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This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.
I finished it. I wanted to love it, but I couldn't get there. I don't know where exactly I would rate it... Maybe 3 /5 .... 3 on story, 3 on narrator. It had some really cool themes, but then there were moments I found too cliche, and others that just had me like huh? One that stuck out for me was the first encounter with Barber. I couldn't fall in line with the story - just too far out of what I would expect or consider. That's kind of a big deal, done like it was nothing. It just seemed out of place to me. Also, I get that this was dark and gritty, but I didn't understand beatings so bad that a guy is down for 3 days. Frankly, I'd have probably been more on board if there was some para-healing power to patch people up. Sure, then I can buy that people will mostly kill someone just sparring. I felt like details were missing or something in the story just was not defined well. Some moments when things happened too conveniently...
The narrator, Rich, had a great gravelly voice for Carter, but I found he lacked in actually narrating. His reading of events and actions, and his intonations, like ascribing emotion to some moments, clashed at times with how I had to interpret the book's happenings and ultimately took away from the story for me, in parts. Others, where Carter is engaged in something and his voice could come through were great.
Also, I never understood why all the para-humans, or so many, were all into drugs. They just ... were. I can accept Carter may have been. There were enough (*well done*) allusions to maybe some torture in his past that I can buy his hard life and bad choices bit, but how about some of these others? This version of America wasn't ever shown to be anti-mutant, a la X Men or anything, so why were these people all driven down the dark path of Using? Other questions are also about how this whole thing got into the population? When? Any alternate history?
I also remember now that I didn't understand the leap from Carter being interrogated by the police to suddenly being front page news. I get that cops can leak to the press, but I felt like some needed content was missing when going from police interrogation to front page news, and again on to the bounty from the cartel.
I don't regret the read but I am lukewarm about book 2. I may give it a shot anyhow. I'm still intrigued by the world. I would like to say, also, that I do seriously appreciate the opportunity. I really tried to frame this as constructive, so please think of my words in that light. I think that the ultimate story was great, and the world is interesting. I hope that this helps. I'm really sorry I can't give a warmer review.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to Users the most enjoyable?
Users is not a story with the classic sense of super power heroes. Decisions are not "I will destroy them all, it is for their own good, no one can stop me ... muhaha".These are flawed humans trying to figure things out. Nearly every character has redeeming qualities. I really liked that as it felt more realistic.
I wasn't a fan of all the Seattle references, because I am not sure they added to the story. Perhaps it is because I am from Seattle and hearing those references made me think about my own experiences. I also wasn't too hot on the cursing. I am used to fake cursing myself. (By Zeus's beard! / Blood and Ashes! / Nerf herder)
Overall, it was a fantastic story and I am going to have to pick up the next few in this series. If they are as good as this, I'll end up branching out and seeing what else Stacy/Jennifer Buck have to buy.
What other book might you compare Users to and why?
I am looking forward to reading the next one.
Have you listened to any of Rich Camillucci’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
I have not.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Maybe 2-3 sittings. 5 hours is a long time to sit in one spot.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful