Springfield, MO, United States | Member Since 2010
It pains me to write bad things about Card as he is my favorite author, but sometimes you have to call a dud a dud. Don't get me wrong for some authors this would be a masterpiece, but out of Card we expect better.
This starts out as a poor imitation of Michael Crichton, then moves into an ok imitation of Dean Koontz and finishes as Stephanie Myers. Sprinkled through are touches of Card, such as characters questioning themselves and there inner strife.
At one point a 40 year old in the future references the Marx Brothers. I am 54 and living now and I would never reference the Marx Brothers. The amount of endless debate in action situations is unbelievable. These people are trying to escape a building, time is an issue and they are debating the most minute details. In one part Card gives a boy lessons on how to be a coward.
There is a lot here on genetics. I really liked the part where a megalomaniac makes four copies of himself in order to better rule the world, yet he is too stupid to figure out that four copies of himself would try to kill each other.
Before there was Scalzi and Wheaton, there was Card and Rudnicki. Rudnicki does an excellent job.
If you have never read Card, please don't start here. Card has written the best sci-fi book ever in "Enders Game". You must read that. Then if you want great fantasy read Seventh Son and the two books that follow, skip the rest in that series. For scary read Treasure Box. Hart's Hope is real good and Songmaster is Card in a nutshell.
Backwoods, backward, cannibalistic inbreed Yankees, my kind of book. This is Ketchum's first book, which explains the inconsistences in the writing. At times you think great and at others NOT. Overall it is a good read if you are into this type of stuff. Konrath writes better, but I don't know if I have read his first book, so we may not be comparing apples to apples.
It has gore, it has lots of sex and yea, it is a little sophomoric. If you are not into this genre, you will not like it, if you are into it, you will have a hoot.
I thought the narrator was pretty good. He is the kind of narrator, which makes you forget someone is narrating. You feel like you are reading it in your head, can't see how anybody could object to him.
PEOPLE DIDN'T KNOW ENOUGH TO BE PROPERLY TERRIFIED.
Anytime you see Allan Kaster's name on something, turn the other way. I should have know better, having been disappointed by Kaster before. This had four stories from authors, I had interest in. I had recently read stories by Gilman, Steele, and Kowal that were good enough to draw my attention to them. Reed is almost always reliable for a good story, so I took a chance on Kaster, figuring that there were surly one or two good stories in the batch. Wrong, wrong, wrong. When Kaster says Top, what does he mean. Top of the crap, top of the left overs after Dozier, Hartwell, Strahan and everyone else have picked the top stories, top of WHAT?
WE'LL MAKE THAT HARNESS, WHEN THE COLT IS BORN
Gilman and Kowal's stories were so bad, that I could not finish listening. Reed's story was silly, and Liu's story barely good enough to listen to. Steele's story was a little better. Kiji Johnson's story was the best and supposedly won a Hugo. As an experienced reader, let me tell you that awards are not a good indicator of rather a story is good or not. Early on I tried reading most of the award winners, figuring they were the best, WRONG. In this case it is the best read of the group, but not good enough to buy the collection.
There is also problems with the production of some of these stories. The first story sounds like the reader is in a sub basement reading through a mega phone. Some of the others also have problems. The narrators I did not think were terrible, but they won't be winning any awards for their performances. It sounds like they are just getting started in their careers and most will have to go back to their day jobs.
Also, don't bother looking for The Year's top Sci-Fi stories under in the category Science Fiction/Fantasy and Short Stories and Anthologies, as there are no anthologies included under that category, except WE Robots. You will not find any of Kaster's collections there, none of Dozier, George R.R. Martins or the many anthologies by John Joseph Adams. It seems to be the home of Neil Gaiman's stories. Audible is in bad need of a Science Fiction editor. They seem to be overrun with young editors that read Romance and Teen books.
MINUTES, THEN THEY FIND OUT THEY CAN'T EAT CHILI DOGS.
I would not recommend reading this before book one. This makes more sense if you read book one and this is not as good as book one. It is still a good book, I mean how can you not like a book, which has a CZECH, GYPSIE, PORN STAR, ZOMBIE KILLER as a main character. James ,Sandman Slim, is still a sarcastic potty mouth with a constant string of one-liners that will have you rolling in the aisles. His sidekick head, now has a way of moving around on his own and he is even funnier in this book then book one.
