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Chris

Leesburg, VA, USA

105
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 11 reviews
  • 749 ratings
  • 1100 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
4

  • The War with the Mein: Book One of the Acacia Trilogy

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By David Anthony Durham
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (802)
    Performance
    (369)
    Story
    (375)

    A deadly assassin sent from a race called the Mein, exiled long ago to an ice-locked stronghold in the frozen north, strikes at Leodan Akaran, ruler of the Known World, while the Mein also unleash surprise attacks across the empire. On his deathbed, Leodan puts into play a plan to allow his children to escape, each to his separate destiny. And so his children begin a quest to avenge their father's death and restore the Acacian empire, this time on the basis of universal freedom.

    Glen says: "Thumbs up!"
    "Much Fun"
    Overall

    The first place I look for something to listen to is in Audible's fantasy section. The longer the book the better I like it, with one condition. If the words bosom or cleavage appear say, 1000 times or more, tedium sets in. Listening to Acacia I did not hear either of these words. Not once in the 29 hours and 29 seconds required to complete the book. In and of itself, this makes the book worth purchasing but Mr. Durham has taken his listeners far past other authors who's writing I can only judge as sophomoric in comparison.

    At first, I was concerned that the book was going to be difficult to finish. Looking back the reason was simple. It is unlike any of the epic tales I have yet read. It is difficult to articulate how it is different but if I must put it in one word, it is quality. Like most books in the genera I am familiar with, Acacia seems to jump from character to character telling each of their stories. I have always found this frustrating, a bit like having to wait till after the break to see if a contestant is smarter than a fifth grader. Acacia is different. Yes I felt frustrated when a story was suddenly stopped to return to a different character. What I found refreshing was that within no more that three sentences, my frustration disappeared and I was eager to continue listening.

    I must congratulate Mr. Durham. This book is in a league of it's own. Much fun. Should you read this sir, I have one other comment for you. Get back to your computer and continue working on book two. It can not arrive too soon.

    38 of 41 people found this review helpful
  • The Sword of the Lady: A Novel of the Change

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By S. M. Stirling
    • Narrated By Todd McLaren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (451)
    Performance
    (220)
    Story
    (223)

    Rudi Mackenzie has journeyed far across the land that was once the United States of America, hoping to find the source of the world-altering event that has come to be known as the Change. His final destination is Nantucket, an island overrun with forest, inhabited by a mere two hundred people who claim to have been transported there from out of time.

    Chris says: "It just gets better and better."
    "It just gets better and better."
    Overall

    Mr. Sterling's mind continues to run in Turbo Mode. In this volume, some issues are resolved only to be replaced by deeper mysteries. A number of new characters are introduced, some good, some bad, most interesting. Rudy continues to learn and move toward becoming the larger than life hero he must. In the end, we must await another book.

    The only criticism I have is the inordinate amount of time taken to describe the many feasts that Rudy and his compatriots must endure on their travels. I can only suspect that Mr. Sterling must write on an empty stomach. I nearly went so far as to give the book only 4 stars for this reason but it is just to darn good everywhere else.

    I strongly suggest that if you have not read the previous books in this series that you start with the first and work your way to the last. Otherwise much of the context will be confusing. Fortunately all the previous books are also very good.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Shadow of Saganami

    • UNABRIDGED (30 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By David Weber
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder
    Overall
    (338)
    Performance
    (226)
    Story
    (226)

    The Star Kingdom has a new generation of officers! And this elite group hand-picked and trained by Honor Harrington herself is going to be needed immediately, as their first assignment turns out to be more dangerous than anyone expected. What was supposed to be a quiet outpost, far from the blazing conflict between the Star Kingdom of Manticore and the People's Republic of Haven has actually been targeted by an unholy alliance between the slaveholders of Manpower.

