Interworld is a really fun sci-fi adventure. I read this with one of my sons and while it fits its Juvenile category, we both enjoyed it. It contains a really interesting backdrop of a multidimensional universes where the sliver that contains versions with alternate Earth’s is the focus, the Alternative. It plays out well with interesting, if not deep characters. This book is a lot like a good sci-fi summer film; it’s a great, fun ride with quick moving narrative hitting all the right spots for what it’s trying to do for its target audience (and beyond). No Oscars but a lot of fun.
I switched between the Kindle version of this and the Audible version read by Christopher Evan Welch (I do wish the Audible team would get Whispersync for Voice working on their Windows Phone 8 app). Mr. Welch does a fine job with the character’s voice. I think it was a good choice to have him also read the sequel, The Silver Dream.
Under The Empyrean Sky takes off screamin' - a "race" takes place with the protagonist and his gang against another scavenger team to reach for the (comparatively) big prize. In the midst of the action, Mr. Wendig clearly provides a good picture of the characters and the unique characteristics of this world of flotillas and heartland. These quick "brush-stokes" that provide a hasty sketch of it all do so through the story and action. The middle proved to be a bit more sluggish. while I had to wade through a bit of exposition, overall, Mr. Wendig tells a nice story in a richly detailed world with characters that grow on you.
As I typically do, I went between the Kindle and the Audible version (using that lovely Whispersync for Voice). Nick Podehl is one of the better narrators around. Before this book, I most recently heard him in Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicles series. Mr. Podehl can move from concerned parent to whiny brat in the blink of an eye. He knows how to pace the tale and, no matter which character he voices, his articulation is spot on. Another nice narration under his belt.
For full review: wp.me/p2XCwQ-yd
This is one of those books that I read simply because of the author; reading about a serial killer is not a natural draw. I've heard countless praise regarding Ms. Beukes writing and became more acquainted with her through interviews she given. So I found myself with The Shining Girls; its characters are memorable with a tightly paced story-line, brilliant setting and deftly applied phrasing and dialog. As a writer, Ms. Beukes does not disappoint. Despite this, or rather because of this, it was a difficult book for me to read. I had to take the story in doses. Part of her goal is to show us the ugliness of violence against women; she succeeds. This story is about the strength of a women (Kirby) whom a time-traveling serial killer (Harper) attempts to kill, fails and comes back to finish. Kirby is befriended by Dan, a jaded newspaper man covering sports because he burned out covering the crime scene
As I often do, I went back and forth between the Kindle and the Audible version. It was a well cast with special kudos to Ms. Hvam as Kirby and Mr. Snyder as Dan. I think they handled the drama without over dramatizing and the pacing and hand-offs between dialog went well. If you enjoy audiobooks (and serial killer thrillers) you like this recording.
For full review: wp.me/p2XCwQ-xN
John Scalzi's Agent to the Stars simultaneously pokes some fun at and shows regard for the Hollywood agent system, alien movies and conspiracy theories. OK, I think he just pokes fun at the conspiracy theories; if he holds them in high regard, he does so secretly.
This book is great, light-hearted fun with a bit a thinking thrown in because it is, after, John Scalz.
The audiobook version is narrated by Wil Wheaton (probably best know as Wesley Crusher). Anytime Messrs Wheaton and Scalzi join together on a project, fun will be had. Mr. Wheaton does a great job bringing out the various characters and is particularly good at playing the saucy, somewhat snarky alien Joshua. I believe snarkiness is his forte.
For full review: wp.me/p2XCwQ-wu
I've indulged in the first binge reading since I read Lord of the Rings over a long summer weekend (I think 4-5 days) back in middle school: the Split Worlds Trilogy has me doing some serious binge reading. I started over the Christmas holiday, and finished the series just after the new year begun. So what was it about this series that pulled me in? Well, it's fabulous for reasons I've given for Between Two Thorns and will enumerate here as well. The real push is probably that Ms. Newman can write a serious cliffhanger.
This follow on to Between Two Thorns picks up the narrative pace and continues to weave a marvelous web. I have nothing new to add to my comments from my Between Two Thorns review on the Audible book side other than to say she continues her lovely narration.
