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Julius

ratings
32
REVIEWS
13
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
0
HELPFUL VOTES
8

  • The Dragon's Path: Dagger and Coin, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Daniel Abraham
    • Narrated By Pete Bradbury
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1198)
    Performance
    (1076)
    Story
    (1084)

    Popular author Daniel Abraham’s works have been nominated for the Hugo Award and the World Fantasy Award. In The Dragon’s Path, former soldier Marcus is now a mercenary—but he wants nothing to do with the coming war. So instead of fighting, he elects to guard a caravan carrying the wealth of a nation out of the war zone—with the assistance of an unusual orphan girl named Cithrin.

    Dave says: "A Subtle, Smart, and All-Around Great Epic Fantasy"
    "Give it a try if you like a good story done well!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    If you like epic fantasy loaded with intrigue, twists, and turns, you should like this first installment of the Dagger and the Coin series. One of things that stood out was the world building; that grounded feeling that the places in the story have been around for a while. The characters are well rounded and believable, not to say they are all nice, flaws abound, and that make them interesting. The multiple POV's and plot lines are enough keep you on your toes and listening.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Though I enjoy Captain Marcus Wester's POV chapters and especially his dynamic with Yardem Hane, Cithrin Bel Sarcour stole the show for me. Her growth and change (again not all for the good) from a protected girl-child to self sufficient young woman was masterfully done.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Marcus and Yardem first come across the troupe and Marcus formulates his plan to re-assemble a company. Brings out a smile just thinking about it.


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

    Though 17+ hours is a bit much for one sitting, at least for me; I did find myself lingering to keep listening.


    Any additional comments?

    A credit WELL spent. Thanks to both Daniel Abraham and Audible. Having said that, get off the schnide and release The King's Blood" already, and while you're at it, you can produce "The Tyrant's Law" too. These book are just too good to leave un-produced.

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Serpent in the Thorns: Crispin Guest, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Jeri Westerson
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (27)

    Convicted of treason, Crispin Guest was stripped of his title, his land, his money and his friends. Now with only his considerable wits to sustain him, Guest works the mean streets of 14th century London, building a small reputation for his skill. In 1383, a simple-minded tavern girl comes to his door - a body was found where she works and she’s the only person who could have killed him. Except for the fact that the man was killed in place by a precisely aimed crossbow bolt. Making matters worse, the murdered man was one of three couriers from the French king, transporting a relic intended to smooth the troubled relations between France and England.

    S. Wells says: "Knight's Honor"
    "Another good Crispin Guest story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you like twists and turns in a plot, where the details matter, and things don't quite go where you expect, then pick up Serpent in the Thorns. You'll have to pay attention to the little things and don't forget to take some of them at face value. The story doubles back on itself, and some questions about Crispin's fall from knighthood are answered. Crispin and Jack are central, but pay attention to those around them. As the story unfolds you see some real character growth in Crispin and Jack. As for other characters, the sheriff plays a smaller part then in the first book, and Gaunt played a larger one. Richard as written is petty, vindictive, and throughly unlikable. It all wraps up in a really good ending. I'll be picking up the next one in the series soon.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The American

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Martin Booth
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (299)
    Performance
    (195)
    Story
    (196)

    The locals in the southern Italian town where he lives call him Signor Farfalla - Mr. Butterfly - for he is a discreet gentleman who paints rare butterflies. His life is inconspicuous: mornings are spent brushing at a canvas, afternoons idling in the cafés, and evenings talking with his friend, the town priest, over a glass of brandy. Yet there are other sides to this gentleman’s life.... Part thriller, part character study, part drama of deceit and self-betrayal, The American shows Martin Booth at the very height of his powers.

    Ramon says: "Slow start but after a few pages your hooked.
"
    "Feels dated, but it's still enjoyable."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Although it was published in 1990, at times it feels older, hence the mediocre recommendation. But there were stretches when I was completely engrossed. The book is written in the first person and that immediacy pulls you in. On other occasions it feels like a friend going on about something less than interesting. And maybe that is what Martin Booth was going for? I enjoy the details of a book, and the author get a lot right. Senior Farfalla is most intriguing when he goes into explaining the particulars of being one of the worlds greatest gunsmiths. The other times ... well, you get the idea. Regardless of that I found myself wanting to listen on. I will likely sample this one again, and I suppose that is the sign of a good book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Nine Princes in Amber: The Chronicles of Amber, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Roger Zelazny
    • Narrated By Alessandro Juliani
    Overall
    (1796)
    Performance
    (1618)
    Story
    (1633)

    Amber is the one real world, of which all others including our own Earth are but Shadows. Amber burns in Corwin's blood. Exiled on Shadow Earth for centuries, the prince is about to return to Amber to make a mad and desperate rush upon the throne.

    Joe says: "Great begining of the series"
    "30+ years later it's still my favorite Amber story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Nine Princes in Amber?

