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Proud to be a nerd

Irving, TX USA | Member Since 2013

  • 5 reviews
  • 136 ratings
  • 733 titles in library
  • 44 purchased in 2015

  • A Memory of Light: Wheel of Time, Book 14

    • UNABRIDGED (41 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Michael Kramer, Kate Reading
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Since 1990, when Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time® burst on the world with its first book, The Eye of the World, listeners have been anticipating the final scenes of this extraordinary saga, which has sold over 40 million copies in over 32 languages. When Robert Jordan died in 2007, all feared that these concluding scenes would never be written. But working from notes and partials left by Jordan, established fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson stepped in to complete the masterwork.

    Amazon Customer says: "End of one of my favorite fantasy series ever."
    "Warning: Tarmon Gai'don can be exhausting"

    “Loial son of Arent son of Halen, had secretly always wanted to be hasty.”

    As a hasty human, I listened to this book almost non-stop, narrator on 2X (3X for the slow parts) so that I could get to the end. Waiting almost 2 decades for Tarmon Gai’don made me impatient. I’ll certainly listen to it again, this time on normal speed, but wanted to jot down a few things in a spoiler-free review for my fellow impatient humans before I start over and savor it more slowly.

    I feel that I should warn people that A Memory of Light is one of the most exhausting books I’ve ever read. Half-way through and I was already battle weary. Three quarters through and I felt that the whole thing was hopeless. None of the preceding books have come close to approaching the intensity of this final volume. It truly felt like the end of all things. It was glorious. It was heartbreaking. It was so many things but, like most WoT books, it wasn’t perfect.

    First, a few of the good things. There are so many surprises that I never felt that I could anticipate what was going to happen next. Many threads are tied up, most in a satisfactory manner. Talmanes gets more screen time (I’ve always love Talmanes). You really get the feeling that the entire world is at war, and it’s done in a way that is believable.

    The Pervara and Androl storyline almost stole the show. I just couldn’t get enough of them. I’d love to see a follow-up short story about these two in a fantasy anthology like the Legends series.

    Good people die. GASP! Oh yes, while Team Jordan doesn’t exactly go about it George R.R. Martin-style, they definitely make up for lost time in weeding down the character list. Some of the deaths are meaningless, some are tide-turners and not all of them were as touching as they could have been. The death of a few of my favorite characters left me feeling oddly detached, while the death of another character had me bawling more than I did for Dumbledor.

    Now for the not so good. There are a few deus ex machina contrivances that grated on me, but the worst was about Perrin. Perrin’s special abilities have never been particularly spectacular and it really feels like they got amped up so that he wouldn’t be overshadowed by the other two ta’veren boys. I’ve never been a huge fan of Perrin’s storyline once he married Faile, so maybe it’s just me.

    Mat, one of my favorite characters, has deteriorated into not much more than a clown. I didn’t mind his comic relief bits so much in the last two novels, but he’s a pivotal character in this novel and has become almost a parody of Mat.

    Everything Padan Fain. Sad waste of a potentially great villain. I really haven’t cared about him since he left the Whitecloaks and here it almost seemed like he was thrown in as an afterthought. I wish they would have just left him out of it. Terrible.

    Another reviewer stated that some of the accents for characters have changed, and I have to agree. I’ve just spent 3 months listening to the 14 previous books and there are several minor differences in the ‘voice’ of some characters in this final novel. It was mildly distracting in the beginning, but nowhere near as the egregious differences in Roy Dotrice’s erratic narrations of the first/last Song of Ice and Fire novels.

    Unlike Tolkein’s Return of the King, we don’t get a lot of wrap up. If I had to summarize the flow of the novel, it goes something like this, maneuver, maneuver, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, reposition your troops, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, fight, end. Sure, it’s Tarmon Gai’don, but I guess I’m one of those people that prefer a bit more exposition about what happens afterward. These are our friends, some of whom we know better than our own family members, and I would have preferred to know more about what happens to them when the dust settles as we’ve been assured that there won’t be any sequels or prequels.

    As far as my rating, I take away ½ star for pacing, ½ star for annoying plot devices, ½ star for missed opportunities, which leaves 3 ½ stars. I’ll round that up to 4 because, though it often infuriates me, The Wheel of Time is an old friend and I love it despite it’s flaws.

    92 of 108 people found this review helpful
  • The Lesser Dead

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Christopher Buehlman
    • Narrated By Christopher Buehlman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    New York City in 1978 is a dirty, dangerous place to live - and die. Joey Peacock knows this as well as anybody - he has spent the last forty years as an adolescent vampire, perfecting the routine he now enjoys: womanizing in punk clubs and discotheques, feeding by night, and sleeping by day with others of his kind in the macabre labyrinth under the city's sidewalks.

    Doris says: "Just fell in love with the main character..."
    "Terrific author-narrated novel"

    Let's just start by saying that I rarely read horror, but I've seen the author perform many times and was curious to hear his narration preview on audible. After listening to the five minute sample I was completely hooked. I promptly exchanged my precious audible credit for the book and now, two days later, I'm finished and completely blown away. I would have completed the listen in one day, however it was dark and close to bedtime when I got to the most intense part of the book so I had to put it down to finish in the daylight.

