Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Deathstalker by Simon R. Green
Narrator: Gildart Jackson
Series: Deathstalker #1
Published by Tantor Audio on October 31, 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Space Opera
Length: 13 hours, 30 minutes
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he Iron Bitch-- her Imperial Majesty Lionstone XIV-- ruled the human Empire with fear. From peasants to masters of the galaxy's most powerful families, all were subject to the queen's unpredictable decrees of "outlawing" and death.
Owen Deathstalker, unwilling head of his clan, sought to avoid the perils of the Empire's warring factions but unexpectedly found a price on his head. He fled to Mistworld, where he began to build an unlikely force to topple the throne-- a broken hero, an outlawed Hadenman, a thief, and a bounty hunter. With their help, the Deathstalker took the first step of a far more dangerous journey to claim the role for which he'd been destined since before his birth...
Somehow I got the idea in my head the Deathstalker series was urban fantasy and it’s science fiction / space opera. It is even more bizarre because I thought the Alex Verus series by Benedict Jacka was science fiction and it turned out to be urban fantasy. They are both narrated by Gildart Jackson very well and I listened to them over the same week or so.
Deathstalker is the first book and I had my first book struggles. It is long and there are many characters. The details of the world-building can easily overwhelm in any series beginning. Because I was thinking urban fantasy, and even as scifi, I expected this to be a story about Owen Deathstalker. He doesn’t show up right away and then only shows up every now and then. So I’m like who ARE these other people anyway and why are they here?
Eventually, things came together and I understood more about the different families and species. The plot was nicely layered with some odd people out ending up being right there in the final scenes. There was a fun sort of sense of humor, too, which showed up in calmly stated sarcasm. Things felt a little slow and disconnected, but it did pick up and connect, so now I am excited to go on into Deathstalker Rebellion.
Gildart Jackson is very pleasant to hear and does a great job with the story. I was able to listen at 1.5x speed which is new for me. The dialogue seems more limited in this story, particularly with the action scenes it is more stream of thought from a key character. There were distinct voices for different characters which were well performed.
Listen to a clip:
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- 2018 Audiobook Challenge
That can be confusing if you have a different expectations or even the wrong genre in your head for a book, that happened to me a few times as well. It sounds like this one has a bit of a slow start, but that’s good to know it comes together eventually. I only have listened at normal speed so far. Good to hear the narration was well done.
I was able to go to 1.25x pretty easily. I’m just now able to do 1.50x speed with a few narrators. I am always in that tight range though. I don’t know how some people can listen at the really fast 2x or 3x speed.
I am getting into this series now. Each one is better than the last one.