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Ione

Lebanon, TN, United States | Member Since 2005

76
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 12 reviews
  • 205 ratings
  • 1 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
4

  • Elantris

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Jack Garrett
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4052)
    Performance
    (2561)
    Story
    (2603)

    Legendary science fiction author Orson Scott Card calls Brandon Sanderson a writer to watch, and Publishers Weekly says his debut is "outstanding." Once the godlike rulers of the capital of Arelon, the inhabitans of Elantris have been imprisoned within themselves, unable to die after the city's magic failed years ago. But when a new prince falls victim to the curse, he refuses to accept his fate.

    Lore says: "What if your body could never heal?"
    "Not perfect, but very enjoyable"
    Overall

    I only listened to this book in order to get a feel for the author. Since he wrote the end of the "Wheel of Time" series, I wanted to become familiar with him before listening to his take on Robert Jordan's world.

    This book was far from perfect, but I enjoyed listening to it. The premise grabbed me from the start, in a "whatintheheck is he gonna do with all of THIS" kind of way. The characters were engaging, and the predicaments were engrossing. Yes, too many crises were survived only through luck and Deus ex machina sorts of surprises.... but there's a lot to enjoy here.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Last Argument of Kings: The First Law: Book Three

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Joe Abercrombie
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    Overall
    (2751)
    Performance
    (1987)
    Story
    (1998)

    The end is coming. Logen Ninefingers might only have one more fight in him but it’s going to be a big one. Battle rages across the North, the King of the Northmen still stands firm and there’s only one man who can stop him. His oldest friend and his oldest enemy. It’s time for the Bloody-Nine to come home. With too many masters and too little time, Superior Glokta is fighting a different kind of war. A secret struggle in which no-one is safe and no-one can be trusted.

    Lore says: "You have be realistic about these things."
    "Just plain incredible --"
    Overall

    Listen up, people -- this trilogy ain't no fairy tale. Don't be expecting any neat and tidy fairy tale endings.

    I am in awe of this entire trilogy. I don't go looking for blood-and-guts books, but I will definitely be reading any Abercrombie stories I can lay hands on. The end is upsetting, annoying, and leaves you dying to know more -- and it's completely consistent in tone and spirit with the rest of the trilogy. Many readers might have been happier with something more conventional, but they are missing the point. These books aren't about neat and tidy characters, nor about neat and tidy lives. These are messy, complex, sometimes tragic stories that don't have those simple endings that we find so reassuring.

    If you're looking for engrossing, exciting, and thoughtful writing, the First Law trilogy is a great way to spend some time. If you want sunshine and rainbows and fuzzy puppies, look somewhere else.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Before They Are Hanged: The First Law: Book Two

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Joe Abercrombie
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    Overall
    (2980)
    Performance
    (2144)
    Story
    (2149)

    Bitter and merciless war is coming to the frozen north. It's bloody and dangerous and the Union army, split by politics and hamstrung by incompetence, is unprepared for the slaughter that's coming. Lacking experience, training, and in some cases even weapons, the army is scarcely equipped to repel Bethod's scouts, let alone his elite forces. In the heat-ravaged south, the Gurkish are massing to assault the city of Dagoska, defended by Inquisitor Glokta.

    David says: "This is heaven"
    "I read the first, then bought them all --"
    Overall

    As soon as I finished the first book in this trilogy, The Blade Itself, I came to Audible and bought all four of the other books that Abercrombie has published to date. Yes, he really is that good a writer.

    There is much more to these books than blood and guts, so don't be turned off by reviews that make it sound as though there's a sword fight on every page. If you like to be immersed in the characters, if you like gritty realistic world-building, if you positively despise Perfect Knight-In-Shining-Armor Heroes, then you'll enjoy these books. Abercrombie and Pacey (the narrator) are a great team, working together to create an engrossing and thoroughly enjoyable listening experience. I'm in the middle of the third book (The Last Argument of Kings) right now, and I'm going to be sorry when I'm through!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By David Wroblewski
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2839)
    Performance
    (750)
    Story
    (753)

    Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents and an unusual breed of dogs on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. But when tragedy strikes the Sawtelle family, Edgar flees to the surrounding wilderness. He comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who follow him.