    This is the second book I've ready by Buehlman, the first being his freshman novel, Those Across the River. They are very different novels, with different time periods, different subject matter, but the consistent factor between the two novels is that he creates wonderfully nuanced, flawed characters that you love to listen to. Joey Peacock is our, admittedly very flawed, hero. He's a young looking vampire in New York in the late 70's, sleeping underground by day and feeding on New Yorkers by night. He's not apologetic, well, not much, and he's careful. He's got a circle of vampire friends, and a cadre of regulars he drinks from, his life is pretty uneventful. That is, it is uneventful until he sees the children on the train.

    I don't want to go into too much detail, no spoilers here, but let me tell you that I was not able to sleep after listening to one sequence. I actually had to put another book on just to clear the very graphic, very terrifying images out of my head. This is not a sparkly vampire book, this is gritty, and good. Oh so very good.

    Regarding the narration, I've heard a lot of self-narrated novels and I've disliked almost all of them, but Buehlman is the exception. In fact, I can't imagine another reader as the reading is masterfully done. There are characters of several ethnic backgrounds in the novel and his portrayal of them is perfect, from the terrifying Irish matriarch of the vampire clan to the creepy little English boy, Peter, each character is nuanced and well defined.

    In conclusion, I highly recommend this novel to all who love horror or a good, creepy tale.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Galactic Mage (Volume 1)

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By John Daulton
    • Narrated By David Bodtcher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Altin Meade is a sorcerer with a curse. Seeking to avoid a looming doom, he sets his magical sights on the stars--a quest that will likely bring about the very consequence he's seeking to escape. Far across the galaxy, Ensign Orli Pewter of planet Earth has a looming doom of her own--one of loneliness, depression and, worse, a race of genocidal aliens known as Hostiles seeking to destroy humanity.

    lum says: "Interesting mix of fantasy & sci fi"

    Elementary writing, poor narrator performance, story line I couldn't get into...where do I start? I love fantasy and scifi and was excited by a story that promised both elements. First chapter was pretty slow and felt like a young adult story, then the second chapter has characters talking pretty boldly about sex, so maybe not? Both my husband and I tried to give it a listen, but neither of us lasted past the first few chapters. The narrator is not as polished as I'm use to (maybe I'm spoiled by so many great narrators out there today, but this guy seemed about flat and emotionless.)

    I recommend that you save a credit and skip it.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • METAtropolis

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Jay Lake, Tobias Buckell, Elizabeth Bear, and others
    • Narrated By Michael Hogan, Scott Brick, Kandyse McClure, and others

    Armed camps of eco-survivalists battle purveyors of technology in this exclusive, original production featuring five sci-fi masters and five all-star narrators.

    Geekette says: "Just okay, BUT required reading for the sequel"
    "Just okay, BUT required reading for the sequel"

    I really wouldn't have reviewed METAtropolis, except that I read METAtropolis: Cascadia and, well, it's kind of necessary. This book is short, and it's not terrible, but it's also not great. The stories never really reach out and grab you like they should, but METAtropolis: Cascadia is a very worthy read, and it's better to have invested some time in the 'backstory' of this very differently conceived future dystopia if you're going to read that one.

    The first story about Tyger, Tyger is a very integral part to the first and last stories in the sequal. While the character of Tyger, Tyger is never fleshed out in a satisfactory way, it is compelling. If, perhaps, the author could have given us just a little bit more. Why was he so enigmatic? What, exactly, was his true purpose? I'd love to read a short story dedicated to his history before he arrived in the Cascadian provinces.

    0 of 0 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"
    "A philosophy-fillled, meta-packed, sci-fi fun fest"
    What did you like best about Redshirts? What did you like least?

    I love Scalzi's take on the cliched disposable 'Red Shirt' ensign phenomenon. I don't know a single person who watches Star Trek and hasn't said that they'd NEVER volunteer for an away mission if they weren't one of the big stars. So Scalzi makes this the central story to his plot, and also manages to poke fun at other related topics such as Trek philosophy, time travel 'rules', actors, Comic Cons, 'scifi science' and alien silliness (Ice Sharks? Really!?!) And, while Redshirts never takes itself too seriously, it still manages to present thought provoking dilemmas for it's intrepid heroes.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of Redshirts?

    I think I'll leave out my favorite moment, so as not to give away the plot too early. My second favorite moment was the time travel sequence.

    Have you listened to any of Wil Wheaton’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes, I have listened to several Wheaton-narrated performances by Cline, Scalzi and Wheaton, and this is another solid listen. Wil Wheaton is absolutely the most appropriate reader for this book, given the subject matter. He did a great job. The only thing that I found distracting was the use of, "he said," "she said," "Dahl said," etc, after almost every spoken line. While not Wheaton's fault, it was terribly distracting and even a bit irritating after time. I hope Mr. Scalzi invests in a thesaurus for his next book. The word "said" ends in a hard stop that is quite noticeable when repeated several times in a short time-frame. It really kills the flow of the dialog.

    Was Redshirts worth the listening time?

    Absolutely. I highly recommend this to anyone who is a fan of scifi, especially Star Trek geeks like myself. I think that it was very cleverly done and will be sure to make any Trek fan roll with laughter.

    40 of 50 people found this review helpful

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