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Lincoln, NE, United States | Member Since 2016

  • 6 reviews
  • 40 ratings
  • 714 titles in library
  • 4 purchased in 2018

  • Under Different Stars: The Kricket, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Amy A. Bartol
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Kricket Hollowell never wished upon stars. She was too busy hiding in plain sight, eluding Chicago's foster care system. As her eighteenth birthday approaches, she now eagerly anticipates the day she'll stop running and finally find her place in the world. That day comes when she meets a young Etharian soldier named Trey Allairis, who has been charged with coming to Earth to find Kricket and transport her to her true home.

    5ismyfavoritenumber says: "Good setting, but annoying romance"
    "Good setting, but annoying romance"

    I really enjoyed the worldbuilding that Bartol did in regards to the setting (I desperately want to know more about Ethar). And despite some of my frustrations, I plan on continuing with the series. The writing is decent, and the story can be intriguing.

    With that said, there are two things that really bugged me about this book: 1) the romance, and 2) the tropes (specifically the ones that involve rapey dudes and overpowered female protagonists).

    The romance was eyerollingly bad at times. It was very much like reading non-sexual purple prose. The romance felt forced (and perhaps it was, seeing as Kricket seems to have influence as a priestess). All the men seem to fall head over heals for Kricket, and it is very annoying. I would appreciate if Bartol could find a better way to advance the romantic plot. Also, Kricket hates most of the romantic suitors, and most of them are physically abusive and claim ownership over her.

    I really disliked how stepping into this entirely new world Kricket was simultaneously exposed to leaps in technology and giant steps backwards for feminism. I just can't help but wonder what would have happened if Bartol would have been a bit more creative with the story's obstacles. The plot was overly-narcissistic with its main protaganist, Kricket. Barton has this big, beautiful world ready to explore, and instead the plot becomes so singularly focused on a ho-hum romance that it loses me as a reader. Kricket is said over and over again to be a perfect beauty, incredibly intelligent, able to (snarkily) hold conversation, etc, etc. Kricket is too perfect and it kills me a bit. An unflawed protagonist is a HUGE flaw for me in any story.

    This book honestly comes across as some fourteen year old girl's romantic daydream, and that may be fine for some people, but for me I really insist on more from my books.

    71 of 80 people found this review helpful
  • The Boy on the Bridge

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 1 min)
    • By M. R. Carey
    • Narrated By Finty Williams
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Once upon a time, in a land blighted by terror, there was a very clever boy. The people thought the boy could save them, so they opened their gates and sent him out into the world. To where the monsters lived.

    John says: "A Bridge Worth Crossing"
    "Loved It"

    Just as good as the first book that takes place in this universe. I really liked how it all came together. a good story that I thoroughly enjoyed.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Mackenzi Lee
    • Narrated By Christian Coulson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Henry "Monty" Montague doesn't care that his roguish passions are far from suitable for the gentleman he was born to be. But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quests for pleasure and vice are in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family's estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

    5ismyfavoritenumber says: "Even better than I expected..."
    "Even better than I expected..."

    This was a wonderful book that took me by surprise with its humor, well-paced plot, and memorable characters. I took a chance on it, and I am so glad I did. The fact that characters felt flawed and real, yet didn't irritate me, was a refreshing change from other books I have picked up recently. I recommend it to anyone who wants a quick, fun read.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Symbiont

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Mira Grant
    • Narrated By Christine Lakin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The SymboGen designed tapeworms were created to relieve humanity of disease and sickness. But the implants in the majority of the world's population began attacking their hosts turning them into a ravenous horde. Now those who do not appear to be afflicted are being gathered for quarantine as panic spreads, but Sal and her companions must discover how the tapeworms are taking over their hosts, what their eventual goal is, and how they can be stopped.

    Pam says: "Like a worm in my brain"
    "It bothered me how much this book needed editing"

    The things that frustrate me the most about this book are:
    1) It was obviously lengthened for the sake of lengthening.
    2) It was overly redundant. (Grant could have reduced its unnecessary wordiness by going through and removing how many times the characters rehashed plot points and feelings over and over and over again).
    3) If it wasn't being redundant, it was contradicting itself.

    I feel like sometimes this isn't the fault of the author though, it is the fault of the editor (which should have caught most of these issues). A good editor takes a knife to the story and usually removes these redundancies and contradictions. I feel like what we are getting are published first drafts, and it just takes me right out the story as I try to listen to it.

    Grant (McGuire) is formerly one of my favorite authors. But this hack-edit job is starting to be a recurring theme in her books. It has been the reason I haven't enjoyed much/any of her newer works.

    However, the one redeeming thing about this book is that the narrator, Christine Lakin, continues doing a marvelous job. She is fantastic, and I will be searching out more audio books narrated by her.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he's alive - and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

    Jim "The Impatient" says: "LOOK BOOBIES"
    "This is solidly in my top 5 audiobooks of all time"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. I actually think that this is a great book to introduce to friends who have never tried audiobooks. It might actually ruin them for any future audiobooks they might read, so caution them that it can only go downhill after this book.

