Review: Toric’s Dagger

  • Title:
    • Toric’s Dagger
  • Author:
    • Jamie Edmundson
  • Release:
    • March 27, 2018
  • Format:
    • Audiobook
  • Narrator:
    • Greg Patmore
    • Bridget Thomas
  • Series:
    • The Weapon Takers Saga #1

To start off with, I’ve previously reviewed Bolivar’s Sword, which I received as a review copy. I fondly remembered it, and the narration, but I found the experience to be lacking, due to the lack of context of who anybody was, or what they were about.

Book 1 starts off with a heist of some sort, and it left me feeling like I was listening to Bolivar’s Sword all over again. I’m following this group of characters I know nothing about, the scene is tense and potentially dangerous, and I have no reason to care. A few chapters in, I decided to restart the book and slow the speed down, from 2.55x to 2.0. This is something I often do when a book isn’t hooking me, in the hopes of listening to the first few chapters with the context of those that follow. In this case, I did pick up on a detail or two that I’d missed previously, but I still felt lost. Looking back, I do see how several bits of information explained in the prologue were relevant later on in the plot and that was a nice way to sprinkle them in.

While the introduction made the book difficult to get into, I powered through it and thankfully, it paid off. Eventually, I started to get a better idea of who everybody was, how they were connected, and their place in the world. Despite not remembering their names, I recognized some characters from Bolivar’s Sword. (That’s not an issue with the book, I just have a hard time with names, faces, and voices.)

Once I got past my personal burnout and the initial struggle of following along, I was able to get extremely invested in the story. Not just in the plot, but in the characters and scenes as well. Combat scenes were intense and exciting, I felt the genuine danger and worry as the characters did. This was one of those books that had me hanging onto every word.

I should note, however, that I’ve only listened to the audiobooks, and the narrators are 2 of the best I’ve ever heard in over 1,000 hours of listening. I can’t praise either narrator enough for bringing so much life into these characters and this world. I can’t comment on this from the perspective of somebody who has only read the physical or eBooks, so take that into consideration. I’ve said many times, that a good narrator can make or break a book.

That being said, I do take issue with the way Greg Patmore say “wh” sounds as “hhhwh”, that’s not an issue exclusive to him. It’s really fucking annoying when people pronounce “when” or “white” as hhhwite” or “hhwhen” in general.

The only other real issue I took with the story was the ending. I fucking despise cliffhanger endings. I get that it’s a series, and not everything is going to be wrapped up with a bow. I’m totally fine with that aspect of it. What I take issue with is this ‘ending the book in the middle of a scene, right after a character is introduced’ bullshit. All a cliffhanger ending tells me is that the writer is incompetent, or they have so little belief that their writing will have readers wanting to see where it goes next, that they’ll rely on unfinished business to lure them back in.

I’ve shitcanned series I was very invested in for endings like this. In this case, I consider myself lucky, as I already have my old review copy of Bolivar’s Sword to listen to right after. I don’t have books 3 and 4 yet, so I won’t be able to finish this series for a while. At the time of writing this, I plan to listen to book 2 for the third time and re-review it, and if it ends on a cliffhanger as well, I might lose my shit. I plan to listen to this story again as well, and if I have any additional thoughts, I’ll share them below.

While I normally don’t recommend books with a cliffhanger ending, this is one case where I’ll make an exception, because I can vouch for the quality of the sequel as well.

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