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Ethosian

You never have to wait for anything if you bring a good book.

Earthquake Zone, California | Member Since 2013

25
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 38 reviews
  • 50 ratings
  • 102 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
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  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: A George Smiley Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By John le Carré
    • Narrated By Michael Jayston
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (489)
    Performance
    (427)
    Story
    (425)

    The man he knew as "Control" is dead, and the young Turks who forced him out now run the Circus. But George Smiley isn't quite ready for retirement-especially when a pretty, would-be defector surfaces with a shocking accusation: a Soviet mole has penetrated the highest level of British Intelligence. Relying only on his wits and a small, loyal cadre, Smiley recognizes the hand of Karla - his Moscow Centre nemesis - and sets a trap to catch the traitor.

    carl801 says: "Le Carre remains the gold standard"
    "Spy story that really holds your interest"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    While its set in the "old days" of the cold war, this Le Carre novel's subtext about the inner motivations of cold warriors, what makes them tick, their doubts, their cynical calculations and justifications, is really refreshing.

    This is not a battle between "good" and "evil" as we see so often from the jingoistic media these days, but a battle between flawed but determined opponents playing out a convoluted struggle for power and control.

    I enjoyed it very much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Red Rising

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Pierce Brown
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (947)
    Performance
    (878)
    Story
    (886)

    Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations. Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children. But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet.

    Charles says: "It Got Better and Left Me Wanting More."
    "Unrealized potential left me disappointed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The unsatisfying ending seems to scream SEQUEL in big bold letters and I wonder if the plodding pace and overstuffed details that are unevenly distributed in the book are a means to bulk up this offering for those of us who judge a book by it's size.

    Brown weaves in a well-spun adventure when the student houses battle each other for dominance, but the story seems to borrow heavily from more successful endeavors such as "Ender's Game," the "Hunger Games" and even the Harry Potter series. It's almost as if he's trying to write specifically to fit into a new genre called "children coming of age in a future dystopia."

    The narrator does a fairly good job other than a kind of plodding pace that to be fair might be the narration rather than the narrator.

    I found the amount of harbored long term rage, both from the hero and from his enemies, more than a little is unbelievable. I was also unconvinced by the miraculous transition of the hero from slave to superman. How does someone go from pure ignorance to top of class on sheer will power alone, especially if any speed-reading technology is also available to the upper class folks he is competing with? How does futuristic cosmetic surgery make a working class boy into an elite warrior in a way that the elites who own planets could not afford to do for themselves?

    This book pretends to champion democratic and meritocratic values, but I fear it undermines this goal by letting its hero take shortcuts to greatness because he was born to be better than others.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Kill Decision

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2865)
    Performance
    (2560)
    Story
    (2569)

    Linda McKinney is a myrmecologist, a scientist who studies the social structure of ants. Her academic career has left her entirely unprepared for the day her sophisticated research is conscripted by unknown forces to help run an unmanned - and thanks to her research, automated - drone army. Odin is the secretive Special Ops soldier with a unique insight into the faceless enemy who has begun to attack the American homeland with drones programmed to seek, identify, and execute targets.

    Madeleine says: "What's that droning sound?"
    "Another excellent high tech adventure from Suarez"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A great story about a small elite special forces strike group that takes on the well connected and well financed forces of high tech evil.

    What I enjoy most about this and other Suarez books is this author's extremely cynical view of the people manipulating power behind the scenes in America, and how advances in technology could give unscrupulous elites the means to eliminate American democracy. It really makes you look at current events in a whole new light.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Martian

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Andy Weir
    • Narrated By R. C. Bray
    Overall
    (8519)
    Performance
    (8106)
    Story
    (8121)

    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"

    Brian says: "Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped"
    "Not really my cup of tea"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The bad - like an offshoot from a NASA survival class, this story digs into a lot of minutiae about jury rigging life support systems that seemingly only an engineer could want to hear. It got pretty tedious and I'm an engineer.

