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Joshua

mcleansville, NC, United States | Member Since 2013

857
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 196 reviews
  • 207 ratings
  • 231 titles in library
  • 8 purchased in 2018
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  • The Bonehunters: Malazan Book of the Fallen, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (42 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Steven Erikson
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1578)
    Performance
    (1429)
    Story
    (1430)

    The Seven Cities Rebellion has been crushed. Sha’ik is dead. One last rebel force remains, holed up in the city of Y’Ghatan and under the fanatical command of Leoman of the Flails. The prospect of laying siege to this ancient fortress makes the battle-weary Malazan Fourteenth Army uneasy. For it was here that the Empire’s greatest champion, Dassem Ultor, was slain and a tide of Malazan blood spilled. A place of foreboding, its smell is of death. But elsewhere, agents of a far greater conflict have made their opening moves.

    Joshua says: "Another Epic Installment!"
    "Another Epic Installment!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    INCONSISTENT VOICES!!! Seriously, this is getting ridiculous! But more on the performance in a moment...

    This is another epic installment to the Malazan series. It hits all the marks - wildly creative, eloquent in prose, frantic in its action, and a scope almost unparalleled in fantasy fiction. Erikson is in full stride on this one, and for fans who have made it this far, it is a crazy and fulfilling ride.

    The amount of stuff that happens in this book is simply astounding. Erikson is known for his massive cast of characters, and just about all of them come into play here. For those who have made the investment to know them all, who have learned about the world and followed the story up to this point, the payoff with this volume is absolutely huge. Sequences string together and pull you right along, and you can never guess what is coming next. The characters, which initially felt shallow due to the lack of "screen time", have by this point come into their own, and feel incredibly well realized in the reader's mind.

    To even attempt to summarize the plot is pretty much a ridiculous endeavor. Nevertheless if you've made it this far, you should enjoy it immensely. Now that we're past the halfway point, it's starting to feel like the main threads are taking shape and coming together, and I can see several confrontations ahead that promise to be as epic as almost anything I've read. The intricate plot continues to develop and intrigue the reader, as this war among the pantheonic players develops full force.

    However, I do have issues with the audio presentation of this series. Michael Page has a great voice, but I don't think it's the right one for this series. There are several annoying problems:

    1. Inconsistent voices. This is an amateur mistake that could easily have been avoided. Most notable among these are Karsa Orlong, one of the main characters introduced in House of Chains, and his voice is very different from what it was in that book. He sounds more generic here, and frankly more stupid.

    2. Inconsistent pronunciations. The pronunciation for "soletaken" has changed again, as has the pronunciation of several character names, places and race terms.

    3. Strange choices for the voices. There are some character voices that seem jarringly out of place. Icarium, a massive barbarian, has a tiny, high-pitched voice like a child. Empress Laseen, whom I would think has a cool, calculated voice, is delivered like an old woman with a heavy foreign accent. Shadowthrone is delivered like a senile old man.

    4. Limited variety in the voices. Granted, there is a huge cast of characters here. But the majority of Page's voices seem to be limited to (A) growling, beastly voices and (B) high-pitched, overly accented voices. Also, "pirate" voices are very predominant as well. There are very few characters delivered either as intelligent, manly, or neutral, making me wonder if Page is just limited in the voices he can deliver?

    I realize that it's too late to do much about this at this point, and granted, there is a huge cast of characters, making delivery insanely hard for anyone. But it is such as shame as I feel that all of these problems could easily have been avoided.

    Overall this is definitely not one to be missed, and more than any other probably leaves you eager to start the next book in the series.

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  • House of Suns

    • UNABRIDGED (18 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Alastair Reynolds
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2132)
    Performance
    (1721)
    Story
    (1727)

    Six million years ago, at the very dawn of the starfaring era, Abigail Gentian fractured herself into a thousand male and female clones: the shatterlings. Sent out into the galaxy, these shatterlings have stood aloof as they document the rise and fall of countless human empires. They meet every 200,000 years to exchange news and memories of their travels with their siblings.

    Ethan M. says: "Science fiction in Deep time"
    "One of my All-Time Favorite Sci-Fi Novels"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was actually my first audiobook listen ever, and I was enthralled by the story, the writing and by John Lee's narration. It is also my favorite book by Alastair Reynolds, and one I can hardly even believe is a standalone novel. This could have been a trilogy in itself, the universe is so deep and complex, the characters so fascinating, and the technology and scope so advanced. I would love to see sequels to this book or an entire spinoff series from it. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Machine Learning: New and Collected Stories

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Hugh Howey
    • Narrated By Gabra Zackman, Scott Aiello, Hugh Howey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (63)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (56)

    Hugh Howey is known for crafting riveting and immersive tales of boundless imagination. Now comes Machine Learning, an impressive collection of Howey's science fiction and fantasy short fiction, including three stories set in the world of Wool, two never-before-published tales written exclusively for this volume, and 15 additional stories collected here for the first time. These stories explore everything from artificial intelligence to parallel universes to video games, and each story is accompanied by an author's note.

