New Orleans, LA, United States
This short story provides a nice bridge before the second Reckoner's novel that I'm now going to dive into. While Mitosis as an epic wasn't as menacing as Steelheart nor nearly as powerful, I still am finding myself enjoying the creativity of their powers and weaknesses. Definitely a fun freebie that adds a little more seasoning to the entire epics universe.
I love stories that surprise me and Steelheart was one of those wonderful little gifts. I picked this audiobook up on a whim but was quickly engaged with the world of Calamity, the Epics and the Reckoners. Having read Alan Moore's "The Watchman" graphic novel years ago, I wanted to see how Sanderson handled the tale of unbridled power in the hands of men and woman who have abandoned their humanity. It's a fun, fast-paced story that has more than enough action and originality to keep comics fans engaged, while providing a good dose of character development and moral focus to keep more serious readers from feeling they are in a purely cartoon world. And of course, I found myself guessing (incorrectly in most cases) as to how Sanderson would resolve each confrontation which is all I could ask for here. His imagination definitely is on display and I found Steelheart to be a good start to the trilogy and I look forward to listening to the next in this series.
Wow... wow! What a story. This is King at his peak of storytelling. The world of 11-22-63 is lush, nostalgic and rendered in amazingly vivid and intricate detail. King manages to do something unexpected too - he pulls off a completely new spin on time travel that's placed around one of history's most galvanizing events: the assassination of JFK. Pacing was quick and tight and I found myself immediately rooting for Jake Epping / George Amberson; felt the sheer wonder he did upon entering the past as well as shared his joys, pains, heartaches and inner conflicts over what he was doing from start to finish. There are plenty of unexpected twists and turns to keep the listener locked in as King lays out an "obdurate past" so compelling, I would swear he had to have his own rabbit hole in his basement to experience it first-hand. An absolute treat and must read!
This is a stunning rendition of the highly acclaimed novel and it kept me engaged from start to finish. I wasn't sure what to expect when I downloaded this audio book (as I'd done it so I could have discussions with my teenage daughter who had to read it for school), but I quickly realized how much life the narrator breathed into Liesel, Rudy and World War II Germany and how much passion the writer had for the material. Family, kindness, unconditional love and selflessness are all woven through a very rough time in history as we watch Liesel grow and learn, and the end left even me in tears. Moreover, the narrator Allan Corduner should be congratulated for his efforts in making this an emotional and highly satisfying listen.
As the title says, quirks don't always make for a good story. Having listened to other Chris Moore books, I was eager to dive back into another one of his humorous yarns that generally leave me satisfied and wanting more. Typically, his characters are offbeat but well conceived. However, I was really disappointed by this outing. I never found myself engaging with any of his band of highly quirky characters (including a stoner constable, a loony B-movie actress, a stereotypical blues player, a reclusive and awkward scientist and cardboard cutout of a sheriff). The story also left me wanting - the "monster" was generally bland, and it's single-minded desires were also never well explained or explored. It seems the author was more intent to give all of his characters as many quirks and odd behavioral patterns as he could, without ever really trying to give them any grounding or plausible existence. As a result, the book lurched around, plodding from scene to scene without ever finding its voice or encouraging the listener to follow along and get involved in the story. I would skip this for other Moore titles like "A Dirty Job".
While I certainly enjoyed some of the concepts that Schmidt and Cohen present, I found myself constantly wishing more concrete examples of how the current tech is evolving would be used to back up their ideas. Several sounded off-base and were just plain hard to believe, several seemed to provide a roadmap for criminals to follow to make our lives miserable, and with the recent revelation of the NSA's PRISM program in the news, several ideas discussed have already proven to be outdated or have set back the digital age pretty dramatically.
Unfortunately, I just didn't find the information put together coherently, and found the book itself more focused with current politics and more mundane aspects of today's technology. I guess I was looking in the wrong place for inspiration on what the future holds.
My advice, pass on this one and don't wonder "what if?".
I had no idea that this book even existed until my 15-year old daughter brought a physical copy home and told us how good the first ten chapters had been. She gave us a simple overview, and seeing as both my wife and I enjoy a good zombie book, decided to see if Higson's books were available through Audible. To our dismay, only this first in his series is currently available in audio format, but we figured we'd give his origin story a try anyway.
We found this to be a new twist on zombie lore. Leaving children to fend for themselves in the midst of adult conversion into sick and twisted monsters that roam the London streets proved to be a good backdrop for his story.
The characters are fleshed out well (no pun intended) and you find yourself rooting for them as they have to navigate from one creepy and dangerous situation to another throughout the course of the story, and Higson does an admirable job of capturing tween/teen angst and particular brand of defiance that causes conflicts that might not exist for adults. Of course, I found myself on more than one occasion having flashbacks to the original Lord of the Flies story and wish that some of the antagonistic behaviors some of the kids have toward one another felt more original, but it doesn't diminish the overall arc of the story and the reader's investment with the kids.
The book ends with a couple of great setups for the sequals that I'm eager to follow-up with, but for now, I'm going to have to have to resort to buying the printed copies as no audiobooks exist (yet - I hope) for the other four in the series.
On a side note, Paul Whitehouse's reading of The Enemy was stellar and really added some authentic British feel (and accent) to the situation, and kept us riveted. My daughter listened after she finished reading her copy of the book and also said that she wished she'd listened instead as the narrator gave such a good performance and made each kid unique and identifiable.
All I can say is:hurry up Audible and get those others made! :)
I enjoyed this book quite a bit and I found myself constantly stunned by the lengths to which Mr. Rushdie was forced to live for 13 years after the publication of his novel, The Satanic Verses. This book gives the listener a glimpse of what it takes to survive a situation of that magnitude and gravity, and it definitely showed people in their true light, both for good and bad. It still astounds me that a writer of fictional stories could be forced underground based on his story and shunned so thoroughly; don't people around the globe understand what the word 'fiction' is? In my modest opinion, if a story challenges your perceptions, then that is a good thing. If I don't like a book, I know I have the option to put it down. Joseph Anton was a wonderful read and I applaud Mr. Rushdie (who is not without his faults and which he lays bare in the book), for not sitting passively by throughout the ordeal fighting for the ability to lead a relatively normal life.
Given my title, let me first say that this was not an awful book by any means. It had some solid elements to it including the premise and descriptions and insights into ancient Mayan culture. The first couple of chapters were strong and laid a nice foundation that gave me high hopes. But the characters ended up flat and uninspired, and the story didn't really feel compelling in the way the early Michael Crichton or James Patterson novels might. The peril and pacing you would expect in an end of the world book seemed to be missing and it tended to focus on deciphering and interpreting a codex instead of pushing the story in other ways. Ultimately I felt a bit let down by these decisions and this book ends up as a middling effort; not terrible, but certainly not as good as it could have been.
Whoa! Author Richard Morgan has ginned up a massively complex, nuanced future world as well as highly imperfect but incredibly charismatic characters that keep you riveted through this epic story. I have to admit that while I love hard-boiled detective stories as much as anyone, I doubt Altered Carbon could get much more gritty. There is plenty of raw language and imagery (both sex and violence), but I feel it ultimately adds to the story, paints a more vivid picture of characters and isn't provided simply for shock value alone. The only minor complaint I have is that the narrator's voice is SO deep, that it was sometimes hard to understand what he was saying. Not so much as to lose key plot points, but irritating when I was driving and listening. Otherwise, it's s fantastic book and I am looking forward to listening to more from Morgan.
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