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This story and it's audio sample started out promising, but the cast of characters expanded beyond a manageable cast, and became whiny and genuinely dislikeable. Worse, their behavior and actions seemed forced and dishonest, as if the author wanted some kind of interaction between juxtaposed characters, but could not think of how to bring them together. The story became plodding and rather stupid until I just wanted this mess to stop.
I very much enjoyed listening to this book. I think Pearl Hewitt is one of the best of the best narrating books these days. Her characterizations are varied and emotionally evocative without becoming too overly dramatic -- very nice, pleasant delivery that invites me to become fully immersed in the story. I don't want technical fireworks, I just want the story, and Pearl delivers. The novel itself: I've only read a few of these WotC tie-ins, and I don't like stories that take place completely underground. That said, Jaleigh Johnson does a fantastic job of making sense of this world and structuring a dramatic, engaging plot. The characters (which are hers, and not WotC's at least to the best of my knowledge) are fully motivated by personal backstory and interesting. The wild spell scar magic is dramatic, as is the climax of the novel which features two stunning twists I did not see coming. I strongly recommend this book. I do not like all the game nomenclature--but that will be a strong plus for some readers. The battles are vividly described and narrated with coherence and flair. I strongly recommend this book for those interested in Drow and the Forgotten Realms.
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