    Joshua says: "Some Good, Some Not So Much"
    "Some Good, Some Not So Much"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Some authors excel at long form stories and some are best in the short story. A few are great at both. Hugh Howey is interesting because most of his books are comparatively short, and even his most famous work (Wool) was published as a series of novellas.

    This series of short works covers most of Howey’s short stories collected in one place, and as you may expect, it’s hit or miss. There are some good ones and some that miss the mark, and a few new Wool stories too. None are overly long.

    While not one for the annals of Howey’s best works, it should appeal to his fans and fans of his other series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • I Am Legend

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Richard Matheson
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9120)
    Performance
    (6661)
    Story
    (6677)

    In I Am Legend, a plague has decimated the world, and those unfortunate enough to survive are transformed into blood-thirsty creatures of the night. Robert Neville is the last living man on earth. Everyone else has become a vampire, and they are all hungry for Neville's blood. By day, he stalks the sleeping undead, by night, he barricades himself in his home and prays for the dawn.

    Steven Casper says: "Superb!"
    "A Short Classic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Considering all the similar work that has been produced over the last few decades, this book certainly feels ahead of its time. It’s easy to see how it was the inspiration for some big movies that it was based off of. In a lot of ways the book is probably better than the films. But it is still a very bleak story and outlook on life. This book focuses a lot more on what’s happening to the main character internally, his psychology and what it would be like to be the last person alive on earth. While it certainly does not break any new ground especially by today’s standards, it’s still hunting expedition that holds up to time fairly well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sword of Destiny

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Andrzej Sapkowski
    • Narrated By Peter Kenny
    Overall
    (3876)
    Performance
    (3587)
    Story
    (3570)

    Geralt is a witcher, a man whose magic powers, enhanced by long training and a mysterious elixir, have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin. Yet he is no ordinary murderer: His targets are the multifarious monsters and vile fiends that ravage the land and attack the innocent.

    David S. Mathew says: "Enter the Witcher"
    "Great Intro to the Witcher"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    A collection of short stories about Geralt, all loosely tied together though I’m not sure if they are in chronological order. None of the short stories are particularly memorable or noteworthy, although we do learn quite a bit more about some of the main characters and more details about the world. I read these first because I saw it had been recommended to read before getting into the main series. I have a feeling that this book is not really necessary to read in the context of the whole series, but is mainly just filler material. I’m looking forward to getting into the main series after this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Disappearance of Winter's Daughter

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Michael J. Sullivan
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds, Michael J. Sullivan
    Overall
    (3243)
    Performance
    (3070)
    Story
    (3060)

    When Gabriel Winter's daughter mysteriously disappears and is presumed dead, the wealthy whiskey baron seeks revenge. Having lived in Colnora during the infamous Year of Fear, he hires the one man he knows can deliver a bloody retribution - the notorious Duster.

    Gina says: "By Mar! A brilliant addition to my favorite Chronicle"
    "Tired of this series."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Some of these episodic style stories about Royce and Hadrian have been fairly enjoyable, but this one falls flat. Feeling like a Halloween special, while pushing a modern day issue as one of the chief themes, and it has all the drawbacks of some of the authors other works, including an almost popcorn horror style of characters doing incomprehensible things simply to advance a lackluster story. I think that I’m done after this.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Time of Contempt: The Witcher, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Andrzej Sapkowski
    • Narrated By Peter Kenny
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2997)
    Performance
    (2761)
    Story
    (2749)

    Geralt is a witcher: guardian of the innocent; protector of those in need; a defender, in dark times, against some of the most frightening creatures of myth and legend. His task now is to protect Ciri. A child of prophecy, she will have the power to change the world for good or for ill - but only if she lives to use it.

    Joe Chad says: "Steadily rising up my list of favorite series"
    "Not what I expected."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I think what surprises me most about this series is that it isn’t your run of the mill media tie in, full of swords and sorcery. That’s probably because the books came first, before the games and other media. So don’t going to the series expecting as much action as you get in the games. Therefore as a high fantasy book, this is just average. This is a much slower paced book, with a lot of sections that seem to drag and involve tertiary characters. There also isn’t nearly as much action as you might expect. Like the last book, this one feels like simply another episode in a much larger story, without any real closure. So just be aware of that, since you’ll probably have to read the entire series in order to finish the tale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Blood of Elves

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Andrzej Sapkowski
    • Narrated By Peter Kenny
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4856)
    Performance
    (4479)
    Story
    (4463)

    For over a century, humans, dwarves, gnomes, and elves have lived together in relative peace. But times have changed, the uneasy peace is over, and now the races are fighting once again. The only good elf, it seems, is a dead elf. Geralt of Rivia, the cunning assassin known as The Witcher, has been waiting for the birth of a prophesied child. This child has the power to change the world - for good, or for evil.

