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By Justin Bullman on 08-17-10
I want to like it, I really do.
I really liked the first two books in the series, but the last two seemed scattered and inconsistent. The underlying stories were still good, but the character development made it seem as though I was listening to a whole new story rather than one with previously established history. Also, Brennan continues to expand the realms, but they don't seem to fit coherently or smoothly with already existing realms... it's as if a great apartheid exists in the faerie world... but it comes off feeling more like a mere plot gimmick of convenience.
Worst of all is the narrator. Contrary to the claim, James Daniel Wilson does not perfectly voice this thrilling clash between good and evil. His character acting would be good, but he overembelishes them to the point of losing the heart of the character. i.e. Mr Fogarty sounds like a menacing old man, rather than the kind, yet grumpy, wise gatekeeper that he is. That mere mild criticism could be overlooked if it was the only issue. But In Mr Wilson attempts to over-act the character readings, he forgets that the author and his personal narrative is also a key character to be presented. Mr Wilson fails to ever provide the mood of the environment or situation when reading the descriptive, non-speaking aspects of the novel. You never get the feeling of whether you're in the palacial palace or a murderous dungeon. Mr Wilson's narration of these aspects are always pleasantly neutral--do not confuse that with monotone or boring--just neutral in a simple matter-of-fact manner.
Mr Wilson has potential, but he simply needs to keep in mind that the Novel itself is a character that needs life breathed into it as much as any one of the characters within the book. He's supposed to be Telling-the-Story, not merely reading the course of events. It's a novel, not a stage script.
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