, which joins nicely with Takako’s loving personality and her knowledge of what the world is really like.
Nightblade is definitely a highlight to this year’s books, and I’m glad I took a chance on it when I did.
46 of 48 people found this review helpful
With all of the positive reviews I was expecting a lot more out of this book.
The narration struck me first. The narrator is emotionless and robotic. The times that he does try to put an emotional inflection to the dialog the result is often the opposite of what the book explicitly states as the manor or emotion the character is experiencing. Long pauses when switching between the speech of characters gives it the feel of badly dubbed old anime.
The dialog is so full of cliches that it become painful.
It author tries to create layers to the characters' personalities, but I believe he fails. The emotions or thoughts that he writes a charter is feeling is often contradicted by their immediate actions without any justification or explanation for the change.
I would not recommend this book.
14 of 16 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
only if like minded
What did you like best about this story?
Have you listened to any of Andrew Tell’s other performances? How does this one compare?
If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
Any additional comments?
Didnt like it for the first 30mins but then I couldn't let it go
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Where does Nightblade rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Top 10 for me. I loved it. Real characters. Well written. Entertaining story and not too predictable but not mad either.
What other book might you compare Nightblade to, and why?
Think of your favourite books in the fantasy genre and this sits among them. If you've jot tried it jump in and have s Ho. You will not be disappointed.
Which character – as performed by Andrew Tell – was your favourite?
Ryuu. Think of a boy with gifts and a sense of responsibility growing up in feudal Japan with w great fantasy twist. Brilliant.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Deep well paced character development throughout the book made this a must read from start to finish. Really good!!
Any additional comments?
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com
4 of 6 people found this review helpful
Of the hundreds of audio books I have churned through this year, this was one of the worst.
The story was lacklustre. I found it boring for long stretches and failed to empathise with the main characters.
So the story was bad. But the Narrator was awful. Sometimes a good narrator can bring up a novel to the next level. This one took a poor one down to the lowest level for me.
Dropped the audiobook two-thirds of the way through.
Do not recommend.
Overall very good, the story is excellent and while there is little variation in the voices put on for each character the Narrator delivers a rich and emotive performance.