For full review: http://wp.me/p2XCwQ-tB
Overall, interesting story with some misses. It had no characters in whom I was invested. There was some interesting characters along the way but only as a point of curiosity not of true interests.
The story was also a bit disjointed; I almost had a sense of going between various set pieces who connection was tenuous.
Finally, while I know why Mr. Jeter has Scape use the language he does, uses the Lord's name in vain was unnecessary and would not have been accepted in Mr. Dower's world. For this reason alone, I cannot recommend this book.
Michael Page did an admirable job narrating
Mr. Underwood's Geekomancy, book 1 in the Ree Reyes urban fantasy series, was a fun romp into Geekoland with some great characters and a good storyline. He takes that a step further with Celebromancy; his writing was good but now it's even better. His dialog is crisper, action more visceral and storyline more cohesive. Mr. Underwood's sophomore novel has taken a good start and improved it significantly. There are a couple of caveats when it comes to the content of Celebromancy: while it's good to see change, we went from Ree having relationships while focused on the many aspects of her life to a focus on Relationship. That shift felt fairly abrupt; the abruptness then took on a feeling of being fairly contrived to make politically correct points. I also thought that the end had a bit of over-aggrandizement of the celebromancy powers, but that's a nit. Overall, Celebromancy is a fun book that continues to incorporate the current cultural geek milieu into great lines and interesting powers.
Mary Robinette Kowal (a Hugo-award winning writer herself) did a fabulous job narrating the Audible version of the story. I flipped between the Kindle and the Audible version. It was a delight to be able to use Whispersync (about which more here, if interested) to jump between my Kindle version and the Audible recording without back tracking or losing my spot.
For full review: wp.me/p2XCwQ-fH
A review of The Thief by Fuminori Nakamura. Translated by Satoko Izumo and Stephen Coates. Audio book read by Charlie Thurston
The Thief is that rare combination of being thought-provoking and thoroughly entertaining. It chock full of compelling, memorable characters, a storyline that pulls you in and keeps you in during entire literary ride and the landscape of the story, contemporary, seedy Japan, is brilliant. There are times I can almost sense the infamous pushers cramming people into the trains. As with any translation where one cannot read the source, it’s difficult to say how well written it is. However, this translation is written exceptionally well with crisp, spare dialog and evocative descriptions. I can only conclude that Messrs. Izumo and Coates must have done a masterful job based a great source. Despite the tragic nature of the world which our characters inhabit as well as their own tragic nature, this is an exceptional novel with a very different look at life that provides a flat-out great story. I highly recommend it.
For those who love audiobooks, I also commend the narration of Charlie Thurston. While he’s not Japanese, he seems to be move (or at least speak) comfortably in a Japanese setting. It was a delight to be able to use Whispersync (about which more here, if interested) to jump between my Kindle version and the Audible recording without back tracking or loosing my spot.
For full review: wp.me/p2XCwQ-f6
Mr. Gaiman draws us into our past, our fears and hopes, our homely comforts and all too frequent pain of relationship and how our childhood impacts our lives. He draws in with his simple language hiding some interesting constructs. He draws us in with images of our own past and our own reflections on it. For those that listen to the audio book, he draws us in with his voice and pacing. He draws us home only to realize that home is on the other side of the looking glass, down the rabbit hole and more warped than we like to remember.
Absolutely. This is a lovely introduction to Agatha Christie's brilliant, fussy Belgian Hercule Poirot. Indeed, this is the book that introduced him to the world. It also avoids that nasty habit for which she had such proclivity – heavily misleading evidence. In this case there is a clear over abundance of evidence and sifting through is your challenge whilst chuckling at Captain Hastings attempts to do so.
This production is one of those times when listening to the audiobook brings pleasures uniquely its own.
The interactions of the characters throughout the story is great.
Yes, Chronicles of Narnia. He's great in both but this is a special treat because David Suchet, who portrays Poirot (say that 5 times, fast) in the TV series reads the book. Of course his Poirot is perfect.
Simply lived within that time and among the family at Styles.
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