THE NICEST DEAD GUY, I'VE EVER KNOWN
This book is a four star, unlike book one, which is a five star. Just like many other authors who write character driven series, such as Maberry with Joe Ledger, there seems to be an attempt to make the character more likeable and more down to earth then the first book. In the first book James is Sandman Slim not James Stark so much. In the first book he is out for revenge and all he cares about is himself. In this book, we are encouraged to feel more empathy for him. This results in him being a little whinny at times. He is striving to be liked and to be nicer. He is nicer to his bodiless sidekick and there are these moral issues about family, that we get hit over the head with. BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO RESCUE FAMILY, EVEN ASSHOLE FAMILY. FAMILIES ARE DIFFICULT, BUT HAVING NONE IS WORSE.
To me there are plenty of books out there with high morals and feel good endings. Occasionally I want something that is dark and funny and that is why I liked book one. I would not want all my books to be dark and mean, but it is a release sometimes to indulge in such books. Making James, cute and cuddly, is not what I want or why I would read a Richard Kadry book. MAYBE WHAT YOU NEED IS AN ENGLISH TO ASSHOLE HANDBOOK?
HE WAS GANGBANGED BY A THESAURUS
The narrator is pretty good, but I do think Ray Porter would be better.
I would not normally continue a series once it drops below a five star, but due to the strength of book one, I will go one more to see if he regains his nastiness.
IN THE TWILIGHT
This book consists of three stories, with Anton as the main character in each. If all I had listened to would have been the first story Destiny, I would have given this five stars. Destiny is so good I almost gave the whole book five stars. To me this was the most intelligent fantasy I have ever listened to or read. This was one of the few times in my life, that I got it! This is an infinite chess game between good and evil and both sides are right and both sides are wrong. There is some action, but this is mostly a head game. You could compare this to Simon R. Green's, In The Night Side or China Mieville's The City, The City and maybe even Butcher's, Dresden's books, only this is better, more stimulating to the brain. Some have compared SL to King. Both use scary or fantastical elements to get a message across. King message is usually political, where as SL is more psychological. SL shows how doing good can lead to evil and vise versa. That good and evil is not a black and white issue. The second story, Among HIs Own Kind, is good, but not as good as Destiny. I would give the second story four stars.
AN EXPERIENCED KAMIKAZE
The third story, All for our Kind, is bad. Anton becomes a big whiney baby. Even the characters in the story complain about his whining. The plot does not develop until half way through the story and then it is not enough to save the story.
I would suggest buying the book, but only for the first two thirds. The first story is worth your credit. If you are not enjoying the third story, quit the book. Don't be one of those who have to finish every book they start. I used to be that way, until I realized that I was only punishing myself, which was stupid.
MY FRIEND AND ENEMY
I think I will try the next book in the series, even though it goes against my rules. If I don't give the first book five stars, I don't go on to the next. If he can repeat the genius of Destiny, it will be worth it.
Paul Michael is a very good narrator and if you listen closely, he sounds an awful lot like Rod Serling. Even if you don't agree, you have to agree his talent makes this book a better listen then a read.
WHEN AN ELVENLORD WAS UNHAPPY, IT WAS HIS HUMANS , WHO USUALLY SUFFERED.
Chapter one is great. It is dark and very adult. I like dark and thought I was really going to like this. The Elves have captured Earth and turned humans into slaves. The best a human male can expect to be is a gladiator and a woman a concubine to an Elf who will not beat her. It is the first time I know of that Elves are depicted as bad guys and they are really mean.
The dragons are not really dragons, they are shape shifters. I even thought that was interesting. Around chapter three we obviously change authors and we go from an adult dark fantasy to something written for six year olds. I might have been able to hang on if the book had been 10-12 hours, but 19? I had better books to listen to.
I got this mostly for my wife. She and several of our friends are serious cyclists. My wife has knee problems, so she does this, swims and lifts weights. She should get in about 3,200 miles this year. The benefits are that I have a 56 year old wife with an ass most of the college students she teaches would envy. The draw back is the expense and the time. My wife bought a used bike for $1000 and we have a friend who has a $6,000 bike. Most people will spend around $2500. That is only the beginning. A pair of bike pants, runs over $100. And there are more expenses, much more. Then a bike ride of 40 to 50 miles takes about four hours once you get started. Several of the bikers try to ride 100 miles a week.
