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Janice Ebeling

artist writer

Manteca, CA United States | Member Since 2008

12
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 7 ratings
  • 377 titles in library
  • 6 purchased in 2014
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  • Windhaven

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By George R. R. Martin, Lisa Tuttle
    • Narrated By Harriet Walter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (84)
    Performance
    (77)
    Story
    (80)

    The planet of Windhaven was not originally a home to humans, but it became one following the crash of a colony starship. It is a world of small islands, harsh weather, and monster-infested seas. Communication among the scattered settlements was virtually impossible until the discovery that, thanks to light gravity and a dense atmosphere, humans were able to fly with the aid of metal wings made of bits of the cannibalized spaceship.

    Ryan says: "A promising early Martin work"
    "Seemed to be missing the middle of the story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The book was written in three parts, each part reading like a short story with its own beginning and climax.

    I liked the concept of the flyers and it was entertaining, though some of the characters were a bit flat.

    My main problem was that the middle of the book seemed to be missing.

    Part One: An introduction to Maris - becoming a flyer.
    Part Two: An introduction to Val - he becomes a flyer.
    Part Three: Maris is old and retires.

    Wait a minute... shouldn't there be some story about Maris actually BEING a flyer? There was foreshadowing of other cultures as well as introductions to some interesting characters and situations that were completely dropped.

    I wanted to know about the culture in the north where the flyers were kings, or the culture where they worshipped a winged god. I wanted to see the aftermath of Maris bucking the system to help Val get his wings. I wanted to know what happened to her brother.

    The lack of these things left me sorely disappointed. I was given only Maris' regrets about all the places she had been and the people she had met (some of whom were mentioned ONLY in narration as Maris is lamenting the loss of her wings). I was hungry for so much more than I was given, and this is why I didn't give this book a better rating.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • His Majesty's Dragon: Temeraire, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs)
    • By Naomi Novik
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1481)
    Performance
    (860)
    Story
    (866)

    When HMS Reliant captures a French frigate and seizes its precious cargo - an unhatched dragon egg - fate sweeps Captain Will Laurence from his seafaring life into an uncertain future and an unexpected kinship with a most extraordinary creature. Thrust into the rarified world of the Aerial Corps as master of the dragon Temeraire, he will face a crash course in the daring tactics of airborne battle.

    Janet says: "Dragon Riders of Pern meet Master and Commander"
    "Unique perspective of dragon rider"
    Overall

    The Napoleonic wars - with dragons. Naomi Novik offers a unique view of the dragon rider - a core of the armed forces, with not a single rider, but a crew aboard a war harness complete with rifles bombs and swords aboard a winged battleship in areal battles, with warriors leaping across to "board" another dragon's back to fight to capture the Captain - the actual bonded dragon rider. What a fascinating portrayal. Novik's description of the various breeds of dragons in the world and weapons other than breathing fire (a rare gift), makes it also vary interesting. Her dialog captures the speech of British military men of the era, giving it a wonderful flavor. In addition, the audio reading of this book was excellent, down to the perfect British accents. The appendices at the end describing the various dragon breeds (the writings of the expert on the subject) were delightful and very well thought out. I have absolutely no complaints about this book and am eager to download the next volume.

    7 of 8 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
    Overall
    (4959)
    Performance
    (3458)
    Story
    (3492)

    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"
    "Not Bad, but lackluster"
    Overall

    Campbell keeps to the most realistic depiction of speed vs. relative distance in space. Unfortunately, that realism by its nature slows down the action as the characters must wait hours for ships to get close enough to engage. Campbell's portrayal of the technology is fascinating and well thought out, more so than the character development. The characters were flat, and Geary was such a recluse that he failed to engage in any relationship close enough to bring interest. The main problem was Campbell's unwillingness to leave the bridge of the Dauntless, and the "almost first person" point of view. Though the book was written in third person, Campbell never left Geary's side, and the character's reluctance to engage with anyone else made it a somewhat boring perspective. Main case in point - we watched one ship sacrifice itself to give the fleet enough time to escape, all from the point of view of Geary's bridge. With the half an hour delay, the scene played out like a TV show playing on the other side of a crowded room with the sound turned off. If Campbell had instead portrayed the scene from on board the doomed ship, the action would have been riveting. Likewise, if Campbell had brought us aboard the ships of Geary's rivals so we could hear their complaining and plotting, that would also have made it more interesting. There was nothing that I particularly disliked about the book, but it didn't interest me enough to want to read the next in the series.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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