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  • Bitter Seeds: The Milkweed Triptych, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Ian Tregillis
    • Narrated By Kevin Pariseau
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Raybould Marsh is a British secret agent in the early days of World War II, haunted by something strange he saw on a mission during the Spanish Civil War: a German woman with wires going into her head who looked at him as if she knew him. It wasn’t his imagination; the wired woman can see into the future and use her knowledge to twist the present. In fact, Marsh soon discovers that the Nazis are running missions with people who have special powers....

    Phelix_da_Kat says: "WW II alternate history: X-men vs Warlocks"
    "Not what I expected, but still worth the listen."
    Would you listen to Bitter Seeds again? Why?

    I don't think I would listen to Bitter Seeds for a long while. I was expecting a golden age/pulp hero type of setting with super powers and magic based on the summary. Instead it was a horror story, and a darn good one.

    Would you be willing to try another book from Ian Tregillis? Why or why not?

    Yes, the end of the first novel is a cliff hanger; however, I need some more lighthearted fair before diving back into the next novel.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    I don't have a particularly favorite scene, however, Ian Tregillis did a great job of bring the story right to the brink of being too gruesome or callous (in terms of the "reality" of war and the supernatural) without crossing over, but not going into actual details so my imagination took over many times through out the story.

    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    What price for victory?

    Any additional comments?

    Kevin Pariseau did a good job of bringing the different characters to life, it was easy to tell which character was speaking.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • The Legend of Huma: Dragonlance: Heroes, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Richard A. Knaak
    • Narrated By Richard Topol
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Only fragments of the account of Huma survived the Cataclysm that broke the world of Krynn. The fullness of his tale has never been told – until now. One man took up the call to defend the world against the Queen of Darkness. He was the first Hero of the Lance, driven by his devotion to the Oath and the Measure and his love for a silver dragon. His life made him a hero. Here is the tale that made him a legend….

    Jeremy says: "Like a fine wine, this book keeps getting better!"
    Would you ever listen to anything by Richard A. Knaak again?

    I very much like Richard Knaak's Dragonrealm series and look forward to listening them if/when they come out.

    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Richard Topol?

    Someone who is able to provide more dynamism to the characters to make them memorable. This may be a problem with the text rather than the narrator.

    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    None - I did not feel a connection to any of the characters.

    Any additional comments?

    There was very little of the Code and the Measure and how Huma embodies it. Things just happen to Huma, he shows no particular skill at being a warrior or a leader - He's basically just a nice guy. If someone or something didn't lead him directly to the next plot point he would have been lost. The background on why most Knights don't particularly like him is unclear. Gwyneth says why she loves him, but it isn't emotionally compelling. Magius, the greatest (2nd greatest?) wizard, he was friends with Huma as boy, but why later? No real background on why that relationship exists.

    Lastly - I liked the Chronicles of the Lance (which really didn't have a lot to do with the Dragonlance), but now hearing this story and how the lances were used I can only conclude the Dragons of Krynn are dumb. For the lance to work, the two dragons must come at each other directly like a joust. Once they see the glowing silver lance why would the evil dragon attack like this? I would pair up and attack from the flanks. Heck, how could two dragons fight in the air in the first place without falling to the ground? It makes for a great mental image, but I found myself unwilling to embrace a suspension of disbelief.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By John Scalzi
    • Narrated By Wil Wheaton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Ensign Andrew Dahl has just been assigned to the Universal Union Capital Ship Intrepid, flagship of the Universal Union since the year 2456. Life couldn’t be better…until Andrew begins to pick up on the facts that (1) every Away Mission involves some kind of lethal confrontation with alien forces; (2) the ship’s captain, its chief science officer, and the handsome Lieutenant Kerensky always survive these confrontations; and (3) at least one low-ranked crew member is, sadly, always killed.

    Paige says: "Not his Wheal-house"
    "'Funny,' Dahl said. 'Tedious,' Duvall said."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The structure of the dialog. What the characters say is funny, but the author just had long sections of he said, he said. It was monotonous as many others have said.

    If you’ve listened to books by John Scalzi before, how does this one compare?

    Old Man's War was all around better. But the 3rd coda was touching.

    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Wil Wheaton did a great job conveying the exasperation of the characters, however, all the characters sounded the same. I don't think there was enough variation in his voice to differentiate the characters.

    Do you think Redshirts needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No, John Scalzi successfully concluded the story.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Seth Grahame-Smith
    • Narrated By Scott Holst

    While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years. That is, until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln, and became the first living person to lay eyes on it in more than 140 years.

    Haden says: "My friends thought I was crazy."
    "An intellectual vampire hunter"
    What did you like best about Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter? What did you like least?

    I did like the weaving of Lincoln's life into the story and the creation of the Union. He's also not hunting vampires when he's an old man, but takes logical steps for the purpose of the story to thwart their efforts.

    While the story addresses Lincoln's purpose in hunting vampires, his relationship with Henry is vexing and not clear. It's also not clear (to me at least), why Henry wants the world to know about Lincoln's secret history. I am also not sure I accept the ending, though I could see it coming.

    Would you recommend Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter to your friends? Why or why not?