    Jean says: "The Shadow of Saganami"
    "Mostly Enjoyable"
    Overall

    So far two reviews precede this one. Interestingly, I must agree with both. I strongly advise the reader who got through only the first 45 minutes of the book to go back to where they stopped and restart listening. My experience was exactly the same and I nearly stopped listening at the same point. When the first woman's voice I heard sounded like Mini Mouse it was fingernails on a blackboard. When I realized that women played significant roles in the book, and that each was likely to sound like a cousin to Mini, I really had to work to keep going. Thankfully, the thought of wasting a credit kept me struggling and I did in fact finish the book.

    I don't know what happened but about an hour into my listen, the female voices became less of an issue and the writing took over. I am glad it did. In the end, I found the book to be one of the better Audible purchases I have made. I have not listened to any of the "Honor Harrington" series but I will now. I did read the "March" series and thoroughly enjoyed it. I cannot say this book is better but it is most certainly on the same plane. Now, I must go back and select my next listen. Whichever I choose, I hope it can match up in terms of enjoyment and that perhaps Micky will have called Mini home.

    Suggestions will be appreciated.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • On a Pale Horse: Incarnations of Immortality, Book One

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Piers Anthony
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    Overall
    (960)
    Performance
    (447)
    Story
    (465)

    In this, the first novel of the best-selling Incarnations of Immortality series, Piers Anthony combines a deeply moving examination of the meaning of life and death with a gripping story of romance and loyalty, all set in a world of magic and technical wizardry.

    Jake says: "Full Series Review: 5 Stars"
    "An Enjoyable Mix"
    Overall

    I purchased this book during the Discover a New Series sale. It was worth every penny of the $4.95 I paid.
    I have read many unflattering reviews about the narrator, George Guidall. I was introduced to him in Stephen King's "Dark Tower" series. Since then I have listened to a number of other books he has narrated and I think I have discovered that to bring his reading to life, Mr. Guidall requires a certain kind of book. In my opinion "On a Pale Horse" is perfect for him.
    The story is strange but as I began to understand it, I became enthralled. This is the first Piers Anthony book I have listened to and I am going to listen to the second book in the series within a week or two. I don't think I am divulging to much to tell you the book is about the Grim Reaper. I have listened to all the Terry Pratchett books and one of my favorite characters is Death. By reading this book it seems I have a much better understanding of Death and what motivates him. That's not to say that this is a rip-off of Pratchett, instead by treating "Reaper Man" in a somewhat more serious way, the juxtaposition was very enjoyable for me.
    Reviewing what I have just written causes me to assume that most anyone reading this review is going to respond with WHAT? Unless perhaps you are a Terry Pratchett fan.
    I hope that if you take the plunge you enjoy the book as much as I did.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • The Scourge of God: A Novel of the Change

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By S. M. Stirling
    • Narrated By Todd McLaren
    Overall
    (436)
    Performance
    (219)
    Story
    (222)

    Rudi MacKenzie continues his trek across the land that was once the United States of America. His destination: Nantucket, where he hopes to learn the truth behind the Change that rendered technology across the globe inoperable.

    Chris says: "Well Done!"
    "Well Done!"
    Overall

    I just finished listening to this book today. For the past month or so I have been listening to the series and, as usual, was disappointed to reach the end. The characters are easy to like or hate. There is plenty of action in all the books and this is no exception. I recommend that you not read the books out of sequence.
    I don't want to write more because I might give hints about the plot and how it develops. So I will end by saying If you enjoy RR Martin's and Robert Jordan's books you cannot go wrong with this series.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Jihad: Political Thrillers Series #1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Joel C. Rosenberg
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (627)
    Performance
    (310)
    Story
    (303)

    Jon Bennett is a top Wall Street strategist turned senior White House advisor. But nothing has prepared him for the terror that he will face. Saddam Hussein dispatches his top hit men to assassinate the President of the United States. Iraqi terrorists spread carnage throughout London, Paris, and Riyadh...and the Butcher of Baghdad has a nuclear ace in his hand that he has not yet played.