The audio book
As an audio book, this book is the worse. It is certainly not something to listen to as you are driving. The main part of the book is a list of foods and portions. You need to take notes, basically you need to rewrite the book as you listen. I can not believe there was not a PDF with this. If you are a serious rider, get the paperback.
WALLS CAN'T THINK, BUT THAT DOESN'T KEEP THEM FROM CARING.
Four hours was the perfect length for this novella and for Sanderson's genius. If you have not read Sanderson before (and I don't know what rock you have been living under) then this is a great place to start. Sanderson has practically rewritten the fantasy genre. He has set new, higher standards. Fantasy is no longer just Dragons and Sorcerers, it is stories with depth and characters.
AS GOOD AS YOU ARE, SOMEONE ELSE COULD BE BETTER
Sanderson has not yet replaced Robin Hobb as my favorite fantasy writer, but he is getting close. He can write the long stuff, (The Way of Kings) and he can write the short stuff, like this. What is most amazing, is his abilities to come up with different magic and make them as interesting as the last totally different magic he wrote about. The Way of Kings, Elantris, The Rithmatist, The Emperor's Soul and Mistborn are all different, but great. He is not stuck in one universe. I will have to mention that I was not a fan of Steelheart or Warbreaker, but they were not terrible either.
BOREDOM MADE PEOPLE EASY TO MANIPULATE
Did I mention that this guy is a genius?
BUT PARDON THE PUN
I have given four stars to Calis Rose and Timothy. I think I gave three stars to Zombie Fallout book one. I like Mark Tufo, but I hate this character. Every single line is a middle school joke or pun. I might have laughed once in seven hours. It was like a 1970 sitcom without the laugh track. JEAN LOOKED SHAKEN, NOT STIRRED. If there was a story, I totally missed it. I have gotten bored with a lot of books, but this one made me mad and the longer I listened the madder I got. I had to quit listening to let my blood pressure settle. I have a sense of humor, I love Richard Kadry's Sandman Slim and Maberry's Joe Ledger. They are both characters who make continual wise cracks and I laugh. Talbot is just annoying.
CASH WAS NOT A MENSA MEMBER
THAT YOU TRUST ME AND LOVE ME
I listened to book one and wrote a glowing review on it. I bought this book, because I liked book one. At the half way point, we still had not gotten into the war. Seven hours of a military book and no action. Instead the book was a love story. Some of it taken directly out of book one, but in book one where it was a side story, here along with another love story, it takes center stage. I wanted to learn about the war, instead I was told that marines are attracted to sluts and attract sluts.
FOR SOME REASON YOU BRING OUT THE BITCH IN ME.
I mentioned in book one that I found it odd that a boy from Pennsylvania, from a poor home, where he was abused and who went no future then high school would speak Chinese. I also mentioned that the Chinese speak many languages with two main languages and the Chinese often have trouble understanding each other. Someone must have pointed this out to Griffin, cause in this book he says the boy speaks two Chinese languages. This seems even more improbable to me. In this book the second main character is a born pilot. In the past he had no interest in planes at all. We are even told that this happens maybe one in one hundred thousand recruits. The instructor had never seen it until our hero shows up. I have two more Griffin books in my library, I sure hope they are as good as book one of this series and that they are believable and not Chick Lit.
IT WASN'T HER BUSINESS WHY ELIZABETH WOULD NOT MARRY HIM.
Your may be wondering why a He-Man like me would read this. The truth is I read the first book in this series and liked it. I have read some of Lackey's stand alone novels and liked them, such as Take a Thief and Brightly Burning. I also enjoyed Owl Flight. This had a good start in Chapter One, with this mean spirited witch putting a death curse on baby Mirana. In the next chapter Mirana is talking to water sprites and seeing the magical world, others can not see and I am still with it. Then we get into teenage angst and talking about hats, gowns and corsets.
This was obviously written for the female audience and I am sure many women will love this. I on the other hand am not interested in gowns, hats, corsets and teenage angst.
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