I loved the way the story developed, always hinting at it's central mystery while keeping the listener guessing, wondering, what was really going on.
Ethan. The entire story revolves around his experience.
His reading added a level of emotion, tension and drama that I don't think I would have experienced if I had just read the book.
I highly recommend this, especially for fans of TV shows like The Twilight Zone or Persons Unknown.
I'll state right off the bat that the headline of this review may be unfair but I felt like I should give fair warning. I loved Grossman's previous novel, "Soon I Will be Invincible" and highly recommend it. I was looking forward to "You" but unfortunately, it was a disappointing listen. For me, it was the equivalent of listening to a gamer talk about their character or tell you about their video game experience for 13+ hours.
Video games are fun. I've been playing them most of my life and they can be an immersive, engaging experience. One of this novel's themes deals with that aspect of gaming, the degree to which a player identifies with the protagonist they're playing. However, video game characters rarely have much depth and that's where "You" runs into trouble. Grossman's a talented writer but the stakes in this book never feel high and the characterization is pretty thin. There are long passages describing game play that I found very dull, difficult listening. The descriptions of generic characters in fairly generic fantasy and science fiction settings engaging in the sort of activities you'd expect from that combination of elements really dragged. Perhaps readers who avidly play the kind of games described in the book or readers with a keen interest in video game design and programming will find this novel an engrossing listen but for me, it was a tedious slog and I barely made it to the end. After enjoying "Soon I Will Be Invincible" so much, it pains me to say that about "You" but I still consider Austin Grossman a talent worth watching and I hope I'll find his next novel more satisfying.
Meanwhile, unless you're really captivated by the sort of characters and experiences found in fantasy games, think twice about investing your time in this novel. It may not be for you.
Crouch keeps the story moving and the plot twists coming in this dark-but-entertaining suspense novel. I purchased it after listening to his superior (and, if I'm not mistaken, more recent) book Pines, which I highly recommend. Abandon is less satisfying, in part because it's central mystery is solved long before it ends and there were a few too many twists and coincidences for my taste. However, that's nitpicking and if you're looking for an entertaining thriller with some old west flavor (the novel flips back and forth and tells the story of Abandon in two different times), this book is a good ride.
I thought the narration was a little stiff but Luke Daniels seemed to warm up as he read and he did a nice job with accents and dialects. His overall performance, like the book itself, is solid.
The highlight for me was an unexpected bonus, a related short story at the end, read by the author, who does a fine job. I actually enjoyed it more than the novel itself!
I read Gateway back in the '70s and remembered it as a book that sounded cool but disappointed me. Looking back, I wondered if perhaps it was just too mature or too difficult for me to relate to at a young age so I decided to give the audiobook a try. Oliver Wyman's reading is excellent and author Frederick Pohl's basic premise of abandoned alien ships that launch to pre-programmed, but unknown, destinations is one of the better ideas in science fiction. The book never quite delivers on the evocative promise of it's central idea, never quite evokes the sense of wonder, or horror, that you might expect from it. Instead, it focuses on it's flawed central character, Robinet Broadhead, as he faces both his fear of the unknown and the psychological after effects of a journey in one of the alien vessels. It makes for an interesting story but there's so little exploration of the intriguing concept that it's ultimately disappointing. We get a feel for Broadhead's experience but not enough of a feel for what humanity is finding out there, what the alien ships (and alien constructed setting of Gateway itself) are like. The author almost seems disinterested in them. They're a means of exploring Broadhead's character but as a character, he's not fully developed enough for that goal to make Gateway a completely satisfying read.
In the end, while Gateway is a good book and I can recommend it, my second experience with it was as disappointing as the first. If you choose to listen, just go in knowing this book is primarily a character study. Armed with that information, you may enjoy it much more than I did.
Paul Malmont's sequel to The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril is every bit as entertaining as it's predecessor. It may be even better and for listeners who may be wary of the word sequel: don't worry. This book holds up fine on it's own. In fact, it's a blast. Malmont's pacing is excellent. He keeps the book moving and pays loving homage to the pulp tales his characters wrote while portraying them convincingly and telling a great story of his own.
