Sure, dragonslaying is heroic business. But some poor bastards have to handle the dirty work of cleaning up the god-awful mess the heroes leave behind. Gwill, the grizzled second-in-command of the fabled Iron Line, saw things go a little sideways at the end of their last adventure. After a successful dragonslaying, they, uh, might have forgotten to burn the dragon's body. Now maybe it was her fault and maybe it wasn't, but she's on the hook for it regardless. Now Gwill needs a few warm bodies to take care of it. They don't need to be smart or talented or much of anything, really. All they have to do is burn the body of the dragon and all's well that ends well. This is where the Novices come in....
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The Like able Unlikely Heroes
I've listen to it at least twice - it was so quirky and I thought I missed something from laughing so hard at times, and reminiscing about previous scenes at other times!
I LOVED how these novices were true novices. They weren't destined to save the world. They didn't come into hidden powers. They didn't emerge as heroics, able bodied or mentally articulate gods by the end of the story. Too many authors fall into the cookie cutter 'average Joe' who turned into an immaculate, handsome, savvy character before the quest ends. These characters are incompetent with a finesse and use little to common sense or logic, wich made them endearing and clearly stamps this book in my fave top 10%
I am not familiar with Travis Baldree. But I have added several of the books he has narrated to my Wish List. He did an excellent job with this book and I'm looking forward to him reading to me again!
This book moved me to laughter many times over. The Novices was a comic relief that liberated the stress of a work day and kept me company as I cleaned the house. I went out and bought speakers to add to my amusement and entertainment!
Anyone who wants a fun adventure with deep characters who have dense and simpleton thoughts would enjoy this. Dragons were real dragons. No one is trying to train, ride, or shift into them. The characters don't make the best decisions. Heck, they don't even make good decisions! They fly -or run - by the seat of their pants, without thinking ahead five minutes. Each stay true to character and don't strive to be more. They are who they are - and they're adorable! Think about those sweet kids who you just smile and shake your heads at, because they try to make or do something, but alway come up a deck short ... As a southerner would say, "Bless their hearts!" "I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."Thank you for allowing me the pleasure!
3.5* - good introduction to series
As the favourable reviews from others indicate, this story is a good introduction to a series about dragon hunters. The characters were well-described and the story ended with pieces in place to carry forward to the next installment. I wouldn't call it a stand-alone book, since we were left with unanswered questions and a band of companions that haven't yet become cohesive.
There were two main reasons why I didn't give the story a higher rating. First, I found that the first third of the book dragged action-wise. I understand that in a multi-part series, the author has latitude to provide rich context and character development. However, part of me kept wondering who the 'novices' were and when we'd be introduced to them - so I was starting to get restless as the book progressed. Second, I didn't particularly like or empathize with any of the characters in the story. Well, I started to like them but then they'd do something or say something that would make them less likeable to me. By the end of the book, I didn't like the heroine at all. I wouldn't be surprised if this is the beginning of a longer character-development arc that spans the entire series, though. By the time the series ends, I'll become quite attached to the characters (the ones who are still alive, anyway!). The likeability of characters is purely a subjective thing, however. The other reviewers seemed to like the characters just fine, and I can understand why - Goldfarb writes great dialogue and all of the characters have good points as well as flaws. I'd certainly be willing and interested to read the next books in the series, so I can find out what happens to them!
This is the first time I've heard Travis Baldree narrate and I think he did a great job! I generally didn't have any difficulties distinguishing the characters as the story progressed and I think that his pacing and many of his voice characterizations were particularly excellent. I'm always appreciative of male narrators who don't exaggerate falsetto voices for female characters, so I'm glad that Travis didn't do this.
"I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."
- Christine Newton