Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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Recent listening: REDSHIRTS

Okay, this review over at The Book Smugglers didn’t encourage me to run out and get the book. Though actually, if you check out this list, you’ll see that Thea went on to include it on her honorable mention list for 2012. (Also HOUSE OF SHADOWS, which I know, I mentioned before, but hey.) To summarize Thea’s review very very briefly: She loved REDSHIRTS but hated the three short stories included as codas after the main book, considering them self-indulgent and not in keeping with the spirit of the zany novel that precedes them.

Well, I got this in audio format because Audible was offering a 2-for-1 sale right before Christmas, and when I needed to drive to St Louis . . . um . . . eight times? in quick succession, this is one of the books I choose to listen to. Thus finding out, btw, that one cd will last exactly long enough to get from my house to the reproductive vet, which is a good thing to know.

And I don’t know. I mean, I do know about the main story! REDSHIRTS is hilarious, fast-paced, zippy, and definitely loads of fun as an audiobook. I laughed out loud many times while listening to it. I loved the way Ensign Dahl gradually figured out what was going on with his ship being caught up in “The Narrative” and I loved the way he used The Narrative to beat itself. I definitely don’t want to say too much about this because I would hate to spoil all the clever details for anybody, but trust me on this, this is a delightful story and a perfect choice for a longish (say, six hour) drive.

But I hadn’t realized that it is only four cds long and that the other two cds were the short stories. Naturally I listened to them – I mean, regardless of Thea’s review, when you’re driving you’re kind of a captive audience. And yes, those short stories really are a lot more serious in tone than the novel, but I didn’t hate them. In particular, I quite liked the one about Jenkin’s wife. If any of you have read this yet, what did you think of the coda stories?

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