    The good - engineering humor gave me belly laughs several times. I loved the camaraderie of the astronauts and the whole world uniting in support of the astronaut stranded on Mars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ender's Game: Special 20th Anniversary Edition

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Harlan Ellison, Gabrielle de Cuir
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (22657)
    Performance
    (14031)
    Story
    (14177)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: It’s easy to say that when it comes to sci-fi you either love it or you hate it. But with Ender’s Game, it seems to be you either love it or you love it.... The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Enter Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, the result of decades of genetic experimentation.

    Kapila says: "6 titles in the series so far"
    "Slow start, but engaging genius boy general fable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The early part of the book gets bogged down (lethargic narration by the woman who plays Ender's sister accentuates this) but the story picks up once Ender gets to the military training school.

    I think one of the reasons I enjoyed this book is because it highlights the duality of human nature – the smart sensitive kid who is mainly victorious over those who try to bully him, and who excels at the battle tactics and military strategy in the training games.

    Ender isn't quite as successful at outsmarting the adults who manipulate him into becoming their tool, but therein lies the tale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Speaker for the Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By David Birney, Stefan Rudnicki
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8285)
    Performance
    (4742)
    Story
    (4798)

    In the aftermath of his terrible war, Ender Wiggin disappeared, and a powerful voice arose: the Speaker for the Dead, who told the true story of the Bugger War. Now, long years later, a second alien race has been discovered by Portuguese colonists on the planet Lusitania. But again the aliens' ways are strange and frightening...again, humans die. And it is only the Speaker for the Dead, who is also Ender Wiggin the Xenocide, who has the courage to confront the mystery...and the truth.

    Joe says: "The Enderverse"
    "Very slow start, but it does get better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First of all one of the women narrators (the one who does the voice of Ender's sister) is so laid back in her delivery that it really drags the story down in the early part of the book.

    Secondly, the book's first chapters could be drastically cut without losing anything critical to the story, but the majority of the story is more engaging as it goes along. All things considered, I did not find this story as satisfying or interesting as Ender's Game.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Influx

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2708)
    Performance
    (2493)
    Story
    (2498)

    Particle physicist Jon Grady is ecstatic when his team achieves what they've been working toward for years: A device that can reflect gravity. Their research will revolutionize the field of physics - the crowning achievement of a career. Grady expects widespread acclaim for his entire team. The Nobel Prize. Instead, his lab is locked down by a shadowy organization whose mission is to prevent at all costs the social upheaval sudden technological advances bring.

    Craig says: "Solid to Silly to Inane"
    "Enjoyable adventure fighting unchecked govt power"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's hard to write my opinion of this book without revealing more than I should, so be warned.

    I very much enjoyed the major plot elements:

    - the most horrible torture scenario ever written, where an implacable computer with infinite time pries out your secrets by reading your mind and zaps away your favorite memories as punishment for non-cooperation.

    - a convincingly venal government agency gone rogue, developing incredible advanced technology not for America, but for its own ends, until it becomes so powerful that civilian government and armed troops are powerless against it.

    The parts I am less enamored of were the overly abundant, occasionally swashbuckling but unconvincingly fortunate outcomes.

    Still it is an interesting book that makes you wonder about whether there are real rogue agencies within the government with so much power that the government has to carefully pretend they don't exist.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Monster Hunter Nemesis

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Larry Correia
    • Narrated By Oliver Wyman
    Overall
    (1992)
    Performance
    (1874)
    Story
    (1880)

    Agent Franks of the U.S. Monster Control Bureau is a man of many parts - parts from other people, that is. Franks is nearly seven feet tall and all muscle. He's nearly indestructible. Plus he’s animated by a powerful alchemical substance and inhabited by a super-intelligent spirit more ancient than humanity itself. Good thing he’s on our side. More or less.

