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Adam

LOUISVILLE, KY, United States | Member Since 2006

10
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 66 ratings
  • 394 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2014
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  • Spandau Phoenix

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Greg Iles
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    Overall
    (448)
    Performance
    (271)
    Story
    (268)

    The Spandau Diary -- what was in it? Why did the secret intelligence agencies of every major power want it? Why was a brave and beautiful woman kidnapped to get it? Why did a chain of deception and violent death lash out across the globe, from survivors of the Nazi past to warriors in this new conflict about to explode? Why did the world's entire history of World War II have to be rewritten as the future hung over a nightmare abyss?

    Corinne says: "Excellent and intense"
    "Melodramatic protagonist distracts"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I got this book right after stumbling across Black Cross which I very much enjoyed. This story actually is very solid and has a lot of good characters throughout. The reason I am writing this is to issue a warning.

    The main protagonist is just so melodramatic. Its weird to say because I get that he is being placed under extreme stress, but somehow I just don't buy into it. Maybe I don't get the drama so his reaction seems very excessive and unusual and that is the problem. Maybe he really is acting like a whiny little brat for most of the book. Either way, I really was put off by the seeming over reaction and lack of any kind of human thought he demonstrated. He just keeps shouting, screaming and crying while everyone else tells him to "get a hold of himself". I believe this is his entire role in the story, it creates fluff not drama.

    Other then that the other characters are solid, the performance is wonderful and the plot is interesting. I'm only giving such a poor review because he is presented as the main protagonist. If he was just a secondary character I would be fine with it as a sideshow.

    If you find hysterical main characters annoying you may want to skip this one.
    (That is hysterical as in the definition prone to having hysterics. He is not in any way funny.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dark Eden: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Chris Beckett
    • Narrated By Matthew Frow, Jayne Entwistle, Ione Butler, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (255)
    Performance
    (235)
    Story
    (232)

    On the alien, sunless planet they call Eden, the 532 members of the Family shelter beneath the light and warmth of the Forest's lantern trees. Beyond the Forest lie the mountains of the Snowy Dark and a cold so bitter and a night so profound that no man has ever crossed it. The Oldest among the Family recount legends of a world where light came from the sky, where men and women made boats that could cross the stars. These ships brought us here, the Oldest say - and the Family must only wait for the travelers to return.

    Hollymobu says: "Hope to see a sequel soon"
    "An unfortunate and painful listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the story of inbreed survivors of a long lost space expedition. Either it is far too cleaver and everything feels a bit on the special spectrum because all the characters are 5th generation inbreeds, or its actually as dumb as it sounds. I still can't tell.

    The main protagonist is static as can be. Arrogant, selfish and self-rightist, heart of stone and dispassionate. He fails to connect in any way as very human in my opinion. There is no interesting change or challenge to him because he enters the book as a hard ass, and continues through the whole book the same way. It could have been interesting if he was really weak at any point in the story.

    The style is just down right bothersome. Want to make a word sound important? Say it again. And again. This is down right over used. There is lots of use of noises not described as normally expected, but actually spelled out (I am assuming because the narrators feel the need to try and reproduce them). Expletives are weird, and mostly about genitals. Speaking of, dirty, passionless sex fills this book which is even weirder because every character is related.

    The narration is again, either too cleaver, or just dumb. A large cast doesn't bring any real depth to the experience. The accents are thick and sometimes downright laughable. Also, if you hail from the colonies you'll likely be wondering about the following words: Lantern, Family, and Valley. Is that really how it is pronounced? Why does it sound so weird? The sounds are all there, but good lord, why does this grate on my ears?
    The worst part of these particular 3 words is that they make up maybe 5% of the book. I wish I was kidding, but it could actually be true.

    In the end, its a concept play more then a story. It makes me think of a twist on Lord of the Flies by William Golding. If you liked that book I think you will really like this one. But if that one bothered the heck out of you like it did me, then maybe this one isn't worth the credit.

    7 of 17 people found this review helpful
  • 1Q84

    • UNABRIDGED (46 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Haruki Murakami, Jay Rubin (translator), Philip Gabriel (translator)
    • Narrated By Allison Hiroto, Marc Vietor, Mark Boyett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4154)
    Performance
    (3626)
    Story
    (3592)

    The year is 1984 and the city is Tokyo.

    A young woman named Aomame follows a taxi driver's enigmatic suggestion and begins to notice puzzling discrepancies in the world around her. She has entered, she realizes, a parallel existence, which she calls 1Q84 - "Q" is for "question mark". A world that bears a question....

    Dr. says: "Slow, Strange, and (ultimately) Satisfying"
    "Slow, Slutty, Serious, Strange"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Let me start off by saying, I like long books. If a book isn't as heavy as a brick, I struggle to get behind a story. And yet 1Q84 may be one of the slowest long books I've ever imagined.

