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DO NOT READ FIRST

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

Reviewed: 2020-10-29

Jordan says he wrote this novel to be able to stand alone, but it would be confusing if you don't know the Wheel of Time world. I read it seventh..though sixth would likely be enoigh to be familiar with the characters inteoduced. Jordan does a better job writing this than in some novels in the series - returning to more of an action-based plot. Kate Reading does the most narration (more female voice parts) and she and Michael Kramer continue to impress. This enjoyablee installment of the WoT is worth 3.5 out ouf 5 stars

Getting Worse

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

Reviewed: 2020-10-26

The first few novels in the series were innovative and entertaining. This sixth installment is so weak, I will be giving up for awhile. Jordan's world is rich and engrossing, but the character development is infuriating. Further, fully half of the novel takes place in Trel'aran'rhiod (the Dream World) - it's interesting but metaphysical to an annoying degree. I've tried to stick with the series because I would like to see what happens in the epic battle of Good vs The Shadow, but the characters are literally insufferable. Every time some insipid character smooths her skirts, sniffs, obsesses over dresses, or puts her chin up..or some confused lovestruck/sex-starved youth gives up on understanding "stubborn women"..I want to scream at Robert Jordan. JUST TELL THE STORY!! It's my impression that the series has fallen into a new "pattern". The first four books were "Separate and Adventure - meet you ay the climax."  Now we are seeing "Learn stuff, get Experience and Power - Scheme." *sigh* I will be taking a break from the series for a few months. 2 Stars for this recording.

Timely Tale

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

Reviewed: 2020-10-24

A Classic Poe short story discussing a plague and a frightening, deadly reveal. Very good production value. 5 star recording.

Classic Short Story

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

Reviewed: 2020-10-24

Another Astounding tale of murder. One of Poe's best explorations into murder and guilt. The Female reader doesn't fit as well as other recordings, but a good job.

Brilliant Short Story

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

Reviewed: 2020-10-24

This is a tale about a murder. Montessor lures a "friend" into the catacombs of his wine cellar and walls him off. it's a dastardly exposition on ruthlessness. Brilliant

A Rightful Classic

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

Reviewed: 2020-10-24

This is a radio play presentation of one of the most famous stories of the occult ever written. Lovecraft's story is imsginitive, in-depth, aand disturbing. The pacing is a littlrle off, but a Great Job. 4 stars out of 5

Rightly Taught in Introductory Lit classes

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

Reviewed: 2020-10-23

This is a treatise in Suspense. Poe plods somewhat in a description of harrowing torture - reaching for philosophical meaning - but the result is satisfying

Somewhat plodding Installment

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

Reviewed: 2020-10-20

This episode in the Wheel of Time epic is likely the weakest so far. Robert Jordan continues in world-building and character development..and he is good at it..but this novel progresses slowly compared to previous books. He invests much more effort in building the mythos surrounding the source of the Power (male vs female aspects) and exploring the dynamics among the Forsaken. Political machinations/Court intrigue/Infidelities dominate in this narrative as well. *Saving Note: There are military battles, too - good ones.. the most interesting aspects of the book. Another redeeming quality is Jordan's decision to finally kill off some characters in this novel. Overall, however, this novel is Relatively Dry. ..and 'The Fires of Heaven' would be completely confusing without familiarity with Robert Jordan's world - no standalone merit here. Michael Kramer and Kate Reading remain an incredible reading tandem - though Kate's cadence and style is getting a little annoying at this point in the series ..and the female voice is predominant in this novel. (Jordan's women are revealing themselves to be too often insipid, vain, dress-obsessed, shallow, and petulant - and Kate Reading portrays those irritating qualities most effectively). Unfortunate. This relative disappointment is good for 3 stars out of 5. Still worth a listen - epic Fantasy that HBO is doing well to translate to the small screen.

Legitimately klunky relationship expositiom

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

Reviewed: 2020-10-14

This book reaches for Mystery/Psychological Thriller status. ..but falls just short. This narrative follows two fairly clichéed relationship situations - a loveless marriage with divorce machinations and an abusive relationship. Anna Lou-Weatherly writes well-enough..exploring those situations with a modicum of originality but resorting to tried and true plot devices to explore the events (addictions, dishonesty, etc..). It evolves into sordid circumstances and underground sex rings. The characters pretty much react as expected. James Lalley is not a great reader. The dialogue is staccato, and Lalley easily falls into the rhythm. His accent isn't distracting, but makes parts of the text difficult to follow. Playing this recording at a higher speed (2.5x) is consequently actually amusing. I was offered this book as a Daily Deal, and it was an okay purchase at best. Meh. This book is worthy of 3 stars out of 5

Continuing Adventure. Falling into a Pattern

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

Reviewed: 2020-10-11

This is the 4th book of the epic Wheel of Time series. Robert Jordan enriches his world with every installment - adding new races and kingdoms. In this one he continues adding and enriching unique cultures like the Seanchan, the Aiel, and the Sea people. He immerses the reader in imaginitive traditions, customs, dress, and even foods to create richness beyond belief - this world of his is engrossing. The pattern he has fallen into is the separation of characters into assorted groups - each going on a perilous journey - until bringing them back into some climatic battle with an evil foe (In this one, he instead drives the streams to four separate climaxes with evil foes). It's a twist on a formulaic plot pattern. Unfortunately, there is a noticeable sense that the climax is coming and knowledge that it will be overcome. There is consequently no sense of real jeopardy..the reader *knows* they will come through. Jordan should kill someone off. There is a noticeable effort at further character development in this installment as well. Mr Jordan puts a lot of effort into relationships in this one - even adding a wedding, and peppering the text with lots of exasperated comments of "Men🙄" or "Women🙄". It gets a little bit annoying. This novel is also far less a stand-alone effort than the first three - it is quite clearly a continuation - albeit a good one. Michael Kramer and Kate Reading remain the best reading tandem in the business. Near perfection. This worthy installment merits 4.5 out of 5 stars.