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Rob

Robert

Member Since 2010

ratings
68
REVIEWS
15
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
2
HELPFUL VOTES
7

  • The Scions of Shannara: Heritage of Shannara, Book 1

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Terry Brooks
    • Narrated By Theodore Bikel
    Overall
    (167)
    Performance
    (57)
    Story
    (62)

    A User says: "Where is the Unabridged Version"
    "Really Disappointed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The story is short and shallow compared to the original Sword and First Druid books. I had to tune out the horrible narration and horrible audio quality. It sounds like someone ripped this from an old cassette tape. The narrator pronounces the names as if he was acting in an Elizabethan theater--he stresses the final syllables of names in the most unnatural way; e.g. "Shanuh-RAH" and Morgan "Lee-Ah" (Leah). Audible really let me down on this one.

    Sadly, ALL of the Heritage of Shannara novels are narrated and produced by the same actors/producers. So, for the next three books I will have to suffer. The fact I like this book series is the only reason I am not erasing them from my hard drive completely.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Well of Ascension: Mistborn, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (29 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5439)
    Performance
    (3445)
    Story
    (3475)

    The impossible has been accomplished. The Lord Ruler - the man who claimed to be god incarnate and brutally ruled the world for a thousand years - has been vanquished. But Kelsier, the hero who masterminded that triumph, is dead too, and now the awesome task of building a new world has been left to his young protégé, Vin, the former street urchin who is now the most powerful Mistborn in the land, and to the idealistic young nobleman she loves.

    Robert says: "It keeps getting even better"
    "Good, But Lags a Bit (For Me)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Mr. Sanderson's heroes continue life after the end of the first book. This book was a bridge book, in my opinion, between the first book and the third. Having completed the third book, I can see that clearly; but, despite how negative that sounds, future listeners who enjoyed the first book, The Final Empire, must understand it is a necessary evil.

    I know that doesn't sound like a great review, so let me try to be more frank:

    (1) The Well of Ascension has some great stories and character development.
    (2) Sanderson is setting us up for the big finale in book #3.
    (3) The set-up is necessary because Book #3 adds even more on top of the story in Book's 1 and 2, then has to wrap it all up in a package.
    (4) It is WORTH it.

    So, I gave this book 3 stars. It is still as refreshing as book 1, with Sanderson's new slant on fantasy/fiction, but it dragged a bit for me. 3 stars, therefore.

    Call me wrong if you want; but, I am sticking to my 3 stars. Read my next review on book 3 for the final wrap up.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6904)
    Performance
    (4416)
    Story
    (4445)

    For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the "Sliver of Infinity," reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler's most hellish prison.

    Lore says: "Book 1 of a great series that is not to be missed!"
    "Finally Something Refreshing!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Some folks may have read my reviews before. I think I've said the same thing a few times of other books - "so predictable!" Yet, this time I found myself surprised by what I heard. Allomancy? Neat! New! Refreshing! The characters were (mostly) charming, in that the reader is able to do a fair job at giving them each a personality (sorry, Michael Kramer. That probably isn't the most glowing comment you've gotten.)

    The story's basis, setting, and ending were all good and fresh. That is what I keep coming back to.

    I won't buy more than one book of a series until I give the first a listen. After Book #1, I bought #2, 3, and 4. "Mistborn" did the job of reinvigorating my interest in the fantasy/fiction genre when I thought I'd burned myself on it. I think I'll put my hand to that fire again. Well done, Mr. Author.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Naming of the Beasts

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Mike Carey
    • Narrated By Damian Lynch
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (198)
    Performance
    (169)
    Story
    (168)

    They say the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, but if you ask Castor he'll tell you there's quite a bit of arrogance and reckless stupidity lining the streets as well. And he should know. There are only so many times you can play both sides against the middle and get away with it. Now, the inevitable moment of crisis has arrived and it's left Castor with blood on his hands. Well, not his hands, you understand; it's always someone else who pays the bill: friends, acquaintances, bystanders.

    Cliff says: "The series comes to a staisfying conclusion."
    "THIS Is How A Series Should End"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The final tale in the Castor series is probably the most well-written, in my opinion. No characters are left out, and the characters' personalities are done great justice. The climax of the novel is painted in the reader's mind fantastically.

    I was not disappointed one bit. I do wish that publishers could somehow manage to keep the same readers for their novels from book one to the end, but I guess that is just a sacrifice that had to be made.

    A great wrap up.

    1 of 2 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
    (4853)
    Performance
    (4071)
    Story
    (4070)

    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"
    "A Few Changes Skewed Perception"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A good story, but I do not like it as much as the previous books in the series. It could be the switch in narrators (and indeed, I was not happy about that), but also the switch in the characters. Their personalities changed in such a way I do not feel as though I know them any more. Ghost Story made me feel alienated from the story. If that was Mr. Butcher's secret intent, hats off to such good execution; however, the fall out of this is I am looking forward to the next book not insofar as to know what happens next, but rather to get back that feeling of familiarity and comfort.

