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J. Liu

Los Angeles, CA | Member Since 2010

15
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 36 ratings
  • 189 titles in library
  • 30 purchased in 2014
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  • Dune

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Frank Herbert
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Morton, and others
    Overall
    (10060)
    Performance
    (5713)
    Story
    (5791)

    Here is the novel that will be forever considered a triumph of the imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Maud'dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream.

    Joshua says: "Wonderful production!"
    "One of the all time greats marred by spotty audio"
    Overall

    The story itself is fantastic. Deservedly hailed as one of the greatest stories ever told, sci-fi or otherwise. A fully realized and richly detailed alternate universe filled with science, religion and political intrigue. A must read.

    Unfortunately, the audio recording does not fulfill expectations. While far better than the original single reader audiobook (be glad you didn't spend 25 hours listening to THAT) the 2007 version is marred by the bizarre decision to have each reader read a chapter or section rather than have each reader read a character's part throughout the book. In other words, the voices for each character change throughout the book!!! Why? Baron Harkkonen's voice suffers the most. At one point it sounds like Michael Clark Duncan is voicing him and others it sounds like a sleepy Orson Welles.

    It's a shame that one of the greatest books ever written has never received a proper translation into another medium. David Lynch's movie was stylistically and visually fulfilling, but the story edited and changed dramatically. The Sci-Fi channel's 3 part miniseries held more closely to the original plot, but the budget and casting left alot to be desired. The original 1997 audiobook was read in a horrible monotone and finally the 2007 version's inconsistent readers. Hopefully someday Dune will receive a treatment that it deserves.

    12 of 14 people found this review helpful
  • Hounded: The Iron Druid Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Kevin Hearne
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10522)
    Performance
    (9398)
    Story
    (9372)

    Atticus O’Sullivan, last of the Druids, lives peacefully in Arizona, running an occult bookshop and shape-shifting in his spare time to hunt with his Irish wolfhound. His neighbors and customers think that this handsome, tattooed Irish dude is about twenty-one years old - when in actuality, he’s twenty-one centuries old. Not to mention: He draws his power from the earth, possesses a sharp wit, and wields an even sharper magical sword known as Fragarach, the Answerer. Unfortunately, a very angry Celtic god wants that sword, and he’s hounded Atticus for centuries....

    Chris says: "Finally, a modern day fantasy that really hits the"
    "A Very Good First Book in a Promising Series."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. If they were interested in a modern urban fantasy, this is an entertaining book that shows signs of producing a promising series. The lead character is well conceived and the sidekicks, cohorts, magic system and lore are developed sufficiently to create a believable universe. There are some good laughs and action too.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Oberon, of course.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Atticus's initial conversation with the Hindu witch.


    Any additional comments?

    I hate to do this, but there is no way I cannot bring up James Butcher's Dresden Files series when discussing Hounded. The two are very VERY similar, however, I don't think Hearne handles the melding of magic and modern worlds as well as Butcher does. Too many non magical people know of the magical world in Hounded and the consequences of performing magic in front of non-magic users are not nearly severe enough. Some people are memory wiped and others are just very accepting of it.

    The use of "nerd" pop culture references is prevalent in both series as well, but Hearne's handling and use of them is a bit clunky and not always appropriate. Butcher's use is much more subtle and inventive. It flows better in the Dresden Files books.

    Lastly, the pets. [SPOILER ALERT] Oberon is really funny. Genuine laugh out loud moments. However, I do think there's some inconsistency in how much he understands about humans and the world. At times he seems really oblivious and others he seems too perceptive. Mouse, the Fu Dog from the Dresden Files doesn't speak at all, he communicates his intelligence and intentions non-verbally, but I don't find him any less endearing and well rounded as the verbally gifted Oberon.[END SPOILER]

    All that said, I really enjoyed Hounded. Even though I cannot help to compare the Iron Druid Series to The Dresden Files series, I'll be the first to admit it's a bit unfair. TDF is up to book #14 (and I"ve read them all) and this is just my first book in TID series. And anyone who's read TDF all the way through, knows full well that the first books weren't anywhere near as good as the later ones. Based upon the strength of Hounded, I'm more than willing to stick with TID series for at least a few more books.

    The narration is excellent. Good job with the accents and rhythm.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ghost Story: The Dresden Files, Book 13

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By John Glover
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5789)
    Performance
    (4954)
    Story
    (4947)

    When we last left the mighty wizard detective Harry Dresden, he wasn't doing well. In fact, he had been murdered by an unknown assassin. But being dead doesn't stop him when his friends are in danger. Except now he has nobody, and no magic to help him. And there are also several dark spirits roaming the Chicago shadows who owe Harry some payback of their own. To save his friends - and his own soul - Harry will have to pull off the ultimate trick without any magic....

    Bill says: "Not the best audio book in the series"
    "Yeah, we need James Marsters back...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book was great. Excellent chapter to the overall series. But having John Glover read it just isn't the same. After 12 books, James Marsters IS Harry Dresden. It's not really fair to Glover having him step in like this. It's like following Led Zeppelin on stage.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Diamond Age

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Neal Stephenson
    • Narrated By Jennifer Wiltsie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3307)
    Performance
    (1340)
    Story
    (1358)

    Neal Stephenson, "the hottest science fiction writer in America", takes science fiction to dazzling new levels. The Diamond Age is a stunning tale; set in 21st-century Shanghai, it is the story of what happens what a state-of-the-art interactive device falls into the hands of a street urchin named Nell. Her life, and the entire future of humanity, is about to be decoded and reprogrammed.

    Tango says: "The rock could use a bit more polishing"
    "Jennifer Wiltsie needs more work."
    Overall

    I already own the physical book and I wanted to pick this up so I could "re-read" it in the car. What a treat. I don't think I've ever heard a reading done this well. The voices she successfully pulls off in this book range from 4 year old Nell to a Brooklyn accented Confucian judge to an elderly Scottish warrior and everything in between.

    TDA is one of my favorite Stephenson novels, and hearing it done just great justice by Jennifer Wiltsie was a pleasure.

    I only wish she would read more books that I would be interested in listening to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Daemon

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Daniel Suarez
    • Narrated By Jeff Gurner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7315)
    Performance
    (4327)
    Story
    (4360)

    Thousands of autonomous computer programs, or daemons, make our networked world possible, running constantly in the background of our lives, trafficking e-mail, transferring money, and monitoring power grids. For the most part, daemons are benign, but the same can't always be said for the people who design them.

    Charles Atkinson says: "Really Fast Paced Sci Fi!"
    "Entertaining and fast paced but formulaic."
    Overall

    Very Michael Crichton like in that it exposes and explains a technology and creates a story to show it's dangers. Some familiar archetypes are here as well. Grizzled cop, sexy female scientist, man with a checkered background etc. etc. The core technology it exposes and Suarez's depiction of the frailty of our current society were the highlights, however, these are hampered near the end by stretching believability and asking us to buy in. Nonetheless, I found it really entertaining and listened to it in just a few days.

    Also, any comparisons of Daemon to Neal Stephenson's works are laughable. This is much more mainstream and pulpy. Dan Brown and John Grisham's works are more appropriate comparisons.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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