    Bruce Selzler says: "Another Winner"
    "Strikes me as drivel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Boring beyond belief.

    I don't understand all the positive reviews - you read them and think this story might be worth while, but I could only handle about 37 minutes before deciding I want my money back.

    This is another one of those pulp sci-fi books whose only creativity seems to be in inventing creatures rather than in telling a good story. If you enjoy casual dismemberment after casual dismemberment and hearing about endless variations on daemons, leviathans, and ectoplasm creatures, etc., then this book might be for you.

    I do hate to be harsh, but this really reminds me of the simplistic stories my son used to write when he was in middle school.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Freedom (TM)

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5206)
    Performance
    (3170)
    Story
    (3187)

    In a world of conflicted loyalties, rapidly diminishing human power, and the possibility that anyone can be a spy, what's at stake is nothing less than human freedom's last hope to survive the technology revolution.

    James says: "wow - a must read"
    "Thought-provoking & Engrossing, Superb Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Continuing where DAEMON left off, this book really succeeds on several levels.

    It's full of action and keeps you on the edge of your seat with anticipation.

    It offers a critique of modern civilization where greedy elites manipulate and control the majority and treat them like cattle.

    It posits a popular internet revolution that creates the seeds for a more democratic, more ecological, and more just world, but it adds this element without beating you over the head with a message.

    This isn't just science fiction, it is the type of science fiction that is grounded in a thorough understanding of the way the world works and then builds an innovative antithesis that makes you ask yourself critical questions about how our world could be improved, and Daniel Suarez does all this in a fun, action-packed novel that you almost can't put down.

    Production values on this audiobook are top drawer. You could easily distinguish who was saying what and even minor characters were fully differentiated (accents, regional speech patterns, etc). Really superb narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Daemon

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7222)
    Performance
    (4241)
    Story
    (4272)

    Thousands of autonomous computer programs, or daemons, make our networked world possible, running constantly in the background of our lives, trafficking e-mail, transferring money, and monitoring power grids. For the most part, daemons are benign, but the same can't always be said for the people who design them.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Really Fast Paced Sci Fi!"
    "Excellent story and well read - engrossing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This one really makes you think.

    Evil genius internet game-maker creates an AI (Artificial Intelligence) version of himself that takes over the internet. The daemon immediately proves to be a ruthless, remorseless mass murderer.

    It harnesses the energies of really evil people and gives them god-like power to destroy the daemon's enemies, enslaving people and major corporations. Then in an apparent contradiction the daemon almost seems like a benevolent dictator (as long as you do what he says).

    The best, brightest, and bravest humans fight to defeat the daemon. While government action is hobbled by pusillanimous bureaucrats, dedicated public servants are determined to fight to the end.

    Overall, it's a really fun and frightening story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Guild of the Cowry Catchers: A Story of Pirates and Panamindorah, Complete 5-Book Series

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Abigail Hilton
    • Narrated By Abigail Hilton, Full Cast
    Overall
    (37)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (36)

    Those with paws eat those with hooves. This is what the wyvern gods of Wefrivain teach. The fauns of the islands are the slaves and food animals of their paw-footed counterparts, and the wyverns maintain the hierarchy. In return, wyverns are fed and worshiped. These days, however, faun pirates are spreading new ideas. Their charismatic leader, Gwain, has taught them to kill wyverns, and they are effectively killing off Temple Police. Gwain's pirates are starting to worry Morchella, the Priestess of the wyvern cult.

    Michael says: "Buy this right now."
    "Not super bad, but definitely not a 5"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story failed to pull me in. I gave it the old college try, but only made it about 1/3 of the way through and had to pull the plug.

    Creating a lot of creatures is not the same as creating an interesting story. Produced, directed and narrated by the author - I wonder if it would have benefited from sharing a little more creative control.

    Hilton did a pretty good job as the narrator, but some of the other characters seemed lifeless and amateurish.

    I will be getting a refund on this one.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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