*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
I'm a sucker for a narrator who does different voices with the characters. So when Shawn spoke as a hellion or a demon, I smiled. He had me. Each character had their own sound/voice. When Shawn read Salem I found his voice monotone-ish. There didn't feel to have a lot of feeling to the character, however this could have been the character that's written. Salem is more of an even keel type character and independent with the life he's living.
Baltimore's Inner Harbor is turned into Razor Bay. There are demons of all sorts present. And we get a feel for the city from the get go. Wow, really did an overhaul on things when God left and demons arrived.
Salem is a very special person. What he can do and why caught my attention when he started explaining it. I really like this creation and blend for Salem and the world. Cyborgs, technology, magic, Demi-gods, and demons. Totally awesome combination!
I found the story very interesting as it's taking place years after God left. There's a reason for why he left, you get to know it. I liked this concept and spin on the world. There is a lot of details to the world and drops of how it came to be. As much as I enjoyed learning the past, sometimes I found it dragging and my mind drifted.
The story is well written in that we are given all the pieces we need before we get to the moment we need it. It all fits the events and scenes we come through. I had moments where I knew when we learned a small detail that backed current scenes as I came across them in the story. I like that I can connect those dots when reading/listening.
There is more to life than simply getting through. To feel and live it in your heart is important and what keeps you tethered to humanity. I love this feel I got. I don't know if it's a theme for the book or not, but it really stuck out for me. Salem comes through on the other side of this story learning this lesson. He may be starting to change from the closed off man to opening to those around him. There is a hint that we could get more in this world with Salem. I'm curious with this small drop.
Jackson Blackwell is back again and looking for a new adventure while awaiting fatherhood. However, when his beloved tosses him out of his own dimension, finding a place to spend time isn’t easy. That is until King Stanley provides him a place in his comic book realm.
After completely enjoying the first book in this series, I came into Villains Pride with high hopes. Unfortunately, I felt the first half of the story was poorly written, stuffed with filler material. It wasn’t until the last third that the story itself came together with a solid plot and supporting action.
What I did love: the play and fun on the various famous comic book heroes. No one is sacred, from Iron Man to Batman, from Superman to Wolverine. Mr. Gibson nails each persona in a witty and fresh way. I also really enjoyed the superhero war which takes place well after the midpoint of the book. This is when Jackson’s plans really start to take shape and mean something, and when the story took off and had focus.
My biggest issue with Villains Pride is the entire first half or more of the book. I felt there was little point or purpose. It was repetitive, and I felt like the author was using Jackson as a soapbox. In the first book the jibes were more subtle and less frequent, making them sharp and witty. This time it felt like a constant rant, lecturing the listener. It got old very quickly.
One of the highlights is once again the performance by Mr. Kafer. I loved the subtle yet distinctive changes in each male and female voice. He had the perfect fit for all characters. He really does bring to life the characters, making them people in my mind.
In the end, I struggled with Villains Pride. The first half to two-thirds of the story was meandering and repetitive. I felt like I was being lectured constantly. And frankly, Jackson is an asshole, which didn’t seem as funny this time around.
My Rating: C+
1855: The Industrial Revolution is in full and inexorable swing, powered by steam-driven cybernetic Engines. Charles Babbage perfects his Analytical Engine and the computer age arrives a century ahead of its time. And three extraordinary characters race toward a rendezvous with history - and the future: Sybil Gerard - dishonored woman and daughter of a Luddite agitator; Edward "Leviathan" Mallory - explorer and paleontologist; Laurence Oliphant - diplomat and spy. Their adventure begins with the discovery of a box of punched Engine cards of unknown origin and purpose. Cards someone wants badly enough to kill for...
As many others have pointed out, this book is one of the first in what we now know as the Steampunk genre. It explores the question of what would happen if the Industrial Revolution and the development of the computer had coincided—what would Victorian society have looked like?
It’s a complex novel, with a lot of layers. I read most of it in airports and on planes and didn’t have the best circumstances to be able to concentrate on those details. On the other hand, if it had been really riveting, I wouldn’t have noticed my surroundings, so I apparently didn’t find it all that compelling.
I appreciated the re-structuring of British society, from being run by the blue-blooded to being administered by the scientific. It was nice to see paleontologists and poets being recognized for their skills and not just dismissed as soft science or whimsy. And there must always be a resistance movement, which was well realized and sported realistic details, in my opinion.
The story frequently got bogged down in the details, however, and then just eventually petered out, leaving me disappointed. After a strong start, the weakness of the ending was a let down.
Book number 269 in my Science Fiction and Fantasy Reading project.