    Details I love, but this book took it to a level that was almost unbearable. I really feel it lost a lot in translation because so many passages (entire chapters sometimes) are just mindless fluff. I kept thinking over and over again, "I just don't care, this just doesn't matter".

    Every time I thought the story would advance it would either be a really clinical and awkward sex scene for no reason. I don't mind smut one bit, but this book is just downright gratuitous with it. It somehow lacks completely in passion. Sex is a mechanical distraction between strangers in every case. 100% physical and downright boring by the descriptions. Its like sitting through a sexual education class.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Feast of Souls: Magister Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By C. S. Friedman
    • Narrated By Elisabeth Rodgers
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (422)
    Performance
    (387)
    Story
    (386)

    C.S. Friedman, acclaimed author of The Coldfire Trilogy, returns to the epic style which has made her one of the most popular fantasy writers in the genre. In this first book of the trilogy, Friedman introduces listeners to a world of high fantasy, replete with vampire-like magical powers, erotic interludes, treachery, war, sorcery, and a draconic creature of horrific power and evil that will have listeners eagerly awaiting the next novel in the series.

    Stefan says: "The Price of Power - Would You Pay It??"
    "Interesting, enjoyable, somehow off."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I did enjoy this book, but I struggle to say good things about it. The characters aren't exactly flat, but their not exactly very dynamic. The story isn't predictable, but it doesn't feel like it gives you anything unexpected. The ending is a bit of a let down I thought. Given that this is part one of a trilogy I guess that is expected.

    What I am trying to say I was left with mixed feelings and I'm really not sure if I will go on to the next book or not. This series is worth a try, but it wouldn't be my first choice.

    As a side note, somehow the strongest thing that sticks out in my mind about this book was the gratuitous use of the word "Slowly" and "Noooooooo!". If such things bother you I'd pass on this one. I guess that being my biggest impression proves about 3 stars is appropriate.

    The narration was a plus, I thought that it was handled very well. So there is always that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • One Second After

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By William R. Forstchen
    • Narrated By Joe Barrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5364)
    Performance
    (3355)
    Story
    (3384)

    Already cited on the floor of Congress and discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a book all Americans should read, One Second After is the story of a war scenario that could become all too terrifyingly real. Based upon a real weapon - the Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) - which may already be in the hands of our enemies, it is a truly realistic look at the awesome power of a weapon that can destroy the entire United States.

    Sara says: "A terrifying story"
    "Public Service Announcement in Novel Form"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book had so much potential, but I found it falling flat on its face again and again. The problem is, it feels more like a PSA then a story. In the forward they even come right out and say that was one of the main reasons this book was written. If you imagine everything your weirdest friend said about the Y2K bug, that is exactly what this book is. Doom and gloom. The main protagonist is just there to provide historical context to what is going on. The story doesn't so much arch as it does slowly descend into madness.

    If you have ever read any other end of the world type books you will find this one lacking. I kept being reminded of The Stand by Steven King, and I think its a good book to contrast this one with. In The Stand, the characters drive the book, they are varied, interesting, sometimes crazy, sometimes logical, emotional, likable. That is what makes that book good. In One Second After there is really only one character in one location who is okay, but not very dynamic. It is such a missed opportunity to show what was really going on. The main character thinks (guesses) what is happening around the country, but we never get a glimpse outside of the little world the protagonist finds himself trying to create and protect. It quickly gets boring. People die every few minutes that we have no emotional connection to so it looses all impact. Every big plot point is telegraphed so far in advanced you are never surprised when something happens.

    Joe Barrett does do a good job at narration and its not all together a waste of a credit. There are parts that are enjoyable and it is fun to play the "what if" game along with the book trying to think of what you would do, how you would survive. Just don't expect the kind of magic you would normally get from a character driven novel.

    Also, if you really want to have fun with this book, I thought of a great drinking game for this book. Every time someone says "I can't believe its come to this", take a drink. Drink twice if you get the added bonus of "and is just X days/weeks." The bottle will be empty before chapter 4.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Rumo & His Miraculous Adventures: A Novel in Two Books

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Walter Moers
    • Narrated By Bronson Pinchot
    Overall
    (62)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (52)

    Set in the land of Zamonia, this exuberant, highly original fantasy from Walter Moers features an unlikely hero. Rumo is a little Wolperting—a domesticated creature somewhere between a deer and a dog—who will one day become the greatest hero in the history of Zamonia. Armed with Dandelion, his talking sword, he fights his way through the Overworld and the Netherworld.

