Thoughts on The Emperor’s Mask

I finished the second in The Magebreaker series by Ben S. Dobson. The Emperor’s Mask does well as a sequel and I highly enjoyed it. Once again, Travis Baldree is great at narrating this book.

Okay, there was one little issue…

At the beginning of the book, there is one voice that is not leveled to the other voices properly. So, when this one character is talking, it’s extremely loud. When the main character is speaking, it was like he was whispering. Fortunately, I suspected that there this loud character would be going away and he did. After that, the level of all the audio was just fine.

I certainly wasn’t going to stop listening to the book because of that, even though I did have to go up and down on the volume quite frequently.

I don’t know how much communication goes on between Travis and Ben during the recording sessions on this book. I suspect that it’s not much. But let me say that Travis did a wonderful job of narrating the scene between Kadka and “the dragon man” toward the end of the book. It gave me goosebumps (in a good way). Just thinking about it, I’m getting goosebumps! I feel that it’s a sign that Travis is as invested in these characters as the writer is. It certainly proves that Ben picked the right narrator for these books.

Now for my really big disappointment: even thought the third book in the series is out, it is not yet narrated. I certainly hope that Travis is hard at work on it! While I was able to pick up the later works of D.K. Holmberg after listening to several in his Dark Ability series and still hear the narrator’s voice, I don’t want to do the same here. I really want to support Travis in his narrative work on this series. I don’t want to merely read it. Maybe I attribute some of that to the fact that I didn’t feel Holmberg’s narrator was not quite as adept at the voices like Travis is. Also, Ben has proven that he can tell a complete story within one book and Holmberg has yet to prove this ability with me (not that I’m throwing stones on that because I’ve had enough people tell me that they “want the rest of the story” that I know I have issues wrapping things up too — it’s something I’m working on! *grin*).

Now I have to find some other fiction to listen to while I wait for the third book to come out. And I know I’m going to want the fourth one soon too. Travis, Ben, I hope you guys are working hard. Are you done yet?