    Joseph says: "Great book ... worth the listening to"
    "The Best"
    Overall

    Dick Hill is amazing! It seems to me that he could read a grocery list and make it exciting.
    I got through "The Last Jihad" in a couple of days. The second half of the book I listened to without interruption. I simply could not turn it off. If you are interested in a political/military story that is heavily slanted toward the US, you will not be disappointed.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Wizard's First Rule: Sword of Truth, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Terry Goodkind
    • Narrated By Jim Bond
    Overall
    (512)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (109)

    In the aftermath of the brutal murder of his father, a mysterious woman, Kahlan Amnell, appears in Richard Cypher's forest sanctuary seeking help...and more. His world, his very beliefs, are shattered when ancient debts come due with thundering violence.

    In their darkest hour, hunted relentlessly, tormented by treachery and loss, Kahlan calls upon Richard to reach beyond his sword - to invoke within himself something more noble. Neither knows that the rules of battle have just changed...or that their time has run out.

    A User says: "Horrible Narrator"
    "UGG"
    Overall

    This is the WORST book I have downloaded from Audible. That is the WORST in 641 downloads. I found the narrator patronizing in the extreme. It seemed he was reading the book as he would to a three year old. But when it got to a half hour of his description of a pedophile, the villain I think, I got sick. The good guys gain their power by calling on magic when they are in a rage. The path to rage, think of the people they most hate. I have stopped listening just after getting into part 2 of the nearly 33 hour dialog.
    I am FAR from a prude. But once a character spends 30 minutes trying to subdue a child who is buried to his neck in sand, enough is enough. Destroy these electrons.

    16 of 20 people found this review helpful
  • April 1865: The Month That Saved America [Portable Professor]

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Jay Winik
    • Narrated By Jay Winik
    Overall
    (87)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (11)

    In April 1865, after nearly five years of bitter civil war, Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House. Soon after, Richmond lay in ruins, Lincoln had been assassinated, and the terrible war, which had cost some 600,000 American lives, was not yet over. Many of the Confederate commanders still in the field that fateful April were prepared to fight a guerrilla war that might have prolonged the conflict indefinitely.

    Sean says: "Interesting material but not the greatest lecturer"
    "Wasted Electrons"
    Overall

    This book sits in my iTunes library perhaps 30% listened to. I will go no further. After listening to Shelby Foote's books, this one I found completely uninteresting. It was undoubtably a lecture. I realized that is how the book is advertised, but this is a LECTURE. Could not listen after an hour or so. I do think I may go back to Mr. Foote though.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Road

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Cormac McCarthy
    • Narrated By Tom Stechschulte
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5379)
    Performance
    (2027)
    Story
    (2055)

    America is a barren landscape of smoldering ashes, devoid of life except for those people still struggling to scratch out some type of existence. Amidst this destruction, a father and his young son walk, always toward the coast, but with no real understanding that circumstances will improve once they arrive. Still, they persevere, and their relationship comes to represent goodness in a world of utter devastation.

    Darwin8u says: "My wife says he's that Cold Desert Writer I love."
    "Too Much"
    Overall

    I agree with other reviewers that this book is well written and I was mesmerized. I think I wish I had not read it.
    Too much horror
    Too much pain
    Too much truth
    Whew.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Hearts in Atlantis

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Stephen King
    • Narrated By Stephen King, William Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (926)
    Performance
    (394)
    Story
    (396)

    All the stories in this collection from Stephen King are related to the Vietnam War. King fans will recognize echoes of The Dark Tower series in the collection's first story, "Low Men in Yellow Coats." As the characters develop over the next four stories, King's version of the Vietnam War becomes one of his most frightening tales ever.

    Steve says: "Touching, Funny - Amazingly well written and read."
    "For What It's Worth"
    Overall

    Of the 500+ books I have purchased from Audible, William Hurt is the BEST narrator I have heard to date. Completely unexpected but there it is.

    My awe of Stephen King's genius expands with each of his books I read or listen to. If you have enjoyed his work in the past, you will enjoy this book. It both helps to answer matters raised in previous books and, it is fun to read.

    By the way Mr. King, when in the hell are you going to make "The Stand" available on Audible. In my opinion it is one of your top two or three novels. Perhaps Mr. Hurt might take a stab at it. In any event, please hurry.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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