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Ermahgerd. Berks.

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James S.A. Corey
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Libriomancer: (Magic Ex Libris Book 1)

Libriomancer - Jim C. Hines In our crazy, ranking-obsessed world, it is sometimes hard to remember that those three stars up there are not absolute, but a loose representation or summation of many different factors, and that three stars here and three stars there does not necessarily mean that all of those factors line up. I have given books I enjoyed a lot more than this one the same ranking, and books I liked a lot less a better one. Because context matters.And in this case, that context included, perhaps, the worst professional audiobook narration I have ever encountered -- and I listen to way more books than I read these days (commute + playback speed control / infant at home x Audible membership = where are my earbuds?)The following is a by no means exhaustive list of the words this book's paid narrator, professional "comedy hypnotist" Brian Eslick, totally mispronounced:- The main character's name. Which throughout the book I thought was made-up and kind of a goofy choice on the author's part, sounding like "eye-zay-ick." Oh no, wait. That's just "Isaac" pronounced like someone who has never heard the name before.- Automaton. Which is said like "auto-maton." Which wouldn't be a huge deal except it appears in the book about 50 times, and every time it is super annoying.- Possession. Which is pronounced with a hard "PO." Which just sounds weird.- Conflicted. Which is pronounced with a hard "CON." See above.- Palimpsest. Which is pronounced "palimpst." Which, come on. I know it is a weird word if you don't read a lot of China Miéville, but at least try to fit all the letters in there.- Golem. Which is pronounced "goo-lem." Which kind of takes away the sense of foreboding. - Impale. Which is pronounced "impall." Which makes the sentence kind of confusing, especially in a book with made-up magic spells. - Deity. Which is pronounced like "DIE" like "If I have to keep listening to this guy say auto-maton I am going to DIE."- Dimentia. "Di-men-she-a." That's cool, add whatever syllables you need.- Pseudonym. Or "pseudonism." Like I said. Any extra letters you have lying around, go ahead and stick them in there.- Refrigerator. Pronounced "frigerator." Aw, did you use them all up?- Library. Sometimes right, but "liberry" snuck in there twice. Just... no.- Disapprove. Pronounced "disprove." Which, confusing, because also a word.- Character. Caricature: Also a word.- Morgue. Pronounced "morge." Wait, now you are just fucking with me.- Copernicus. No, you did NOT say "Coper-knockus." Twice.There were more. I didn't even mention all the Latin and, good god, the French. And I don't want to pile on the poor narrator too much, because reading out loud is going to inevitably include some fuckups, and the producer (an Audible employee, whose name appears on many of the books I have enjoyed) carries a healthy share of the blame as well.*But yeah, context matters. And in this context, my constant annoyance with the narrator (who also made no effort to distinguish his characters or the difference between thought and dialogue) made "reading" this book a lot less enjoyable than it probably should have been. Because it does have a fun premise: guy with the magical ability to pull objects from books into the real world tries to figure out why vampires are killing off magic users! And even though vampires are an annoying and overused trope in urban fantasy, the author pokes fun at it by giving them funny scientific names like Sanguinarius stokerus and Sanguinarius meyerii (aka "sparklers")!But instead I am focusing on the pronounciations and the bad performance, which leads to nit-picking like "the plot is really formulaic" and "gosh, I really could have done without the romance parts." Even though there was actually a really interesting discussion of female agency in these kinds of stories, I just couldn't enjoy it. Although, again considering the context, at least there weren't any sex scenes.*2/7/13 - Just found out the book has been pulled from Audible to re-record the narration. And now I feel INCREDIBLY GUILTY.Seriously though. Coper-knockus.