    Three stars is all I could muster for Ghost Story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The End of Rational Economics (Harvard Business Review)

    • UNABRIDGED (18 mins)
    • By Dan Ariely
    • Narrated By Todd Mundt
    Overall
    (16)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Dan Ariely, a professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University, writes about how it's time for companies to abandon the assumption that customers, employees and managers make logical decisions.

    Rob says: "Expands Field of Economics For Newbies"
    "Expands Field of Economics For Newbies"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    As freshman student of economics, I listened to this HBR. I was opened up to the field of behavioral economics this HBR helped me understand its purpose. It is a speculative review - not definitive. More like an observation piece than anything.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Princeps' Fury: Codex Alera, Book 5

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Jim Butcher
    • Narrated By Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2373)
    Performance
    (1461)
    Story
    (1479)

    Tavi of Calderon, now recognized as Princeps Gaius Octavian and heir to the crown, has achieved a fragile alliance with Alera's oldest foes, the savage Canim. But when Tavi and his legions guide the Canim safely to their lands, his worst fears are realized. The dreaded Vord - the enemy of Aleran and Cane alike - have spent the last three years laying waste to the Canim homeland. And when the Alerans are cut off from their ships, they find themselves with no choice but to fight shoulder to shoulder if they are to survive.

    Christopher says: "Great Book. Fantastic Narrator. Engrossing Series."
    "Lulls, Predictability, Garish/Tepid Romance"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When Mr. Butcher wants to fill a reader with suspense, he certainly can. He proves this in
    Princeps' Fury; however, this book is riddled with lulls between the exciting bits that make you wish the story would just get on with it! I do not think Alera should have been stretched out this far, and I say this with one more book to go in the series.

    Perhaps what separates this series from Mr. Butcher's other, his Dresden Files, is it is a continuously building story whose ending is predictable. Obviously, I should not include spoilers in my review, so I won't. However, I've already placed a bet with a friend who is also reading this series about how it will all end.

    Another issue I am facing with these books is the romance scenes. I do not know if it is Kate Reading's performance or just the writing itself, but I cannot help but skip past them. Certainly having Ms. Reading read the part of the "deep, gravely" voice of Bernand is a little laughable. She tries, though, to her credit. I think the story would be improved if the romances between the characters were downplayed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Swordspoint: A Melodrama of Manners

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Ellen Kushner
    • Narrated By Ellen Kushner, Dion Graham, Katherine Kellgren, and others
    Overall
    (650)
    Performance
    (577)
    Story
    (579)

    On the treacherous streets of Riverside, a man lives and dies by the sword. Even the nobles on the Hill turn to duels to settle their disputes. Within this elite, dangerous world, Richard St. Vier is the undisputed master, as skilled as he is ruthless--until a death by the sword is met with outrage instead of awe, and the city discovers that the line between hero and villain can be altered in the blink of an eye.

    Stacy says: "What a beautiful book..."
    "There's Better"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I listened to this book, my first dramatised audiobook, while I was taking a break from high fantasy. The story is definitely melodramatic! If you are looking at branching out from high fantasy like Tolkien, GRRM, Terry Brooks, or Jim Butcher - beware! This is not the book to come to. It reads like a stage act, which may have been the intent of the producers. I just could not enjoy the plot at all.

    If you are like me and do not care for gaudy levels of romance in your fantasy novels, look elsewhere, too.

    2 of 4 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
    (8806)
    Performance
    (7827)
    Story
    (7800)

    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"
    "Refreshing Fantasy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is a refreshing fantasy story for one who is worn out from exhausting, multi-arc epics. One need not keep track of 3, 4, or 5+ story arcs like one might find in George R. R. Martin's or Tolkien's epics. Very refreshing to hear a tale that does not get convoluted or become a quagmire of details one must keep track of.

    The book is narrated well. Some listeners might not appreciate the narrator's accent or snarky sound, but I say that it parallels the narration found in the Dresden novels.

    The book combines pantheons and mythos similar to the Dresden universe, by far my favorite (new found) way to present high fantasy instead of a singular pantheon/mythos setting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Angela's Ashes

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Frank McCourt
    • Narrated By Frank McCourt
    Overall
    (2259)
    Performance
    (1066)
    Story
    (1068)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: There’s no gentle way to put this – Frank McCourt’s performance of Angela’s Ashes is just better than the Pulitzer Prize-winning book. Frank McCourt shares his sometimes heartwarming, sometimes heartbreaking story of growing up poor, Irish, and Catholic in the Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir Angela's Ashes.

    Karen says: "A classic book *and* a classic audiobook"
    "A Good Tale"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The best thing about this audiobook is the narration. The narrator does a good job at the characters he is meant to portray. That is why I originally gave four stars. It is believable and make the story enjoyable. I have to say, however, the narration could get a little monotone. This is prominent in parts of the story that languish around a dead horse.

    The story is still quite pleasing. There are moments in the tale that actually made me laugh out loud.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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