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J. M. Cousins

London, Canada

ratings
46
REVIEWS
12
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
1
HELPFUL VOTES
9

  • A Meeting at Corvallis: A Novel of the Change

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By S. M. Stirling
    • Narrated By Todd McLaren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (602)
    Performance
    (375)
    Story
    (377)

    In the 10th year of the Change, the survivors in western Oregon have learned how to live in a world without technology. They have held the Lord Protector, Norman Arminger - the warlord of Portland - at bay. The tensions between these factions have been building for some time, and the only reason they haven't confronted one another on the battlefield is because Arminger's daughter has fallen into Clan Mackenzie's hands. But Lady Sandra has a plan to retrieve her, one that may spark open warfare.

    J. M. Cousins says: "Series Finding It's Stride"
    "Series Finding It's Stride"
    Overall

    The war promised in the previous book does come to pass. Familiar faces return and a few lesser known characters are explored in more detail. Story is split between 4-5 major factions as the action becomes more diverse.

    This book seems more "comfortable" with itself and hits the mark promised by the basic premise of the series. Descriptions become a little less repetitive and some characters get a lot more interesting.

    Narration is good and addresses some of the more common complaints about pronunciation found in previous books. Could stand to have a slightly longer moment of silence when a scene ends dramatically and before the next scene begins some time later.

    Worthwhile reading.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Steelheart: Reckoners, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Macleod Andrews
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6706)
    Performance
    (6254)
    Story
    (6279)

    Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills. Nobody fights the Epics...nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them. And David wants in. He wants Steelheart - the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David's father.

    D says: "He got the idea from a near traffic accident"
    "Super Heros in Reverse"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As usual, Sanderson creates an internally-consistent world filled with just slightly more than average people - plus a few whoppers. In this case, the story takes the super hero cliche and assumes (perhaps correctly) that when suddenly presented with awesome powers, normal people will abuse that power completely.

    Our heroes are the average folk who were left behind when a few selected individuals are granted epic powers. Their point of view is that of an oppressed sub-class and the story is their revolt against the powerful.

    Sanderson often flips the assumptions of this type of world and this is no exception. Well told, fun, slightly chilling, and deliciously twisted. His ideas are frequently thrilling but sometimes the story does not quite capture the glory of the concept. This book had a bit of a comic book feel to the story. That was perhaps intentional but I didn't feel as connected to the characters as a result. Still, this is one of the good ones! Fills the time very well while waiting for the next Stormlight Archives volume with baited breath.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (264)
    Performance
    (216)
    Story
    (223)

    A thousand years ago evil came to the land and has ruled with an iron hand ever since. The sun shines fitfully under clouds of ash that float down endlessly from the constant eruption of volcanoes. A dark lord rules through the aristocratic families and ordinary folk are condemned to lives in servitude, sold as goods, labouring in the ash fields. But now a troublemaker has arrived and there is rumour of revolt.

    Amazon Customer says: "Great story and narration, but cut off at the end!"
    "Great World, Vast Scope, Personal Stories"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Final Empire in three words, what would they be?

    Fully envisioned world.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The sense of scope and depth to the society and the interactions between castes and factions.


    What about Michael Kramer???s performance did you like?

    You knew immediately which character was speaking without being distracting.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a sound book and launches a great series. It does feel a bit rushed towards the end. After so much of the book being a well-paced build up of people, events and the introduction to the use of the powers, the end arrives a bit abruptly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Catching Fire: Hunger Games, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Suzanne Collins
    • Narrated By Carolyn McCormick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (30001)
    Performance
    (23112)
    Story
    (23286)

    Katniss Everdeen continues to struggle to protect herself and her family from the Capitol in this second novel from the best-selling Hunger Games trilogy.

    FanB14 says: "Dissent Rules"
    "Feels a Bit Flimsy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you try another book from Suzanne Collins and/or Carolyn McCormick?

    Yes, but more on the stregth of the first book, The Hunger Games (AKA - The Running Man).


    If you???ve listened to books by Suzanne Collins before, how does this one compare?

    The performance is solid despite the main figure feeling a bit flat at several points.


    Any additional comments?

    This is not as interesting a book as the first one. Despite our learning a bit more about the world and the politics, it manages to feel less diverse. It seems far more rushed and fairly predictable even as a YA read. Overall it seems like a lack-lustre me-too version compared to the first of the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Curse of Chalion

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Lois McMaster Bujold
    • Narrated By Lloyd James
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2138)
    Performance
    (946)
    Story
    (954)

    Amidst the decaying splendor and poisonous intrigue of Chalion's ancient capital, Cazaril is forced to confront not only powerful enemies but also the malignant curse that clings to the royal household, trapping him, flesh and soul, in a maze of demonic paradox, damnation, and death for as long as he dares walk the five-fold pathway of the gods.

