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Summary

In Adrian Tchaikovsky's The Expert System's Champion, sometimes the ones you hate are the only ones who can save you.

It's been 10 years since Handry was wrenched away from his family and friends, forced to wander a world he no longer understood. But with the help of the Ancients, he has cobbled together a life, of sorts, for himself and his fellow outcasts.

Wandering from village to village, welcoming the folk that the townships abandon, fighting the monsters the villagers cannot - or dare not - his ever-growing band of misfits has become the stuff of legend, a story told by parents to keep unruly children in line.

But there is something new and dangerous in the world, and the beasts of the land are acting against their nature, destroying the towns they once left in peace.

And for the first time in memory, the Ancients have no wisdom to offer....

©2020 Adrian Tchaikovsky (P)2021 Tantor

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Another great story, ruined by the performance

I really enjoy this author, I loved the 1st book of this series and enjoyed this one almost as much. It's dark, it explores a future that feels like the past and like its predecessor, details a gritty and visceral place where advanced technology has become part of the ecosystem for better and worse all round.

Unfortunately, like the first book, this is absolutely wrecked by the narrator. I'm sure they are a lovely human. They sure seem to have narrated a lot of books. However, their delivery - cadence, intonation and INABILITY TO READ WORDS - is so madly infuriating that I ended up reading the second half on my Kindle.

After ploughing through the first two hours of crazily emphasised words in a lurching cadence that... Shatner-like... ADDS... an... ELIPSIS... and... needlessemphasisontoWORDS... that YOU would... NOT... expectmakingcomprehension... IM... possible

- I eventually gave up when he read "timed" as "timid", in a sentence where that just couldn't have been right. I bought the Kindle book, found the offending word (it WAS "timed") and decided to quit. Honestly, this fellow has an odd style and by the second book, I'm not here for it and won't be listening to more by him, it's just too distracting.

Read the awesome book, skip the difficult-to-consume audiobook. (Sorry!)

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  • SKDEB
  • 05-04-22

Thoughtful and Thrilling

I am never disappointed by the expanse of his imagination or the quality of his writing. This one nearly did in my nerves, but I survived!