    Like most "first in a series" fantasy books I enjoyed entering a new world, meeting and getting to know new characters, and of course experiencing the story as it unfolds. And this has been a particular favorite since high school. Perhaps it's the way Nine Princes progresses. Corwin learns of his family situation at the same time that we do, a masterful job by Rodger Zelazny of putting the reader into the story. If you have never experienced the world of Amber give it a listen. The performance might not be the best, but the story is well worth the credit. But be warned, you might just get hooked on the whole series.


    What about Alessandro Juliani’s performance did you like?

    I am sorry to say it was the performance that hurt this book and the reason I will likely not purchase the rest of the first half of this series. There is just something about Alessandro Juliani's voice, pacing, and inflection that takes away from the story, at least for me. This is the first of Alessandro's books I have listened too and I didn't care for it. I have listened to samples of other performances and he seems to get better.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Killer: Victor the Assassin Series, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Tom Wood
    • Narrated By Rob Shapiro
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (927)
    Performance
    (845)
    Story
    (847)

    Meet Victor. He's an assassin - a man with no past and no surname. He lives alone. He operates alone. He's given a job; he takes out the target; he gets paid. He's The Killer. Victor arrives in Paris to perform a standard kill and collect for an anonymous client. He completes it with trademark efficiency - only to find himself in the middle of an ambush and fighting for his life.

    Anthony says: "You Can't Help Pulling for the "Bad Guy""
    "Victor is a bad guy, but a good read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Killer again? Why?

    I enjoyed The Killer so much that I've listened to it three times already...and I am sure I will again. Although he is not a good guy, Victor lives by rules, a lot of rules. And they are geared to keeping him alive in a world and profession that is unforgiving of mistakes. Why do I keep going back for a fresh listen? It's because Tom Wood gets the little things right. He researches the equipment and his character motivation is nothing but spot-on. Everything is believable and unpredictable. All of that makes for a good story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Crusader: Kingdom Come, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Kathryn Le Veque
    • Narrated By Brian J. Gill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (31)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (31)

    Along the ancient Pilgrim Trail traveled by countless crusaders from Europe to The Holy Land, Dr. Rory Osgrove is in charge of her first archaeological dig. A Biblical Archaeologist by degree, her target is a holy relic of unimaginable power. But what she discovers instead is the tomb of a long-buried Crusader, one of the thousands who came to this desert land in search of glory and riches. Deterred from her original goal, Rory is fascinated by the English knight and the journal buried with him.

    ABsMama says: "Contemporary + Historical = Awesome"
    "Oops, the little things do matter!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Crusader better?

    In all fairness I expected an historical fiction piece, not a romance; so I could overlook the occasional barrage of "massive chest" references. The cheesy dialogue really took me out of the story.


    What could Kathryn Le Veque have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    A little research into medieval weapons would have been nice. Early on Kathryn writes Sir Kieran's broadsword weighs in at 30 lbs. I thought it might be a typo, but nearer the end of the book she writes that the sword is 33 lbs. That ONLY 7 to 10 TIMES heaver than any real broadsword. Can you imagine swinging a 30+ pound plank of steel all day when your life depends on it? No, that's because no matter how massive anyones chest or arms are you can't swing 30 pounds all day and expect to live.


    What aspect of Brian J. Gill’s performance would you have changed?

    Brian's performance is the best part of this selection, give him more of a story to work with and he will only make it better.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Spymaster: Startling Cold War Revelations of a Soviet KGB Chief

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Tennent H. Bagley
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (197)
    Performance
    (171)
    Story
    (169)

    From the dark days of World War II through the Cold War, Sergey A. Kondrashev was a major player in Russia’s notorious KGB espionage apparatus. Rising through its ranks through hard work and keen understanding of how the spy and political games are played, he “handled” American and British defectors, recruited Western operatives as double agents, served as a ranking officer at the East Berlin and Vienna KGB bureaus, and tackled special assignments from the Kremlin.

    Iamnotaspy says: "An brilliant personal Cold War perspective"
    "Fans of the cold war spy game should give it a try"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The insight of a soviet spymaster is more than enlightening; he gives answers to questions western intelligence services didn't even know to ask. Although I like and read history, I tend to listen to fiction; having said that, I really enjoyed this one. If you like popular histories, and the nuts and bolts of cold war espionage, this might be the book for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Book of Seven Hands: A Foreworld SideQuest

    • UNABRIDGED (4 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Barth Anderson
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (11)

    Expert swordsmen Basilio and Alejo have one last mission before they go their separate ways: they must recover their teacher Don Manuel's ancient fighting manual and take it to remote Cataluña in order to have it translated by the famous alchemist Paracelsus. Unbeknownst to them, however, Don Manuel has been murdered, and a host of powerful forces has come looking for the coveted book - everyone from old lovers and lifelong archenemies to the King's assassin, and the Spanish Inquisition.