    Terri says: "What makes a hero... LMB knows"
    "Quietly Compelling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Curse of Chalion in three words, what would they be?

    Quiet, competent and compelling.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The narrator puts on a stellar performance. It's a master class of voicing characters. He's obviously read ahead and has planned his performance embellishing it just a touch to add a sense of theatre and improv.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This is a quiet book in a lot of ways. The narration of the main character is calm and self-deprecating. It's not a swashbuckling romp, but a well-told, if slightly familiar, story.


    Any additional comments?

    Not strictly original but this story is a welcome take on the classic "wronged career soldier washes up back at home only to find himself at war on the battlefield of courtly politics" motif. It's a true storytelling exercise much in the same low-key approach of the Kingkiller Chronicles. It took me a while to warm to the passive nature of the story, but by about half way though I realized that I was thinking about the story while at work and elsewhere. Once I admitted that I was enjoying it, it enfolded me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wise Man's Fear: Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 2

    • UNABRIDGED (42 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Patrick Rothfuss
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10461)
    Performance
    (8744)
    Story
    (8821)

    "My name is Kvothe. I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my life. I was expelled from the University at a younger age than most people are allowed in. I tread paths by moonlight that others fear to speak of during day. I have talked to Gods, loved women, and written songs that make the minstrels weep...."

    Joe says: "Excellent, Imaginative, Beautiful, Page Turning!!!"
    "Engrossing!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. Have already done sone. This is simply a well-told story which never takes the expected turn.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The leading figure is the focus of the story and is very sympathetic - and flawed depsite immense gifts. The loan shark though is the character that I'd like to know more about.


    Any additional comments?

    This books is a pleasure to read. I fell into the story early and feel like I'm wandering around the various adventures. The characters are both familiar and comfortable, yet challenging. The world is well depicted - the social aspects, magic and politics are fully realized but subtle. This is not a sledgehammer of a story. It's precise and evocative as any good campfire tale of a legendary figure should be.

    0 of 0 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
    (10961)
    Performance
    (8395)
    Story
    (8446)

    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!"
    "Great kick-start to a new series."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Not familiar with Sanderson previously even though my wife has been a fan for ages. High quality story-telling and an interesting, quirky-but-understandable world. Again, this would be an excellent entry for Audible to include maps and other supporting info on their site as geography looms large in this story.
    Was gratified to not be faced with another "orphan doesn't know their destiny - but it's a good one" premise. This book avoids these obvious pitfalls and surefootedly leads you down a story path where the "oh, here it comes, this is where that guy dies" expectation is shattered and replaced with unexpected events that force readers to review their prejudices. A few bits of repetition but not without reason.
    Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Dead Beat: The Dresden Files, Book 7

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By James Marsters
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5432)
    Performance
    (4139)
    Story
    (4135)

    When a killer vampire threatens to destroy head of Special Investigations Karrin Murphy's reputation, unless Harry delivers the powerful Word of Kemmler to her, he has no choice. Now Harry is in a race against time to find the Word before Chicago experiences a Halloween night to wake the dead.

    A User says: "I wish it was about 20 hours longer"
    "Turning Point in the Series"
    Overall

    What fun to return to this entry in the Dresden Files. This was the first of the series I read years ago. Since converting to Audible I've been waiting for the Master's version to be released. Finally it has been and it's infinitely better than the auto-voiced version floating around out there.

    Anyway, this story takes our hero into deeper water than ever before. It sets up many of the more interesting themes and relationships that Harry will wrestle with for the next handful of books.

    Plus it's just a fun romp!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Book of Fate

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Brad Meltzer
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (715)
    Performance
    (213)
    Story
    (216)

    In six minutes, one of us would be dead. None of us knew it was coming. So says Wes Holloway, a once-cocky and ambitious presidential aide, about the day that changed his life forever. On that Fourth of July, Wes put Ron Boyle, the chief executive's oldest friend, into the presidential limousine. By the time the trip came to an end, Wes was permanently disfigured, and Boyle was dead, the victim of a crazed assassin.

    Nick says: "Too Much Psychobabble"
    "Cure for Insomnia"
    Overall

    Not exactly an entertaining listen. Slow and laborious without a payoff.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Fired: Tales of Jobs Gone Bad - Free Excerpt

    • ORIGINAL (48 mins)
    • By Annabelle Gurwitch, Susan Loewenberg, Dana Gould
    • Narrated By Annabelle Gurwitch, Susan Loewenberg, Dana Gould
    Overall
    (315)
    Performance
    (59)
    Story
    (57)

    This excerpt features comedian Dana Gould's story from Fired, called "Jimmy the Idiot", as well as an L.A. Theatre Works interview with Annabelle Gurwitch.

    Jane says: "Even one star is too much..."
    "Dreadful"
    Overall

    Save your brain cells.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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