    What other book might you compare The Martian to and why?

    Though it is not written as a mockumentary like World War Z, The Martian has that same interactive feel that World War Z does. The characters' voices are lifelike, funny, and a testament to the talent of both the author Weir, and the narrator Bray. The combination of well-written dialogue and dramatic suspense, paired with a monumentally talented narrator, really brought the book to life.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    There are far, far too many for me to pick just one. I also don't want to get spoilery. Everyone deserves to enjoy this book without spoilers, because there is so much that happens and it is all interconnected. I think maybe the first couple of minutes were my favorite (the part that is used for the sample). Not because this is the best moment in the book, but because I remember laughing out loud at it and thinking how clever it was, and I just knew there was no way Weir could continue that through ten hours of audiobook. I have never been so glad to be wrong.

    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It was a book I tried to listen to in one sitting, but darn things like sleep and bathing and various adult responsibilities made me read it a couple of chunks over two or three days. You'll definitely want to listen to all of it in a single sitting. It is very hard to put down.

    Any additional comments?

    I am deeply saddened that this is Weir's only work on Audible. The Egg is the only other thing I can find by him period. I can't wait for his next work. He is a voice I want to hear more of.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Zombie Fallout: Zombie Fallout, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Mark Tufo
    • Narrated By Sean Runnette
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    This is the story of Michael Talbot, his family, and his friends: a band of ordinary people trying to get by in extraordinary times. When disaster strikes, Mike, a self-proclaimed survivalist, does his best to ensure the safety and security of those he cares for. Book one of the Zombie Fallout Trilogy follows our lead character at his self-deprecating, sarcastic best. What he encounters along the way leads him down a long dark road, always skirting the edge of insanity.

    Jim "The Impatient" says: "I Was Scared All The Way Down To My Meat And"
    "A very one-dimensional zombie book"

    I have the distinct feeling this book was trying really hard to be Evil Dead. I think it tried to be a less campy, more rooted in reality Evil Dead, but it still had that kind of feel. I really disliked how I got more descriptions of the main character's OCD tendencies than I did the zombies themselves. There is little to no psychological thrill in this book. Mike, the main character, states many times how he, as a man, hates feelings; and thus, we just get a line or two about how Mike vomited again rather than digging any deeper into the terror and fear being surrounded by zombies could inflict.

    I think my dislike of this book boils down to one thing. It tends to be very one-dimensional. Characters are one dimensional (and trope-filled), plot is one-dimensional, ect. I honestly don't think this book adds much to the zombie genre (at least at this point in the series, I know things get weird in the later books, I'm forcing my way through book 2 right now).

    If you are any kind of feminist, this book isn't for you. I'm pretty sure half of my friends would hate it. If you are homosexual, you will also probably not enjoy the "stereotypical" lesbians, and misrepresentations of gay men. In my opinion, there was a bit of homophobia that leaked through (hey editors, you could have really nixed that part about how two men kissing is disgusting as dead rotting flesh, that was not cool).

    Tufo also goes a little overboard on sexualizing his female characters, fat-character bashing, and the only competent members who fight against zombies are male. There are No. Strong. Female. Characters. None. The closest thing is Mike's daughter, but she is tiny and useless in a fight according to the story. Also, I really disliked Tufo's portrayal of minorities. This especially applies to Big Tiny, who is a huge black man written as being a little dim and a hulking threat in the first book, and he ends up allying himself with Mike. Alex, the book's Latino character, is a little better (I think we can thank Runnette for his portrayal of Alex for that). I'll talk about Tommy below.

    If you don't overthink the literature you read, then you probably won't have an issue with the book. If you haven't watched the Evil Dead movies, you might also enjoy them, because I do love Ash (played by Bruce Campbell), and Mike seems like a weak Ash reboot. Sean Runnette does a pretty solid job with the narration. He brings Mike to life in a way I feel does the character justice. Runnette also doesn't overdo Tommy's character, which leads me to...

    (SPOILERY) Tommy. The magical, fat disabled Latino boy who is guided by the voice of Ryan Seacrest. As hilarious as the Ryan Seacrest thing is, the trope of the happy go lucky disabled boy who is mentally inept, but actually the best, most lovable puppy in the world, kind of makes me want to puke. Yet another trope that makes me disappointed in the book. (END SPOILER)

    Also, this book is highly unrealistic for the genre. I wanted to slap the characters many times for doing things that *should* have gotten them infected. I actually don't know why or how they weren't infected.

    So why did I push through the end of this book? Why did I purchase and start the second book? Am I a little bit masochistic? Maybe. I was pretty harsh on Tufo's characterizations, but I have to say there is an underlying story which can be somewhat enjoyable. There were long stretches where I enjoyed the writing and didn't get pulled out of the story because of how improbable a plot point was. There is some solid writing in this novel, it just wouldn't be my first pick of zombie books, nor would I necessarily recommend it.

    (However, I will say I am about to give up on the second book. So no, the series doesn't get better, it only gets more ridiculous).

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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