    I enjoyed it, but not to listen to, I think it should be read.

    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    This is one of those cases where it should be allowed to edit the text to make it for being read outloud. There had to have been sections to the novel, part 1, part 2, etc.. but instead of clearly saying this, the chapter number just started over. In some cases the narrator would say the chapter number twice, but instead of saying "Chapter 2", he says "2" and then sometime randomly later, he will say "2" again.

    Do you think Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No, this is a one and done, anything else would be a hackneyed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Gate Thief: Mithermages, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By Orson Scott Card
    • Narrated By Stefan Rudnicki, Emily Rankin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Here on Earth, Danny North is still in high school, yet he holds in his heart and mind all the stolen outselves of 13 centuries of gatemages. The Families still want to kill him if they can’t control him - and they can’t control him; he is far too powerful. On Westil, Wad is now nearly powerless - he lost everything to Danny in their struggle. Even if he can survive the revenge of his enemies, he must still somehow make peace with the Gatemage Daniel North, for when Danny took that power from Loki, he also took responsibility for the Great Gates.

    Benjamin says: "Flashes of Great, Ok, and Bad. Overall: Meh."
    "Solid 2nd Installment"
    What made the experience of listening to The Gate Thief the most enjoyable?

    The simple method in which the mythology of the real world was woven into the story. That the gods were men and women and their names were titles and not specific people. This explained why they could look different and have different personalities for different mythological stories, demigods, everything. It was easy to suspend my disbelief and be engaged in the story.

    What other book might you compare The Gate Thief to and why?

    The Book of Swords series and the Book of the Gods by Fred Saberhagen are similar in terms of making mythology a real thing for the story.

    Did Stefan Rudnicki and Emily Rankin do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    I don't think Stefan Rudnicki was a good choice for this series, his voice I don't think lends it self to child/young adult characters - however, I could easily tell the characters apart. Emily Rankin was fine, but not amazing.

    Any additional comments?

    The amount of adolescent sex talk was excessive, but I understand why it was necessary to the story. It seemed that it annoyed Orson Scott Card to write as well as the main character. Don't let it stop you from listening, it's a well realized world and an interesting story. The afterward is spot on. If Orson Scott Card had delivered his original idea, it would have been a terrible.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Fleet: Dauntless

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Jack Campbell
    • Narrated By Christian Rummel, Jack Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Captain John "Black Jack" Geary's legendary exploits are known to every schoolchild. Revered for his heroic "last stand" in the early days of the war, he was presumed dead. But a century later, Geary miraculously returns from survival hibernation and reluctantly takes command of the Alliance fleet as it faces annihilation by the Syndics.

    Appalled by the hero-worship around him, Geary is nevertheless a man who will do his duty. And he knows that bringing the stolen Syndic hypernet key safely home is the Alliance's one chance to win the war. But to do that, Geary will have to live up to the impossibly heroic "Black Jack" legend.

    Justin says: "Kinda boring, mostly tedious, and frustrating"
    "Slow paced"
    What did you like best about The Lost Fleet: Dauntless? What did you like least?

    I enjoyed the description of the space battles and Campbell's attempt to envision what they would be like instead of just an aerial dogfight in space. The contrived nature of the plot that Captain Geary appearing in the nick of time was irritating. Even the characters remark on it constantly. It wasn't clear that the Syndics were human until late in the story, and Geary's internal monologue was difficult to follow since he would speak to the other characters almost immediately afterwards. The transitions between scenes was hard to follow as well, it was almost like he should have had dialogue about traveling between the helm, the conference room, and his stateroom.

    Would you recommend The Lost Fleet: Dauntless to your friends? Why or why not?

    Only to military buffs.

    Would you listen to another book narrated by Christian Rummel and Jack Campbell ?

    I have book 2, I will listen to it eventually. Hopefully the pace picks up and I will want to read the other 3.

    Was The Lost Fleet: Dauntless worth the listening time?

    It was worth hearing once.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Nine Princes in Amber: The Chronicles of Amber, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 31 mins)
    • By Roger Zelazny
    • Narrated By Alessandro Juliani

    Amber is the one real world, of which all others including our own Earth are but Shadows. Amber burns in Corwin's blood. Exiled on Shadow Earth for centuries, the prince is about to return to Amber to make a mad and desperate rush upon the throne.

    Joe says: "Great begining of the series"
    "Zelazny did a better Corwin"
    What did you love best about Nine Princes in Amber?

    It was the first story I can remember reading about the idea of a multiverse. I think I read this before Elric of Melinbone.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Corwin - I like how he, like us, starts out not knowing anything about what is going on, and we go on a journey of discovery with him.

    Which character – as performed by Alessandro Juliani – was your favorite?

    I enjoyed all of the characterizations by Alessandro Juliani except for Corwin and Random. For Random, I thought I had increased the speed of the playback he was talking so fast. I had heard the abridged version of the Chronicles of Amber years ago, Zelazny's gruff voice did a better job of portraying the larger than life character of Corwin. However, other than these two, Alessandro did a better job on the rest.

    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When Corwin regains his memory of himself when walking the pattern. The realization that he has lived hundreds of years and the hints of the influence he has had on our world.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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