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James

21
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 23 reviews
  • 35 ratings
  • 122 titles in library
  • 1 purchased in 2014
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  • Empire of Blue Water

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Stephan Talty
    • Narrated By John H. Mayer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (251)
    Performance
    (102)
    Story
    (99)

    He challenged the greatest empire on earth with a ragtag bunch of renegades and brought it to its knees. This is the real story of the pirates of the Caribbean. Henry Morgan, a 20-year-old Welshman, crossed the Atlantic in 1655, hell-bent on making his fortune. Over the next three decades, his exploits in the Caribbean became legendary. His daring attacks on the mighty Spanish empire on land and at sea determined the fates of kings and queens, and his victories helped shape the destiny of the New World.

    Jack says: "Morbid Terrorists?"
    "Good but a little tame"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Well done. Rather documentary in style. For as much piratical villainy as is covered in this narrative, the prose is fairly sterile and the reading lacks the swarthy luster one might associate with a tale of such swashbuckling.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Black Prism

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By Brent Weeks
    • Narrated By Cristofer Jean
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (884)
    Performance
    (669)
    Story
    (676)

    Gavin Guile is the Prism, the most powerful man in the world. He is high priest and emperor, a man whose power, wit, and charm are all that preserves a tenuous peace. But Prisms never last, and Guile knows exactly how long he has left to live: Five years to achieve five impossible goals. But when Guile discovers he has a son, born in a far kingdom after the war that put him in power, he must decide how much he's willing to pay to protect a secret that could tear his world apart.

    Chad says: "Dude . . ."
    "Terrible narration. Really cheesy story."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I can't believe this book has gotten such high reviews. Cristofer Jean does a terrible reading (sorry, CJ) and sounds like an un-enthusiastic surfer dude. Even aside from that, the story is lame, the characters are cheesy, and the mechanics of magic are silly (like Weeks is striving for some Brandon Sanderson world of complexity and doesn't really get it). I really wanted to like this book. I rely heavily on reader reviews and feel baffled and betrayed by how far from my own experience this book's ratings are.

    If you like Joe Abercrombie, Scott Lynch, Bernard Cronwell (as I do), this may not be your bag.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Red Country

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Joe Abercrombie
    • Narrated By Steven Pacey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (840)
    Performance
    (762)
    Story
    (757)

    They burned her home. They stole her brother and sister. But vengeance is following. Shy South hoped to bury her bloody past and ride away smiling, but she'll have to sharpen up some bad old ways to get her family back, and she's not a woman to flinch from what needs doing. She sets off in pursuit with only a pair of oxen and her cowardly old step father Lamb for company. But it turns out Lamb's buried a bloody past of his own. And out in the lawless Far Country the past never stays buried.

    Kristina says: "Freakin' Awesome!"
    "Another Abercrombie victory"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you like Joe Abercrombie and have read his other works, you'll love that this one continues in grand style with his masterful formula for gritty, flawed characters, in a rich and nuanced world, getting down to dirty, bloody, tough business. There are some surprises and great depth to his story.If you haven't read Joe, go back and start with his First Law series, then read the prior books in this series. They're all so brilliant, I can't get enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Theft of Swords: Riyria Revelations, Volume 1

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Michael J. Sullivan
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4786)
    Performance
    (4402)
    Story
    (4403)

    Acclaimed author Michael J. Sullivan created instant best sellers with his spellbinding Riyria Revelations series. This first volume introduces Royce Melborn and Hadrian Blackwater, two enterprising thieves who end up running for their lives when they’re framed for the death of the king. Trapped in a conspiracy bigger than they can imagine, their only hope is unraveling an ancient mystery - before it’s too late.

    Magpie says: "Two books in one - keep listening!!"
    "Lame"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is trying to be something like the Lies of Locke Lamora but it is a weak execution diluted by simplistic plot contrivances and shallow character development dropped into thinly imagined world. It lacks grit, substance, and elegance. I wanted to like it but it just never got down to business.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Homeland: Legend of Drizzt: Dark Elf Trilogy, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By R. A. Salvatore
    • Narrated By Victor Bevine
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1298)
    Performance
    (1195)
    Story
    (1215)

    This stunning new release of the classic R.A. Salvatore novel recounts the origins of Salvatore's signature dark elf character, Drizzt Do'Urden. This title kicks off The Legend of Drizzt series, which will showcase the classic dark elf novels in these new audiobook editions.

    Pi says: "Among the drow, all trust is foolish."
    "High school-ish and silly"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is for high school D&D players who've discovered the drow elf character for the first time and get a thrill out of the idea of an "evil" society. It's silly and full of characters running around calling themselves "evil" and getting a real kick out of how that feels. It doesn't make sense. The world is a 2 dimensional sham that I couldn't quite finish. The high ratings on this book must be from readers who have already read other Drizzt books and liked them.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Red Seas Under Red Skies

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Scott Lynch
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1925)
    Performance
    (1492)
    Story
    (1490)

    After a brutal battle with the underworld that nearly destroyed him, Locke Lamora and his trusted sidekick, Jean, fled the island city of their birth and landed on the exotic shores of Tal Verrar to nurse their wounds. But even at this westernmost edge of civilization, they can't rest for long - and they are soon back doing what they do best: stealing from the undeserving rich and pocketing the proceeds for themselves.