    Joe Chad says: "A great start to a Promising Series"
    "Part of a much larger story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    To me this book was kind of average. It gives a good opening to the characters and setting the overall story themes, but it starts to drag in some places and also jumps around between some minor character POVs, and in general feels like a longer version of one of the short stories in the series. Also, it doesn’t really have any closure; it just ends as though on another chapter break and just runs right into the next book. I hope they pick up in intensity after this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Guns of the Dawn

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Adrian Tchaikovsky
    • Narrated By Emma Newman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (157)
    Performance
    (146)
    Story
    (145)

    Guns of the Dawn is a pacey, gripping fantasy of war and magic from Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning author Adrian Tchaikovsky. The first casualty of war is truth.... First, Denland's revolutionaries assassinated their king, launching a wave of bloodshed after generations of peace. Next they clashed with Lascanne, their royalist neighbour, pitching war machines against warlocks in a fiercely fought conflict.

    M. McCormick says: "Stand alone book"
    "Solid, Original and Riveting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a solid 3 1/2 stars rounded up, military style fantasy novel that is very character focused. My second standalone novel from the author, this is another solid book that demonstrates a strong understanding of character.

    Guns of the Dawn demonstrates the horror of war for the sake of a ruler or a nation’s pride, and how often misinformation controls the conflict and how a misled people can fanatically follow a cause simply out of sheer willful belief. It strongly demonstrates the evil that one person can cause when an entire people follow them blindly, and the injustice that can come from such a following.

    The main characters felt very real and fleshed out, and the author did a great job of depicting the female POV in my opinion, making the main character a warrior without losing their femininity. The ending is definitely not your typical heroic fantasy fare, yet feels very satisfying.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • An Echo of Things to Come: The Licanius Trilogy, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By James Islington
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer
    Overall
    (4780)
    Performance
    (4493)
    Story
    (4473)

    In the wake of a devastating attack, an amnesty has been declared for all Augurs - finally allowing them to emerge from hiding and openly oppose the dark forces massing against the land of Andarra. As the Augur Davian and his new allies hurry north toward the ever-weakening Boundary, however, fresh horrors along their path suggest that their reprieve may have come far too late. His ally in the Capital, the new Northwarden, contends with assassins and politicians and uncovers a dangerous political secret.

    Joe B. says: "Footnotes, please!"
    "Didn't live up to the first book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    2.5 stars rounded up. This book was a jumbled mess, jumping all over the place. It wasn’t so much a sophomore slump as it was just too much happening. Each of the four main characters is following their own arc, with so much going on, there isn’t much time to really digest what is going on in this world. Threats come and go, enemies are dealt with, and people are jumping around all over the place.

    I lost count how many times the main characters are captured or knocked unconscious. It seems like every other chapter someone either gets knocked out or passes out, meanwhile the author’s favorite phrase seems to be “shaking his/her head to clear it”. Do people even do that in real life?

    A lot of this book is spent rediscovering Caden’s memories, although this gets old after a while. Is also really confusing, and by the end of the book I don’t have a clue who is on the right side, what anyone’s plans are, and in general I kind of dislike everyone because they aren’t very good people.

    Considering how long it took this book to come out, I would expect it to have been a little more heavily edited in terms of keeping a cohesive plot together.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Children of Time

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Adrian Tchaikovsky
    • Narrated By Mel Hudson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10301)
    Performance
    (9593)
    Story
    (9571)

    Adrian Tchaikovksy's critically acclaimed stand-alone novel Children of Time is the epic story of humanity's battle for survival on a terraformed planet. Who will inherit this new Earth? The last remnants of the human race left a dying Earth, desperate to find a new home among the stars. Following in the footsteps of their ancestors, they discover the greatest treasure of the past age - a world terraformed and prepared for human life. But all is not right in this new Eden.

    Simon says: "A very pleasant surprise"
    "Awesome concept, average execution"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The premise of this book sounded very interesting, and I preferred to read a standalone novel from this author first, so I picked up the audiobook. I was expecting a bit more of a horror sci-fi feel, but this ended up being more space opera. I don’t want to give away too much, but while I did find the development of the alien type creatures interesting and very creative, I didn’t find the human colonists’ part so interesting, nor did I feel those characters really stood out to me. This is more of a high concept sci-fi novel than any sort of action or hard sci-fi, but I’m still interested in checking out more of the authors work after this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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