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michael

Port Townsend, WA, United States | Member Since 2007

24
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 8 reviews
  • 42 ratings
  • 157 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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  • Imager: The First Book of the Imager Portfolio

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By L. E. Modesitt Jr.
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (714)
    Performance
    (461)
    Story
    (468)

    Although Rhennthyl is the son of a leading wool merchant in L'Excelsis, the capital of Solidar, the most powerful nation on Terahnar, he has spent years becoming a journeyman artist and is skilled and diligent enough to be considered for the status of master artisan - in another two years. Then, in a single moment, his entire life is transformed when his master patron is killed in a flash fire and Rhenn discovers he is an imager.

    Timorell says: "I didn't love it"
    "Interesting concepts"
    Overall

    Modesitt comes up with some interesting worlds. This is no exception. I'm not thrilled with the narrator. He reads the main character as petulant and many of the older men as pompous. I can certainly see how he'd get that from the writing but it is a bit hard to identify with a pouty protagonist.
    I've come to expect a bit of preaching in Modesitt's books and this is no different. It's good enough but not great.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Under Heaven

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Guy Gavriel Kay
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (479)
    Performance
    (257)
    Story
    (259)

    In his latest innovative novel, the award-winning author evokes the dazzling Tang Dynasty of 8th-century China in a story of honor and power. Inspired by the glory and power of Tang dynasty China, Guy Gavriel Kay has created a masterpiece.It begins simply. Shen Tai, son of an illustrious general serving the Emperor of Kitai, has spent two years honoring the memory of his late father by burying the bones of the dead from both armies at the site of one of his father's last great battles.

    Mike says: "Impressive!"
    "Literate and adult"
    Overall

    I'm a big fan of Kay's. He peoples his worlds with some of the most fully human characters in the fantasy field. There's not much action but a great deal of tension and subtlety, which is a rare and enjoyable thing. The world is fully realized and believable as are the motivations of the characters.

    The reader is both brilliant and a bit off. The narration is beautiful holding a consistent and appropriate melancholy throughout. Where he's a bit off is in attempting to give some of the characters Chinese accents. Those don't quite work. That's a minor niggle, though. I very much enjoyed the story.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Out of the Dark

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By David Weber
    • Narrated By Charles Keating
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (390)
    Performance
    (202)
    Story
    (203)

    Earth is conquered. The Shongairi have arrived in force, and humanity’s cities lie in radioactive ruins. In mere minutes, over half the human race has died. Now Master Sergeant Stephen Buchevsky, who thought he was being rotated home from his latest tour in Afghanistan, finds himself instead prowling the back country of the Balkans, dodging alien patrols and trying to organize the scattered survivors without getting killed.

    Barry says: "Collapses at the finish line"
    "Good writing, good narration, sorry climax"
    Overall

    I'm a big fan of Weber's Honor Harrington series and will listen to his Safehold series. This will join Prince Roger as a don't bother if there are any more installments effort.

    The story starts out fine and maintains a good momentum for about 2/3 of the book. It's not great, but compared to the typical SF it holds it's own. Then when things seem hopeless a savior comes and fixes all the problems. What a cop-out.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Blade Itself: The First Law: Book One

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Joe Abercrombie
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    Overall
    (4061)
    Performance
    (2992)
    Story
    (3005)

    Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer, is trapped in a twisted and broken body - not that he allows it to distract him from his daily routine of torturing smugglers.Nobleman, dashing officer and would-be fencing champion Captain Jezal dan Luthar is living a life of ease by cheating his friends at cards. Vain and shallow, the biggest blot on his horizon is having to get out of bed in the morning to train with obsessive and boring old men.

    Steven says: "Steven Pacey is magnificient."
    "Great story and excellent narration"
    Overall

    I picked this audiobook on a flyer without knowing anything about it. I'm so glad I did. It has engaging and interesting characters and a compelling story line. Also, I very much like the reader. I only listen when doing yard work or chores. Audiobooks are my motivation. I've gotten a lot of things on my honey do list completed with this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I Am Number Four

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Pittacus Lore
    • Narrated By Neil Kaplan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1390)
    Performance
    (928)
    Story
    (934)

    Nine of us came here. We look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We can do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having. We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books—but we are real.

    Brynn says: "Annoying book we wanted to like"
    "A Young Adult Fantasy"
    Overall

    This is a pretty good story and I'm not sorry that I bought it, though if I had known that it was about and for teens I might not have. Much of the tension in the plot is based around typical teen themes as bully jocks, first love, fitting in a new school and the like. All pretty standard teen stuff.

    I call it a fantasy because the science part of science fiction is frankly terrible. The author has obviously not paid much attention to this area and it's glaring obvious. Fortunately the story is well enough told that I didn't mind terribly. I'd give the story 3.5 stars but round up because the narration is good and the story held my interest in spite of the lack of science grounding.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • First Lord's Fury: Codex Alera, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2825)
    Performance
    (1846)
    Story
    (1847)

    For years he has endured the endless trials and triumphs of a man whose skill and power could not be restrained. Battling ancient enemies, forging new alliances, and confronting the corruption within his own land, Gaius Octavian became a legendary man of war - and the rightful First Lord of Alera. But now, the savage Vord are on the march, and Gaius must lead his legions to the Calderon Valley to stand against them - using all of his intelligence, ingenuity, and furycraft to save their world from eternal darkness.

    Jason says: "Excellent conclusion"
    "Tied up nicely"
    Overall

    An excellent conclusion to a quality series. This is easily one of the better series in modern fantasy. Interesting, 3 dimensional characters, good pacing, a satisfying climax. If it hadn't been so relentlessly intense I wouldn't have wanted it to end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • By Heresies Distressed: Safehold Series, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By David Weber
    • Narrated By Jason Culp
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (681)
    Performance
    (454)
    Story
    (458)

    Now the battle for the soul of the planet Safehold has begun.The Kingdom of Charis and the Kingdom of Chisholm have joined together, pledged to stand against the tyranny of a corrupt Church. The youthful Queen Sharleyan of Chisholm has wed King Cayleb of Charis, forging a single dynasty, a single empire, dedicated to the defense of human freedom.

    James says: "I want Oliver Wyman back"
    "Vintage Weber"
    Overall

    Not having listened to previous titles in this series I don't miss the first narrator and think that Mr. Culp does an excellent job. And since I've read everything that Weber has written, I'm not surprised by the pace and political machinations.

    The focus of the story has shifted from Merlin. I actually think that makes the story more interesting. It involves mere mortals, highly and perhaps too gifted and altruistic mortals, but at least they're not mere puppets in the plot of a super cyborg. Good job.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Name of the Wind: Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Patrick Rothfuss
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12550)
    Performance
    (10180)
    Story
    (10295)

    This is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

    Joanna says: "Wow!"
    "Brilliant book, competent narration"
    Overall

    If you like books by Guy Gavriel Kay or Lois McMaster Bujold, you'll enjoy Rothfus. It doesn't have the thrill a minute action of some or the steamy sex of others, but for brilliant character development and some of the best fantasy prose written, period, give it a try. You'll meet one of the singular characters of fantasy.

    The narration is competent, not outstanding but not off-putting. It doesn't get in the way of the superb story.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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