I originally read an e-ARC of this book back in January 2015, and gave the book 3 ½ stars. At the time I found the book to be too political, and therefore boring, which I can see still in this book. Had I read the book again, rather than listening to the audiobook this time around, I think I would have again given it 3 or 4 stars only.
However, this time around I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds, and my experience with the book was much improved. I honestly believe that listening to the book in this trilogy as narrated by this man make the experience of these books a much richer experience for me. The story is solid enough, yes. Very political, and with quite a bit of battling still in this book, as well. But also a lot of emotion – both happy and sad.
The narration makes it richer, though, because rather than having to try and conjure up the emotions in my head, and keep everyone straight in my head, he has voices for everyone, and puts a lot of emotion into how they sound. This is not just a straight reading of the book. This is a performance of the book, in a one-man show. I found Red Rising to be the same way. And I look forward to listening to Morning Star next, to finish things up.
I highly recommend these books. But more than that, I even more highly recommend the audiobook versions of the books if you can get them.