    Anthony says: "This is how you write a series!"
    "Great! Pirates, cons, thieves, adventure."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    You must first read Lies of Locke Lamora (the first in this series by Scott Lynch). If you loved that, you will love this. I did. I feel like this story may have been forced a little too hard to twist a thief story into a pirate adventure - as if Scott thought, I've got these great characters that I want to write another book about but I'm in a real pirate adventure mood at the moment, so I'll just come up with a way to work that in. That being said, Lynch's writing is so damned good that he must be forgiven his plot acrobatics because it is such a great read/listen. Michael Page's narration is spot-on perfect. Thank you, both, for bring Locke Lamora and his world into ours.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Scott Lynch
    • Narrated By Michael Page
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3048)
    Performance
    (2352)
    Story
    (2358)

    An orphan's life is harsh---and often short---in the island city of Camorr, built on the ruins of a mysterious alien race. But born with a quick wit and a gift for thieving, Locke Lamora has dodged both death and slavery, only to fall into the hands of an eyeless priest known as Chains---a man who is neither blind nor a priest. A con artist of extraordinary talent, Chains passes his skills on to his carefully selected "family" of orphans---a group known as the Gentlemen Bastards.

    Luke A. Reynolds says: "Stupendous, but be warned."
    "Awesome! Best thief fantasy ever."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Clever, gritty, dark, wonderful character development, and rich setting. This feels like Joe Abercrombie wrote a thief novel - and narration is absolutely top notch. I've read a lot fantasy, medieval, and thief stories and this is so far above anything else, there's just no comparison. The characters carry deep baggage and the sort of human flaws that make them feel realistic without tarnishing your love of them. The setting is a rich world with its own culture, nuance, and unique elements that are brought to life organically through the characters' interaction instead of tedious description.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • King of Thorns

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Mark Lawrence
    • Narrated By James Clamp
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (291)
    Performance
    (271)
    Story
    (269)

    The follow-up to Mark Lawrence' s thrilling debut novel Prince of Thorns, King of Thorns continues the tale of antihero Jorg Ancrath. After wresting back control of his kingdom from those who murdered his family, Jorg sees the land erupt with hundreds of battles fought by lords and petty kings. More daunting still, he faces an enemy many times his own strength. Jorg may not be able to win this battle in a fair fight, but he wields a rage and cunning that just might even the odds.

    Stephen says: "Great sequel!"
    "Very good."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Overall, really good. I had some trouble following the timeline because there is so much skipping back and forth between current time and 4 years ago from chapter to chapter. I still have some trouble with the young age of the character being so unstoppably dominant over everyone else in this story but I can usually allow that to slip out of mind and just enjoy the action. Dark, bloody, good action, interesting twists, excellent narration voice.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Dune

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Frank Herbert
    • Narrated By Scott Brick, Orlagh Cassidy, Euan Morton, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (9167)
    Performance
    (4873)
    Story
    (4942)

    Here is the novel that will be forever considered a triumph of the imagination. Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known as Maud'dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his noble family and would bring to fruition humankind's most ancient and unattainable dream.

    Joshua says: "Wonderful production!"
    "Great world, good story, excellent audio"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If I boil the whole plot down to its bones, I start to feel like I'm missing some major elements and struggle with the motivations of the antagonists that really drive this whole engine. However, it's so well written, and the world it's set in is so cunningly explained that I am able to forget about some of those hang ups and really enjoy this book. The cultures, religion, mystique, and characters are well done. Good long book, too - really gives one their credit's worth.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Count of Monte Cristo

    • UNABRIDGED (52 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Alexandre Dumas
    • Narrated By Bill Homewood
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (420)
    Performance
    (378)
    Story
    (379)

    On the eve of his marriage to the beautiful Mercedes, having that very day been made captain of his ship, the young sailor Edmond Dantès is arrested on a charge of treason, trumped up by jealous rivals. Incarcerated for many lonely years in the isolated and terrifying Chateau d'If near Marseille, he meticulously plans his brilliant escape and extraordinary revenge.

    A User says: "This is the definitive reading!"
    "Laborious with some gems"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Written in such an old, classic literature style that the pedantic lethargy with which the plot moves left it feeling like a chore to me to endure in parts. The reading couldn't have been better - Homewood's got a great voice for this epic and exotic tale. And even the plot is full of tension and drama and revenge. But the convoluted prose Dumas employs in his descriptions often rob the reader of suspense and charm. I know part of the problem is me and my impatient brain which is unschooled in the enjoyment of classic literature and seeks the more immediate gratification of modern fiction. In the end, I'm glad I made it through and found myself appreciating the characters and the Count's fine exploits but I know I'd have never made it through a paper version of this. Thank you, Bill Homewood, for getting me through so that I could savor some of the fine moments threaded into this complex weave.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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