    Ella says: "Just OK"
    "A love/hate relationship"
    Overall

    I loved this book. I also hated it. The writing style is lyrical, touching, graceful, beautiful, and generally lovely. The characterizations are engrossing and memorable. The plot, on the other hand, really pissed me off. If you've ever read Hamlet, then you know the basic story behind the book. Hamlet, Gertrude, Claudius, the dead King, even Ophelia are all there. Tragedy, human failing, and pointless death abound. I would love to read more by this author, but I'll try to check out the plots first!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Good Omens

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Martin Jarvis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4054)
    Performance
    (2529)
    Story
    (2560)

    The world will end on Saturday. Next Saturday. Just before dinner, according to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch, the world's only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655. The armies of Good and Evil are amassing and everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except that a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture. And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist.

    Lauren says: "Great voice adds to already amazing story"
    "Loved it!"
    Overall

    I just finished this book, and I'm happy to say that I loved every minute of it. I'm a big fan of Neil Gaiman, which was a deciding factor for me to buy this. I like Terry Pratchett as well, but his books are too over-the-top silly for me to really care about. Fortunately, this book creates a perfect balance between the two. It is silly, sweet, thoughtful, engrossing, and touching all at the same time. You couldn't make it much better if you tried. Oh, and the narrator also does a great job of creating the characters. As someone else mentioned in a different review, the narrator really should have left more space between the different sections -- but this is a minor quibble. If you enjoy either of these two authors, you'll love this book!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Cryoburn: A Miles Vorkosigan Adventure

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Grover Gardner
    Overall
    (1220)
    Performance
    (634)
    Story
    (633)

    Kibou-daini is a planet obsessed with cheating death. Barrayaran Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan can hardly disapprove—he’s been cheating death his whole life, on the theory that turnabout is fair play. But when a Kibou-daini cryocorp—an immortal company whose job it is to shepherd its all-too-mortal frozen patrons into an unknown future—attempts to expand its franchise into the Barrayaran Empire, Emperor Gregor dispatches his top troubleshooter, Miles, to check it out

    Kevin says: "Its nice to come Home!"
    "I love Miles!"
    Overall

    I was thrilled when I saw that a new Miles Vorkosigan book was available, and I downloaded it instantly. And the book did not disappoint!

    I gave Cryoburn 4 stars instead of 5 only because the plot is not, to me at least, as engrossing as in some of the other books from the series. But it's still a fun read, and certainly well worth the credit to purchase. For those of you who haven't listened to or read any Miles yet, start with one of the earlier ones -- especially The Vor Game. But for those like me who are already addicts, sit back and enjoy the new installment!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Hero of Ages: Mistborn, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    Overall
    (5902)
    Performance
    (3963)
    Story
    (3997)

    The conclusion of the Mistborn trilogy fulfills all the promise of the first two books. Revelations abound, connections rooted in early chapters of the series click into place, and surprises, as satisfying as they are stunning, blossom like fireworks to dazzle and delight. It all leads up to a finale unmatched for originality and audacity that will leave listeners shaking their heads in wonder, as if awaking from an amazing dream.

    Julio says: "Well concluded!"
    "WOW."
    Overall

    I keep waffling between giving this book 4 stars or 5. If I could give 4 1/2, I would.

    This is a engrossing trilogy which raises fascinating questions about the natures of faith, trust, and belief -- all of which are especially emphasized in this last book. And these isses are explored within a framework of exciting action sequences and characters whom the reader can invest in emotionally. These traits make me lean towards that 5 star rating.

    I lean back towards 4 stars because of things like the voices speaking in characters' minds -- stolen directly from Robert Jordan's books. And also like Jordan's books, those who have "magical" powers often seem to be able to expand their powers whenever it is convenient for them to do so. Sanderson himself admits to being a rabid fan of Jordan, aside from finishing the WOT series -- so these echoes from Jordan aren't surprising, even if they can be annoying at times.

    In other words, this book isn't perfect -- but it's darned good, nonetheless!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Final Empire: Mistborn Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7855)
    Performance
    (5327)
    Story
    (5365)

    For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the "Sliver of Infinity," reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler's most hellish prison.

    Aaron Brown says: "Unique Magic system, good plot twists."
    "Great action fantasy --"
    Overall

    I was very pleased with this book. Although I liked parts of Sanderson's first book, Elantris, that book had a lot of flaws. After reading his first entry in the Wheel of Time series (The Gathering Storm), however, I was more impressed with Sanderson's talent -- and I decided to give his other books a try. I'm happy to say that he doesn't disappoint with The Final Empire.

    The systems of magic/power used in this book seem quite original, even if a tad clunky. And as with Sanderson's other books, the action scenes are gripping. I also loved descriptive details like the ash falls and the brown plants, which bring the depressed dreary atmosphere of that world to life. The author makes it quite clear that he always intended this to be a series rather than a stand-alone book, but fortunately I actually want to know what happens next.

