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James

Houston, TX, United States | Member Since 2009

1
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 14 ratings
  • 291 titles in library
  • 22 purchased in 2014
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  • Solaris: The Definitive Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Stanislaw Lem, Bill Johnston (translator)
    • Narrated By Alessandro Juliani
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2252)
    Performance
    (1836)
    Story
    (1853)

    At last, one of the world’s greatest works of science fiction is available - just as author Stanislaw Lem intended it. To mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of Solaris, Audible, in cooperation with the Lem Estate, has commissioned a brand-new translation - complete for the first time, and the first ever directly from the original Polish to English. Beautifully narrated by Alessandro Juliani (Battlestar Galactica), Lem’s provocative novel comes alive for a new generation.

    Burns says: "A comment on negative reviews"
    "Slow and outdated, but poses interesting questions"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    After reading the reviews and seeing it pop up in several "Top Sci-Fi" lists I was excited to listen to this book.

    I can understand some of the praise that this book has received, but I have some problems with it.

    When you start to listen, you can quickly tell that it was written in the early 60s. The fact that the station is on another planet, but there are no computers as we know them. It is easy to get past this, but it gives a very nostalgic feeling to the story.

    The descriptions of the structures and formations that occur on the planet's surface don't occur until the book is over halfway over. These are things that could have really instilled a sense of awe and wonder with the planet. Because they arrived so late, I was already starting to become bored with the story and remember thinking "if these are supposed to be so impressive why are they just now mentioned?"

    Many of the ideas that the author proposes are quite intriguing. What does it mean to be alive, what kinds of life forms are in our universe, if we encountered intelligent life would we recognize it?

    It is because of these points and discussions that I didn't consider this book a waste of time, but I don't rate this as one of my favorite books.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Star Wars: Heir to the Empire (20th Anniversary Edition): The Thrawn Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Timothy Zahn
    • Narrated By Marc Thompson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2766)
    Performance
    (2609)
    Story
    (2623)

    Five years after the Death Star was destroyed and Darth Vader and the Emperor were defeated, the galaxy is struggling to heal the wounds of war, Princess Leia and Han Solo are married and expecting twins, and Luke Skywalker has become the first in a long-awaited line of new Jedi Knights. But thousands of light-years away, the last of the Emperor’s warlords - the brilliant and deadly Grand Admiral Thrawn - has taken command of the shattered Imperial fleet, readied it for war, and pointed it at the fragile heart of the New Republic....

    Ryan says: "It's about time!"
    "Hoped for so much more"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I purchased this book based on the over whelming positive reviews.

    I'm about 1/4 of the way through the book and am getting very bored.

    Much of what I have a problem with other reviewers have stated on Amazon's reviews of this book: a dark Jedi that can communicate with Imperial troops light years away, a secret animal that can cancel out the Force, and the gratuitousness use of cliches from the movie. They all make it difficult for me to listen to.

    My biggest issue though, is that the narrator turns Leia into a whining little girl. It's disrespectful to the character.

    Overall, I'm feeling the same disappointment that I felt while watching The Phantom Menace when it came out. I had such high hopes and expectations that makes the disappointment all the worse.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Way of Kings: Book One of The Stormlight Archive

    • UNABRIDGED (45 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Kate Reading, Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10943)
    Performance
    (8377)
    Story
    (8428)

    Roshar is a world of stone and storms. Uncanny tempests of incredible power sweep across the rocky terrain so frequently that they have shaped ecology and civilization alike. Animals hide in shells, trees pull in branches, and grass retracts into the soilless ground. Cities are built only where the topography offers shelter. It has been centuries since the fall of the ten consecrated orders known as the Knights Radiant, but their Shardblades and Shardplate remain: mystical swords and suits of armor.

    Lore says: "Wow - 45 hours long and leaves you wanting more!"
    "Horrible Naration"
    Overall

    I have finished the first of eight Audible parts and still have no idea as to what the plot is.

    The book is fairly interesting. Sanderson creates an interesting world completely different from our own. I think he may go a little too far with it, because it becomes hard to even relate to it. There are all these "spren" (not sure how it is spelled in the book) that populate the world. They were a neat element at first, but everything has some kind of spren associated with it. This including creation spren (which appear when a character is drawing a picture) and excitement spren. It just becomes ridiculous.

    The narration though...I have listened to dozens of audio books and have never had a problem with the narration like I have on this book. The first time I attempted to listen to this book I turned it off after 20 min. Michael does an average job at best. He has a very limited range, and the pace of his narration is off. The chapters that Kate reads are painful. After almost every sentence she adds an unnecessarily long pause. The slight upward inflection that she adds to the ends of sentences makes it difficult for me to listen to her.

    I'm not sure how people can give this book 5 stars. I could understand 3 or 4 due to the imagination of the author. However, the writing is just average, and the narration is inexcusably bad.

    1 of 7 people found this review helpful

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