Robert Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, L. Sprague DeCamp, Isaac Asimov, Walter Gibson (creator of The Shadow) and other pulp writers and historical figures populate this fun WWII-era story and true it's inspiration, it's a wild adventure.
Christopher Lane's reading is superb so if you're looking for an entertaining listen, the Astounding, The Amazing and the Unknown delivers.
I rarely listen to abridged books because I loathe the very idea of slicing books up to make them shorter or more palatable. However, I was bored, I needed entertainment and I thought The Club Dumas would be just right for my mood so I downloaded this abridged audiobook version of the novel. Despite being in the mood for the book, I still might have balked at an abridged version but David Warner was the reader and that sealed the deal for me.
Overall, I loved the book! I won't get into the plot (it can be read elsewhere) but the writing was excellent, the story compelling and the ending very satisfying. Warner's performance didn't disappoint but there were moments where I could clearly feel that something well worth reading had been deleted. Consequently, I'm docking what I think would probably have been a 5 star read one star because it was abridged. I plan to pick up the novel and read it so I can see what I missed but even based on the abridged version, I can highly recommend The Club Dumas. It's a book for book lovers.
I've read and/or listened to this novel 3 times and I like it more each time. It's a thoughtful, engrossing first contact story with theological, moral and science fiction themes. The Sparrow tells the tale of a Jesuit mission to an alien world and, more specifically, the story of Father Emilio Sandoz, the lone survivor of that mission. His experience is life-changing, to say the least.
Russell writes interesting, highly plausible characters and she not only explores the theological implications of the book's events, she also creates a memorable alien culture.
David Colacci's reading is quite good. He starts a little uncertainly but quickly gains his footing, giving voice to the various characters without ever taking accents and dialects to distracting extremes.
I can't recommend The Sparrow highly enough but be warned: if you're the type of science fiction fan who wants action-packed space opera, this isn't the book for you. It's a book about people and ideas, not an action/ adventure story.
I downloaded The Gods of Gotham because I really enjoyed Lyndsay Faye's previous novel, Dust & Shadow. That account of Holmes and Watson pursuing the notorious Jack the Ripper was riveting and if anything, Faye's latest is better. The characterizations are vivid, the plot twists unexpected and the story moves along at a crisp pace without ever feeling rushed or contrived.
The Gods of Gotham, set in 1845, tells the tale of Timothy Wilde, a former bartender who finds himself a reluctant member of New York City's newly-founded police force. Wilde finds himself embroiled in a grisly mystery in a city that not only has some resentment towards the police (dubbed "copper stars" because of their copper badges) but is beset by corruption and racial tension as irish catholic immigrants pour into the country, compelled by the great potato famine to look for a new start in the U.S.A. It's a rich background for a mystery story and the author brings the period to life.
Faye is on a roll and I can't wait for her next book.
Regarding the reading: when I began listening, I wasn't sure if Steven Boyer was going to be a good fit for the material but he quickly won me over. He deftly brings the characters and events of Faye's novel to life for the listener.
I purchased this novel on a whim, primarily on the strength of it's description. It turned out to be a great investment and a pleasant surprise! It's best experienced without much knowledge of the plot as most of the fun comes from the characters (who make numerous pop culture references and even compare themselves to Scooby Doo and his pals) unraveling the mysteries of the building where they live. Cline has a to-the-point writing style, a good sense of humor and he keeps this story rolling along.
14 isn't a deep novel or a book that will blow the reader away with tremendous, in-depth characterization. It's good, fun genre fiction with a memorable cast of characters and some genuinely surprising twists and turns. I highly recommend it.
Child's latest is entertaining, if not up to the high standards set by his best collaborative efforts with Douglas Preston (I thought the two authors explored an archeological mystery far more successfully in Thunderhead) . In The Third Gate, Child takes an interesting mix of subjects ranging from near death experiences and scientific exploration to an ancient curse, sets his story in a typically remote location and spins a well-paced, exciting tale. Fans of books like The Ice Limit, Riptide and Deep Storm should have a good time with this one. I did!
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