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Toby

NEW ROCHELLE, NY, United States | Member Since 2010

5
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 8 ratings
  • 269 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2014
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  • Royal Assassin: The Farseer Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Robin Hobb
    • Narrated By Paul Boehmer
    Overall
    (1477)
    Performance
    (1027)
    Story
    (1039)

    Young Fitz, the illegitimate son of the noble Prince Chivalry, is ignored by all royalty except the devious King Shrewd, who has had him tutored him in the dark arts of the assassin. He has barely survived his first, soul-shattering mission, and when he returns to the court, he is thrown headfirst into the tumult of royal life.

    Jake says: "Solid Middle Book"
    "I don't understand how anyone can enjoy Hobb"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Royal Assassin?

    If you're looking for interesting, compelling characters, look somewhere else. Hobb and her works are widely celebrated, though I am unsure of the reasons behind this. The names of her characters are rather lazy, hidden under an excuse, but that is forgivable. What are less forgivable are the characters themselves. They are dreadful. The main character Fitz, must spend 80% of his time in the book lamenting over either his relationship with the wolf and other dogs, or his girl friend. It becomes very tiresome very quickly, but the book is extremely long anyway. Most of the plot twists are predictable, and the villains are not brilliant and do not deserve the success they have for so much of the book and series. It is simply that the heros are not heroic. I do not mean this is a: they are not knights in shining armor, instead they have dark sides kind of way. That would be good. Instead I mean the heroes are just bad at being heroes. Fitz and Verity and the Fool bumble for thousands of pages (over the series) and finally pull it together at the end. I do not enjoy reading about people whining and failing for no conceivable reason. I did not finish the series, instead looking up the plot of the last book on wikipedia out of a morbid curiosity.
    I know I am in the minority in not enjoying this book, but with the wealth of other series and authors in this genre, I would not recommend this book. There are so many other series that are actually enjoyable and much more worth reading


    Would you ever listen to anything by Robin Hobb again?

    Absolutely not. There are tons of significantly better authors within the genre who merit a chance instead (Martin, Cook, Sullivan, Sanderson, Jordan, Lynch, Abercrombie to name just a few)


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Honestly, I was so distracted by the poor quality of the story itself that I didn't even notice the narrator. I'm sure he did his best.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Some of the concepts were ok, but there was nothing particularly worthwhile about this story.


    Any additional comments?

    Don't believe the hype around this author. This book is both a waste of money and of time.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Name of the Wind: Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Patrick Rothfuss
    • Narrated By Nick Podehl
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10207)
    Performance
    (7981)
    Story
    (8080)

    This is a tale of sorrow, a tale of survival, a tale of one man's search for meaning in his universe, and how that search, and the indomitable will that drove it, gave birth to a legend.

    Joanna says: "Wow!"
    "True Storytelling"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Name of the Wind the most enjoyable?

    The writing was incredible. Rothfuss creates numerous timelines well and truly embues the story with his love of story telling. The levels of different stories can become complex, but are very well done and easily comprehended


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Quothe, because he's a liar, a thief, a story teller, a magician, a warrior, a bartender, and a musician


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ring of Solomon: A Bartimaeus Novel, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Jonathan Stroud
    • Narrated By Simon Jones
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (753)
    Performance
    (427)
    Story
    (426)

    Bartimaeus, everyones favorite (wise-cracking) djinni, is back in book four of this best-selling series. As alluded to in the footnotes throughout the series, Bartimaeus has served hundreds of magicians during his 5,010 year career. Now, for the first time, fans will go back in time with the djinni, to Jerusalem and the court of King Solomon in 950s BC. Only in this adventure, it seems the great Bartimaeus has finally met his match.

    Alia says: "Quirky and Fun"
    "Stroud has not lost a step"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to The Ring of Solomon the most enjoyable?

    The footnotes. This is characteristic of the previous trilogy, and they are hilarious as well as informative. They add to the humor and depth of Bartimaeus. The book would not be the same without them


    What other book might you compare The Ring of Solomon to and why?

    The discworld series. again, the footnotes. these are the only two series i've encountered with this attribute, and both use it amazingly


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Really any time Bartimaeus talks. He is funny, witty, and above all, completely offensive to anyone in power


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Brock Clarke
    • Narrated By Daneil Passer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (64)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    As a teenager, it was never Sam Pulsifer's intention to torch an American landmark, and he certainly never planned to kill two people in the blaze. To this day, he still wonders why that young couple was upstairs in bed in the Emily Dickinson House after hours. After serving 10 years in prison for his crime, Sam is determined to put the past behind him. His low-profile life is chugging along quite nicely until the past comes crashing through his front door.

    Sara says: "A downer of a book"
    "Honestly not that good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    My main problem with the book is that I became very tired of the narrator "bumbling" his way to pain and failure. Those who do not mind listening to someone end up in easily avoidable painful situations may enjoy this book. I honestly have no idea why it became so popular


    What was most disappointing about Brock Clarke’s story?

    The main character. He was painful to be inside the head of. He was flaccid and useless, letting bad things happen instead of doing anything active. Having taken a class with Brock this is not surprising. He tends to pick books with narrators that are difficult to like let alone relate to


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It had some decent turns of phrase, but really no, it was pretty unenjoyable


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Black Company: Chronicles of The Black Company, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Glen Cook
    • Narrated By Marc Vietor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1013)
    Performance
    (688)
    Story
    (688)

    Some feel the Lady, newly risen from centuries in thrall, stands between humankind and evil. Some feel she is evil itself. The hardbitten men of the Black Company take their pay and do what they must, burying their doubts with their dead - until the prophesy: The White Rose has been reborn, somewhere, to embody good once more. There must be a way for the Black Company to find her....

    Peter says: "Great Story, Narrator Takes Getting Used To"
    "The origin of dark, gritty, epic fantasy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Black Company again? Why?

    Yes, it is a fantastic book with characters that are easy to love. Though the narration takes maybe a chapter to get used it really starts to work after that point


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    One-Eye and Goblin, they squabble like children are just very entertaining to read about


    What about Marc Vietor’s performance did you like?

    Marc Vietor perfectly embodied Croaker, the main character. His performance and delivery did justice to the dry wit and cynicism contained within the story. Most importantly he did not distract the listener from the story


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Not sure it could be made into a film. Audiences would probably not appreciate main characters who are mercenaries...the whole raping and pillaging thing probably wouldn't go over well


    Any additional comments?

    A common complaint about this book is that it is not descriptive enough. This may be true, but it is actually a strength. Rather than inserting a few hundred pages to add descriptions of every tree the company walk by the story focuses on characters and event. This book is only 350 pages, a mere short story in today's world of tomes. It includes whats necessary and not superfluous words added simply for the sake of being there.Also, in today's world of epic fantasy this book is good, but not quite as dark as the First Law Trilogy or aSoIaF. What makes it stand out is that it predates those series by decades. This was possibly the first book in the genre that did not have the ultra good vs the ultra bad, and in that way it was revolutionary. For this reason alone, let alone the great story and wonderful characters, this book is an important read/listen to any true fan of the genre

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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