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This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?
Positive thoughts first. The first book was good. It had a solid story arch and interesting, clear cut character goals. You will likely buy this book to satisfy your curiosity gained from the first one. The narrator for the book did a great job of allowing the characters to have their own personality and really helped to bring the book to life. So you may also buy it because you like the narrator. That said the second book was all but dead, despite his talent. Multiple times I verbally screamed at my headphones.
What was most disappointing about Trudi Canavan’s story?
There is a rule that you cannot practice magic outside of class in the book, but apparently, as the Pirates of the Caribbean put it, “They’re more like guidelines.” The rule is broken over and over again. It would have been better if it never had existed. It ruined my suspension of belief.
Brandon Sanderson, an amazing fantasy writer, wrote this wonderful article titled Sanderson’s First Law. In it he talks about soft magic and hard magic, detailing how magic systems can have hard fast laws or be that mysterious thing that makes our pulse quicken. You cannot solve stories with soft magic because then you have Deus ex machina. Well, in my opinion, the rules are vague enough for the magic in the book for it to be considered soft magic, and the resolution is so tied to magic that I feel that’s exactly what happened at the end: Deus ex machina. (In simple English weak story telling)
Another thing that left a bad taste in my mouth was the inconsistent character decisions. Over and over again I felt like the characters were performing actions to move the story forward, not because that is what they would do. I’d tell you how but so much of the story rested on decisions that I felt were unbelievable or inconsistent for the character.
The story arch was muddled and confusing. It wasn’t clear until the very end of the book what the main character wanted to accomplish… or at least how she was trying to accomplish this goal.
Finally, the secondary story arch was completely unneeded. (More on this later)
Which character – as performed by Richard Aspel – was your favorite?
High Lord Akkarin was masterfully turned into a sinister friend by the narrator. I knew the High Lord wanted things to stay friendly, but at the same time I worried over why he kept his friends in the dark. That said, I never found out. (More on this later).
If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Novice?
Lord Dannyl’s story arch could have been skipped entirely. If ever it was apparent that an author was trying to push his or her worldview on the reader it would be here. Preachy on the level of a pastor. The relevance to the main story plot could have been stripped out into a few summary sentences and the things happening around Sonea could have been explained more fully.
For example… what on earth is High Lord Akkarin up to? Can he be trusted? That’s what I bought the second book for. By the end of this book, I strongly believed there would be no decent explanation as to why he was keeping his friends in the dark, and by the way, there isn’t an explanation in this book for that.
Any additional comments?
Epilogue. An epilogue isn’t really part of the main story, and yet, it revealed in a few minutes, everything that I wanted to know over the course of the book. In summary, all but the epilogue was a waste of time. She should have focused on covering that content throughout the book and not half of what she did cover. I would have loved a book that focused on the High Lord, versus another novice who antagonizes her like he is 4 years old, with little believable motivation.
My advice, go buy The Way of Kings.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful
I usually agree with most of the reviewers of an audiobook before I end up buying it. Not so much this time. This story is just "ok".
1) It drags A LOT
2) The antagonists behavior and the protagonist's reaction to it don't really draw me into the story. I think part of the problem is that we don't really get a true sense of who the antagonist is. Something just feels a bit off about the way they interact with each other.
3) The "research" plot line could be eliminated completely. Every time the audio switched over to that story I wanted to rip my eyes out. Also what's with the doubts and questions surrounding homosexuality? It just didn't make any sense, nor did the heterosexuality either. There's no passion of either kind. The author should have just stuck to the magic and left sexuality out; it wasn't believable when it was brought into the story.
3 Stars because:
a) the "magic" part of the book held my interest...
b) the book got better once I hit the 2X speed on my ipod (the narrator is a SLOW reader too)
6 of 7 people found this review helpful
Narrative: Brilliant series, I loved reading the novels the first time round and the audio versions have not diminished my love for these books. Faster pace than The Magician's Guild makes this story far harder to stop listening/reading.
Narrator: Easier to tell between point of view transitions, it has slightly improved since The Magician's Guild. The sample gives an accurate idea of what the narrator will sound like throughout the reading. As long as you do that and find you don't mind his voice, then you should be ok.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
This book takes up where The Magician's Guild left off. Sonea begins her training at the univercity under the kindly guardianship of her mentor, Rothen. She must deal with contempt and hostility from both her teachers and her classmates, and all the while, the shadow of High Lord Akkarin and his terrible secret looms over her. This book is somewhat darker than the previous story, but the author's excellent characterisation and engaging style are just as evident. A must-listen if you liked the first book.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful