Friday, January 6, 2012

Audiobook Review: The Outcasts

The Outcasts (Brotherband Chronicles, #1)The Outcasts (Brotherband Chronicles, 1) by John Flangan read by John Keating, 2011. 12 hr 18 min.  Published by Penguin Group. Source: Publisher (digital download).

First in a nautical spinoff trilogy from the Ranger’s Apprentice books.

They are outcasts. Hal, Stig, and the others - they are the boys the others want no part of. Skandians, as any reader of Ranger's Apprentice could tell you, are known for their size and strength. Not these boys. Yet that doesn't mean they don't have skills. And courage - which they will need every ounce of to do battle at sea against the other bands, the Wolves and the Sharks, in the ultimate race. The icy waters make for a treacherous playing field . . . especially when not everyone thinks of it as playing.

First in a nautical spinoff trilogy from the Ranger’s Apprentice books.

They are outcasts. Hal, Stig, and the others - they are the boys the others want no part of. Skandians, as any reader of Ranger's Apprentice could tell you, are known for their size and strength. Not these boys. Yet that doesn't mean they don't have skills. And courage - which they will need every ounce of to do battle at sea against the other bands, the Wolves and the Sharks, in the ultimate race. The icy waters make for a treacherous playing field . . . especially when not everyone thinks of it as playing.

John Flanagan, author of the international phenomenon Ranger's Apprentice, creates a new cast of characters to populate his world of Skandians and Araluens, a world millions of young readers around the world have come to know and admire. Full of seafaring adventures and epic battles, Book 1 of The Brotherband Chronicles is sure to thrill readers of Ranger's Apprentice while enticing a whole new generation just now discovering the books.
First Sentence:
 Story:
So far I have only read one book by John Flanagan, The Ruins of Gorlan, even so, I really wanted to listen to the first book in the spin-off series The Brotherband Chronicles. Was it worth it, absolutely.
One of the things that helped to make The Outcasts so good was that it started with a little bit of backstory-before you even meet the MC, Hal. I really enjoyed that it started out that way because it helped to set the scene for what was to come and introduce you to the world in which the characters live without giving the whole book away. Although, I warn you that the beginning was a little bit sad. 
I think the most thrilling part of the book would have to be when Hal and the other Skandian boys begin there training with their brotherbands as they learn the ways of seafaring and fighting, all while competing against the other brotherbands for honor of taking first place in the competitions 
I thought that Mr. Flanagan did an excellent job of writing the conflict and camaraderie between all the boys, as well as the interactions between the boys and the teachers.
Hal, was actually a pretty interesting character. what I liked about him be..st was that he knew he was talented, yet he did not go out of his why to rub it (sure who could design a better ship then the ones that the Skandians favored). The other reason I liked him as much as I did was that when given the a role that required him to take command of a situation he did not-well at least when he accepted it-shun his duties and try to get out of his new position.
Stig, I loved the fact that every now and again he would have to remind Hal of something he most likely forgot...like something concerning safety and the ship.
I cannot remember the twins names, but gosh they had me cracking up with the way they kept switching names and arguing. They kind of reminded me of the twins from Ouran High.

What I liked best about The Outcasts was that there was never a dull moment, and characters-mainly Hal and the crew of the Heron-were some of my favorites. I loved that the pace of the book held a pretty fast pace from the beginning, where you meet Hal's father Mikkle, all the way to the end, when Hal and crew are at their lowest ebb with nothing left to lose. Bet ya'll are all wondering what went down in this book by what I loved about it. Am evil.
    My only real problem with The Outcasts has more to do with part of the audio, which you see below in my thoughts on the narration. But other then what I mention below, I really cannot think of anything bad to say about this book.

Narration:
When I first started listening to The Outcasts I knew I was going to love John Keating's reading of the book. Even though this was the first audiobook I have listened to with John Keating as the narrator, I was immediately pulled into his narration of this book. It might have been the slight accent that drew me in.

What I liked most about his reading of The Outcasts was that he absolutely brought the story of like among the Skandians to life, especially the parts were Hal and his friends were participating in Brotherband-their training period before being deemed "men" among the Skandians.
At times, his reading of the training scenes left me wondering whether or not Hal and his team would survive till the end; partly because Hal was considered to be a bit of an underdog and not entirely worthy to be training with the other Skandian boys.

This is actually one of the few audiobooks where I cannot think of anything about the narration that I did not like. It was just done really well and completely absorbing. On second thought, there is one thing I did not like...the length of the tracks. I would have liked them to be a little shorter, so that I wouldn't not have had to leave off in the middle of a track.

Final Verdict: The Outcasts was thrilling and I cannot wait for book two, especially after the way it ended.

The Outcasts earns 4.5. of 5 pineapples.

3 comments:

  1. I've been looking about for a new audio book! Seems to me this could be it..and oh my that cover! Thanks for the review. LOVE the Ranger's Apprentice.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm usually not a fan of early backstory, but you say it works. I'm very intrigued! Great review!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am quite intrigued about this one - it looks awesome! I need to pick this one up!

    ReplyDelete

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