    As for criticisms of the book: I agree with the complaint from other reviewers that the world actually seems quite small in a way. Although we do see some action in places outside of the main city, we seem expected to believe that an entire "Empire" is overthrown by an uprising within one city. Also, there are definite echoes of the Wheel of Time books, which I found a bit irritating at times -- but, considering that Sanderson admits to being a rabid fan of Jordan's books, that is not terribly surprising. And while some listeners may be put off by the narrator's understated style of reading, I find it comfortably familiar from the Jordan books. The recording itself had a serious production flaw, consisting of multiple unexplained pauses throughout the book. Those were quite annoying at times, but had nothing to do with the book itself.

    Overall, this is an exciting and enjoyable listen. I'll be downloading the next volume immediately!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Gathering Storm: Book Twelve of the Wheel of Time

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4864)
    Performance
    (2650)
    Story
    (2667)

    Rand al'Thor, the Dragon Reborn, struggles to unite a fractured network of kingdoms and alliances in preparation for the Last Battle. As he attempts to halt the Seanchan encroachment northward - wishing he could form at least a temporary truce with the invaders - his allies watch in terror the shadow that seems to be growing within the heart of the Dragon Reborn himself.

    D. Ramirez says: "I normally wouldn't, but..."
    "A worthy successor to Jordan"
    Overall

    I have been addicted to this series from the beginning. Sometimes I had to take a break from all the overwhelming detail that Jordan continually lavished on every single scene (do we really need to know the patterns of seed pearls that are sewn into the sleeve of a woman's dress?), but I always came back for the next installment.

    I am happy to say that Sanderson has done a very good job of taking over the reins from Jordan. Sanderson is not as graceful a writer as Jordan....but, on the other hand, he is also not as obsessed with tiny irrelevant details as Jordan was. The pacing of this volume is a big improvement over the last couple of Jordan's books, and it is just as engrossing as any of the other WoT stories. I can't wait for the next one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Calculating God

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Robert J. Sawyer
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis, Robert J. Sawyer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1784)
    Performance
    (1190)
    Story
    (1203)

    In this Hugo-nominated novel, an alien walks into a museum and asks if he can see a paleontologist. But the arachnid ET hasn't come aboard a rowboat with the Pope and Stephen Hawking (although His Holiness does request an audience later). Landing at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, the spacefarer, Hollus, asks to compare notes on mass extinctions with resident dino-scientist Thomas Jericho.

    Ione says: "Interesting book, very enjoyable narration"
    "Interesting book, very enjoyable narration"
    Overall

    This book had a lot of interesting ideas, but I think some reviewers have misrepresented it significantly.

    Firstly -- SPOILER ALERT -- this book does NOT argue against evolution. It doesn't even argue for the existence of an omnipotent or omniscient God. In fact, the aliens specifically believe that "God" is neither all-powerful nor all-knowing. So the book is almost as likely to annoy the religious as the non-religious, assuming that they are paying attention.

    I don't agree with all the arguments in the book, but it does discuss interesting questions. For instance -- if there is a God, what is his/her nature? If God did design the universe, then WHY did he/she do so? Why does God allow evil (disease, death, etc.) to occur? And so on. You don't have to believe the same things as the characters in order to enjoy thinking about the questions.

    IMHO the narration and tone of the book were excellent -- light enough to not be maudlin, serious enough to feel the suffering, humorous enough to avoid taking itself too seriously. The book isn't perfect, but it is quite an enjoyable listen.

    53 of 53 people found this review helpful
  • River God: A Novel of Ancient Egypt

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Wilbur Smith
    • Narrated By Dick Hill
    Overall
    (778)
    Performance
    (337)
    Story
    (342)

    Ancient Egypt. Land of the Pharaohs. A kingdom built on gold. A legend shattered by greed. Now the Valley of Kings lies ravaged by war, drained of its lifeblood, as weak men inherit the cherished crown. On the eve of the festival of Osiris, the loyal subjects of the Pharaoh gather in Thebes to pay tribute to their leader.

    Exploding with all the passion and rage of a bygone time, River God is a masterpiece of historical writing.

    Jillian says: "Highly recommended"
    "I gave up after 8 hours..."
    Overall

    I wanted to like this book. It has rich detail and some exciting action. But the personality of the main character was so irritating -- conceited, self-congratulatory, too-perfect-for-words, and so on -- that after the first 8 hours I just couldn't take it any longer. And I don't think I'll be seeking out other books by this author, either!

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful

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