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Publisher's Summary

Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother's mysterious death, he's lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers.

One day, he's tracked down by an uncle he barely knows - a man his mother claimed was dangerous. Uncle Randolph tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god.

The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years.

When an attack by fire giants forces him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents, Magnus makes a fatal decision.

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die...

©2015 Rick Riordan (P)2015 Listening Library

What listeners say about The Sword of Summer

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    4,741
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    1,539
  • 3 Stars
    479
  • 2 Stars
    85
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    98
Performance
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    3,515
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    1,259
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    761
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    296
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    311
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    4,535
  • 4 Stars
    1,171
  • 3 Stars
    320
  • 2 Stars
    54
  • 1 Stars
    52

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Usual fun Riordan brought down by bad reading

The usual fun, young, downtrodden-hero-makes-a-name-for-himself story with an interesting and mildly educational twist in Norse mythology. Thumbs up.

The only downside was the bland and mostly uncharismatic reading. I'm not sure what the accents he was trying were but they were not on point either. Let's hope for a better read in the next installment?

33 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

good new series marred by narration

My son and I have hugely enjoyed all the Riordan books on audio over the years. As others have noted, this is the weakest narrator by far. We had a hard time overcoming his intonation and rhythm.

That said, I would recommend persevering. After the first several chapters, my son and I both got used to him and overall we are still glad we listened to the book.

We were both looking forward to delving into Norse mythology. I'm not as familiar with it as the other mythologies Riordan has covered, but he explained it well. So far I wouldn't say this series is as good as the first Percy series, which is our favorite, nor is it as good as the Egyptian series. But overall would still recommend for any Riordan fan.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

First I was disappointed, then I was angry

As I began listening to this book I was rather disappointed in the narration. As I continued to listen I became incredulous as to just how poor the narration was—stilted reading of the text, unconvincing character voices, atrocious attempts at accents. Then I found myself becoming angry—not at the narrator, at the audiobook publishers. This appears to be the narrators first attempt at audio narration and he obviously had no idea what the art of narration required. Furthermore, he likely didn’t know what audiobook readers expect and how demanding we are… but the publishers knew.

Now I am actually angry with the publishers at Penguin/Random House/Listening Library for throwing this performer to the wolves without a second thought. He is going to be slammed for the quality of the narration—sadly, deservedly so—and I feel certain he had no idea such a slap down was likely. What were the publishers thinking?! They knew the narration would be included in reviews. They knew readers didn’t appreciate the poor narration of the last two books they published by Riordan. And they had to know this performance would be received even more poorly than those. Why would they set up anyone for the public humiliation that will come with the performance of this book?

Rather than list the name of the narrator, they should list the names of the people responsible for choosing someone to read this book who didn’t have the skills required for a satisfying audio experience. I’ve heard others say before that large publishers aren’t concerned with quality, only money. This is the first time I’ve felt the publisher’s insult so blatantly: “You stupid audiobook listeners will snap up anything so we don’t have to give you quality… who cares if you actually enjoy the experience of reading this book!”

I also feel sorry for Rick Riordan who has put a lot of work into creating this new series, only to have it butchered by a publisher who hires a narrator with insufficient talent or experience to do justice to the work.

If this narrator continues with the next book in the series, someone needs to give him some serious coaching on how to read text in a natural manner, differentiate character voices effectively, and—please, dear lord, please—how to do accents! I’m sure this guy can learn… somebody please help him… I don’t want to have to give another crushing review of his performance!

276 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Performance nearly ruins this book

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I'll be honest - I'm only at Chapter 8.
I love Rick Riordan, and have been waiting for this to be released. I eagerly downloaded it this morning and started listening. Go buy the book and read it yourself.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I'm at Chapter 8, but I am liking the story. I'm confused, but I'm supposed to be.

Would you be willing to try another one of Christopher Guetig’s performances?

No. This performance made me nearly return the audible and just buy the book. I drive a lot and listen to books as I drive, so I can get through more of my reading list. I don't know if the idea was to make the narrator sound like a teenager, but it is simply awful. I can't decide if he sounds drunk, drugged, or is just slow for effect. I keep telling myself that it will get better, or that the story is worth it. I'm trying.

129 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The Narration, Good Grief - My Ears are Bleeding

Like Jennifer B, I am a huge Rick Riordan fan. I had preordered this book, and am currently on chap 12. If you've read/listened to Mr Riordan's other books, you know the basic process that he lays the story out, etc. This book is no different, you get introduced to the main character and it builds from there...

The narration provided by Christopher Guetig makes my ears bleed. It sounds like it's being read half pace behind with this "I just woke up and my nose is stuff up" tone. Who picked this guy? Seriously. It's a wonder I've made it this far on the audiobook.

132 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Sword of Summer

I loved the book, but actually went and bought a hard copy to read myself because I he reader's voice was so distracting. He tried different character voices but they were either inconsistent or not different enough from other voices. And the sing song rhythm? No.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Worst performance ever.

I'm only on Ch 3, and the story is roughly what I expected from Riordan. The narrator is absolutely driving me nuts though. His voice constantly sounds as if he can't decide whether a character should be male or female, all the adults sound like British gentlemen, and there is absolutely no emotion whatsoever. He's describing a particularly emotional or intense scene and I swear I get more emotion from my Amazon Echo. What's worse is the speed of the narration, I swear it's playing at 1/2 speed but Audible says otherwise.

This might be one to skip on audio. If I didn't already have 4 credits saved up I'd probably return this one and get it on kindle. Sigh.. if only we could get the ebook version included in the audio version.

Update: Do yourself a favor.. if you do get this, listen at 1.25 speed. It's far from perfect but much better than the rediculously slow 1.0.

80 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

I hope they did not pay for the Narrator.

What didn’t you like about Christopher Guetig’s performance?

I am not sue where they found this narrator. He sounds like he is reading a book to a group of 5 year old's at his public library. I am only 3 chapters in on this book and not really sure if I am going to make it. I love Rick Riordan's books, BUT this narrator has got to go. Wondering how much it would cost for this book to be republished with a different narrator.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

What have they done?

Would you try another book from Rick Riordan and/or Christopher Guetig?

I LOVE Rick Riordan. All of his other books are great escapes and this story is no different so far but the narration is awful! I would NOT listen to another Christopher Guetig narration.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Jesse Bernstein reads the Percy series wonderfully; he sounds like the character but Christoper Guetig sounds like he's reading to VERY young children. His reading is slow (I've actually had to speed up the playback just so I can tolerate it), the inflection is odd and over dramatic in the wrong places.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I'm still very excited for this story and I'm going to try a couple more chapters, but I think this will be my first refund because I'm so disappointed with the narration!

65 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Unoriginal With Very Poor Narration

This book was an exact copy of the Percy Jackson and the Roman series read by the worst narrator I have ever heard in two decades of being an audible member. It was the most unbelievable voices and horrible voice acting. It also seems that Rick Riordan has unfortunately run out of ideas or original story plots. It might be time he went back to writing murder mysteries.

4 people found this helpful