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Adam Drew

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Boring boring boring

Overall
1 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2021-02-16

At about the halfway mark, being bored to tears, I made note of all my predictions about how this would end and jumped ahead to the last two chapters. I was right on every one (though I'm only giving myself half-points in my prediction about Arthur's identity).

Utterly lacking in conflict, and proposing that humanity's worst impulses will just go away with the wave of a pen. Systemic corruption is solved by just looking at it, and bigotry goes away when opposed by the possibility of financial gain. Grappling with significant social evils but written with language more appropriate for a middle-grade novel.

Well-read and performed, for all that.

Phenomenal!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2021-01-25

When I first saw the title, I thought "Hm, a little on the nose," and it turns out, I was right in the best possible way. This is a book that wears its influences on its sleeve, never shying away from being as intensely Gothic as possible. References to Stoker, Poe, Wollstonecraft Shelley, and Gilman abound, and Moreno-Garcia rewards you for catching them. It's an absolute treat.

What a strange ride

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2020-11-20

The first half is "What if King Arthur was Peaky Blinders?" Then it's "What if Lancelot and Joseph of Arimethea were in the 3rd and 4th Indiana Jones movies?" Then it finishes up with "What if the Grail Quest took place in Roadside Picnic?" It's weird and fun and violent and extremely compelling.

My only real complaint is that the reader only has one voice for men and one for women, and it's sometimes hard to tell which character is speaking.

Mostly good, but what a lazy ending

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2020-10-29

I mostly enjoyed this! But right at the end it takes a turn into such silly hackery that it left me with a really bad taste in my mouth.

Spooky, but uneven

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2020-10-17

The first half of this book seems like a comedy. It's so ridiculous, it's hard to imagine how creepy it will become. But sure enough, it does become creepy. There's a bit of "torture porn" but in the end, the horror is definitely grounded in human choices. Like if 1980s Stephen King wrote an episode of the X-Files.

If sexualized violence bothers you, or harm to kids or pets, maybe take a pass.

Pulpy and silly, but worth your time.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2020-08-17

I am a big fan of Ellis's other works, and I went into this with no expectations...and, well. I sorta wish someone had prepared me for what I was getting into. It's a Saturday Morning Cartoon version of ARRIVAL, or ALIEN meets a magical girl anime. It's fun, but deep sci-fi it ain't.

Chilling but necessary

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2020-07-31

I don't know how to go about reviewing this book. If you care about the natural world, your own health, or the future of farming and wildness, you need to listen to it

Only if you're finished all the Madeline Miller

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2020-07-02

Listened to this one right after Madeline Miller's CIRCE, and this is the inferior book in many respects (to CIRCE and SONG OF ACHILLES). While the idea of telling The Iliad from the perspective of a person who is reduced to an object in the original is noble, Barker doesn't take much advantage of that idea. It's more or less a rote retelling of the original story, but with some graphic details of rapes and murders thrown in. While it's easier to empathize with the women, certainly, they are still ironically not much more than walk-ons, since the narrative perspective is so narrow.

Couldn't finish

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
2 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2020-03-02

I made it about 2/5ths of the way through. This book feels interminable. Gratton's world building is excellent, and her characters are interesting, but none of them serve any purpose. In the Shakespeare play upon which this is based, the first handful of scenes do as much setting up of stakes and conflict as Gratton does in the ~8 hours I've put into this audio. I want more books by diverse creators telling diverse stories, but I need those stories to move quicker than this one.

Compounding matters, while the reader does a decent job giving all the major characters distinct voices, her tone never modulates. Battle, sex, trip to the corner store, all are delivered with roughly the same enthusiasm and inflection.

1 person found this helpful

What a waste of time

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 2020-01-18

I had this as a book club book and I struggled to get through it. It's overwhelmingly predictable. None of the challenges feel real. It's just a boring plod from one easy victory to another, and the challenges that are foreshadowed don't even come to be.

There's a lot of poetry in the language, and Acevado's reading voice is clear and pleasant to listen to.