Tales of the Otori: Across the Nightingale Floor

A historical Japanese fantasy set in the feudal period of the nation. The setting isn’t so much important as the places may or may not be real. It walks that line between “secondary world” and our “world, but with magic” well in some areas, but not in others. Overall, it doesn’t affect the enjoyment of the story, so its not worth going into further.

This story was highly influential—both subconsciously and perhaps consciously—in the writing of my book: Moon and Star. Not going to go into depth, except to say it’s available on Amazon for $2.99.

Moving right along, the way the first Tales of the Otori book handles multiple POV’s is wonderful. There are only two, but each one is handled in such a simple, yet brilliant way. The male protagonist scenes used first=person, where the female lead utilized third-person. It wasn’t until halfway through the audiobook that I realized the author was doing this. That speaks volumes on the immersive-nature of the story. The narrators certainly helped too.

The story centers around a young boy who watched his entire village destroyed by Iida and the Tohan. By fate, the boy is saved by a man who then goes out of his way to adopt him. The boy develops an attachment to the man, who later on reveals his true motive for being in the right place at the right time.

The twists and turns this story makes are most of the time predictable, but the way the overall arc unfolds is entertaining to the say the least. Unfortunately the ending kind of fizzles out after a the antagonist is defeated—in a non-satsifying, yet unexpected way. Aside from the slow burn out after the lackluster climax, this story is worth the time you spend listening.

4/5 Stars

Mistborn: The Final Empire (Part 1 of 3)

Originally published on graphicaudio.net

I finished reading the Final Empire sometime in the fall of 2011. However, I don’t remember much of the opening chapters, because I took a long gap of about 3 months before picking the book back up again.

Having read half of the second book in the trilogy, all I can say is “wow” at all the clues and hints I missed.

The one downside is that the narration is sometimes not needed. and seemed to drone on in places. A really good sound effect could do much of the heavy lifting in the “action” department. If I hear a coin being tossed, I don’t need the narrator telling me the same exact thing. It’s redundant.

That aside, it’s a shame that this part ended where it did. The book kicked it into high gear, during the heist planning scene and hearing it again was a real treat. Then again, it got me wanting to buy the second part.

Rating: 4/5 stars

The 33: Episode 1 Pramantha (Part 1 of 4)

Author J.C. Hutchins has a new story out there in the world and, damn it, can it be February 28, please? This is a serialized story released in both ebook and audiobook. The only way to get the audio is via his website: jchutchins.net.

HTML links aside, this series promises to be a great read or listen (or, in my case, both). The introductory scene was confusing at first, but that’s probably the point. The scene goes to a dark place rather suddenly, and from the scene’s conclusion it was smooth sailing until … well, the end of the episode.

The author’s narration is faster than most professional audiobooks and that’s a good thing. Actually it has more to do with pacing, but there was never a moment where my eyes wandered several paragraphs ahead to find out what was going to happen next. J.C. narrates at a similar speed in which we [sentient beings] read.

There’s not much to review in terms of story. From what is in the episode, there was never a moment where it seemed to drag on. The beginning may have been a bit slow, but it ramped up quickly and efficiently all the way to the end. And by the time it reached the end, I was completely caught off guard. Time really does fly by when your having fun.