    Mackenzie says: "Miraculous Indeed"
    "I just couldn't make it."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thought my headphones were trying to kill me. The is something so very wrong about parts of the narration in this book. Its high pitched, computer enhanced, pure annoyance. They actually went out of their way to make the voice of Daisy painful, actually painful, physically painful. Its far, far too loud, far to squeaky and I just couldn't take it anymore.

    He/she/it doesnt appear until a ways into the book, and honestly I really enjoyed the over the top style of the rest of the narration/effects leading up to it. But after two thirds of the way in, I just couldn't keep going. It made me hate every second of it.

    Do I blame the narrator? No. The author? Of course not. I blame the production engineer. What ever effects he put on here just crossed a line when it came to Daisy. I really think the problem is he may be deaf. I don't blame the man, just he really needs a new line of work.

    tl;dr: Refund.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Spin

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Robert Charles Wilson
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    Overall
    (3314)
    Performance
    (1098)
    Story
    (1101)

    One night when he was 10, Tyler stood in his backyard and watched the stars go out. They flared into brilliance, then disappeared, replaced by an empty black barrier. He and his best friends, Jason and Diane Lawton, had seen what became known as the Big Blackout. It would shape their lives.

    Robert says: "A Classic"
    "The real question is: What are you looking for?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Here is my question to you, then I will review this book for each answer:

    What is most important for you in a book? Is character king? Or is the world, the ideas what hold sway in your heart?

    For Character driven people:

    Clearly I believe in characters being paramount, so maybe this is a little bias. But I can only rate by what I feel is true.
    This book falls flat on its face. Just 100% misses. Each character falls into cliche pitfalls, tends towards predictable extremes. The narrative just fails to connect with you. There are a lot of back and forth in time, telling the story from different places in time via journals and the active tense, which makes the characters more confusing. They are like different people "then" and "now" so it makes for odd moments. Put simply, this book is an amazing idea with a book and some people written around it. Don't be fooled by all the critical accolades this book has. As far as I can tell, professional critics are mainly idea driven people and never seem to notice the lackluster characters. So all that said...

    For Idea driven people:

    This book is fantastic. The ideas put forth here are really mind shaking. The span of this book is huge, and has a scope that rocks the world down to its core. All hard science, all very realistically imagined. Its an interesting read start to finish.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • WWW: Wake

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Robert J. Sawyer
    • Narrated By Jessica Almasy, Jennifer Van Dyck, A. C. Fellner, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1630)
    Performance
    (893)
    Story
    (897)

    Caitlin Decter is young, pretty, feisty, a genius at math - and blind. Still, she can surf the net with the best of them, following its complex paths clearly in her mind. But Caitlin's brain long ago co-opted her primary visual cortex to help her navigate online. So when she receives an implant to restore her sight, instead of seeing reality, the landscape of the World Wide Web explodes into her consciousness, spreading out all around her in a riot of colors and shapes.

    'Nathan says: "Fantastic."
    "Very interesting, but..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed the glimpse into the world of modern technology with out eyes. Some fun and new ideas are played around in this book. But... I think I could best say it comes off a bit preachy. Maybe the ending is overdone. I don't know how else to describe it.

    1 of 1 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
    (10988)
    Performance
    (8422)
    Story
    (8472)

    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!"
    "Amazing, amazing. Would beg for book 2."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Honestly, some of the best story, characters and places I've ran across. Its just great. The worst part about The Way of Kings: Book 2 wont be out for a few years.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Well of Ascension: Mistborn, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6918)
    Performance
    (4860)
    Story
    (4898)

    The impossible has been accomplished. The Lord Ruler - the man who claimed to be god incarnate and brutally ruled the world for a thousand years - has been vanquished. But Kelsier, the hero who masterminded that triumph, is dead too, and now the awesome task of building a new world has been left to his young protégé, Vin, the former street urchin who is now the most powerful Mistborn in the land, and to the idealistic young nobleman she loves.

    Robert says: "It keeps getting even better"
    "Nothing like the first book."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was expecting the Well of Ascension to be more like more like the first book. It was very disappointing. The trouble is, I can't tell you why if you haven't read the first in the series. Its a big spoiler, but just imagine for a moment if you have finished book one, what would be missing. Yes, what every your thinking, yes.
    Also, you have to work through about 3 quarters of the book before you get to something that doesn't remind you of a bad tweenager throwing a pity tantrum. Long sections of the story are just about characters who need to "find them selves" then "decide if I'm good enough" and "look for a reason to go on". By the end you just want to shake every last character and tell them to stop moping and grow a pair.
    The last 6 hours start to feel more like book one, things finally start moving. Does move the narrative to and through interesting places, but the characters complain every step of the way. The new insights into the world is very intriguing, and some of the scenes are very intense. I just couldn't get over the annoying, annoying characters.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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