Friday, November 13, 2015

Audiobook Review with Crafts: Half a War by Joe Abercrombie


Narrator: John Keating
13 hrs. 20 min.
Unabridged
Publisher: Recorded Books, Inc
Published: 7/29/15
Source: LibraryThing's Early Reviewer Program and publisher for review
Words are weapons 
Princess Skara has seen all she loved made blood and ashes. She is left with only words. But the right words can be as deadly as any blade. She must conquer her fears and sharpen her wits to a lethal edge if she is to reclaim her birthright. 
Only half a war is fought with swords 
The deep-cunning Father Yarvi has walked a long road from crippled slave to king’s minister. He has made allies of old foes and stitched together an uneasy peace. But now the ruthless Grandmother Wexen has raised the greatest army since the elves made war on God, and put Bright Yilling at its head – a man who worships no god but Death. 
Sometimes one must fight evil with evil 
Some – like Thorn Bathu and the sword-bearer Raith – are born to fight, perhaps to die. Others – like Brand the smith and Koll the wood-carver – would rather stand in the light. But when Mother War spreads her iron wings, she may cast the whole Shattered Sea into darkness.
My thoughts:

This was my first audio in this series. I read the books prior to this one. Now that I did this one on audio, I can say if John Keating does the others, try it on audio. I love his accent and how he brings the characters to life. I loved his brogue and how he changed them for the characters. It was easy to slip into this world with his narration. Also, while I'm on the subject. Do NOT skip books. Read (or listen) to them in order. It is fantasy and that genre is hard to skip around in a series.

This probably wasn't the strongest book in the series. That may be due to the fact it was more political than the others. Half a war is about the politics and strategy that goes on behind the war so it is no surprise that it was more heavily politic. However, if you are worried that it does not have action, no worries. It still is war and so there is action everywhere. The story also focuses on Skara and those around her and I found that I really liked her character. She was not strong but cunning even though she was only 17 and lost everyone and everything she knew in one night.

I think my biggest niggle is how the secondary characters were handled. While primary characters in other books become secondary in the next, we still remember our love for these characters. I didn't like that they were handled with carelessness and when we lose one of them, the other characters are affected but it still felt as if it was just a mention and not a major change. Perhaps the author gives the proper due to the impact is has on the game, but not how it impacts us as readers.

I give this audio 3 1/2 stars. I really think that the narrator really sold me the story in this book. There are some big changes to some beloved characters and I wanted it to have a bigger impact in the book as a whole. I was not fond of how the secondary characters were portrayed. I did love Skara and Raith's story even if it didn't quite go as expected. I highly recommend this on audio and might have to revisit it all on audio. I recommend it to those that enjoy fantasy with magic.
LibraryThing Early Reviewers

The Crafts!
I made this for a present and it is the Parisian Tote by RLR Creations pattern. I call it the Parisian Tote in Japan. Just going around the world. I tried to do some print matching here so there is a big front pocket behind the zippered pocket and two side pockets. I didn't quite get the sides to match but that was hard because how it is constructed. At least I got the sections fairly well matched. Still was fun and the fabric inside is gold.

Sticking with the travel motif:
I also finished this travel bag for a young cousin and I guess I kept with the theme. She just graduated and cranes are supposed to be good luck. I made sure it can go on a plane if she chooses. This pattern is the Vivian Traveler by Swoon Patterns. When I saw someone make a bag out of the fabric (from Kona Bay) I knew she would like it. There are two side pockets in case you can't see them. There is also a double zipper on the bag so she can unzip it on either side. The brown is a ultrasuede and is quite soft.

22 comments:

  1. Alas probably not a read for me and not just because I don't do audio books.

    Loving your bag though, I'm beginning to feel quite inferior to all those bloggers who like yourself write such good reviews whilst also being so creative.

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    1. If you need a fantasy fix, try the first one. I think it was one of the best. :)

      Thanks! I know you are creative. I've seen your blog!

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  2. The narrator has an accent? Um, yes please:)

    And those bags are AMAZING Melissa! Absolutely gorgeous, I'm in awe:)

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    1. Yes. I loved his accents for the characters. Really brought it to life.

      Aw, thanks Jenny!

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  3. I love fantasy narration most of the time. Funny, I've been listening to an audio with a British narration and my dreams last night were all in accent. Kind of funny!
    Politics in fantasy are my least favorite thing. It can make things a bit drawn out. But otherwise this series sounds great!

    And WOW! I LOVE these bags! That travel bag is perfection!

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    1. Oh how fun to have a dream in an accent! :) At least the politics here were balanced out a bit with the action.

      Thanks! I hope she likes it.

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  4. I know lots of times that a narrator can sell a book to me that I probably wouldn't have enjoyed as much if I had read it. Wow. Your totebag is so lovely. Your talent is amazing. I am in awe of the amazing stuff you can do. So cool.

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    1. I know that this audio made me like the book more. It still is my least fave of the series but I didn't mind it with the narrator.

      You are so sweet. I remember you posting a craft or two so I know you can craft!

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  5. Even though this wasn't the strongest book in the series it sounds like the wonderful narration more than made up for that. I love when you can find a really good narrator and you get lost in it.

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    1. I know! I really do think his narration amped up this book for me.

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  6. Ooooh, accent! :D I love when a narrator really brings the characters to life. Love the bags!

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  7. I've definitely heard this isn't as strong as its prequels, which is disappointing. But, I'll likely still finish out the series. Thanks for the heads-up, Melissa--will be lowering my expectations for sure.

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  8. aww sorry this did not feel as strong as the other books, but its nice that you still enjoyed it.

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  9. Oh no..always hard losing a character.I will check out the audios.

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  10. The books are not for me, but those bags are gorgeous! Amazing that you can make something like that, instead of a factory.

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  11. It sounds like an interesting book and it's nice to see that the audio was so well handled. Just too bad for the secondary characters.

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  12. sorry it wasn't the best book of the series but it sounds pretty decent.

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  13. Daaaaamn, those bags are beautiful! I am super impressed with your skills. And the series sounds good.

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  14. Those are both amazing! What a neat present to receive!

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