    Julius says: "Basilio and Alejo, an interesting pair"
    "Basilio and Alejo, an interesting pair"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    This was my first foray into Foreworld. Although The Book of the Seven Hands is listed as the seventh Foreworld story, but I think it stands well on it's own. If you are a fan of Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, Pierre Pavel's Cardinal's Blades, or Dumas' Musketeers, then try this. I am looking forward to experiencing the other Foreworld stories.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    It's not huge (in terms of the story) but if you enjoy a little hinted at surprise or two in a book ending, you won't be disappointed.


    What about Nick Podehl’s performance did you like?

    This is the first Nick Podehl book I have listened to. I thought it added to the story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Housewife Assassin's Handbook: The Housewife Assassin, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Josie Brown
    • Narrated By Melissa Moran
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (564)
    Performance
    (519)
    Story
    (515)

    Every desperate housewife wants an alias. Donna Stone has one - and it happens to be government-sanctioned. But Donna earned it the hard way: Her husband was killed the day she delivered their third child. To avenge her husband's murder, Donna leads a secret life as an assassin. But espionage makes for strange bedfellows, and brings new meaning to that old adage, "Honey, I'm home...."

    kimberlee says: "Unique"
    "Boo! Entirely too risque for me."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What would have made The Housewife Assassin's Handbook better?

    I downloaded the free kindle book although I had not started to read it yet. I picked the Audible copy up to whispersync them. I didn't make it out of Ch 2 before I had had enough. I thought it would be a funny yet straightforward take on a mother of three hunting the people responsible for her husbands murder. It's not...for me at least. Too much graphic sex and not enough story.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Perhaps the next Crispin Guest, or Victor the assassin novel?


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Didn't love Melissa Moran's work, although it's honestly hard to say. The story bothered me so much I didn't really get a chance to truly gauge the performance.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The basic plot is interesting, I just don't care for the way Josie Brown goes about fleshing out the story. I can deal with sex in a book (i.e. George R.R.Martin's work) when I have to, but enough is enough, and as I said I wasn't out of chapter 2 when I pulled the face curtain and punched out.


    Any additional comments?

    Unless you like a (very) trashy (romance??) novel, I'd pass this one by. I'll be dumping my free copy off the kindle as well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Veil of Lies: Crispin Guest, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Jeri Westerson
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    Overall
    (50)
    Performance
    (46)
    Story
    (45)

    Crispin Guest is a disgraced knight, stripped of his rank and his honor - but left with his life - for plotting against Richard II. Having lost his bethrothed, his friends, his patrons and his position in society. With no trade to support him and no family willing to acknowledge him, Crispin has turned to the one thing he still has - his wits - to scrape a living together on the mean streets of London.

    Marcheta says: "Medieval noir - what a concept!"
    "Crispin and Jack are well worth the time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to Veil of Lies the most enjoyable?

    I enjoyed the midlevel setting nearly as much as the characters Jeri and Michael bring to life. Crispin is a likable guy, not perfect buy any means, but he is very likable. I know it's not going to happen anytime soon but I still found myself pulling hard for him to regain his former glory. Maybe someday? Of course Crispin (and Jack) take center stage, but the secondary and tertiary characters as just as enjoyable (or dislikable) in their roles. The sheriff in particular was fun follow through the story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I found the plot-threads kept the story fresh. Crispin is called in to investigate a murder. Then he is asked to look into... something else as well. As the story unfolds you appreciate the complexity of the plot and all the while Crispin's fall from nobility hangs in the background. I really liked the way the story fits together.


    Have you listened to any of Michael Page’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have seven other books that Mr. Page narrates in my library. This one is at least as good as Michael's other performances. Some other reviewers don't seem to care for his work, but I find his narration adds to the story.


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

    This book went far to quickly and I'm looking forward to purchasing the next in the series.


    Any additional comments?

    I tend to rate books/performances lower than most people, so if you're a fan of mysteries and/or historical fiction give Crispin a chance. I think you'll enjoy the listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Swords and Deviltry: The Adventures of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Fritz Leiber
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (739)
    Performance
    (295)
    Story
    (299)

    In the ancient city of Lankhmar, two men forge a friendship in battle. The red-haired barbarian Fafhrd left the snowy reaches of Nehwon looking for a new life, while the Gray Mouser, apprentice magician, fled after finding his master dead. These bawdy brothers-in-arms cement a friendship that leads them through the wilds of Nehwon facing thieves, wizards, princesses, and the depths of their desires and fears.

    melody333 says: "Fafhrd/Gray Mouser"
    "Leiber's best is in this one, enjoy!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Swords and Deviltry?

    I first read about Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser in high school. The years have past, yet I was pleased to see the story was as enjoyable as I remembered. A definite addition to your collection ... if you enjoy reading about lovable rouges forging strong friendships while experiencing fascinating adventures. The Snow Women, and the Unholy Grail are fun, but the Hugo and Nebula winning "Ill Met in Lankhmar" is a personal favorite.


    What about Jonathan Davis and Neil Gaiman (introduction) ’s performance did you like?

    As a good narrator should, the performance only added to the story.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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